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Year 11 - 13 Subjects 2025


In Years 9 & 10 you had the opportunity to experience a wide range of subjects. This continues in Year 11, however in Years 12 and 13, 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 broad range of subjects to keep a broad 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 2025 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 carefully. Choose subjects that develop your strengths and interests. Look ahead to see where subjects lead in your final years at school and beyond. Use the Curriculum Overview to help you with this. Discuss your subject choices with parents/caregivers and remember that there are many people here who can answer your questions and help you decide on the subjects that are right for you. Note that there may be some prerequisites and subjects that require approval from the Head of Department.

  • Deans 2025
    • Year 11 – Ms Gartside
    • Year 12 – Ms Veale
    • Year 13 – Mr Austin
    • Pasifika Academic Advisor – Ms Aupa’au
    • Māori Academic Advisor – Ms Driver-Burgess
  • Teachers
    • Wānanga teachers
    • Subject teachers
    • Teachers in charge of subjects (Listed at the bottom of course details)
  • Careers staff
    • Ms Johnson
    • Ms McGuiness
    • Ms Caseley
  • International staff
    • Ms Balfoort
    • Ms Gillard
  • Senior management team
    • Mrs Davidson, Principal
    • Mrs Calder – Deputy Principal
    • Ms Eade – Deputy Principal
    • Ms Moran – Deputy Principal
    • Ms Simonsen – Deputy Principal
    • Ms Wilson – Deputy Principal

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 – 11 all students experience learning in each of these eight learning areas.

In Years 12 – 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 Ingarihi – English, Hauora – Health & Wellbeing, Pāngarau – Mathematics and Pūtaiao – Science.
  • All students choose four additional subjects.
  • You are free to choose the subjects that interest you most, but aim to cover at least six curriculum areas.
  • Year 11 learners will have further opportunities to pass the literacy and numeracy corequisite standards in 2025 if they have not already achieved these.

Year 12:

  • All students must take Ingarihi – English or Te Reo Māori.
  • All students choose five additional subjects, or four subjects and General Studies. You are free to choose the subjects that interest you most, there are no prerequisites, but talk to the HOD if you’re going to pick up a new subject you haven’t done before.*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 subjects are dependent on numbers and staffing.

Year 12 and 13 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.

From 2024, to be awarded any level of NCEA, learners will need to achieve the new 20 credit co-requisite for literacy and numeracy. Note that in 2025, the ‘carry over’ mechanism for credits will cease.

To gain NCEA Level 2 you must collect 60 credits at Level 2. Although there are no literacy or numeracy requirements for NCEA Level 2, achievement in certain literacy standards is a pre-requisite for University Entrance. These will be confirmed before 2025.

To gain NCEA Level 3 you must collect 60 credits at Level 3.

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 subject 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 2 & 3 Physical Education & Level 3 Visual Arts – all credits may come from internally assessed standards for these subjects.

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

Level 2

  • English Language
  • Science – Internal
  • Digital Design Technologies
  • Transition & Pathways
  • Gateway
  • Flowerpot

Level 3

  • English Language
  • Academic English
  • Mathematics with Statistics – Internal
  • Philosophy and Beliefs
  • Digital Design Technologies
  • Gateway
  • Customer Service Skills
  • Tourism

Qualifications offered in addition to NCEA

In senior school STAR (Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource) courses are available to expand students’ learning. These will be available throughout the year and we encourage students to avail themselves of these opportunities in their area of interest. These opportunities are advertised in Te Pūriki regularly throughout the year.

Career Links showing careers that subjects lead to
Careers & Transition, Te Whare Rapuara 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 education.

  • You should see the Careers Department to confirm that you are taking the subjects that are required for entry to some courses/degrees.
  • Auckland University uses a rank score system based on the quality of your Level 3 credits before guaranteeing you a place in their undergraduate degree courses. They calculate the 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. Points requirements differ for their degrees.
  • 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 or just University Entrance. 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.

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

UE 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 course during your first year of study.

Subject Selection: other points to note

Choose your 2025 subjects carefully. What you choose now is what the 2025 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 2025

  • 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.
  • There are no prerequisites for Year 12 courses, though HODs may want to discuss the course with you to ensure you understand the workload, prior knowledge expected, etc. before signing it off
  • 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 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 16 January. You must then make an appointment to see your Dean using the school interview system. Appointments will be available on Wednesday 22 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 22 January 2025 to finalise your subjects. You will book a time online. 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:

Ingarihi (English), Hauora (Health and Wellbeing), Pāngarau (Mathematics) and Pūtaiao (Science) are compulsory in Year 11. Ingarihi (English) is compulsory in Year 12.

Heads Of Departments for Pāngarau (Mathematics) and Pūtaiao (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.

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 two study periods per week. Customer Service Skills and/or Tourism 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. These Year 13 courses include one extra study period per week for each course.

Subject Costs & Specialist Equipment

Charges in addition to standard stationery costs are noted where relevant in this booklet, 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 2025 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.

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

NOTE: After clicking on a link you may have to scroll down further to find the course details.

SubjectYear 11Year 12Year 13
Visual Art: Mixed Media ArtVisual Art: DesignVisual Art: Design
Visual Art: Design & PhotographyVisual Art: PaintingVisual Art: Painting
Māori Performing ArtsVisual Art: PhotographyVisual Art: Photography
Drama DramaDrama
EnglishEnglish: LiteratureEnglish: Literature
English – Working with WordsEnglish: Projects English: Projects
English: StoriesEnglish: Stories
Academic English
English Language LiteracyEnglish Language LiteracyEnglish Language Literacy
English Language 1English Language 2
Hauora HealthHealth
Physical EducationPhysical EducationPhysical Education
Sports ScienceSports Science
Te Reo MāoriTe Reo MāoriTe Reo Māori
Chinese / MandarinChinese / MandarinChinese / Mandarin
Heritage Languages and CultureHeritage Languages and CultureHeritage Languages and Culture
Mathematics: Application & Interpretation,Mathematics and StatisticsMathematics and Statistics
Mathematics: Algebra & relationshipsMathematics and Statistics AppliedMathematics and Statistics Applied
Mathematics with Calculus
General ScienceScienceScience
Project Science
Classical StudiesClassical StudiesClassical Studies
Sociology – Environment & ActivismSociologySociology
Philosophy & Beliefs
Accounting and Financial skills in ActionAccountingAccounting
Economics in SocietyEconomicsEconomics
Media Studies - for entertainmentMedia StudiesMedia Studies
Media Studies - journalism
Computer Science & ProgrammingComputer Science & ProgrammingComputer Science & Programming
Design Digital TechnologyDesign Digital TechnologyDesign Digital Technology
Fashion and Textiles Design Technology
Product and Spatial Design TechnologyProduct and Spatial Design TechnologyProduct and Spatial Design Technology
Transition and PathwaysTransition and Pathways
Mathematical LanguageGatewayGateway
General Studies Customer Service Skills
Imagined Worlds Literacy
Learning Studies Learning Studies Learning Studies

Curriculum Overview

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