Curriculum Overview

2018 Course Options 


Course Structure

Whanganui High School offers the following course structure:

  • Entry Level (Level E)                                       Year 9
  • Pre-NCEA  (Level 0)                                        Year 10                      
  • NCEA Level 1                                                   Year 11
  • NCEA Level 2                                                   Year 12
  • NCEA Level 3                                                   Year 13


Subject Names

All subjects have been named with reference to NCEA.  Year 9 and 10 courses are labelled Entry and Pre-NCEA.

(Using Drama as an example)

  • Entry Level                                                         DR1E or DR2E
  • Pre-NCEA                                                           DRA0            
  • NCEA Level 1                                                     DRA1
  • NCEA Level 2                                                     DRA2
  • NCEA Level 3                                                     DRA3


Multilevel Courses

Students in Year 10 – 13 may study any subject at any level, as long as they meet the course entry requirements, and have gained approval from the Associate Principal. The timetable has been designed so that students are able to choose their subjects from any NCEA Level.  It is expected that students choose courses, which reflect their level of achievement rather than their age.

 Example: A Year 11 student may take MAO2, while a Year 13 student might decide to take ACC1.


Course Pathways

Course pathways have been designed so that students can develop their interests right up to Year 13.

Example:   A student who is interested in Art could plan the following course pathway:

Year 9                      Year 10        Year 11        Year 12                Year 13

AR1E or AR2E         ART0            ART1           ARP2 + ARD2      ARP3 + ARD3                      


Course Specialisation

In general, students are encouraged to take a broad course in Year 9, 10 and 11, but may specialise more in Year 12 and 13.

Example: A student might be very interested in Science.  They might choose the following science pathway:

Year 9         Year 10           Year 11            Year 12            Year 13

SCIE             SCI0                SCG1                BIO2                 BIO3                                                          

                                             SCE1                CHE2                CHE3                                                        

                                             SCI1                 PHY2                PHY3                                                       

                                                                      ELE2                 ELE3                               


Curriculum Levels

To cater for different student abilities, Whanganui High School offers courses of different curriculum levels, within subjects.


  • Entry Level

Entry Level courses may have up to 3 different curriculum levels. These are labelled as follows:

(Using Mathematics as an example)

Mathematics    Introductory      NZ Curriculum Level 3         MAIE

Mathematics   Middle Band     NZ Curriculum Level 4         MATE

Mathematics    Extension        NZ Curriculum Level 5         MAEE


  • Pre-NCEA Courses

Pre-NCEA courses may also have up to 3 different curriculum levels. These are labelled as follows:

(Using English as an example)

Pre-NCEA       English            NZ Curriculum Level 4                      ENI0

Pre-NCEA       English            NZ Curriculum Level 5                      ENG0

Pre-NCEA       English            NZ Curriculum Level 6                     ENE0


  • NCEA Level 1 Courses

NCEA Level 1 courses are assessed at Level 6 of the NZ Curriculum. Courses are either fully internally assessed or a mixture of internal and external assessment.

(Using Science as an example)

NCEA Level 1 Science            Internal                             SCI1

NCEA Level 1 Science            General                             SCG1

NCEA Level 1 Science            Extension                         SCE1


  • NCEA Level 2 Courses

NCEA Level 2 Courses are assessed at Level 7 of the NZ Curriculum. Courses are either fully internally assessed or a mixture of internal and external assessment.

(Using English as an example)

NCEA Level 2 English            Extension                           ENE2

NCEA Level 2 English            Internally                            ENI2

NCEA Level 2 English           General*                              ENG2

                                       (*a combination of internal and external assessments)


Vocational Pathways

The Vocational Pathways provide new ways to achieve NCEA Level 2 – the foundation for success in further education and the world of work. The pathways help students see how their learning and achievement is valued in the ‘real world’ by aligning the NCEA Level 2 Assessment Standards including specific ‘sector-related’ standards with six industries:
• Primary Industries
• Services Industries
• Social & Community Services
• Manufacturing & Technology
• Construction & Infrastructure
• Creative Industries
These six pathways represent ways to structure and achieve NCEA Level 2 by providing a more coherent framework for foundational vocational education; students can develop their own individual education plans, are better informed and able to make better choices to meet their goals.
Government agencies, the industry training sector, secondary and tertiary representatives and industry and employer representatives worked together to develop the six Vocational Pathways for NCEA Level 2 as the foundation of the journey to employment. These groups are now in the process of developing pathways through qualifications achieved in NCEA Level 3 and beyond

For the Profile Builder tool refer to the Vocational Pathways website.


  • NCEA Level 3 Courses

NCEA Level 3 Courses are offered at Level 8 of the NZ Curriculum.  However, Whanganui High School offers a range of subjects in Year 13 some of which have a mix of NCEA Level 2 and 3 and/or a mix of Achievement and Unit Standard credits.


  • NCEA Scholarship

Whanganui High School offers NCEA Level 3 students the opportunity to sit the NCEA Scholarships examination in subjects taught at Level 3.

Example: The NCEA Scholarship Chemistry examination is offered as part of Level 3 Chemistry.

  • University Entrance Approval Courses

Whanganui High School Level 3 courses are UE approved unless the words ' Not UE approved' appear on the course descriptionFor more information regarding University Entrance Standards refer to the NZQA website.