Ākonga Profile Central to our vision of delivering Aotearoa New Zealand’s best all-round education is our Ākonga Profile. The Ākonga (Learner) Profile outlines the areas in which we want our students to learn, develop and grow during their time at WHS. The profile is very holistic and has four key areas:
Values - excellence, respect, responsibility, resilience and inclusion are at the centre of the profile.
Future-focused qualifications, transitions and pathway - including the best possible qualification for each student.
Capabilities for lifelong learning - including competency development and key knowledge, skills and processes.
Holistic development - including self, social and active citizenship.
Students in Year 9 experience the eight learning areas of the New Zealand curriculum and choose subjects which allow them to explore their interests while building the foundation for success in the senior school. As students move through the school they become more specialised in their chosen subjects and pathway; with our broad range of subject choice for both seniors and juniors designed to meet students’ various interests and needs.
We also provide literacy and numeracy support, ESOL classes for second language learners, talent development programmes, separate scholarship support, extension and accelerated learning opportunities across the learning areas.
As per the Ākonga Profile, our students also learn and develop through our broader school-wide curriculum. An extensive extra and co-curricular programme, including sports, arts, cultural, outdoor education, community and leadership, as well as our vibrant House competition all provide important opportunities for our students to learn, grow and develop holistically.
Ākonga Passport The Passport aligns with our Ākonga Profile and recognises students for: exemplifying our school values, successful Learning Engagement reports, participation in extra and co-curricular activities, service to others, and for achieving digital and careers certificates. Students strive to gain points in each of these areas to achieve bronze, silver and gold levels of the Passport.
NCEA National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main New Zealand qualification for secondary school students. Most NCEA subjects assessed are a combination of internal assessments (which happen at WHS during the year) and external assessments (end of year examinations or external marking of portfolios). The “credits” earned from these exams go towards a student’s NCEA qualification.
Knowledge and skills are assessed using “Achievement Standards”, with results recognised at four levels: Not Achieved, Achieved, Achieved with Merit, Achieved with Excellence.
Courses that offer “Unit Standards” are also credited towards NCEA at Levels 1, 2 and 3. These standards are all internally assessed, with most Unit Standards results recognised at two levels: Achieved or Not Achieved.
NCEA is intended to act as a learning goal and to encourage lifelong learning. Students start to earn credits at high school and continue to build up their credits with a tertiary provider or in the workplace.
Watch this NCEA video for an introduction to NCEA.
Timetable Our timetable is founded on the belief that student choice is key to engagement - which supports learning, progress and achievement. We believe that it is very important for junior students to experience the full breadth of the NZ Curriculum and its eight Learning Areas, while also having the opportunity to choose subjects that allow them to explore their passions. As students move to the senior school, they become more specialised in their chosen subjects and pathway. In addition, the timetable supports students to be able to multi-level study if that is appropriate for their learning.
Junior School students in Years 9 and 10 select 12 classes per year - with six classes running in semester one (Terms 1 and 2) and six in semester two (Terms 3 and 4). Senior School students (Years 11-13) select up to six classes per year - with each course running the whole year. For more information on Course Options and requirements for study at each level, please visit Schoolpoint - Course Selection Portal. School Day The school operates on a two-week timetable, from Day 1 to Day 10. Each subject has a total of 7.5 hours of class time over this 10-day period (three 60 minute periods and three 90 minute periods). On top of subject time, Ako time is for 1 hour every Monday and Friday.
The structure of the school day is shown below. The six L-Codes and colours correspond to the six Course Options that students choose. Download our school timetable.
Internal Assessment Calendar The internal assessment calendar provides the due dates for all internal assessments being sat by students throughout the year for each course in Years 11-13. We highly recommend that students note the dates of their internal assessments on their calendars and plan their term and year accordingly to ensure their academic goals are achieved. Kaiārahi and parents are encouraged to support this.
Students should use the assessment and school calendar to identify all their assessments - particularly noting pinch points when several fall due at the same time, and then put this beside their other commitments eg sport, work, family and plan accordingly.
Internal Assessment Policy Each school is responsible for ensuring that robust and quality assured assessments are provided, so that the qualifications and marks that students achieve are consistent across the country. To support this, we have an Assessment Policy that must be adhered to. Students have been explained this policy, and it is important that parents are also familiar with the policy.
Course Options Subject selection for Year 9 starts with an Enrolment and Open Evening in June. The evening is for parents and students to get an overview of the school and our course option selection process.
In selecting course options and deciding on course of study, students need to consider and balance their interests, passions and strengths with their potential future and pathway while keeping their options open.
Junior students study twelve options per year. In Year 9, they take a full-year of English, Mathematics and Social Science, and compulsory half-year courses in Health & Physical Education and Science. They can then choose an option each from Arts, Languages, Technology and one other Learning Area.
In Year 10, they take a full-year of English, Mathematics and Science, and compulsory half-year options in Health & Physical Education and Social Science. They can then choose four more options to suit their pathway and passions.
In the senior school students study six full year subjects towards their NCEA qualification. In Year 11 this includes English and Mathematics.
Browse our subjects and find out more about our course options at the link below.