Curriculum

By choosing Botany Downs Secondary College you can be assured of earning a world-class qualification.

We deliver New Zealand’s National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 1 – 3. These are national qualifications for secondary school students and are widely recognised throughout the world.

In Year 9, ALL subjects are compulsory.
Learning AreasSubjects
EnglishEnglish (9ENG)
English Literacy Support (9ENA)
English as an Additional Language (9ENS)
Health and Physical EducationHealth and Physical Education (9HPE)
LanguagesFrench (9FRE)
Japanese (9JAP)
Maori (9MAO)
Mathematics and StatisticsMathematics and Statistics (9MAT)
ScienceScience (9SCI)
Social SciencesSocial Studies (9SOS)
TechnologyDesign and Visual Communication (9DVC)Food Technology (9TEF)
Multi Materials Technology (9TEM)
Textiles Technology (9TET)
The ArtsDance (9DAN)
Drama (9DRA)
Music (9MUS)
Visual Art (9ART)
Vocational and General Courses
In Year 10, English, Mathematics &Statistics, Health & Physical Education, Science, Social Sciences, and Tutor Mentoring are compulsory subjects.

Languages, Technology, The Arts, and Vocational Courses are optional.

Learning AreasSubjects
EnglishEnglish (10ENG)
English Language Support (10ELS)
Media Studies (10MED)
Health and Physical EducationHealth and Physical Education (10HPE)
Outdoor Leadership (10ODL)
Physical Education (10PED)
LanguagesFrench (10FRE)
Japanese (10JAP)
Maori (10MAO)
Spanish (10SPH)
Mathematics and StatisticsMathematics and Statistics (10MAT)
Mathematics and Statistics – Accelerated (1MAX) Level 1 standards for Year 10 accelerated students
ScienceScience (10SCI)
Science – Accelerated (1SCX) Level 1 standards for Year 10 accelerated students
Electronics (10ELE)
Social SciencesSocial Studies (10SOS)
Ancient Civilisations (10ANC)
Business Pathways (10BUP)
Investigative Geography (10IGO)
TechnologyDesign and Visual Communication (10DVC)
Digital Technologies (10DIT)
Food Technology (10TEF)
Multi-Materials Technology (10TEM)
Textiles Technology (10TET)
The ArtsArt (10ART)
Dance (10DAN)
Digital Art (10DRT)
Drama (10DRA)
Music (10MUS)
Vocational and General Courses
In Year 11, English, Mathematics & STatistics, Health & Physical Education, and Science are compulsory subjects.

Languages, Technology, The Arts, and Vocational Courses are optional.

Learning AreasSubjects – Level 1
EnglishEnglish (1ENG)
English – Alternative (1ENA)
English – Extended (1ENE)
English – Literacy (1ENL)
English as an Additional Language (1ENS)
English as an Additional Language (1ENP)
English Language Support (1ELS)
Media Studies (1MED)
Health and Physical EducationActive Wellbeing (1AWB)
Early Childhood Education (1ECE)
Health Education (1HED)
Outdoor Education (1OED)
Physical Education (1PED)
LanguagesFrench (1FRE)
Japanese (1JAP)
Maori (1MAO)*
Spanish (1SPH)
Mathematics and StatisticsMathematics and Statistics (1MAT)
Mathematics and Statistics – Alternative (1MAA)
Mathematics and Statistics – Numeracy (1MNU)
Mathematics and Statistics – Accelerated (2MAX)
ScienceScience (1SCI)
Science – Alternative (1SCA)
Supplementary Science (1SCS)
Social SciencesAccounting (1ACC)
Business Studies (1BUS)
Economics (1ECO)
Geography (1GEO)
History (1HIS)
TechnologyDigital Technologies (1DIT)
Design and Visual Communication (1DVC)
Food and Hospitality (1FAH)
Food Technology (1TEF)
Multi-Materials Technology (1TEM)
Textiles Technology (1TET)
The ArtsDance (1DAN)
Drama (1DRA)
Music (1MUS)
Visual Art – Practical (1ART)
Visual Art – Digital (1DRT)
Vocational and General CoursesTrade Skills (1TSS)
Work and Community Studies (1WCS)
In Year 12, English is the only compulsory subject.

Mathematics & Statistics, Health & Physical Education, Science, Social Sciences, Languages, Technology, The Arts, and Vocational Courses are optional.

Learning AreasSubjects – Level 2
EnglishEnglish (2ENG)
English – Alternative (2ENA)
English – Extended (2ENE)
English as an Additional Language (2ENS)
English as an Additional Language (2ENP)
Media Studies (2MED)
Health and Physical EducationEarly Childhood Education (2ECE)
Health Education (2HED)
Outdoor Education (2OED)
Outdoor Education – Alternative (2ODA)
Physical Education (2PED)
Sports Studies (2SPS)
LanguagesChinese (2CHI)
French (2FRE)
Japanese (2JAP)
Maori (2MAO)*
Spanish (2SPH)
Mathematics and StatisticsMathematics and Statistics (2MAT)
Mathematics and Statistics – Alternative (2MAA)
Mathematics and Statistics – Extended (2MAE)
Calculus – Accelerated (3MAX) for Level 2 accelerated students
ScienceBiology (2BIA, 2BIO)
Chemistry (2CHA, 2CHE)
Physics (2PHY)
Social SciencesAccounting (2ACC)
Business Studies (2BUS)
Classical Studies (2CLS)
Economics (2ECO)
Financial Studies (2FIN)
Geography (2GEO)
History (2HIS)
Psychology (2PSY)
Travel and Tourism (2TSM)
TechnologyBuilding Skills (2BSS)
Digital Technologies – Info Systems (2DIT)
Digital Technologies – Programming (2DIP)
Design and Visual Communication (2DVC)
Engineering Skills (2ESS)
Food and Hospitality (2FAH)
Food Technology (2TEF)
Multi-Materials Technology (2TEM)
Textiles Technology (2TET)
The ArtsDance (2DAN)
Drama (2DRA)
Music (2MUS)
Visual Art – Design (2DES)
Visual Art – Painting (2ART)
Visual Art – Photography (2PHO)
Art History (2ARH)
Vocational and General CoursesCareers Pathways (2CAP)
Work and Community Skills (2WCS)
In Year 13, ALL subjects are optional.
Learning AreasSubjects – Level 3
EnglishEnglish (3ENG)
English – Extended (3ENE)
English – Level 2 Booster (3ENB)
English as an Additional Language (3ENS)
English Language Support (3ELS)
Media Studies (3MED)
Health and Physical EducationEarly Childhood Education (3ECE)
Health Education (3HED)
Outdoor Education (3OED)
Physical Education (3PED)
Sports Studies (3SPS)
LanguagesChinese (3CHI)
French (3FRE)
Japanese (3JAP)
Maori (3MAO)*
Spanish (3SPH)
Mathematics and StatisticsCalculus (3MAC)
Calculus Scholarship (3MCS)
Mathematics (3MAT)
Statistics and Probability (3SAP)
Statistics and Probability – Alternative (3SPA)
ScienceBiology (3BIA, 3BIO)
Chemistry (3CHE)
Physics (3PHY)
Psychology (3PSY)
Social SciencesAccounting (3ACC)
Business Studies (3BUS)
Classical Studies (3CLS)
Economics (3ECO)
Financial Studies (3FIN)
Geography (3GEO)
History (3HIS)
Travel and Tourism (3TSM)
TechnologyDigital Technologies – Programming (3DIP)
Digital Technologies – Info Systems (3DIT)
Design and Visual Communication (3DVC)
Food and Hospitality (3FAH)
Food Technology (3TEF)
Multi-Materials Technology (3TEM)
Textiles Technology (3TET)
The ArtsArt History (3ARH)
Dance (3DAN)
Drama (3DRA)
Music – Practical (3MUP)
Music Studies (3MUS)
Visual Art – Design (3DES)
Visual Art – Painting (3ART)
Visual Art – Photography (3PHO)
Vocational and General CoursesCareers Pathways (3CAP)

Subjects

YEAR 9
In Year 9, ALL subjects are compulsory.

scroll/swipe to view full table

Learning AreasSubjects
EnglishEnglish (9ENG)
English Literacy Support (9ENA)
English as an Additional Language (9ENS)
Health and Physical EducationHealth and Physical Education (9HPE)
LanguagesFrench (9FRE)
Japanese (9JAP)
Māori (9MAO)
Mathematics and StatisticsMathematics and Statistics (9MAT)
ScienceScience (9SCI)
Social SciencesSocial Studies (9SOS)
TechnologyDesign and Visual Communication (9DVC)Food Technology (9TEF)
Multi Materials Technology (9TEM)
Textiles Technology (9TET)
The ArtsDance (9DAN)
Drama (9DRA)
Music (9MUS)
Visual Art (9ART)
Vocational and General Courses
YEAR 10
In Year 10, English, Mathematics, Health & Physical Education, Science, and Social Sciences are compulsory subjects.

Languages, Technology, The Arts, and Vocational Courses are optional.

scroll/swipe to view full table

Learning AreasSubjects
EnglishEnglish (10ENG)
English Literacy Support (10ENA)
Media Studies (10MED)
English as an Additional Language (10ENS)
English as an Additional Language (10ENP)
Health and Physical EducationHealth and Physical Education (10HPE)
Outdoor Leadership (10ODL)
Physical Education (10PED)
LanguagesFrench (10FRE)
Japanese (10JAP)
Māori (10MAO)
Spanish (10SPH)
Mathematics and StatisticsMathematics and Statistics (10MAT)
Mathematics and Statistics – Alternative (10MAA)
Mathematics and Statistics – Extension (10MAX1) Level 1 standards for Year 10 accelerated students
ScienceScience (10SCI)
Science – Extension (SCX1) Level 1 standards for Year 10 accelerated students
Electronics (10ELE)
Social SciencesSocial Studies (10SOS)
Ancient Civilisations (10ANC)
Business Pathways (10BUP)
Investigative Geography (10IGO)
TechnologyDesign and Visual Communication (10DVC)
Digital Technology (10DIT)
Food Technology (10TEF)
Multi-Materials Technology (10TEM)
Textiles Technology (10TET)
The ArtsDance (10DAN)
Digital Art (10DRT)
Drama (10DRA)
Music (10MUS)
Visual Art (10ART)
Vocational and General Courses
YEAR 11
In Year 11, only English and Mathematics are compulsory subjects.

Health & Physical Education, Science, Social Sciences, Languages, Technology, The Arts, and Vocational Courses are optional.

scroll/swipe to view full table

Learning AreasSubjects – Level 1
EnglishEnglish (1ENG)
English – Alternative (1ENA)
English – Extension (1ENE)
Media Studies (1MED)
English as an Additional Language (1ENS)
English as an Additional Language (1ENP)
Health and Physical EducationHeath and Physical Education (1HPE)
Early Childhood Education (1ECE)
Health Education (1HED)
Outdoor Education (1OED)
Physical Education (1PED)
LanguagesFrench (1FRE)
Japanese (1JAP)
Māori (1MAO)*
Spanish (1SPH)
Mathematics and StatisticsMathematics and Statistics – Alternative (1MAA)
Mathematics and Statistics (1MAT)
Mathematics and Statistics – Numeracy (1MNU)
Mathematics and Statistics – Extension (2MAX) for L1 accelerated students
ScienceScience – Core (1SCI)
Science – Alternative (1SCA)
Science – Supplementary Science (1SCS)
Electronics (1ELE)
Social SciencesAccounting (1ACC)
Business Studies (1BUS)
Economics (1ECO)
Geography (1GEO)
History (1HIS)
TechnologyDigital Technology (1DIT)
Design and Visual Communication (1DVC)
Food and Hospitality (1FAH)
Food Technology (1TEF)
Multi-Materials Technology (1TEM)
Textiles Technology (1TET)
The ArtsDance (1DAN)
Digital Art (1DRT)
Drama (1DRA)
Music (1MUS)
Visual Art (1ART)
Vocational and General CoursesWork and Community Studies (1WCS)
YEAR 12
In Year 12, English is the only compulsory subject.

Mathematics, Health & Physical Education, Science, Social Sciences, Languages, Technology, The Arts, and Vocational Courses are optional.

scroll/swipe to view full table

Learning AreasSubjects – Level 2
EnglishEnglish (2ENG)
English – Alternative (2ENA)
English – Extension (2ENE)
Media Studies (2MED)
English as an Additional Language (2ENS)
English as an Additional Language (2ENP)
Health and Physical EducationEarly Childhood Education (2ECE)
Health Education (2HED)
Outdoor Education (2OED)
Outdoor Education Alternative (2ODA)
Physical Education (2PED)
Sports Leadership (2SPL)
LanguagesChinese (2CHI)
French (2FRE)
Japanese (2JAP)
Māori (2MAO)*
Spanish (2SPH)
Mathematics and StatisticsMathematics and Statistics – Alternative (2MAA)
Mathematics and Statistics (2MAT)
Mathematics and Statistics – Extension (2MAE)
Mathematics and Calculus – Extension (3MAX) for Level 2 accelerated students
ScienceBiology (2BIA, 2BIO)
Chemistry (2CHA, 2CHE)
Electronics (2ELE)
Physics (2PHY)
Social SciencesAccounting (2ACC)
Business Studies (2BUS)
Classical Studies (2CLS)
Economics (2ECO)
Financial Studies (2FIN)
Geography (2GEO)
History (2HIS)
Travel and Tourism (2TSM)
TechnologyAutomotive Engineering (2ATM)
Building Construction (2BCN)
Digital Technology – Programming (2DIP)
Digital Technology (2DIT)
Design and Visual Communication (2DVC)
Food and Hospitality (2FAH)
Food Technology (2TEF)
Microsoft Office Specialist (2MOS)
Multi-Materials Technology (2TEM)
Textiles Technology (2TET)
The ArtsDance (2DAN)
Drama (2DRA)
Music (2MUS)
Visual Art (2ART)
Art History (2ARH)
Design (2DES)
Photography (2PHO)
Vocational and General CoursesCareers Pathways (2CAP)
YEAR 13
In Year 13, ALL subjects are optional.

scroll/swipe to view full table

Learning AreasSubjects – Level 3
EnglishEnglish (3ENG)
English Booster Course (3ENB-L2/3 AS)
English – Extension (3ENE)
Media Studies (3MED)
English as an Additional Language (3ENS)
Health and Physical EducationEarly Childhood Education (3ECE)
Health Education (3HED)
Outdoor Education (3OED)
Physical Education (3PED)
Sports Leadership (3SPL)
LanguagesChinese (3CHI)
French (3FRE)
Japanese (3JAP)
Māori (3MAO)*
Spanish (3SPH)
Mathematics and StatisticsCalculus (3MAC)
Calculus – Alternative (3MCA)
Statistics and Probability (3SAP)
Statistics and Probability – Alternative (3SPA)
Mathematics (3MAT)
ScienceBiology (3BIA, 3BIO)
Chemistry (3CHE)
Electronics (3ELE)
Physics (3PHY)
Social SciencesAccounting (3ACC)
Business Studies (3BUS)
Classical Studies (3CLS)
Economics (3ECO)
Financial Studies (3FIN)
Geography (3GEO)
History (3HIS)
Travel and Tourism (3TSM)
TechnologyDigital Technology – Programming (3DIP)
Digital Technology (3DIT)
Design and Visual Communication (3DVC)
Food and Hospitality (3FAH)
Food Technology (3TEF)
Microsoft Office Specialist (3MOS)
Multi-Materials Technology (3TEM)
Textiles Technology (3TET)
The ArtsDance (3DAN)
Drama (3DRA)
Making Music – Practical (3MUP)
Music Studies (3MUS)
Visual Art (3ART)
Art History (3ARH)
Design (3DES)
Photography (3PHO)
Vocational and General CoursesCareers Pathways (3CAP)

Our focus is to provide a range of subjects and alternative options for students. So, whether you want to be an actor or an architect, we can help you to get what you need to achieve your own academic and career goals. Of course, the availability of subjects depends on the time of year and the number of students in each class, but, as you can see, we have a great selection from which to choose.  

All international students follow the same academic programme as other students in the college, so you’ll have the same opportunities as New Zealand students (although additional fees may apply) and you’ll be taught side-by-side with Kiwi kids.

Schooling at secondary level in New Zealand

Secondary study lasts five years and begins when students are 12 or 13 years old. The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main school qualification at this level and is well-recognised overseas

In Years 11-13, we prepare students to achieve NCEA Level 1-3.

A great feature of our NCEA system is its flexibility; more able students can be assessed against higher level standards.

  • In English, for example, the teacher could set a writing task and assess students against Level 1, or Level 2 standards, depending on your ability.
  • In Mathematics, students can complete their class-based assessments for Level 1 standards, and then make a start on some Level 2 standards.

This approach allows us to challenge all students and provide a selection of subjects that is best for you.

If you’d prefer, you can watch a short video  on how NCEA works.

Recognition

New Zealand has a world-leading education system recognised by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). A number of international agreements ensure NCEA results are understood and accepted overseas. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is recognised in the European Union (including Britain and Germany), Australia, Thailand, and India.

We also have lots of experience dealing with students from Latin American countries and we are able to arrange con-validation for students from Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia and Mexico.

In short, wherever you come from, we are able to work with your country’s education system to have your time and qualifications recognised.

Support

We know choosing subjects can be difficult, especially when you are familiar with a different school system. That’s why when you arrive, we will work with you individually to make sure you get a timetable that meets your specific needs.

More about New Zealand’s education system

You can read more about the New Zealand education system at the Ministry of Education website and Education New Zealand’s Study in New Zealand website

A peak body for schools supporting international students in the education sector

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