Click here to go to the Humanities Subject Selection Site

In the senior, school the Humanities Faculty is committed to making learning relevant to students. The focus is on finding contexts for learning that students are inspired by and provide opportunities for every student to be successful.

There is good access to technology with nearly 50 Chromebooks available to students for learning, research and writing, as well as the opportunity for students to bring their own devices.

The Radio and Media course has it's very own fit for purpose radio station that broadcasts to the local community.

Using Google Chrome apps. such as Google Classrooms, enables students to work collaboratively and access their work easily at home as well as at school. There are materials available online to support students' learning at Makoura.

English in the Senior School

In English, students study, use, and enjoy language and literature communicated orally, visually, or in writing. Opportunities are provided throughout the year to build skills and be assessed internally in writing, reading, creating visual texts and close viewing. Students are also prepared for external exams at the end of the year and can choose to be assessed in this way. Students will aim to gain at least 16 credits at Level 1.


At Level 2 and 3 students develop their ability to independently analyse literature and to select texts that they connect with.


Level 1

Term One sees the Year 11s looking at Formal Writing.  Students are asked to have an opinion on a topic of their choice and argue.  Later, students look at Close Viewing of a scene from a film and then create a Static Image.


Level 2

Students start with the challenging task of Connections.  Students are asked to look at four or more texts and try to write an essay on that connects them altogether.  From here, we analyse poems from Apirana Taylor and create a Static Image from this.

Te Reo Māori

Tōku reo, tōku mana 
Tōku reo, tōku ohooho 
Tōku reo, tōku māpihi maurea 

Toi Maori offers students from Year 9 through to Year 13 a fun and interactive course of learning in these elements of Te Reo:
  • Korero (speaking)
  • Tuhituhi (writing)
  • Whakarongo (listening)
  • Panui (reading)
From the classroom to the kitchen, from the whare to the marae and wider community, students will be provided with every opportunity to experience success through a variety of learning opportunities. 

Creative learning experiences are also provided through Tikanga Maori and Maori Performing Arts and programmes are created within the NZQA/NCEA framework based around the learning needs and style of students. 

As well as working towards NCEA, senior students also work towards achieving a Te Waharoa Certificate – National Certificate Maori Level 2. 

Career pathways include: Journalism (Maori TV), Tourism, Teaching, Law, Government Agencies, Maori Health & Social Services and much more.

Social Studies & History

History enables students to develop authentic understanding of events by gaining a grasp of key concepts and underlying cause. Students are able to gain an understanding of historical events and explore how issues relate to a New Zealand context.

Level 1 is a course that will be Internally Assessed so all assessments will be assessed during the year in class. They are a combination of History and Social Studies standards. Term 1 we will be looking at Slave Labour, Sweatshops and the Adidas protest in Indonesia. We will use this content to complete Social Science Achievement Standard “Describe a social justice and human rights action.”

This Term Level 2 History will be looking at the Bastion Point land struggle. We will be using a range of sources for research to develop an understanding of how this is a significant event for New Zealanders.

Level 3 History will be looking at “Race Relations - When cultures collide.” We will be using Primary and Secondary sources to look at a range of contact between cultures in New Zealand and the consequences. This content will be used to complete History Achievement Standard “ Research an historical event or place of significance to New Zealanders, using primary and secondary sources.

Media Studies


Media Studies is an action packed course that enables students to develop theoretical understandings and practical skills in media.


Level 1 students will analyse the language of film; investigate the use of social media, plan and create a video or audio product as well as write media scripts.


Level 2 students enhance what they have learnt in Level 1. Or students can choose to work on a course of learning that is focussed on the radio industry including researching the history of broadcasting in New Zealand, planning and producing a radio show as well as developing communication skills essential for work in this field.


All students will gradually learn how to use the broadcasting equipment on our radio station - East FM.  You can listen to East FM on 88.1FM.

Foreign Languages


In Foreign Languages class, students have the choice to learn either French, German, Spanish or Japanese.


The course of learning is delivered online with the support of an in-class teacher.  As well as the online course, students will use a range of digital tools to support and practice their chosen language and they will encounter different cultural experiences too.


Students can choose to pursue learning a language as an option from Year 10.  If they compete enough prerequisite work, students who are ready can continue to NCEA Level 1 and beyond.