Central to our mission to deliver 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:
WHS’s values - excellence, respect, responsibility, resilience and inclusion are at the centre of the profile.
Future-focused qualifications, transitions and pathway - including the best qualification possible 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 Years 9 and 10 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 and achieving the best qualification possible. As students move to the senior 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.
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.
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. View 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 Year 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.
2021 Term Dates Term 1 Thursday 28 January to Friday 16 April Term 2 Monday 3 May to Friday 9 July Term 3 Monday 26 July to Friday 1 October Term 4 Monday 18 October to Tuesday 14 December See our calendar and key dates page for more.