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Year 11 - 13 Courses 2023


In Years 9 & 10 you had the opportunity to experience a wide range of subjects. In the senior school you begin to specialise, and study five or six subjects each year.
You will find it easier to motivate yourself and to achieve to the best of your ability if you choose the subjects you are good at or personally interested in. If you are not sure what you want to do in the future, choose a course that is as broad as possible and which keeps a range of options open to you once you leave school. If you do know what you would like to do, make sure you know which subjects you need to choose to reach your goals.
Choose your subjects carefully. What you choose now is what the 2022 timetable will be based on. If you change your mind later on the subjects you want may not be available. If you change your mind before the end of the year let your Dean know immediately.

Reminders when choosing your subjects

Read the subject descriptions in this booklet carefully before making up your mind. Discuss the options that may be right for you with parents/caregivers. Choose subjects that develop your strengths and interests, as well as subjects that may help you to develop and improve areas of weakness. Look ahead to see where subjects lead in the senior school. The Curriculum Overview will help you with this. If you want more detailed information you can access the senior course information by clicking on the subjects here. Remember to ask for advice and guidance. There are many people who can help you decide on the course that is right for you.

  • Deans 2023
    • Year 11 – Mr Parker-Bevin
    • Year 12 – Mrs Arnerich
    • Year 13 – Ms Moran
    • Pasifika – Ms Crowhen
    • Māori – Whaea Louise
  • Teachers 
    • Wānanga teachers
    • Subject teachers
    • Teachers in charge of subjects (Listed at the bottom of course details)
  • Careers Staff
    • Ms Johnson
    • Ms Moran
    • Ms Caseley
    • Ms McGuiness
  • International teaching staff
    • Ms Smith
  • Senior management team
    • Mrs Davidson – Principal
    • Ms Greenwood – DP
    • Ms King – DP
    • Ms Simonsen – DP
    • Ms Wilson – DP

Key Competencies

Key Competencies – capabilities for living and lifelong learning
The New Zealand Curriculum (pp. 12-13) identifies five key competencies:

  • thinking
  • using language, symbols, and texts
  • managing self
  • relating to others
  • participating and contributing

People use these competencies to live, learn, work, and contribute as active members of their communities. These competencies link directly to the school vision, mission and values. At Wellington Girls’ College you will experience multiple opportunities to develop these competencies regardless of the subjects you choose and the extra-curricular activities you are involved in.

Curriculum Design

Learning Areas – important for a broad, general education The New Zealand Curriculum specifies eight learning areas: English, the Arts, Health and Physical Education, Learning Languages, Mathematics and Statistics, Science, Social Sciences, and Technology.
In Years 9-10 all students experience learning in each of these eight learning areas.

In Years 11-13 you have a wide range of subjects to choose from. Some of you will continue with a broad, general course while other students will begin to specialise as you
approach the end of your school years and as your ideas about future direction become clearer.

You can gain credits towards a range of recognised qualifications, and in some cases, participate in programmes offered by workplaces and tertiary institutions. All of our senior courses prepare you for tertiary study at a university or polytechnic, a private training establishment or to enter the workforce.
Year 11:

  • All students take English, and programmes in both Mathematics and Science
  • All students choose three additional subjects to complement the English, Mathematics and Science programmes.
    You are free to choose the subjects that interest you most, but remember to check course details if you know the subjects you would like to take in Years 12 and 13 as you need to make sure you cover the Level 1 pre-requisites.

Year 12:

  • All students take English
  • All students choose five additional subjects, or four subjects and General Studies. You are free to choose the subjects that interest you most, but remember to check course details if you know the subjects you would like to take in Year 13 as you need to make sure you cover the Level 2 pre-requisites.
    *Pay particular attention to subjects on the approved list for University Entrance.

Year 13:

  • All students choose five subjects in Year 13 and have one line of study.
    You are free to choose the subjects that interest you most, but remember to check requirements for tertiary courses to make sure you have covered pre-requisites while at school.
  • *Pay particular attention to subjects on the approved list for University Entrance.
    All five of your subjects must be from the approved list for entry into undergraduate degree programmes that require a high number of points. For entry into programmes that require fewer points, including polytechnic degree courses, a minimum of four subjects from the approved list is recommended.

NOTE: All options are dependent on numbers and staffing.

Understanding levels: curriculum & NCEA

Years and curriculum levels
The diagram below shows how curriculum levels typically relate to years at school. Note that many students do not necessarily fit this pattern, for example, those with special learning needs, those who are gifted, and those who come from non-English speaking backgrounds.
Broadly speaking, our Year 9 courses target Level 4 of the curriculum and our Year 10 courses target Level 5, laying the groundwork for transition to Level 6 in Year 11. Knowledge and skills from earlier curriculum levels are reinforced within a differentiated programme, taking account of individual learning needs in each class.

Challenge and extension at higher curriculum levels is also provided depending on individual learning needs.

Note: Level 1 is the entry level if you are learning a language you have not learned before, regardless of which year you are in at school.

NCEA Levels 1, 2 & 3
Standards available are organised into levels of increasing difficulty. Standards assessed at school are usually at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Most Year 11 students start at Level 1, and progress to Level 2 in Year 12, and Level 3 in Year 13. NCEA Level 1 aligns with curriculum level 6; NCEA Level 2 aligns with curriculum level 7; and NCEA Level 3 with curriculum level 8.

Senior Qualifications

National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA)
NCEA is the main qualification in the senior secondary school. You are able to obtain NCEA from a wide range of subjects within and beyond the school curriculum. NCEA is a broad based qualification. It encourages you to develop your particular strengths within a well-rounded general education. All learning in the senior secondary school can generate credits towards NCEA.

To gain NCEA Level 1 you must collect at least 80 credits, including 10 credits in Mathematics to satisfy numeracy requirements and 10 credits in English or Te Reo to satisfy literacy requirements.

To gain NCEA Level 2 you must collect 60 credits at Level 2 or above and an additional 20 credits at Level 1 or above, making a total of at least 80 credits. 20 Level 1 credits gained in Year 11 may be used again for NCEA Level 2 the following year. Although there are no literacy or numeracy requirements for NCEA Level 2, achievement in certain literacy standards is a pre-requisite for University Entrance.

To gain NCEA Level 3 you must collect 60 credits at Level 3 or above and an additional 20 credits at Level 2 or above, making a total of 80 credits. 20 Level 2 credits gained in previous years may be used again for NCEA Level 3. The numeracy and literacy requirements for University Entrance are detailed in the University Entrance section.

NCEA certificate endorsements:
To qualify for a merit endorsement you must achieve 50 credits at Merit or Excellence at the same level, or higher, as the certificate being awarded.

To qualify for an excellence endorsement you must achieve 50 credits at Excellence at the same level, or higher, as the certificate being awarded.

Note that credits can be accumulated over more than one year for the purposes of certificate endorsement. Endorsements will be shown on the Record of Achievement.

NCEA course endorsements:
Strengths in individual courses are recognised with a course endorsement at Merit or Excellence. To qualify for course endorsement you must:

  • achieve 14 or more credits at Merit or Excellence in that course;
  • achieve these 14 or more credits at Merit or Excellence in a single year;
  • at least 3 of the 14 credits must be from externally assessed standards and at least 3 from internally assessed standards. The only exceptions to this requirement are: Levels 1, 2 & 3 Physical Education & Level 3 Visual Arts – all credits may come from internally assessed standards for these subjects.

The following courses are 100% internally assessed, so are not eligible for course endorsement:

Level 1

  • Mathematics with Statistics – Internal
  • Science – Internal
  • Sociology
  • Transition Pathways
  • Humanities

Level 2

  • English: Projects, Pathways and Passions
  • English Language
  • Science – Internal
  • Sociology
  • Digital Design Technologies
  • Transition & Pathways
  • Gateway
  • Humanities
  • Flowerpot

Level 3

  • English: Projects, Pathways and Passions
  • English Language
  • Academic English
  • Mathematics with Statistics – Internal
  • Sociology
  • Philosophy and Beliefs
  • Digital Design Technologies
  • Gateway
  • Humanities
  • Customer Service Skills

Vocational Pathways Award
You can gain a Vocational Pathways industry award if you gain at least 20 credits from sector related standards and you meet the NCEA literacy and numeracy requirements.
The awards can be from the Vocational Pathways of the Social and Community; Service; Primary; Manufacturing and Technology; Creative or Construction either/or Infrastructure sectors.

Qualifications offered in addition to NCEA

  • Transition and Pathways: Kiwi Host Certificate – Year 11
  • General Studies: WelTec Certificate in Customer Service Skills – Level 3
  • Credits towards a number of nationally recognised certificates are available from outside providers through distance learning. Options may include:
    • Certificate in Management
    • Certificate in Retail
    • Certificate in Hospitality
    • Certificate in Customer Service Skills
    • Certificate in Social Skills
    • STAR funded courses can offer qualifications from a variety of Industry Training Organisations
    • Gateway

Visit the Careers Section of our website for information about subject requirements for engineering, design and the main degrees.


Scholarship is an additional award available for students entering subjects at Level 3. The intention of Scholarship is to identify and reward the very top achievers in each subject nationwide. As it is not a qualification, credits are not collected for achievement in Scholarship. Students have the chance of winning financial awards for study at tertiary level based on their performance in Scholarship examinations. Detailed information regarding Scholarship is issued to interested students each school year.

Students planning to enrol for an undergraduate degree course

Entry to some university, polytechnic and Private training courses require specific school subjects. Read this section very carefully if you are planning to go to tertiary in 2021 or beyond.

  • You should see the Careers Department to confirm that you are taking the subjects that are required for entry to some courses/degrees.
  • Most of our universities rank students using a point system based on the quality of your Level 3 credits before guaranteeing you a place in their undergraduate degree courses. The point requirements vary depending on the university and the course. You can find this information on university websites or by visiting the Careers Department.
  • Universities calculate a ranking score by looking at your best 80 credits from no more than five approved subjects at Level 3. They allocate 2 ranking points for Achieved, 3 for Merit, and 4 for Excellence from each credit gained.
  • University Entrance as detailed over the page will continue to apply but should be considered the bare minimum.
  • Pay particular attention to subjects on the approved list for University Entrance. See Careers staff for advice if necessary.
    • All five of your subjects must be from the approved list for entry into undergraduate degree programmes that require a high number of points.
    • You are advised to take a minimum of four subjects from the approved list for entry into programmes that require fewer points. This includes polytechnic and Private training establishment (PTE’s) degree courses.
  • Note that other pathways are available for entry to some undergraduate degree courses if you do not achieve University Entrance or do not meet the rank score requirements. This is likely to involve extra study before acceptance. See Careers staff for advice and assistance.
  • If you are thinking of taking two or more subjects NOT on the approved list you must make an appointment with your Dean or Careers staff.

The only Year 13/Level 3 subjects NOT on the approved list are:

  • Academic English
  • Customer Service Skills English Language
  • Gateway Humanities Tourism

All other Year 13/Level 3 subjects offered at WGC are on the approved list.
*Humanities can be used to get UE in Classical Studies

University Entrance

University Entrance and NCEA Level 3 are NOT the same thing. To be awarded University Entrance, you will need to tick all of the following:

NCEA Level 3

60 credits at Level 3 or above, and an additional 20 credits at Level 2 or above, making a total of 80 credits .

14 credits at Level 3 or higher in an approved subject

14 credits at Level 3 or higher in a second approved subject

14 credits at Level 3 or higher in a third approved subject


10 credits at Level 1 or above in specified achievement standards available through a range of subjects; or from the unit standards package


10 credits at Level 2 or above available through a range of subjects made up of 5 credits in reading and 5 credits in writing

Numeracy & Literacy
The Dean will contact you if you are going into Year 13 and have not gained the minimum literacy credits required for University Entrance (5 approved credits in reading; 5 approved credits in writing) and/or the minimum numeracy credits you require (10 credits at Level 1 or above). There are a range of subjects you can take which offer the reading and writing credits you need, and there are a range of ways in which we can support you to achieve the numeracy credits you need. Course outlines show which standards count for UE Literacy.
Applicants to Auckland University are required to have gained a minimum of 17 credits in English at Level 2 and/or Level 3. If you do not meet this requirement but otherwise qualify for admission you are required to complete an academic English Language course during your first year of study.

Course Selection: other points to note

Choose your 2023 subjects carefully. What you choose now is what the 2023 timetable will be based on. If you change your mind later the subjects you want may not be available.

Confirmation of subject choices – Year 12 & 13 2023

  • Your initial selection of subjects is provisional.
  • All subject choices are dependent on numbers and staffing.
  • HODs and Deans will check your choices to see if you are on track to meet pre-requisites. This will be done at the end of August and again at the end of November. This applies to both single-level and multi-level courses.
  • You will receive an email at the end of the first week of September and another in early December stating whether each of your choices has been a) approved, or b) whether you are not currently on track to meet pre-requisites.
  • If you know in September that you are not on track to meet pre-requisites you need to talk to your subject teacher or HOD, and/or to the Dean for advice.
  • NCEA Level 1 and NCEA Level 2 results are notified in mid-January. Check these results carefully. If you have still not met pre-requisites for the subjects you have chosen you will be notified of this on Thursday 19 January. You must then make an appointment to see your Dean using the school interview system. Appointments will be available on Wednesday 25 January.
  • If you want to change your course between now and the start of the new school year, and you meet the pre-requisites detailed in this booklet you should email the Dean immediately.
  • If you have a subject clash the Dean will contact you.

If you have not met subject pre requisites once NCEA Level 1 and 2 results are confirmed you must make an appointment to see the Dean in person on Wednesday 25 January 2023 to finalise your course. You will book a time using the School Interview System. Please mark this date in your diaries now.
If you do not follow this process you will be placed on a waitlist. You may not get your preferred subjects.

Multi-level study:
A multi-level course may be right for you. Talk to your Dean and relevant HODs if this is something you are considering.

Placement of students in compulsory subjects:
English, Mathematics and Science are compulsory in Year 11. English is compulsory in Year 12. We want to make sure you have the chance to achieve the minimum literacy and numeracy credits required to gain NCEA Level 1 and for university entrance, while keeping future pathways as open as possible.
HODs for Mathematics and Science look at your achievement data and consult with teachers in their departments to determine the subject branches best suited to you. We want to maximise your chances of achieving the literacy and numeracy credits you need, while still providing you with appropriate challenge and extension.

Check information regarding course pre-requisites very carefully. Some subjects have no pre-requisites; others have strict pre-requisites that you must meet to be able to take that subject. This is to ensure that you have the best chance of success as you advance to a higher level of study. You must take this into account when making your provisional choices.

Check pre requisites for all of the subjects you want to take. We will track your progress towards pre requisites throughout the rest of the year and in external assessments. If you do not meet subject pre requisites you will be asked to make alternative choices.
Please take careful note of all information on the course confirmation process and pre requisites above.

Additional subjects:

  • English Language is available at all levels for any student from a non-English speaking background who needs support to improve her English language skills.
  • General Studies is available in Year 12 for students who wish to study five rather than six subjects. This course includes three study periods per week. Customer Service Skills is available at Year 13 for students who wish to focus on four standard subjects for NCEA, while gaining extra credits towards their NCEA Level 3 certificate. This Year 13 course includes two extra study periods per week.

Course Costs & Specialist Equipment

Charges in addition to standard stationery costs are noted where relevant in the course information, as well as any specialist equipment you may need access to for particular courses.

In cases of hardship, please make contact with the school either via the Guidance Counsellor, the Dean, or the Finance Office.

Note that stationery lists for each year level can be accessed in the Start and end of year folder under both the 4students and 4parents tabs on our website. Stationery lists for 2023 will be available in this folder in early December.

BYOD - Bring Your Own Device

We strongly recommend that you bring your own internet-capable device to school for learning. This could be a chromebook, ultrabook, laptop, or other device. Note that a smartphone is not a suitable device as it does not have the functionality required for many of the BYOD uses outlined below.

Wellington Girls’ College is a Google Apps school. This means you can access email, calendar and documents for collaborative learning anytime and anywhere. Our website is the springboard to Google Apps and to all your courses as well as to a range of information and help topics under the 4students tab. Take time to explore our website regularly until you are familiar with it and can find what you need exactly when you need it.

Our vision is for learning with and through technologies that equips students to be confident, connected, innovative, resourceful learners. Your device has a big part to play in this process and you will use it for many purposes. You will use it for research; for making and managing notes; for completing assignments and projects; for creating and sharing presentations; to connect and collaborate with others in your class, in your school and beyond; to create a portfolio of your work in certain subject areas; and to reflect on what you are learning and what your next steps will be. Along the way you will also discover for yourself other ways in which your device can support your learning.

You and your parents can find information on BYOD@WGC in the IT and BYOD folder under
both the 4students and 4parents tabs on our website.

Senior subjects available for NCEA and other qualifications

Click any of the subjects below for more information

SubjectYear 11Year 12Year 13
ARTSArt: Visual ArtArt: PhotographyArt: Design
Art: Commercial Design and PrintArt: PaintingArt: Painting
Art: Design (subject FULL for 2023)Art: Photography
Drama DramaDrama
ENGLISHEnglishEnglish: LiteratureEnglish Literature
Humanities (Classics, History, English)English: Projects, Pathways & PassionsEnglish: Projects, Pathways & Passions
English LanguageEnglish StoriesEnglish Stories
Academic English
English Language LiteracyEnglish Language LiteracyEnglish Language Literacy
PE & HEALTHPhysical EducationPhysical EducationPhysical Education
Sports ScienceSports Science
LANGUAGESTe Reo MāoriTe Reo MāoriTe Reo Māori
MATHEMATICSMathematics and StatisticsMathematics and StatisticsMathematics with Calculus
Mathematics and Statistics
Science ExtraApplied Material Science Technology
Physics (subject FULL for 2023)Physics
SOCIAL SCIENCESHistoryHistoryHistory
Classical StudiesClassical Studies
Philosophy & Beliefs
AccountingAccounting Accounting
Media StudiesMedia StudiesMedia Studies
TECHNOLOGYFashion & Textiles TechnologyFashion & Textiles technology
Product & Spacial Design TechnologyProduct & Spacial Design TechnologyProduct & Spatial Design technology
Digital TechnologiesDigital TechnologiesDigital Technologies
Digital Design TechnologiesDigital Design Technologies
Applied Science in Product & Design Technology
OTHERTransition & PathwaysTransition & Pathways
Gateway (subject FULL for 2023)Gateway
General Studies
Customer Service Skills
Learning StudiesLearning StudiesLearning Studies
CROSS CURRICULARHumanitiesHumanitiesHumanities
Applied Science in Product & Design Technology

Curriculum Overview

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