Course Options

  • Notes

    Course Requirements in Senior Classes:

    • Entry into all classes is subject to a satisfactory record in the preceding year:
    • Success in the Whanganui High School examinations gives students provisional entry into their subjects the following year.
    • Level 2 and Level 3 subject entry is confirmed through the NCEA examinations.

    To ensure students have as wide a variety of options in the future as possible, students must select Six subject lines

    Year 11:

    • English and Mathematics are compulsory full year courses.
    • We strongly advise students to take Science - either as a full year option or as a semester course.


    Semester Courses:

    • In order to broaden student options in 2019, students may select a mixture of both semester (half year) and full year courses.Students including "Semester Courses" as part of their option selection, must select an EVEN number of semester courses.

      The first semester course will run for the first seventeen weeks of the school year. Students then 'swap' to their second selection.

      In 2020, semester courses will extend into Year 12. This means a student can choose a "follow on" course to the one taken in Year 11.


    • Courses in Year 11 have been assigned a "Point" value determined by course length.
    • A full year course - like English and Mathematics - which all Year 11 students must take is worth '2 points'
    • A semester (or half year course) is worth 1 point
    • Students may choose a mixture of both full year and half year courses provided the number of courses add to a total point value of twelve (12)   
    • Eg. OT1S (1 points) + CLW1S (1 point) +MAG1 (2 points), + ENG1 (2 points) + ACC1 (2 points)+ HLT1 (2 points) + SPA1 (2 points) = 12 points in total


    Year 12 and 13:

    • Students in Year 12 are strongly advised to continue studying an English and a Mathematics option.

    For both Level 2 and Level 3 courses, Students must achieve any pre-requisites as described in the course’s outline.


    NCEA Requirements:

    Students gain NCEA by gaining eighty (80) credits.

    In both Level 2 and Level 3, twenty (20) of these credits can come from the preceding year.

    Level 1: The 80 credits must include at least ten Literacy (English or Te Reo) credits and ten Numeracy (Mathematics) credits. These credits can also be gained from areas other than English and Mathematics.


    Endorsements at Levels 1-3.

    Students who gain 50 Merit or 50 Excellence credits at each level of NCEA earn an Endorsed Level 1, 2 or 3 Certificate respectively.

    Students who gain either 14 Merit or 14 Excellence credits in a subject (within a calendar year) receive that subject endorsed with Merit / Excellence.

    A Vocational Award or Endorsement can only be gained at Level 2:

    Students who gain 20 ‘Sector’ Related credits along with 40 ‘Recommended’ credits in any one of the six Vocational Pathways receive a Vocational Award.

    Achievement or Unit Standards that contribute towards this endorsement will be clearly identified within Kamar; the student management system. 


    University Entrance (UE):

    This qualification is the minimum requirement to enter a New Zealand University. Other educational institutes recognise this qualification as supporting entry into non-university courses hence Whanganui High School encourage all students to take a ‘UE’ course in Year 13 if possible.

    To qualify you will need:

    5 credits in reading     And     5 credits in writing



    • Scholarship is a significant monetary award to recognise and honour top academic students at Level 3. It does not attract credits or contribute to the Level 3 qualification but is included on a student’s Record of Learning.
    • Students must demonstrate very high academic attainment in the previous year in order to enter the Scholarship examinations.


    Whanganui High School Diploma

    • The Whanganui High School Diploma recognises the student’s graduation from secondary school and transition to tertiary study or the world of work.
    • The Diploma may be awarded ‘with Merit’ or ‘with Distinction’


    Courses Outside of School (External Studies):

    Students in Senior School may wish to choose from a wide variety of Industry and Tertiary Related courses available to them to complement their school subjects. These courses are completed through as an ‘option’ at school and need to be applied for through the Vocational Department


    Vocational Studies:

    Year 12: Vocational Studies at Year 12 occupy five (5) of the six (6) lines therefore students choosing to do Vocational Studies need to take only one other subject.

    Most students will have two school days in the workplace or may choose to attend an externally provided course.

    Year 13: Vocational Studies at Year 12 occupy four (4) of the six (6) lines therefore students choosing to do Vocational Studies need to take only two other subjects

    Within the Vocational Studies programme, each student will have an individual learning plan created using Industry based Unit Standards from the NZQA framework that count towards the student’s record of Learning.

  • Vocational Pathways

    Vocational Pathways provide new ways to achieve NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 and develop pathways that progress to further study, training and employment.

    Students may choose from a variety of courses that range from one day a week or short blocks of time during the school week. Most students continue in normal classes outside of these times. 
    Examples of courses include:

    • Agriculture
    • Building and Construction
    • Automotive
    • Paint and Panel
    • Digital Innovation
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • ICT Innovation
    • Mechatronics
    • Hair, Beauty and Retail
    • Cafe Skills
    • Business Enterprise
    • Commercial Road Transport
    • Health
    • Sport and Exercise
    • Vet Nursing/Animal Care
    • Infrastructure Works
    • NZ Cert in Cookery
    • Cert in Makeup and Skincare
    • Cert in Tourism


    The Vocational Pathways provide a framework for students to show how their learning and achievement is valued in the workplace by aligning learning with the skills needed for industry. 

    For more information check out the youth guarantee website, or click on the links below to view a wide range of information on employment opportunities beyond the school gate.

Subject Areas