New Zealand Education

NCEA – National Certificate of Educational Achievement

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main national qualification for secondary school students in New Zealand.

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the national senior secondary school qualification. NCEA is actually three certificates: it can be awarded at Levels 1, 2 and 3. Students usually begin studying for their NCEA Level 1 in Year 11 and continue through Years 12 and 13 (from ages 15 through to 18).

Many vocational qualifications are also offered in secondary schools. These include, for example, the National Certificate of Tourism and the National Certificate in Computing.

NCEA is recognised by overseas universities

NCEA is New Zealand’s national school-leaver qualification and is well-recognised overseas. It is well-regarded by employers and used for selection by universities, both in New Zealand and in other countries.

For details, see the Specific country requirements for the recognition of NCEA.

English Proficiency

These classes target the English Proficiency of the students. There are 5 different levels, but some classes are combined if class numbers are small:

  1. Basic English Proficiency
  2. Elementary English Proficiency
  3. Intermediate English Proficiency
  4. High Intermediate English Proficiency
  5. Advanced English Proficiency

The curriculum offered in the Core Language classes develops the skills needed to acquire language proficiency and accuracy, socially as well as academically. It also parallels the NCEA Literacy requirements in New Zealand schools and tertiary institutions.

Students taking ESOL have 3-5 periods of instruction per week. The class sizes are small in order to cater for the diverse language needs, as well as for the learning and cultural needs and styles of the students. These classes work towards an international City & Guilds (formerly Pitman) qualification at the English Proficiency level of the individual students. Furthermore, the Advanced class equips students with the academic skills needed firstly to gain a sound IELTS score required for tertiary entrance into English-speaking Universities, and secondly to succeed in further tertiary education. These students are both internally and externally assessed regularly in order to monitor student progress and performance.

For more information on NCEA, you ca download a brochure by following this link:

Yrs 7 & 8 ESOL Class

The Years 7 and 8 ESOL class follows an interactive reading-based programme, which begins the development of the essential language and literacy skills of the students. These students are young enough to use a native student learning approach of developing language by using authentic materials. Therefore, the students are reading and exploring a wide range of subject matter from fairy stories, fables, poems, journals and other stories, appropriate to their age. The students are then encouraged to do free writing based on the books read and the concepts explored in class. This takes place in a supportive and safe environment. A course book is used to supplement language teaching.

Key Websites

Coming to study in New Zealand

NZ Secondary school and NCEA

Education in New Zealand

NZ Education System

Understanding New Zealand qualifications

International recognition of NCEA

Specific country requirements for the recognition of NCEA

Course Endorsement Guide