There are big choices to make at Year 11, at Craighead Diocesan we recommend that you keep your options open
and avoid specialising too early, you can do this by:

  • continuing to study a range of subjects across the Learning Areas
  • consider your interests and abilities – your subject choice should build on these
  • take into consideration your future pathway and ensure that your options follow through into the Years 12 & 13
  • some courses require you to have studied specific subjects at school, talk to your Dean or HOD Careers in
    order to ensure you undertake the appropriate courses
  • avoid dropping any subject you may need in later years
  • if you have any questions or are unsure about future courses, seek advice from your Dean, the HOD Careers,
    Faculty Heads or SMT.

Subject Selection
All Year 11 students complete a year’s study in the Core Subjects listed below. They also choose three Option
Subjects which are studied for the year.

Level 1  NCEA:

  • An NCEA Level 1 Certificate is awarded to a student who gains at least 80 credits from any level of which 10 must be in Literacy and 10 in Numeracy. Specified Standards available through a range of subjects are identified with (L) for Literacy and (N) for Numeracy in the Subject Information below.
  • Students must take whole courses.
  • More than one assessment opportunity is available for some internally assessed Standards during the year.
  • A booklet detailing the School’s NCEA Assessment policy will be provided to students and parents at the beginning of the year.
  • Reporting of results will be on progress towards a NCEA Level 1 Certificate. Students will gain an award of Achieved, Achieved with Merit or Achieved with Excellence for each Standard or Achievement for Unit Standards.
  • Further detailed information about NCEA and how it works can be found at the bottom of this page, please scroll down ↓


Year 11 Subject Handbook

If you would prefer to view the Year 11 Subject Handbook in booklet format or download a pdf of the entire booklet, please use the link below …. 

Subject Information:

The Arts

English - Core Subject


Health and Physical Education









Mathematics - Core Subject



Science - Core Subject


Social Sciences







Foundation Skills (Support Studies)




New Zealand Qualifications

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)

The National Certificate of Education Achievement (NCEA) is the main qualification for secondary school students in Aotearoa, New Zealand. It is recognised by employers, and used for selection by universities and polytechnics, both in New Zealand and overseas.

There are three levels of NCEA Certificate, depending on the difficulty of the standards being achieved. Students generally work through Level 1-3 in Years 11 – 13. These levels reflect the National Qualifications Framework Levels 6-8.

NCEA is a national qualification on the  New Qualifications Framework. Standards that secondary students achieve as part of the NCEA can be used as building blocks for other qualifications. It challenges  student of all abilities across all levels in all Learning Areas, and shows credits and grades  for separate skills  and knowledge.

Achievement Standards

Each year students study  a number of courses or subjects. Each subject is assessed against a set of Achievement Standards, some of these are internally assessed and some externally assessed. When a student achieves a standard they gain the credits linked with that standard. Students must gain a specified number of credits in order to gain their NCEA certificate.

In achievement standards, students can gain one of four grades – Not Achieved, Achieved, Achievement with Merit, Achievement with Excellence. Each achievement standard describes what student have to do  to reached Achieved, Merit or Excellence. The standard, or the level of work required, is demonstrated in exemplars provided by NZQA.

Merit and Excellence grades require a significant step up  from what is needed at Achievement Level.  Only those students  who meet  the criteria for Merit and Excellence Level get those grades. The proportions of those  gaining Merit and Excellence change little from year to year. Generally around  25% of students achieve Merit grades and approximately  14% attain Excellence grades.

NCEA Level 1

To attain Level 1 students need to gain 80 credits. Included in these 80 credits, students need to gain 10 Literacy credits and 10 Numeracy credits. There are a wide range of  achievement standards  that have been identified as eligible to meet literacy  and numeracy requirements at Level 6 of the Curriculum. 

NCEA Level 2

To attain Level 2 students need to gain 60 Level 2 credits, 20 of these can come from Level 1 or 3 standards. The literacy  and numeracy requirements  must also be met for students to achieve Level 1. 

NCEA Level 3

To attain Level 3 students need to gain 60 Level 3 credits, 20 of these can come from Level 3 standards.

Credits gained at one level can be used for (or count towards) more than one certificate. 

University Entrance

University Entrance (UE)  is the minimum requirement  to go to a New Zealand university. To qualify, a student needs:

  • NCEA Level 3
  • Three subjects at Level 3, made up of:
  • 14 credits each, in three approved subjects.
  • Literacy – 10 credits at Level 2 or above, made up of:
    • 5 credits in reading
    • 5 credits in writing
  • Numeracy – 10 credits at Level 1 or above, made up of:
    • achievement standards – specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects, or
    • unit standards – package of three numeracy  unit standards
  • Credits can be accumulated over more than one year.