NCEA Booklet for HVHS Families

This booklet is designed for families to ensure that everyone understands what is required of students throughout the senior years regardless of which certificates they are studying for.

Download the HVHS 2024 NCEA Booklet for Families

The booklet covers information:

  • Gaining a Level 2 or 3 NCEA Certificate
  • NCEA internal and external Assessment
  • Endorsement of NCEA Certificates
  • NCEA course (subject) endorsement
  • NCEA internal standards
  • NCEA moderation of internal assessment
  • Entrance to subjects at the next level
  • University Entrance
  • New Zealand Scholarship Exams and Awards / Grants
  • Reporting of progress and results
  • NCEA exams and paperwork

How NCEA Works

To access brochures and resources from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) on how NCEA works click here

Important Information for HVHS Year 11 Students in 2024

Published – 11 May 2023

In 2020, the government announced a series of changes to the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). This included strengthening literacy and numeracy requirements, updating NCEA Assessment Standards, simplifying the structure of NCEA and making the Level 1 qualification at Year 11 optional. From 2024, HVHS will reduce the number of NCEA Level 1 assessments from 4-6 per subject down to 1. Reducing NCEA assessments will ensure more curriculum content and skills development can be covered during the year.

Changes to NCEA 1 for Year 11 Students in 2024

Students will complete one NCEA Achievement Standard per subject (compared to the 4-6 currently), enabling them to experience NCEA assessment at tolerable stress levels. This will better prepare our students for Levels 2 and 3 NCEA and NZ Scholarship. It is worth noting that obtaining a NCEA Level 2 qualification automatically grants students a NCEA Level 1 qualification.

Alongside the one NCEA standard per subject, there will be a variety of rigorous assessments. Subjects that are mainly written will have tests, assignments and examinations. Practical subjects, including The Arts, Physical Education and Technology, will use project work and portfolios in addition to tests and examinations.

The new Year 11 course will also allow students to develop better essential study habits, time-management skills, tools for revision, strategies for tackling exams, and the self-discipline necessary for succeeding in NCEA in the coming years. In addition, with less formal NCEA testing time being needed, we can prioritise engagement in learning and student wellbeing.

Reporting Progress

Parents will continue to receive timely and specific feedback on their child’s learning and progress. Parent-teacher meetings will be held in Term 2 in 2024 to discuss students’ progress in each subject. These will replace Mentor Teacher meetings. It is important to note that students working at the expected level for their Attitude to Learning Reports, with results indicating they are working at Level 6 (Year 11) of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC), will be well prepared for the academic challenge of NCEA Level 2.

Additional Support, Special Programmes and Accelerated Learning at Year 11

Targeted programmes will be provided for students who rely on NCEA Level 1 as a qualification. Some students may achieve NCEA Level 1 in Years 12 or 13, depending on their individual circumstances. Furthermore, we will continue to offer Industry Training Organisation (ITOs) and work-based training qualifications to Year 11 and 12 students. Students who excel beyond the NZC expectations for Year 11 may also be eligible for entry to a Year 12 class and NCEA Level 2 Standards.

We are excited to share these changes that have been carefully thought through, researched and made in consultation with the School Board. We are confident these changes will provide our students with the best possible foundation for achieving success in their senior years at Hutt Valley High School.

Ngā mihi nui,
Denise Johnson (Principal)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the main advantages of having a course in Year 11 with limited NCEA Assessment?

Our goal is to prioritise learning and student well-being by reducing time spent on assessment. By creating more space for learning, we can offer more flexible and engaging experiences that better meet the needs of our students. Some schools, currently running this model believe they have gained 6-8 weeks of additional learning time throughout the year.

2. Are other schools removing Level 1 NCEA too?

Yes. Wellington CollegeWellington Girls’ CollegeEpsom Girls GrammarLincoln High SchoolMacleans CollegeChrist’s College, St Hildas, Tawa College, Glendowie College, Hobsonville Point Secondary School, and many more.

3. Does a student need NCEA Level 1 to get NCEA Level 2?

No. Most students at HVHS achieve NCEA Level 2 before they leave school (over 95%). Credits can be accumulated and do not need to be gained in one calendar year. NCEA Level 2 is the gateway for most tertiary courses and job opportunities. A partial NCEA Level 1 programme will not affect a student’s NCEA Level 2 qualification. Obtaining an NCEA Level 2 qualification automatically grants students a NCEA Level 1 qualification.

4. Without NCEA Level 1, how will students know how to sit exams?

Throughout the year, students will still sit exams and tests under NCEA-like exam conditions as they are assessed against Level 6 (Year 11) of the New Zealand Curriculum. Some students will sit an NCEA exam at the end of the year, depending on the subjects they study.

5. How will HVHS ensure the quality of this course?

The Year 11 course will follow the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) guidelines and be designed to fully prepare students for Level 2 NCEA. The curriculum content covered in Year 11 will be the same, or similar, to what is currently covered in preparation for Level 2 content. However, there will be an opportunity for greater breadth and depth as less time will be spent on formal NCEA Level 1 assessment, which takes much time out of learning.

6. Don’t we need external exams to motivate the students?

No. New Zealand is one of the few countries in the OECD to have three years of national assessment in high school. Examinations and credits provide some extrinsic motivation, but we believe high-quality teaching, engaging courses and self-motivated students with supportive families have been the key ingredients in motivating our successful students for many years – and so it will continue.

7. What if the top qualification my child can achieve is likely NCEA Level 1?

Our Priority Learner Team, Deans and Head of Learning Areas (HOLAs) will continue to track student progress and design unique programmes to suit individual student needs. Some students will continue to build Level 1 credits in Years 12 and 13 and complete a Level 1 qualification if needed.

8. What about the Literacy and Numeracy requirements for NCEA qualifications?

Maths and English will continue to be the only compulsory subjects in Year 11. All students will have multiple opportunities to gain the required credits in literacy and numeracy.

9. What about students who leave school at the end or part way through Year 11 or Year 12?

If a student leaves HVHS to attend another school at the end of Year 11, they will have had the opportunity to gain some NCEA level 1 credits, literacy and numeracy. They will be able to enter NCEA Level 2 at their new school. A student who leaves school to enter the workforce at the end of Year 11 or during Year 12 will be supported by their employer with their development, whether they have NCEA Level 1 or 2 or not. If a student leaves to enter a course, they can take their accumulated credits with them and continue to add to them (e.g. apprenticeship, Weltec course, Capital Training). NCEA credits can be achieved at other organisations, courses and education providers, and schools.

10. What is the science behind looking after the well-being of students through less formal assessment?

From Kathryn Berkett – Engage Training

Kathryn has her Masters of Educational Psychology. She is also a certified Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics practitioner – a qualification gained via the Child Trauma Academy (Dr Bruce Perry).

‘It is important for parents to understand that feelings of anxiety, fear and failure around exams and tests are part of the learning process. It is okay that students feel uncomfortable, but the level should be tolerably uncomfortable. What HVHS is doing, will allow the staff to work more individually with students to recognise their tolerable stress levels, and build resilience’.