Learning at Sacred Heart College

At Sacred Heart College, we provide a challenging, multifaceted and rewarding curriculum, underpinned by The New Zealand Curriculum Framework. Students choose from a variety of subjects and are offered a host of co-curricular opportunities to extend their learning in other fields.

By providing a contemporary and nurturing learning environment, students are supported to acquire lifelong learning skills of self-reflection and critical thinking – setting them up for success in everything they do in the future. We are committed to ensuring our students pursue  excellence.

Academic pathway and NCEA 

In Years 7 to 10, the curriculum focuses on core subjects and gradually introduces specialist subjects as students’ progress. Students enter NCEA in Year 11.

NCEA is an internationally recognised qualification that caters for students of different learning styles and capabilities. Assessment is constructed across a range of platforms such as assignments, practical assessments, presentations, examinations and project work. Students choose subject pathways suited to their interests, strengths and career goals.

All Sacred Heart International Students who are enrolled for one full academic year will be required to sit NCEA exams at the end of the year. For information on examination fees, please refer to the current fees schedule.

Past Sacred Heart International Students have used their NCEA qualification to gain entry to some of New Zealand’s top universities and abroad including Melbourne University, University of Sydney, University of Queensland, Auckland University, Otago University, Keio University, Juntendo University, and Chulalongkorn University.

In some subjects, scholarship opportunities are available. The College’s pass and excellence rates consistently rank among the highest nationally for boys’ schools.

More information on NCEA can be found on the NCEA page. For an extensive list of subject opportunities, please refer to our Curriculum Handbook for 2022.

English Language Learner (ELL) development

Sacred Heart offers extra support for students needing English language support. Our qualified teachers take small groups and support them according to their English language needs. 

In Years 9 and 10, students are taught an English and Religious Education course that focuses on mainstream curriculum subjects, but places emphasis on developing skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening – within the context of these subjects.

Additionally, all ELL students engage in a reading programme and are expected to read a range of texts and develop skills in understanding a variety of written English. A writing programme is also compulsory for these students to support their language acquisition.

All senior students are expected to take a Thematic Studies in English course, allowing them to reach University Entrance literacy within two years of study. The course follows the same framework as other students in their Year level but offers the opportunity to attempt assessments at their own level. This means that a student completing assessments in a Year 13 Thematic Studies class may be awarded Level 2 or Level 3 credits, depending on the standard of their work.

Career planning

Throughout the school year, career education is taught to students at all levels, enabling them to develop career management competencies to shape their own learning journey and career trajectory. Year 9 and 10 students receive a dedicated career lesson in Term 3 each year, with a focus on subject selection for their senior years. Sacred Heart also hosts a Careers Evening for students in Years 10-13, which is a wonderful opportunity to hear from over 23 tertiary and industry providers on future career opportunities and pathways. We also have a career counsellor who offers support and guidance on study opportunities in New Zealand and abroad. 

For more details, please view our Careers Education page.

Life at SHC
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International Student Enrolment
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