Update on NCEA at HPSS (and introducing the HPSS Qualification Programme)
How NCEA works (from NZQA website)
- Each year, students study a number of courses or subjects.
- In each subject, skills and knowledge are assessed against a number of standards. For example, a Mathematics standard could be: Apply numeric reasoning in solving problems.
- Schools use a range of internal and external assessments to measure how well students meet these standards.
- When a student achieves a standard, they gain a number of credits. Students must achieve a certain number of credits to gain an NCEA certificate.
- There are three levels of NCEA certificate, depending on the difficulty of the standards achieved. In general, students work through levels 1 to 3 in years 11 to 13 at school.
- Students are recognised for high achievement at each level by gaining NCEA with Merit or NCEA with Excellence. High achievement in a course is also recognised.
See the NZQA website for more details:
When looking at information around secondary schooling, the various levels referred to can be confusing. As a general rule schools plan around the following levels matching up. It is important to note that whilst a student may be at a certain Year Level according to their age, they may operate at a different Curriculum and NCEA Level according to their progress in any particular learning area, e.g. Student A may be in Year 11 but could be operating at Curriculum Level 6/NCEA Level One for English and Curriculum Level 8/NCEA Level Three in Statistics. Where possible, we will aim to assess students according to the Curriculum Level they are working at.
Principles guiding our NCEA vision and design
NCEA at HPSS has been guided by a clear set of principles that underpin our school approach to assessment. We believe all assessment experiences should be:
- Low stress
- As naturally occurring as possible
- A balance of personalisation, rigour and high expectations
- Designed to fit best practice for each learning area
- Ensure coverage, progression and pathways to personal success
Level One NCEA at HPSS
Year 11 is the beginning of a two year journey (which we refer to as the Qualification Years) where students will work towards attaining a quality Level Two NCEA Certificate. To ensure the students gain the best results we will focus on doing less better - we believe that by doing fewer Achievement Standards we will support learners to go deeper with their learning. During their Year 11 year, students will have the opportunity to gain 20-40 credits at Level One and/or Two to lay the foundations for quality Level Two and Three qualifications. This means HPSS students will not be completing a Level One NCEA Certificate.*
Achievement Standards may be gained in all areas of our curriculum, for example:
- Projects - Where opportunities arise for genuine, naturally occurring Achievement Standard evidence to be produced, these should be pursued (for students operating at Curriculum Level 6 or 7) in consultation with Project Guides.
- Learning Hubs - Where opportunities arise for genuine, naturally occurring Achievement Standard evidence to be produced, these could be pursued (for students at Curriculum Level 6 or 7) in consultation with Learning Team Leaders.
- Qualification Learning Modules / Qualification SPINS - will be designed to provide opportunities for naturally occurring Achievement Standards evidence to be produced. Each module will offer each student a maximum of one Achievement Standard per Learning Area per semester (which equates to 12 Achievement Standards in total)**
Whilst most Achievement Standards will be internally assessed, there may be some externally assessment Achievement Standards offered in Semester Two Modules and/or SPINs.
* Students do not need a Level One NCEA Certificate to achieve Level Two or beyond. 20 credits from Level One can be carried over to Level Two.
** Where a student has a particular strength or passion extra Achievement Standards may be offered.
8.30 – 8.50
Staff kitchen table
Community staff kitchen table
Projects staff kitchen table
staff Kitchen table
Staff professional learning
(8.30 - 9.30)
8.40 - 8.50
8.50 – 9.10
9.10 – 10.30
(9.30 - 10.30)
10.30 – 10.50
10.50 – 12.10
12.10 – 1.30
1.30 – 2.10
2.10 – 3.30
Next year we will have a second timetable operating that will create the framework for a Qualifications Programme. Students in the Qualification Programme (Year 11-12) will be able to design a semester long personalised timetable (in partnership with their Learning Coach and whanau). Each student will select two Qualification Modules, two Qualification SPINs as well as establishing an Impact Project.
Students will participate in one project each semester. These projects will be either be completed in small groups or as an individual. Projects will be focused on a specific outcome/impact that makes a difference. Projects will be increasingly student directed but will continue to be supported by a teacher. Students may stay in Big Projects if they are not ready for Impact Projects.
Qualification Modules (choose 2)
Students will select two co-taught connected modules each semester. Each module will cover two learning areas, but will be connected through a common concept. Qualification Modules will have four 80 minute blocks a week to allow for deep learning. These modules will be pitched at curriculum levels 6-7.
Qualification SPINS (choose 2)
Students will select two SPIN modules each semester. Each SPIN will cover one learning area. SPIN modules will have two 80 minute blocks a week to allow for deeper learning.These SPIN modules will be pitched at curriculum levels 6-7.
Subjects on offer
Next year we will have a wide range of subjects available, including: English, Maths, Science, Visual Arts, Health and PE, Social Studies, History, Geography, Technology, Digital Technology, Drama, Dance, Languages (including Spanish, Japanese, Te Reo, Mandarin), Business, Accounting and Music. Any subjects not available maybe available through HabourNet (as an online distance learning course).