Ruapehu College has received an innovation award of $50,000 for a programme which mixes English and history in the same class.

History teacher Jerry Jordan and English teacher Johnny Green have been working with Year 12 and 13 students since the beginning of the year and both are excited about students' progress and enthusiasm.

"We are studying the 1960s," said Mr Green "and the blended delivery means that students get to study the counter culture movement through the work of poets and writers of the times."

The teachers aim to prepare Ruapehu students for the academic writing that will be required of them at university.


Students will be surveyed after their first year at university to see how effective the preparation has been.

"It means we can measure the effectiveness of the teaching and make adjustments if we need to," said Mr Green.

Teaching in tandem is working well for both teachers and Mr Jordan said he enjoyed being able to guide students in spelling and grammar.

"As a history teacher, my job is making sure that students have the correct facts and it has been frustrating to overlook the English elements when I mark assignments.

"With the blended delivery, I get to do that as well."

Principal Kim Basse said students come to high school with experience of "thematic learning" where areas of the curriculum are blended together.

"When they get to high school, the curriculum is divided into separate silos of learning.

"We would like to look at other possibilities for blended delivery and extending it to the junior classes."

The award means that the school can also bring in outside expertise to support the learning such as poet and fiction writer Anna Jackson.