Learning at Ormiston Senior College

Focused on preparing and inspiring our students to achieve their very best in a global society


All International students follow the same academic programme as other students in the college. Their English level is assessed on arrival, and students may be placed into one or more English as an Additional Language (EAL) classes instead of one or more other subjects.


Course Information


For a general overview of our school please read the Prospectus.


The Education Review Office reviewed Ormiston Senior College Board in April 2015, the report can be found here.


Information about NCEA courses, approved subjects and the 2017 curriculum map can be found here


Specific information regarding each individual subject course and method of assessment is available here.



The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is New Zealand’s formal qualification system.  All students at Ormiston Senior College enter NCEA.

NCEA comprises three levels of qualifications (Levels 1, 2 and 3) usually undertaken in Years 11, 12 and 13. It is a standards-based system attained by building up credits. To achieve NCEA Level 1 students need to have gained a minimum of 80 credits including ten literacy and ten numeracy credits.

Credits are awarded for each standard achieved in each course being studied (e.g. English, Mathematics, Science, etc.). Each course is comprised of a number of standards and these are assessed either during the year in class (internally) or in an examination at the end of the year (externally). For some internal standards, you may not be assessed until the final term, taking into account most of your year’s work. 

All standards are set nationally and student work is moderated by outside experts. The standards themselves are linked to topics or skills. For example, in English a standard could be Produce Formal Writing (worth 3 credits), and in Science it could be Investigate Selected Chemical Reactions (worth 4 credits). When you achieve a standard you receive the number of credits for that standard.

For achievement standards, there are four grades you can get: Achieved (A) for a satisfactory performance, Merit (M) for very good performance, Excellence (E) for outstanding performance or Not Achieved (N) if you don’t meet the standard. If you don’t achieve a standard for internally assessed standards, you may be able to be assessed again later in the year. For externally assessed standards, there is only one opportunity to achieve the standard each year - the exam at the end of the year.

NCEA is readily accepted overseas, including by universities.


Click here to watch a video about how NCEA works


A brochure is available for International students considering studying NCEA in NZ (pdf)


Also available in:                  Spanish (pdf)                                                 Chinese (pdf)

                                         Korean (pdf)                                                  Thai (pdf)

                                         German (pdf)                                                 Japanese (pdf)


Click here to view the Ormiston Senior College exam results


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