Curriculum Structure

Course Options

Course Structure

Whanganui High School offers the following course structure:

Entry Level Pre-NCEA NCEA Level 1 NCEA Level 2 NCEA Level 3
Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 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 Pre-NCEA NCEA Level 1 NCEA Level 2 NCEA Level 3
DRAE DRA0 DRA1 DRA2 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
ARTE 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
CHE2 CHE3
PHY2 PHY3
ELE2 ELE3

Curriculum Levels

To cater for different student abilities, Whanganui High School offers courses of different curriculum levels, within subjects. Staff will determine the appropriate level course for each student based on past academic performance in these subject areas.

  • Entry Level

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

    (Using Mathematics as an example)

    Subject Subject Level Curriculum Level Subject Code
    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)

    Subject Subject Level Curriculum Level Subject Code
    English Introductory NZ Curriculum Level 4 ENI0
    English Middle Band NZ Curriculum Level 5 ENG0
    English Extension 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)

    Subject Subject Level Subject Code
    NCEA Level 1 Science Introductory (Internal assessment) SCI1
    NCEA Level 1 Science General (Mixed assessment) SCG1
    NCEA Level 1 Science Extension (Mixed assessment) 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) Subject Subject Level Subject Code
    NCEA Level 2 English Introductory (Internal assessment) ENI2
    NCEA Level 2 English General (Mixed assessment) ENG2
    NCEA Level 2 English Extension (Mixed assessment) ENE2
  • 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 description. For more information regarding University Entrance Standards refer to the NZQA website.

In addition, if a course offers University Entrance Literacy credits, these are identified at the top of the course description.

Vocational Pathways

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.

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


(*) Last Reviewed: July 26, 2019

WARNING: This post is over a year old. Some of the information this contains may be outdated.

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