Dargaville High School Curriculum Course - Science

Curriculum | Course Structure

Dargaville High School is required to implement its curriculum in accordance with the priorities set out in the National Education Goals and the National Administration Guidelines. The basic outlines of the New Zealand curriculum are identified in New Zealand Curriculum PDF downloads (7mb). The Ministry of Education site provides introductions to what students learn at school, and information about the New Zealand curriculum.


Dargaville High School is involved with the PB4L (Positive Behaviour for Learning) initiative. Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) provides programmes and initiatives for schools, teachers and parents across the country to turn around problem behaviour in children and young people and to encourage pro-social behaviour. 

Refer to the Ministry of Education website for further information on positive behaviours for learning.


We will be piloting the new NCEA Literacy and Numeracy Digital tests in 2023.

What Children Learn

Curriculum always involves choosing from alternatives and at Dargaville High School we have a number of subjects to choose from. In New Zealand, the national curriculum, devised by the New Zealand government, sets the direction for learning. Dargaville High School works with the New Zealand Curriculum and ensures that the school's flexibility to develop teaching and learning programs meets the diverse needs of our particular learners. Students need an up-to-date curriculum that reflects not only the knowledge needed for the future, but also the best teaching strategies and learning theories.

Study Courses

There is a varied selection of additional Study Courses students can select from.  We operate a range of successful academies (Building, Hospitality, PITA and Police) as well as accessing FarNet and Te Kura courses.  Talk to the Careers Advisor, to find out further information.

Year 9 Course Structure

The Junior School curriculum is broad and aimed at providing exposure to many different learning opportunities. There is a compulsory course based on the essential learning areas in the National Curriculum document. This means all students will take English, Mathematics, Physical Education, Social Studies and Science. These subjects will be taken for the full year.

Year 9 students will also be offered a range of other subjects as options. These include: Visual Arts, Applied Arts, French, Dance, Te Reo Maori, Music, Technology, Drama and ICT. This will lead on to Year 10 where students can choose three subjects to continue their study on towards NCEA Level 1.

All incoming Year 9 students will be tested using AsTTle. Students who need special assistance will either come out of the normal core subjects and undertake special programmes or have teacher/teacher aid assistance in their normal classes.

Starting School
All students starting the school will receive information about the different subjects the school offers in both its core and option subjects.

During term 4 students from the contributing primary and intermediate school will have the opportunity to visit the school during the day. Parents and caregivers are invited to discuss their child's enrolment at the school at a personal interview, which can take place at the contributing school or at the High School.

Download Year 9 Subject Options Semester Two

Year 10 Course Structure

Some subjects are offered as options in Year 10 in addition to a core programme based on English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Physical Education. These include Digital Technology, Design and Visual Communication, Workshop (Pre-Trades), Food Technology, Visual Art, Drama, Music, Te Reo Maori, French and the Duke of Edinburgh. These options are semester based.

Year 10 students are expected to take two option subjects. There are a few things we ask students to think about when making a decision...

  • Do you enjoy the subject?
  • Is it going to be important that you do this subject?
  • Will you need to do this subject in Year 10 to carry on with it in Year 11?

It is also important that Year 10 make options as wide as possible to develop a wide range of knowledge and skills. Deans, Form Teachers and subject teachers can offer advice ensuring that Year 10 study a broad curriculum.

Download Year 10 Subject Options Semester One, 2024

Year 11 Course Structure

Every year Dargaville High School has Academic Coaching Interviews where pupils and parents or caregivers are invited to talk to teachers concerning courses, entry levels and future career paths. The programme of study in year 11 is NCEA Level 1 (National Certificate of Educational Achievement). NCEA Level 1 Certificate requirements:

  • Usually achieved by Year 11 students.
  • Students must achieve 80 credits.
  • Of these 80 credits, 10 must be in literacy standards and 10 in numeracy standards.
  • Students can gain their 80 credits in one year, or over two or more years.
  • Credits may be gained from achievement standards or unit standards.

For further information, students and parents/caregivers should visit the NZQA Qualifications page. This website provides useful information explaining NCEA for both parents and students. The Senior School programme is focused on preparing students for qualifications that will take them beyond school.

Download the 2024 Senior Options Handbook

Years 12 & 13 Course Structure

Students can select courses from Year 11, 12 and 13 for study in one particular year, and tailor the course to suit their needs.

In Year 12 students predominately study NCEA Level 2 and at Year 13 students predominately study NCEA Level 3. Dargaville High School requires students to study Level 2 English enabling them to gain the English requirements for University entrance.

For an NCEA Level 2 Certificate, Students must achieve 80 Credits. Students will need to gain 60 credits from the Level 2 standards whilst the remaining 20 credits can be from either Level 1 or Level 2. To gain this qualification students must have already gained the Level 1 numeracy and literacy credits.

For an NCEA Level 3 Certificate students must achieve 80 credits, 60 of which must be from Level 3 standards. The remaining 20 credits can be from either Level 1, 2 or 3.

Adult students are welcome and are admitted after an interview with the Principal. Adults are able to study at various levels and subjects for their second chance at education to obtain qualifications for a career change. Adult students offer another dimension to the community concept of the school and offer role models to younger students in the school.

For information on NCEA and required qualifications, visit the NZQA website. NZQA

Download the 2024 Senior Options Handbook