11 Earth and Space Science (Half year course)

Although next year timetables are yet to be finalised, course selection is now finished. Any changes to student courses will now take place in January.

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Ms E. Cotton

NOTE: This course cannot be selected alone - you need to choose either 2 or 4 half year courses.

This course covers the fourth strand of the New Zealand science curriculum - Planet Earth and Beyond - exploring aspects of Earth Science and Astronomy.

Course content: 
This is a half year course with two main topics:

  • Plate tectonics and the formation of surface features in New Zealand
  • Astronomy and the effects of astronomical cycles on planet Earth.

For the first part of the course we will be looking at: earth’s internal structure, plate tectonics and moving continents, how New Zealand formed from Gondwana and how the landscape of New Zealand, and in particular Auckland, has been affected by geological and other events. We will also take a trip up Mt Eden during our investigation into the origin of Auckland’s volcanoes and how they have changed over time.

The astronomy part of the course explores: stars and planets, astronomical discoveries, space exploration and astronomical cycles. Earth is affected by many different astronomical cycles including the rotation of the earth on its axis, our orbit around the sun in relation to the tilt of the earth and the moon’s orbit around the earth. These cycles result in: day and night, the seasons, the phases of the moon and the tides.

Assessment Information

For each of the two topics there will be a formal assessment in the form of a week-long project resulting in a poster, written document or slides.


This course leads to Level 2 Earth and Space Science.
Future areas of interest and study include: geology, astronomy, meteorology, environmental management, conservation, climate science and marine science.

Useful Links


We aim to enable every student to have the course that they prefer, however, some courses have limited places or pre-requisits that may restrict the student's choice.