Subject Selection

All Year 13 students undertake one compulsory course in Religious and Social Education. They also have the choice of FIVE options that run for the whole year, there are NO prescribed courses at Year 13. Due to the flexible nature of NCEA it is possible for us to develop courses to suit your daughter’s needs, this could include doing some Level 2 courses.

It is important to note the requirements of some Tertiary institutions. The University of Auckland requires all students applying to the Institution to have a minimum of 10 credits at either Level 2 or 3. In addition some tertiary courses, eg Health Sciences, Architecture and Nursing, have prerequisites and a rank score that must be reached and need to be taken into consideration, see the HOD Careers for more information about these.


Level 3  NCEA:

  • 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 an NCEA Level 3 Certificate.  Students will gain an award of Achieved, Achieved with Merit, or Achieved with Excellence, for each Standard and Achieved for Unit Standards.
  • All subjects will offer at least 18 credits in their course.
  • Some subjects because of their nature, suit assessment by Unit Standard better than Achievement Standards. Details of this are included in subject notes. Unit Standards each have a credit value which counts towards an NCEA Level 3 Certificate.


Entry Criteria to Year 13:

  • It is considered that at least 12 credits in a subject at Level 2 is the minimum prerequisite for study at Year 13.
  • Mathematics has a higher prerequisite and students should make sure they have achieved the entry requirement for Level 3 study. Exceptions require the approval of the Deputy Principal or Principal in consultation with the HOD Maths.
  • Where a subject is not available at Year 12, or a student has not previously studied the subject in Year 12, entry to the course must be approved by the HOD and the Deputy Principal or Principal.
  • For some students, who may wish to remain at school for a Year 13 year, bit do not wish to prepare a full Year 13, Level 3 course, an individual programme of five subjects/courses will be developed after discussion with the Year 13 Dean. This may involve a combination of Year 12 and Year 13 subjects, or Level 2 and Level 3 standards. It is also possible that an alternative programme offered by external providers, could be undertaken.

University Entrance:

NCEA Scholarship:

  • Scholarship is a monetary award to recognise top students.  It does not attract credits nor contribute towards a qualification, but if you gain a Scholarship it will appear on your Record of Learning.
  • If you wish to enter Scholarship you must enter for both Level 3 and Scholarship Standards to ensure you gain University Entrance and your Level 3 National Certificate.
  • Scholarship is assessed against separate, challenging Standards, and will be demanding for the most able students in each subject.   You need to be capable of high-level critical thinking, abstraction and generalisation, and be able to integrate, synthesise and apply knowledge, skills, understanding and ideas to complex situations.

To view Subjects in booklet format or download a pdf to print, please use the button below:

Year 13 2020 full Subject Handbook


To view Subjects: please click on the Curriculum Areas below to reveal individual subjects in dropdown screen –


The Arts














Health and Physical Education





















Social Sciences



















Foundation Skills



Ara Youth Pathways / Tourism

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 the 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.