Getting Started with Course Selection

These pages will provide you with information to help you select your course of study for 2021, and should be used in conjunction with the information available through your Careers Advisors. 

To choose your courses you must:

  • Talk to your parents, subject teachers, Careers Staff, Leaders of Learning and your Small Group Leader about which subject and level is best suited for you.
  • Keep your options open if you are unsure which careers you wish to pursue in the future.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I have the ability to study this subject?
  • Do I need pre-requisites to study this subject?
  • Do I enjoy this subject?
  • Is this subject going to be useful to me?

All subjects will:

provide you with new skills and knowledge. Te Puke High School operates on the philosophy that students should follow a broad, general education, at least until the end of Year 11. We also believe that students should place emphasis on specific Vocational Pathways while maintaining a strong educational base.

When selecting courses for next year, students should:

  • Follow a course of study that enables them to achieve their goals and keep as many Vocational Pathways as
  • possible open.
  • Consider the requirements for their future qualifications and employment.
  • Consider their strengths and interests in the different areas of study.
  • Select courses that are within their capabilities, but also challenging.
  • At Level 1 read the course description carefully making sure that you will be able to complete the course successfully.
  • Make sure they meet, or are likely to meet, the entry guidelines for each Level 2 and Level 3 course.
  • Look at the learning approach in the courses and consider whether it suits their style of learning.
  • Not make choices based on what other students are doing or what teacher you would like to have.
  • Remember that subjects can be chosen from more than one NCEA level.

Level 1 Literacy & Numeracy

Students can achieve Level 1 Literacy and Numeracy in a number of different subject areas. Students can see what standards offer literacy and numeracy credits below each course outline in Level 1.


NCEA entries, together with fees, are required by the middle of August.

There is now no fee structure for domestic students for NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 and scholarship exams. There is still a fee for international students sitting NCEA of $383.30.

  • increase your qualifications.
  • give you the opportunity to use the skills you already have.


This will help your Small Group Leader and Careers Advisor to better help you with your course choices.

Students are offered the opportunity to obtain the National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) at Levels 1, 2, 3 and Scholarship. All subjects offered at these levels contain Achievement Standards and/or Unit Standards. All standards contain credits which contribute towards NCEA. 

In addition students in Years 12 & 13 will be offered the opportunity of completing National Certificates in a wide range of Industry areas at levels 1, 2 & 3. These National Certificates will be offered in ‘Schools’, Gateway and Trades Academy courses. All credits gained for these certificates also contribute to a student’s NCEA credit total at the appropriate level.

Scholarship is offered in a variety of subjects at Level 3. Students contemplating undertaking Scholarship study are required to talk with Leaders of Learning and Careers staff before making a final decision. The standard for Scholarship is very high and aimed at the top 1-2% of students nationally and requires the appropriate level of study.

Achievement and Unit Standards

Unit Standards have been used in High Schools, Tertiary Institutions and Industry for a number of years. They have now also been integrated into a number of ‘traditional’ school subjects. Credits from Unit Standards contribute to National Certificates in various industry areas as well as NCEA. Unit Standards are internally assessed in the school or workplace, with re-assessment opportunities available if required. Unit Standards recognise these grades: N= Not Achieved, A = Achieved There are some Unit Standards which now offer the opportunity for gaining Merit &/or Excellence. This will be indicated in the course descriptions where applicable.

Achievement Standards are the predominant form of assessment at Te Puke High School. They can be assessed internally through assignment work, presentations, practical projects and the like, or externally by examinations or portfolio presentation. Achievement Standards recognise these grades of achievement: N = Not Achieved, A = Achieved, M = Merit, E = Excellence

All standards, both Unit and Achievement, are worth a certain number of credits, which are like ‘points’ towards the National Certificate of Educational Achievement, and National Certificates in specific industries, at each level. Standards have differing numbers of credits depending on the amount of work/effort/time that is expected to complete each one. Each credit, whether from a Unit or Achievement Standard, is of equal value.

Subject Endorsement

All individual subjects are now eligible for course endorsement at Merit or Excellence level. This requires 14 credits achieved at Merit or Excellence in a mix of Internal and External standards, with at least 3 credits from Internal and 3 credits from External Standards. Exceptions are: Physical Education, Religious Studies & Level 3 Visual Arts.

Course Endorsement

NCEA Level Qualification Endorsement

  • Merit Level Endorsement = 50 Credits at Merit Level (or Merit & Excellence) in that Level
  • Excellence Level Endorsement = 50 Credits at Excellence in that Level

When considering entry into tertiary courses it is important to remember that for the majority of courses it is both QUALITY and QUANTITY of credits that are important. Some Tertiary Providers require Merit or even Excellence in particular standards as entry to selected courses, while for apprenticeships and practically based courses at Polytechnics or private providers, a relevant National Certificate would be preferable. It is important to keep this in mind when working towards your future. If uncertain, check with the Careers Department.


Students complete career planning activities in Year 10 Small Group time, Year 11 & 12 Career Education classes.

  1. In Level 1 students will be automatically put into ALS12 (PE/Careers). They will also be put into an English, Maths & Science class that has been recommended by their teachers. These are able to be changed only with discussion with the Leader of Learning of the subject area.
  2. In Level 2 English is compulsory and will be recommended by their English teacher.
  3. Students discuss possible course choices with parents.
  4. Students discuss their choices with LOL, Head of House, Subject Teacher, Small Group Leaders and Careers teachers and advisors.
  5. Information Evening for students going into years 11, 12 & 13 and their parents will be held on Wednesday 19 August in the Student Learning Centre.
  6. Parents and students who are still unsure can make individual appointments with Careers Advisors – phone 5739769, ext. 310 for appointments
  7. Students are to make selections based on guidelines outlined on the important information pages and information from Leaders of Learning and Careers Advisors.
  8. Course selections are to be made online by students and are to be approved by parent/caregiver by Monday 31 August 2020.
  9. Courses will be reviewed by Small Group Leaders and Careers Staff and appropriate changes made, if required.
  10. Requests for changes by students arising from NCEA results, or unforeseen circumstances, must be made to Careers Teachers by Friday 5 February 2021.

 Please Note:

  • If there is insufficient demand for a subject it will not run.
  • Timetable constraints may result in some subject combinations being unavailable.
  • It is important that parents and students keep to the time-line as detailed above. Late selections could mean that students may miss out on their preferred choices.
  • It is essential that students spend time and effort in the selection process to ensure that they have a course that is challenging, enriching, within their capabilities, and leads them to their future goals. 
  • Changes to initial subject lists cannot be made unless there are strong educational needs to be met so.


  • Te Puke High School reserves the right to decline student subject choices if material costs from current and or previous years remain unpaid at the time of selection. 
  • All costs detailed within are indicative only, inclusive of GST, and subject to confirmation by 20 Feb 2021.

Careers Help

In addition to our Course Information Evening, Careers teachers will be available for interviews with parents, caregivers and/or students to discuss any aspect of course selection and career planning.

To make an appointment, please contact Mrs Melton in the Careers Office on 573 9769, ext 310.

Careers Teachers in charge of each year level are:

Year 11 - Ms Holly Farquhar                          Year 12 - Ms Annie Mapp                                  Year 13 - Mrs Sonya Burggraaf

Creating your own course plan

To help with planning your courses for next year, you are able to make a list of your preferred subjects. To do this, you can add courses to your favourites list.

This is also where you will find the subjects that your teachers have recommended for you.

This is the first step in planning your course and should be done before you select your final choices. Once your favourites are selected, you are then able to discuss these in your careers classes and with your Small Group Leader, and parents/caregivers.