​​​​​​​Welcome to the Kaitaia College on-line Curriculum Handbook.

"Hāpaitia te ara tika pūmau ai te rangatiratanga - Helping you make the right choices"

Te tirohanga whakamua tēnei pukapuka mātauranga mā ngā ākonga, ngā mātua hoki o Te Kura Tuarua o Kaitāia. This on-line curriculum handbook is intended to provide students and parents with a comprehensive view of the Kaitāia College curriculum.

​​​​​​​INTRODUCTION  : He Whakataki

Kaitāia College offers a diverse range of subjects that prepare students for a range of National Qualifications including National Certificate of Educational Achievement [NCEA] Levels 1, 2, and 3, and a variety of tertiary qualifications. It is important that students make good choices with regard to course selection. This resource provides vital information to enable them to do this, as it contains pre-requisites to courses and outlines of where they might lead.

It is wise to seek advice from specialist staff. Mrs Sally Lockie, the Careers Advisor, leads a team including Manukura and Guidance Counsellors who are able to help with course planning. Specific information about a course is best obtained from the relevant Head of Learning Area or the Teacher in Charge of the subject.

Over the last few years there have been considerable changes to NCEA and consequently to the courses offered at Kaitāia College. For any course, if there are too few students, it may not proceed. Courses may also be modified in the new year to meet the needs of students who enrol then. This online handbook is our ‘best endeavour’ to predict 2021.

Universities and other tertiary institutions are constantly changing their entry requirements; for the institutions as a whole and for specific courses. As a school, we try to keep students up to date with information but the university’s own websites are the best source of information, and students and whānau should be accessing these.

Please, students and whānau, study this resource together. We encourage participation and input of parents and caregivers in their student’s future choices.

E akiaki ana mātou e ngā mātua, ngā kaitautoko hoki kia whāia ngā pae tawhiti kia tata mā o rātou tamariki.

Nāku noa nā,


Click on the pictures at right to enlarge your view


If you have a particular career in mind you can get information on what subjects to take and at what levels to take them online, using the computers in the library or at home. Check out CareersNZ.

Do not hesitate to see Mrs Lockie, the Careers Advisor, if you have any questions regarding your future career. There is further information on careers on the Careers section of our kura website.

Current Year 10 Students If you have no career in mind, don’t panic. Most students do not make up their minds until much later. However, you should start thinking about what you might like to do. Look at the subjects you are interested in or are good at and discuss your strengths and weaknesses with your family. 



Our Senior subject choice handbook will assist you to plan your course for next year and into the future.  It is important to factor into your course selection the requirements for your potential career pathways as we live in a rapidly changing society. Keep your course as broad as possible to cover a range of career choices.

To do this you need to follow a few guidelines:

  • Keep your options open by choosing a spread of courses.
  • Do something you like and in which you are interested.
  • Do something you know you are good at.
  • Discuss your options with your teachers, Careers Advisor, Achievement Dean, Manukura and caregivers.
  • Consider what you will be studying in the future.
  • You may have a particular career in mind right now. Check that you are on the right path with the Careers Advisor. You might also like to visit CareersNZ to explore the possible subject/career opportunities that may interest you.  These will also assist you in choosing your specialist subjects.



When putting together your course :

  • Make sure you understand the entry requirements of all your subjects
  • Students who have not met these requirements will usually not gain entry into the course. If entry requirements are not met, you will have to study at a lower level. As a result, it has become very common for students to study at multiple levels (e.g. Three subjects at Level 2 and two at Level 1)
  • The school tries very hard to give you your first choice of subjects. For us to do so means we need definite information by the stated deadline.
  • Not completing your subject choice forms on the correct day may mean your choice of option is not available to you because the class is full or was cancelled due to small student numbers or unavailability of a specialist teacher.
  • Be aware that if there is insufficient demand for a subject, it will not run in the following yearTimetable constraints may result in some subject combinations being unavailable.


  • Not all courses offered will run. This will depend on the numbers and the staffing available. The number of classes for each course will also be dependent on the staffing and resourcing available.
  • Due to the pressure on specialist rooms and the nature of some courses, some classes will be taught outside the normal school timetable (i.e. flexi-hours). Agreement with this will be necessary before starting the course.
  • Your initial choices will be checked by the Careers Advisor/Achievement Dean/Curriculum Leaders. They may recommend changes to place you in the most suitable course or programme of study.
  • It is important to remember that we do our best to meet your choices, but that is not always possible. Some students will have course clashes and will need to select alternative courses
  • Your Manukura will advise you if you are required to make an alternative course choice
  • Select carefully as it can be difficult to change courses later
  • Check which standards are being offered in each course. If the same standard is offered in more than one course the credits can only be counted once
  • If, after getting your results in January, you need to change a course you will need to contact one of the following: Manukura, Achievement Dean, Careers Advisor or Curriculum Leaders. This must happen in the first week school starts. Details about when you are to come in will be sent to you, advertised in the local newspaper and posted on the Kaitaia College Facebook page. If you wish to discuss subject options with a Head of Learning Area, this should take place before you come in to make a change as they will not be available in the first week of school.


Subject Course Entry & Prerequisites​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​Prerequisites - the recommended minimum levels of achievement you need to enter that course e.g. 14 credits
​​​​​​​These prerequisites are based on our experience; we believe that students who do not meet the prerequisites will have difficulty coping in that subject.

Tips to course selection



English is compulsory
As a result of your skill development and achievement up to the end of Year 10, you will be placed into the English course most suited to your ability. The difference between the courses is based on the method of assessment and the pace of the class:

  • L1ENG (English) All achievement standards are taught up to Excellence level.
  • L1LIT (Literacy) is built around the Level 1 Literacy standards and Level 1 Communication English Unit Standards. It is designed for students whose literacy skills require further development so that they can cope with the demands of NCEA.

Mathematics is also compulsory
You will also be placed into a Mathematics course most suited to your ability. The difference between the courses is based on the depth of study and content.

  • L1MAX (Mathematics Extension) All Achievement Standards are taught to the Excellence standard and the class is moving at a fast pace. A good grounding in Year 10 Mathematics is needed for this course.
  • L1MAT (Mathematics) All Achievement Standards are taught to an Achieve/Merit/Excellence standard with the class moving at a standard pace.
  • L1MAP (Mathematics Practical) This course will allow students to gain the 10 Numeracy credits necessary for NCEA Level 1

Science is also compulsory
You will should choose one of the courses below:

  • L1SCX (Science Extension). This course requires a very good grounding in Year 10 as the class moves at a fast learning pace. This achievement standards based course is focused at attainment in excellence
  • L1SCI (Science). This course is designed for students who wish to attain general Science credits toward NCEA Level 1.
  • L1SCT (Trades Science). This course is specifically designed for students wanting to gain an understanding of Science basics. The focus of the course is to encourage study or employment in New Zealand’s Primary Industries such as Horticulture, Agriculture, and the Food and Trees Production courses in Years 12 and 13. This course is totally internally assessed with credits gained toward Level 1.
  • L1SPI (Primary Industries - previously known as Horticulture) is a fourth Science option. This can lead to either Primary Industries Agriculture or Primary Industries Horticulture (both Level 2 & 3).

Note: You must have studied Science at Level 1 if you wish to continue a Science subject at Level 2 and 3.


  • All students will study six subjects.
  • All students will study a course of English, Mathematics, Science and 3 other options.
  • Students select subject combinations that make up a full course. The subjects to choose from are found on the links above for each Learning Area.

Please Note: Problems arise each year where students select inappropriate options and find after a month or so that they cannot cope. Some students limit their career opportunities by making poor choices. Check out the career opportunities on the Careers tab.

Please ensure that your choice of options is matched to your ability to achieve in that subject - ask your teachers if you are in doubt! It is important you complete an outline of your proposed Year 12 and Year 13 course on your subject choice form.  Speak with your subject teacher, your Whānau teacher, your Manukura or Mrs Lockie if you still need help.

_________________________________________________________________ ​​​​​​​



English is compulsory
Students will be placed into the English course most suited to their learning needs. The main difference between the courses is the method of assessment and the pace of the class.

  • L2ENG (English) leads to the Level 3 English courses. L2ENG helps prepare students for either tertiary education or employment. N.B. From 2016, the University of Auckland will have additional criteria for entry. See Page 36 for details.
  • L2WRE (Work Ready English) leads to L3CME. All standards are internally assessed. This course focuses on the practical application of English and helps to prepare students for the demands of the workforce. It does not enable students to gain UE Literacy. Students who gain entry into this course have the option of taking L2CAR as an alternative if they wish. The decision to replace L2WRE with L2CAR must be made in consultation with the English HoLA. Students also have the option of taking both of these courses if they meet the entry requirements..

Courses in Mathematics (Not compulsory in Year 12)
There are two distinct and quite separate courses.

  • L2MAC (Mathematics with Calculus) This course leads to L3MAC and L3MAS or both.
  • L2MAS (Mathematics with Statistics) This course leads only to L3MAS.

Students select subject combinations that make up a full course. These can be all Level 2 subjects or a combination of Level 1 and 2 subjects. The subjects to choose from are found on the links above for each Learning Area.

Most NCEA Level 2 subjects are a mixture of internal and external assessment. You will need to consider the following when choosing your course of study in Year 12:

  • your academic achievement
  • your educational goals and
  • your ability.

Course selection this year is very important as it leads to Year 13 and future employment tertiary training opportunities. If you are aiming at doing a degree course at a tertiary institution should take great care that their selected courses are also available as a Level 3 course in Year 13. It is a good idea to choose Year 13 courses first then work backwards to the Year 12 courses that will support these.

Your Level 2 results are important as these are often used as part of the selection process by universities, polytechnics, employers and scholarship/grant applications. Check out the curriculum details with the subject teacher and subject pathways with HoLAs, Manukura and the Careers Advisor.​​​​​​​


​​​​​​​It is crucial that students give serious thought to their academic aims and select courses to suit. It helps to involve parents, teachers and Heads of Learning Areas in decision making.

  • Level 3 standards provide a stimulating academic challenge with scholarship exams also being offered. The results of Level 3 standards will be used to qualify for entry to University and to ‘limited entry’ courses. There are opportunities to mature personally as well as developing leadership skills.
  • All Year 13 students take SIX courses. 
  • Only students who take five UNIVERSITY APPROVED subjects will be considered for a study period. This is to be negotiated with the Achievement Dean.
  • If students are aiming for a degree course at a tertiary institution they are best to do a full Level 3 programme. The requirements for entry to University and for limited entry courses should be checked with the Careers Advisor.
  • Students need to check the requirements of future courses to ensure an appropriate Year 13 programme is selected.​​​​​​​


​​​​​​​Students will be given a subject choice selection sheet in August/September each year in order to make their choices for the following year.  If these are misplaced, you can find a copy of it in the Senior subject choice handbook. Students will be taken through this during their second Progress and Pathways Conference.

If you need additional help or guidance, first ask your subject teacher or Whānau Group Teacher, then your Manukura. If you still need extra guidance, then seek out our Careers Advisor, Mrs Sally Lockie.


Entry to university courses with limited numbers of places for students

While University Entrance is a minimum requirement to apply for an undergraduate bachelor’s degree, the majority of courses have higher and specific entry requirements. Universities publish Preferential/Guaranteed Entry Standards in their prospectuses.

Grade points are allocated as follows:

  • Achieved - two grade points
  • Merit - three grade points
  • Excellence - four grade points

The majority of universities base their ranking on credits from the Approved Subjects list only.  If you are considering university study, research the courses you are interested in to check entry criteria. You should also look at what school subjects each of the different degree programmes suggest.

THREE subjects used for the University Entrance qualification must be from the list above. Further information University Entrance, including the list of approved subjects, can be accessed on:


University Approved Subjects Offered at Kaitaia College​​​​​​​

  • Accounting
  • Biology
  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Classical Studies
  • Computer Aided Design​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • Dance
  • Digital Technologies
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Design Studio
  • Economics
  • English
  • Geography
  • Health Education
  • History
  • Māori Performing Arts
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Mechatronics
  • ​​​​​​​Music Studies
  • Painting (Practical Art)
  • Photography & Design
  • ​​​​​​​Physical Education
  • ​​​​​​​Physics
  • ​​​​​​​Religious Studies
  • Statistics
  • ​​​​​​​Te Ao Haka
  • Te Reo Rangatira
  • Te Reo Māori ​​​​​​​


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​COURSE CONFIRMATION TEAM 2023

September 2023