The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) offers NCEA and Scholarship examinations.





The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main national qualification for secondary school students in New Zealand. Each year students study a number of courses or subjects. In each subject a number of standards are offered. These may be internally or externally assessed. When a student achieves a standard they receive a number of Achieved, Merit or Excellence credits.

There are three levels of NCEA:

Level 1 – the majority of Year 11 students will complete standards towards this level. At Western Heights High School Year 10 extension students may be offered the opportunity to sit some Level 1 standards. Students require 80 credits at any level to achieve Level 1 and must also meet the literacy and numeracy requirements.

Level 2 – the majority of Year 12 students will complete standards towards this level. Students require 20 Level 1 credits (carried forward from the previous year) and 60 credits from Level 2 or above to achieve Level 2.

Level 3 – the majority of Year 13 students will complete standards towards this level. Students require 20 Level 2 credits (carried forward from the previous year) and 60 Level 3 credits to achieve Level.

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.

Western Heights High School offers an information evening for caregivers in the first term. This will be advertised through school newsletters, website and social media.


Internally Assessed Standards

Students may be required to complete internally assessed standards at any time throughout the year. All students should be issued with a course guide which will give an indication of when the assessments will take place and what type of assessment will be used – research assignment, test, seminar etc.


NZQA examinations are held in November and December for externally assessed standards


At Western Heights High School we teach our students the International Cambridge Curriculum in Science, Mathematics and English. We are looking to grow the curriculum to include Languages and Business Studies in the future.

The Cambridge International Curriculum is offered to our most able students and this curriculum sets a global standard for education and is recognised by universities and employers worldwide. The curriculum is flexible, challenging and inspiring, culturally sensitive yet international in approach. Cambridge students develop informed curiosity and a lasting passion for learning. They also gain the essential skills they need for success at university and in their future careers.

Cambridge programmes combine an emphasis on mastering subjects in depth with the development skills for study and work in the future. We value deep subject knowledge as well as the conceptual understanding that helps students make links between different aspects of a subject. We also encourage students to develop higher order thinking skills – problem solving, critical thinking, independent research, collaboration and presenting arguments. These are transferable skills that will last a lifetime, preparing students for their future lives. They also make learning enjoyable and rewarding.

For further information please contact our Cambridge Co-ordinator, Mr Manu Scott (