During Years 9 and 10 all students study a number of core or compulsory subjects. These are English, Mathematics, Health and Physical Education, Science, and Social Studies.
Some of these subjects remain compulsory at higher levels, while others become optional. At Years 9 and 10, students also study between three and six optional subjects. These include French, German and Te Reo Maori in the Languages area; Drama and Music in the Performing Arts area; Financial Literacy, ICT, Materials Technology and Food Technology in the Technology area; and Graphics and Art in the Art and Design area. At Year 11, English, Mathematics and Science are compulsory. All students choose three additional Level 1 subjects from the following:
The Performing Arts (Drama and Music) Technology (ICT, Materials Technology, Food Technology), Languages (French, German, Te Reo Maori), Social Sciences (Geography, History, Tourism, Economics and Accounting, Health and Physical Education, or Art and Design (Graphics and Art). At Year 12, English is compulsory and students study four (or five) additional subjects, usually at Level 2. At Year 13, students study five subjects, usually at Level 3. Students with a strong academic focus are also encouraged to work towards scholarship in their strongest subjects. Specialist teachers tutor individuals and small groups in Reading and Mathematics.
Help is offered by staff within classes and in withdrawal situations to assist students who have difficulties in these areas. Alternative programmes are provided in the senior school to ensure that all students are able to achieve to the best of their ability. Most subjects offer Achievement Standards. A small number of courses offer Unit Standards. Students with English as their second language receive personal support in the ESOL (English for Speakers of other Languages) area. A specialist teacher works with students to develop the skills needed to successfully adapt to schooling and life in New Zealand.