Course Selection Information for Students entering Year 11

In consultation with the Board of Trustees, the college has developed its own Year 11 curriculum and assessment to replace Level 1 NCEA. This curriculum will provide a rigorous course of study, designed by college staff, that will better prepare our students for Levels 2 and 3 NCEA and NZ Scholarship. Students will continue to be assessed in a variety of ways, including school designed internal assignments, portfolios, tests and exams and include the 10 numeracy credits required for future NCEA qualifications from their Mathematics course.

All Year 11 students take a course of study comprising:

  • ENGLISH (either at Year 11, NCEA Level 2 or English Speakers of Other Languages)
  • MATHEMATICS (either at Year 11 or NCEA Level 2)
  • SCIENCE (Year 11) - While Science is not compulsory, students are strongly advised to take this subject in Year 11. 
  • 3 OTHER SUBJECTS (either at Year 11 level or Year 12 level).


  • Students should choose subjects they feel they would enjoy but they should also carefully consider what they might like to study later and their future education and employment aims. NCEA Level 2 subjects, for example, have minimum requirements/guidelines which need to be satisfied in the Year 11 year.
  • A chart (The Flow of Subjects) has been provided as a quick guide to these subject relationships. 
  • Most subjects have a minimum requirement.  These are listed as "Recommended Prior Learning" on each subject page.
  • Subjects with no such prerequisites require the approval of the relevant Faculty Leader for all students applying to do the course. In general, students who achieve poor grades will not be permitted to start a new series of subjects.
  • In special circumstances, the Faculty Leaders may, after discussion, allow a student to do a course without having the meeting the recommended prior learning expectations.
  • Course availability is dependent on numbers and staffing, and course entry will be confirmed at the beginning of the school year.

It is important to put in the time and effort now to choose your subjects wisely as class allocations are made according to your choices. 
Changes to option subjects will not be accepted after the end of this year, except in response to your results or in exceptional circumstances. 

It is important you complete your option selection by the due date to enable you to have your preferred course of study.

Planning Your Course - Some Suggestions

As you plan your course, carefully assess your interests, skills and learning style and choose subjects that build on these.

We recommend that you do not ‘specialise’ too early and that you aim to maintain a broad range of subjects for as long as possible.  This will help to prevent you limiting your future study prospects.  Select your courses carefully as it will be more difficult to change them at a later date.

If you have a particular career in mind, you may need to study some specified subjects.  There is a guide to tertiary study requirements and subject choices in this handbook but do be aware that university courses change frequently and you need to be proactive in seeking up to date information directly from the university or from the Careers Department at the College.

As you plan your course and choose your subject options think about these things:

  • Your interests and abilities.
  • Which subjects you enjoy the most.
  • The skills you have and would like to develop.
  • Your preferred learning style.
  • Your possible future career interests.
  • Are there subject requirements (pre-requisites) at the next level?
  • Any entry criteria for tertiary education?
  • Is the subject on the University Approved list of subjects? (See List of Approved Subjects). 
  • Do I have sufficient flexibility to change my course if my career goals change?

If you are unsure of a subject, talk to someone.

  • Ask students who are doing the subject this year what it is like.
  • Ask the Teacher.
  • Ask the Careers Advisor.
  • Ask your Dean.
  • Ask everybody.
  • Ask for help.  It is an important decision.

Be informed.