A Guide to NCEA At Onewhero Area School
Onewhero Area School offers a wide range of Senior Courses, at all year levels. A lot of professional discussion and consultation goes into designing subjects and their course work. This offers senior students the best opportunity to achieve Level 1 to 3 NCEA. The decisions to be made on future courses should not be taken lightly. Read through the useful information in this site, on what to think about when selecting courses, pathways, and further study options. Decisions made now can affect choices and possible opportunities, in future years. We strongly suggest discussing these decisions with parents, your Whaanau teacher, the Careers Advisor (Mrs Pam McArley), the Senior Leader for Curriculum (Mrs Ritchie), and the timetable advisor Mrs. Cochrane. Please note that standards that may be listed for some courses are subject to change. Parents and students will be made aware of changes, if and when they occur.
For in depth discussion of course prerequisites, contents and pathways and for 2024 Semester Course Descriptions go to: OAS Senior Courses Guide
Once you have investigated thoroughly and made and checked your choices, go to the OAS Kamar portal to register your choices
For information about NCEA and how it works take a look at this Introduction to NCEA for Parents – 2023
Level 1-3: Selecting Your Subjects for Next Year
The information in this guide is designed to help students choose subjects for next year carefully. The subjects selected are crucial for the future, so it is important that students choose the right pathway. The further students go in the Senior School, the more difficult it becomes to change their direction. That is why the very best advice is to keep as broad a range of subjects for as long as possible. Keep in mind the following:
It is important to have a healthy interest level in the subjects you are choosing.
- Some subjects can lead to a career path, but some may provide a base for a lifelong interest or hobby.
- The skills that you may learn through a subject can be just as important as the knowledge content.
- Some tertiary providers & job training courses do require you to have taken certain subjects.
- Some tertiary providers & job training courses see more importance in doing a broad range of subjects.
- It can be helpful to research different options & what they would require.
- Be realistic! Keep in mind your level of achievement, your ability, & your interest in certain subjects
Before you select it would be a good idea to complete the following statements:
- When I leave school I would like to leave with NCEA Level ………….
- When I leave school I would like to become a …………………….
- I am not sure of what I want to do post-schooling, but I have considered ……………..
- I would like to go to University to study …………………
- I may need University Entrance approved subjects, which are ……………………….
- I really enjoy the subjects of ………………………….
- I have achieved success in the following subjects at school …………………
- I have the pre-requisites needed for the following subjects ………………
- Where could this subject lead to in the future ………………………
- I have discussed my options with my parent/guardian/Careers Advisor and ………….
- In choosing these courses the minimum number of possible credits on offer would be ….
- Are my subjects Unit Standard based, Achievement Standard based, or a mixture ……
- Do my courses meet the entry requirements of the tertiary course/apprenticeship etc…..
Requirements for Level 1 NCEA
Students studying towards Level 1 NCEA should select a course in each of these Learning Areas: English or Literacy and Mathematics or Numeracy. They can then select four other courses.
Level 1 students must ensure they select courses at an appropriate level of difficulty:
- All Level 1 courses are assessed by Achievement and/or Unit Standards and earn credits towards NCEA Level 1 and, in some cases, another National Certificate. To achieve NCEA Level 1, students need 60 credits.
- Achievement Standard courses are more academic focused & follow on to further tertiary study.
- Unit Standard courses are more vocational focused & follow on to Certificate/Diploma study, Apprenticeships & entering the work-force.
- Students must also gain an additional 20 credits – 10 literacy and 10 numeracy credits.
Literacy and Numeracy Requirements for NCEA Level 1
F0r 2024 and 2025 these can be gained through either:
- Common Assessment Activities in Numeracy and Literacy (Literacy standards; Reading 32403, Writing 32045 and Numeracy standard 32406)
- Achievement Standards – Specified Achievement Standards available through a range of subjects (minimum total of 10 credits), or
- Unit Standards – package of three Literacy/Numeracy Unit Standards (total of 10 credits – all three required).
Note: A student cannot mix and match between the two options to gain Literacy or Numeracy.
For further information visit this site
Requirements for Level 2 NCEA
There are no compulsory subjects, however read below for those intending to keep the University pathway open. They must choose 6 options. Level 2 students must ensure they select courses at an appropriate level of difficulty:
- Most Level 2 students will study courses that are assessed by Achievement and/or Unit Standards and earn credits towards NCEA Level 2 and, in some cases, another National Certificate.
- To gain NCEA Level 2, students need 60 credits, which must be at Level 2 or higher.
- Level 2 Literacy will also need to be gained to achieve University Entrance. This is 10 credits (5 in reading & 5 in writing) gained through Level 2 English, or through mostly Level 3 Achievement Standards, from other courses.
- Level 2 students who intend going to University are advised to take at least five courses listed as University Entrance approved subjects.
- In addition, many tertiary courses have specific requirements to meet, often as detailed as a certain amount of credits from a particular subject. It is important that students research University course requirements early, so that they choose the correct subject pathways.
Requirements for Level 3 NCEA
Level 3 students can choose up to six full year courses. There is the possibility of being given a line of ‘study’ but this is at the discretion of the DP. It will depend upon what other subject’s students are taking. Please see Mrs Ritchie if you think you may be eligible for a study line.
Level 3 students must ensure they select courses at an appropriate level of difficulty:
- Level 3 students will study courses that are assessed by Achievement and/or Unit Standards and earn credits towards NCEA Level 3 and, in some cases, another National Certificate.
- To gain NCEA Level 3, students need 60 credits at Level 3.
- Level 2 Literacy will also need to be gained to achieve University Entrance. This is 10 credits (5 in reading & 5 in writing) gained through Level 2 English, or through mostly Level 3 Achievement Standards from other courses.
- Level 3 students who intend going to University are advised to take at least five courses listed as University Entrance approved subjects.
- In addition, many tertiary courses have specific requirements to meet, often as detailed as a certain amount of credits from a particular subject. It is important that students research University course requirements.
NCEA is free for New Zealand residents.
Qualifications Offered at OAS
The National Certificate of Educational Achievement – NCEA
NCEA Levels 1 – 3
For a student to be awarded NCEA Level 1:
They must achieve:
- 60 credits at level 2 or above;
For a student to be awarded NCEA Level 3:
They must achieve:
- 60 credits at level 3 or above
The main industry sectors and the learning associated with these sectors has been categorised into six broad Vocational Pathways. Each pathway has been colour coded so you can recognise it easily.
In many subjects, students are assessed through Achievement Standards, which identify the national standards students must achieve. Some are internally assessed by subject teachers during the year and others are assessed by external examination at the end of the year. There are four possible grades students can be awarded: Not Achieved, Achieved, Merit or Excellence. Each Achievement Standard is typically worth about 2 – 5 credits and the amount of credits offered for each subject varies.
Subjects that do not have Achievement Standards are assessed through Unit Standards. These subjects generally have strong links with Trade & Industry. Some subjects have a mix of both Achievement Standards and Unit Standards. The two possible grades students can be awarded are either Not Achieved or Achieved. Like Achievement Standards, Unit Standards have a credit value that counts towards the NCEA qualification. Unit Standards are all internally assessed.
NZQA post results on its website – www.nzqa.govt.nz.
From July each year students can log on using their National Student Number (NSN) and view their results to date. Internally assessed results will be posted periodically through the year.
In January, NZQA posts externally assessed results on the website. Students will then be able to access their full Record of Achievement. This will include:
- The Achievement Standards and/or Unit Standards the student entered
- The credit value of each
- Whether they are internally or externally assessed
- The grade achieved
- The number of credits gained in each standard
Note: Students will need to have registered on the NZQA website, and also have paid their NZQA annual fee, to access these results. They are no longer posted out, unless requested.
If 50 credits at Excellence are gained, then the NCEA certificate will be endorsed with Excellence.
Likewise, if 50 credits at Merit (or higher) are gained, the NCEA will be endorsed with Merit.
Students will gain an endorsement for a course if, in a single school year, they achieve:
14 or more credits at Merit or Excellence, and
at least 3 of these credits come from externally assessed standards and 3 credits come from internally assessed standards.
Note: this does not apply to Physical Education, Religious Studies and Level 3 Visual Arts (as these are fully internally assessed). These subjects can have subject endorsement without external credits.
Not Achieved Results
If students do not achieve internal assessments for unit or achievement standards, this will be reported on their annual Result Notices.
Record of Achievement
University Entrance Requirements
Here is the minimum you need to achieve in NCEA to qualify for University Entrance. Students must meet all of the following
- NCEA Level 3 (60 credits or more at L3)
- Three subjects (two semester courses of each) – at Level 3 or above, 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 (26623, 26626, 26627- all three required).
The 10 credits at Level 2 Reading and Writing need to be from the NZQA approved list of Standards
University Entrance represents the minimum entrance to University and does not guarantee you a place. Some courses have limited entry and have additional requirements – make sure you find out what these are!
University Approved Subjects taught at OAS
- Mathematics with Calculus
- Mathematics with Statistics
- Te Reo Maori
- Visual Art
- Physical Education
- Business Studies
- Digital Technologies
- Health Education
For a full list go to this link.
In addition to achieving University Entrance, some of the undergraduate programmes require you to have taken specific subjects and gained minimum credits in certain subjects. Some programmes have other requirements such as a portfolio, audition and/or interview. A rank score is needed for entry into all courses You will be allocated a rank score based on your best 80 credits at Level 3 or higher over a maximum of five approved subjects, weighted by the level of achievement attained in each set of credits. If you achieve fewer than 80 credits, the rank score will be based on those credits you have gained at Level 3 over a maximum of five approved subjects and weighted by the level of achievement. The approved subjects are determined by the NZQA and a list is available on the NZQA website.
- The rank score will be calculated by awarding the following points for up to 24 credits in each approved subject taken at Level 3. The maximum rank score is 320. Excellence 4 points Merit 3 points Achieved 2 points
- Credits obtained in any required subjects do not have to be among the best 80 credits used for ranking purposes.
- NCEA Level 3 credits achieved in previous years may be counted towards the 80 best credits used for ranking purposes.
- Level 3 subject requirements for a specific programme may be met in Year 12.
- You are strongly encouraged to take achievement standards as preparation for University study.
|Table A||Table B|
|Classical Studies |
History of Art
Te Reo Māori OR
Te Reo Rangatira 2
*Cannot be used in combination with Calculus &/or Statistics
Other Courses of Study
In addition to the subjects listed here in the guide, students at Level 1, 2 or 3 may also be able to study courses through Te Kura. To successfully study courses by correspondence students need to be very good at time management and self-motivated. The courses can’t already be offered through the school, and an academic interview needs to occur with Mrs Ritchie or Mrs McArley. Students will need to have a real interest/passion in the subject, or there is a clear link with this subject, to their future Career Pathway.
The Gateway programme is an exciting option offered to specific Level 2 or 3 students. It offers a pathway from school to the world of work through structured workplace learning. Students take work placements, in an industry that interests them, for typically one school day per week, for 10 weeks. The programme encourages students to achieve a target of 20 Unit Standards that are industry specific and will also contribute towards their NCEA results. The school Gateway coordinator can assist with finding suitable work placements and helps students to build their individual learning programmes (selecting relevant Unit Standards).
The Gateway programme gives students opportunities to try out potential careers and build links to industry training and/or Apprenticeships. The programme is free to eligible learners and costs are covered for transportation and any workplace equipment/safety gear required by students.
This is not seen as being one of your subject selections. If you are chosen to take part in the Gateway programme it will be ‘as well as’ your other courses. Students who are not sitting ‘all’ achievement standard courses would get preference. The programme is designed to provide a pathway from school to:
For further information/inquiries about GATEWAY please contact our school’s co-ordinator:
Trades Academy programs at one of the local Polytechs or PTEs may be available at Level 2 and 3 for students interested in a Trades based career. These programs run one or two days per week for the full year, and are in addition to a student’s subjects. Expressions of interest open at the end of Term 3 and students are invited to apply for a place. Students do need to have good attendance and a commitment to learning. For further information about the Trades Academy programs available in 2022 please see Pam McArley email@example.com.
OAS Curriculum Advisors
The following staff members will be able to assist you when making decisions about your options next year. They can let you know if you meet the entry requirements for a subject, or give you more information about a particular course, or Career pathway. The HOD’s of each Learning Area will be able to help you with any subject within their domain.
HOD Social Sciences
HOD Health & PE
Health & PE
Whaea Anna Ronaki
Te Reo Maori
Matua Kramer Ronaki
Once you have investigated courses available thoroughly here: at https://sites.google.com/byod.onewhero.school.nz/oascourseguide/2021-courses-overview
and made and checked your choices, go to the Kamar Portal to register them.