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Secondary School Curriculum

The vision in the New Zealand Curriculum "is for young people":

  • who will be creative, energetic and enterprising

  • who will seize the opportunities offered by new knowledge and technologies to secure a sustainable social, cultural, economic and environmental future for our country

  • who will work to create an Aotearoa New Zealand in which Maori and Pakeha recognise each other as full treaty partners, and in which all cultures are valued for the contributions they bring

  • who, in their school years, will continue to develop the values, knowledge and competencies that will enable them to live full and satisfying lives

  • who will be confident, connected, actively involved and lifelong learners."

As an important part of fulfilling this mission, and realising the vision, we are pleased to be able to offer you an extensive range of subjects.

All Year 9 and 10 students follow a compulsory programme in English, Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences, Health and Physical Education, Art, Digital processing and technology.

The objective is to give students a broad range of experience and skill development to enable informed choices regarding academic and vocational pathways


In Years 11,12 and 13 students choose 5 courses for full year study as well as completing vocational rich block programmes mainly through external providers. These courses lead to higher national qualifications at both academic and vocational levels.

NCEA Overview

  • Each year, students study a number of courses or subjects.

  • In each subject, skills and knowledge are assessed against a number of standards. For example, a Mathematics standard could be: Apply numeric reasoning in solving problems.

  • Schools use a range of internal and external assessments to measure how well students meet these standards.

  • When a student achieves a standard, they gain a number of credits. Students must achieve a certain number of credits to gain an NCEA certificate.

  • There are three levels of NCEA certificate, depending on the difficulty of the standards achieved. In general, students work through levels 1 to 3 in years 11 to 13 at school.

  • Students are recognised for high achievement at each level by gaining NCEA with Merit or NCEA with Excellence. High achievement in a course is also recognised.  For more information, read about Endorsements

Quality Assurance

NZQA has a formal quality assurance process to ensure that the assessment of each standard is fair across all students, regardless of the school they attend. This includes internal moderation, external moderation and assessment system checks. To find the Managing National Assessment (MNA) report for a specific school, find the school through the Search education organisations tool.

NCEA is a national qualification on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework. Standards that secondary school students achieve as part of NCEA can be used as building blocks for other qualifications.


Scholarship is a monetary award to recognise top secondary school students. Scholarship exams are externally assessed and are an additional set of exams. They do not attract credits, nor contribute towards a qualification, but the fact that a student has gained a Scholarship appears on their Record of Achievement.

For more information see Scholarship.

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