Our Learning

Learning is an important part of life at Cobham, and we strive to see each student succeed in their own ways. Find out more about our learning opportunities below.

Cobham offers a diverse range of opportunities across academic, cultural and sporting domains, which meet the educational needs of our multi-cultural, multi-talented intake and provides rich experiences across the curriculum.

At Cobham we recognise that not all students are the same and therefore do not all learn, think and act in the same way. We cater for these unique differences by utilising our large roll size to generate multiple options and opportunities across the school. This, coupled with a thorough and robust class placement process, allows us to carefully place each student in a class and with a homeroom teacher who might best meet the particular needs, learning styles and interests of each student.

At Cobham we provide the following class options to meet the diverse needs of our students:

  • Broad-banded classes of students with the complete range of abilities reflecting the norms of New Zealand schools.
  • The Kahikatea Programme which caters for the needs of gifted and talented learners, as well as high ability.
  • Mathematics extension groups/classes for students with aptitude and faster learning rates.
  • Learning support for all students with identified specific needs through individual or small group teaching.
  • English as a Second Language programmes for students who need English language assistance.

Cobham is committed to the delivery of the New Zealand Curriculum, including its stated vision, principles, values and key competencies.

Cobham has a proud tradition of catering for the needs of gifted and talented learners, as well as high ability.

Our renowned Kahikatea programme caters for high to exceptional ability students who require depth, pace and complexity in an environment that responds to personal, social and emotional needs.

The Kahikatea is New Zealand’s tallest native tree that reaches high above the canopy. The towering ancient podocarp flourishes in particular conditions which reflects the tailored environment the Kahikatea team creates for our students that allows them to thrive.

There are six classes in the Kahikatea programme, three at each year level.

Entrance to the programme is based on multiple criteria such as entrance testing, Year 6 teacher information, and standardised assessments.

Primary Aims of the Kahikatea Programme:

  • To mix students with like-minded/ability-minded peers attempting to enhance thinking and social/emotional development
  • Acceleration – ‘vertical’ extension
  • Enrichment – ‘horizontal’ extension
  • Flipped classroom
  • Advanced and sophisticated concepts

If you would like to know more about the specialised programme, contact the leader of our Kahikatea programme, Sophie Crawford via email: sophie.crawford@cobham.school.nz

All students will be placed in a class with a homeroom teacher. Generally, students will remain with this same class group and homeroom teacher for both Year 7 and 8. Students, parents and/or teachers may, for a variety of reasons, opt for a change in the second year. Parents, students and Cobham staff are consulted prior to changes being made.

All students study with homeroom teachers:

  • Literacy – oral, written and visual English
  • Outdoor Education
  • Social Sciences
  • Science
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Key Competencies (relating to others, managing self, etc.)
  • Information Technology (use of devices and multimedia)
  • Languages (Te Reo, Mandarin, Korean, among others)
  • Visual Art

All students study with specialist teachers:

  • Mathematics – ability groups across both year groups
  • Laboratory Science
  • Dance and drama
  • Hard Materials – Metal, Plastics, Glass, Wood Technology
  • Soft Materials – Fabric Technology
  • Food Technology

What is concept learning?

Concepts are timeless, broad, abstract ideas which all students can relate to, e.g. Change. They help students see and make connections between, within and across learning areas to make meaning out of what initially might seem like disconnected information. For example, rather than learning a lot of historical facts , names, dates etc. students learn about a concept such as Change and its associated key understanding, e.g. Nothing stays the same.

The concepts which are covered over a two-year cycle at Cobham are:

  • Hauora (Wellbeing)
  • Identity
  • Sustainability
  • Power / Influence
  • Global World
  • Change
  • The Future
  • Discovery

Inquiry learning is an approach in which students develop ownership of their learning and involves asking: How is learning going to make a difference? To me? To my family? To others?

Inquiry learning at Cobham begins with students being immersed or hooked into a concept, e.g. ‘Change’ and being exposed to a range of contexts for learning related to the concept under study. The steps in the process involve students: sharing prior knowledge, exploring the concept, writing questions, gathering and sorting new information, presenting findings, reflecting on their learning, and taking further action. It is not a linear process and students will move backward and forwards through the inquiry stages.

Use of SOLO Taxonomy is an important component of teaching and learning at Cobham Intermediate.

SOLO is a way of grouping learning outcomes based on their complexity. It is a powerful model of understanding, which we use to assess the quality of learning. SOLO is used to plan teaching-learning activities, and for teacher initiated and student self-assessment.

SOLO Taxonomy groups learning outcomes into five main categories.