Subject choices

Whether you are a keen chef, a dancer, a musician, an outdoor enthusiast or enjoy more traditional subjects, Papanui High School has the right courses for you to explore and develop your talents.


Our students are fortunate to have a wide range
of subjects they can study. 
Click the button below, then select the "Overview" option
on the left hand side of the page.
You will be able to scroll through and click
on subjects to find out more about them.

This is what your mainstream timetable might look like

OED - Outdoor Education
RES - Hospitality, Restaurant Service
MED - Media Studies
CAL - Mathematics with Calculus
PHO - PhotographyMUS - Music

Information on Specific Courses
English as a Second LanguageESOL

We re-introduced our popular Intensive English course and will continue to expand this course as our student numbers continue to increase.  This course is for students who do not have intermediate level English and are less able to join mainstream classes. It allows them to learn English more quickly and build their confidence so they can move into mainstream classes. 

Students are able to take up to 10 periods/classes of ESOL per week, reducing the number of periods/classes they need as their skill levels increase.



Career Pathways

Dance is incredibly popular at our school. We have a fabulous programme which is run in our fully purposed Dance studio. Students are able to experience all styles of dance and are encouraged to choreograph and perform their own work, individually and in groups.

Dance is a university approved subject in line with the other Performing Art subjects - Art, Drama and Music all run by staff who are personally active in their field. It is compulsory in Yr 9 and then an optional subject in Yr 10 - 13.

Watch the winning PHS Hip Hop Crew competing in theNZ South Island Secondary School championships

Hip Hop

Polyfest preparation

Papanui High School Haka - staff versus students

What is HAKA?

The haka is a ceremonial dance or challenge in Māori culture. It is performed by a group, with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet, accompanied by rhythmically shouted accompaniment. Although commonly associated with the traditional battle preparations of male warriors, haka have long been performed by both men and women, and several varieties of the haka fulfill a wide range of social functions within Māori culture, including to welcome distinguished guests, or to acknowledge great achievements, occasions or funerals.

Kapa haka groups are very common in schools. The main Māori performing arts competition, Te Matatini, takes place every two years.

Source: Wikipedia


Music is strong and vibrant at Papanui High School. We welcome anyone with musical talent or aspirations to come, share and enjoy the experience. Staff and students are fully involved and it is like one big musical family! 

We have a range of instruments available and these can be hired but if you want to you can also bring your own. Many students want to learn the guitar. It is best to purchase one locally so you can practise at home. The cost is approximately $100 depending on the quality.

Yusuke Ito - Yr 12 from Japan practising around school

The Music Department is extremely busy with performances both in and out of school. Both the Jazz and Concert bands excel in local and national competitions and students have the freedom to explore their own musical interests. They learn from each other's creativity. Some form their own bands.

Lessons are free and during the school day. Rehearsals for the Jazz and Concert bands, guitar groups, flute ensemble and the choir are held after school. Similar to Dance, Music is compulsory in Yr 9 and then an optional subject in Yr 10 - 13.

Jazz band