Academic support and pathways

Taunaki Wānanga me ngā Ara

The broad and balanced curriculum at St Andrew’s College is based on the vision and requirements of The New Zealand Curriculum, which states that ‘all students, regardless of where they are situated, should experience a rich and balanced education that embraces the intent of the National Curriculum’.

Our Curriculum

The New Zealand school year is divided into four terms, beginning at the end of January and finishing early/mid December. Students in Years 11, 12 and 13 who wish to gain a national NCEA qualification in that year will need to begin at St Andrew's College in Term 1 of that year or earlier. Beginning study in New Zealand in Year 9 or Year 10 is highly recommended if students want to achieve well in senior examinations.

  • Years 1–8 (5–13 years old)

    Students are engaged with a meaningful learning environment. Driven by a student-centred approach, supported by inspired and passionate teachers with the aim to foster and grow independent learners and responsible individuals.

  • Years 9–10 (13–15 years old)

    Students are tested in a nationally moderated assessment that serves as a benchmark against which students, teachers and families can measure progress. Students are well prepared for the NCEA assessments, which commence in Year 11. Our preparation and programmes are well proven.

  • Years 11–13 (15–18 years old)

    St Andrew’s College students consistently achieve well above the national average in NCEA at all levels, and in the attainment of NCEA Merit and Excellence endorsements. There are many initiatives to encourage and reward academic success, including Academic Colours and Academic 30s certificates for our top NCEA performers.

Additional support for International Students

St Andrew’s College is perfectly placed to meet the needs of international students. Our curriculum is comprehensive, with our students supported by world-class facilities and resources. Study assistance is available from Tutors, classroom teachers, student peers, and on occasions, from visiting specialists. Staff in our International Department also provides assistance and advice if required. All aspects of life at St Andrew’s are geared towards helping students to reach their full academic potential.

In addition to the extensive range of classroom subjects and out of school activities offered to all students, St Andrew's College offers lots of additional support to international students.

  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Tuition

    ESOL help is available for all international students, on a one-to-one or small group basis. Students usually have two or more hours of English help a week, depending on individual needs.

  • Guidance and Support Services

    St Andrew's has a strong guidance network and help is available from Tutors, year level Deans, Boarding House managers, Guidance Counsellors, and the Director of International and Exchange Students, Mr Palē Tauti. The Director of International Students is employed solely to work with international students and maintains close links with students, families, caregivers, guardians, Deans, Tutors and Boarding House staff.

  • Secondary School Curriculum

    Due to the size of the Secondary School there is a wide range of subjects on offer. Alongside core subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science, Commerce and Social Sciences specialist subjects include:

    • Ballet;

    • Media Studies and Performing Arts;

    • Photography, Painting and Design;

    • Business Studies;

    • Digital Technology;

    • Food and Nutrition;

    • Travel and Tourism.

    See the Middle School Curriculum section and Senior College Curriculum section of this website for further information.

New Zealand’s education system is first class and its NCEA qualifications are recognised by universities around the world. St Andrew's College students are actively sought after by top universities in New Zealand and other countries.

St Andrew's College follows the New Zealand Curriculum but, because it is an independent school, it is able to adapt programmes to suit student needs.

A number of our students also achieve scholarships to tertiary institutions, including some overseas universities.  Staff are able to assist students with their applications to universities overseas as a lot of information is often required.

New Zealand Year Level

USA and Australian
Grade Level equivalent

Native Speaker Ages*

National Examinations 
and Qualifications

Primary School 
(Years 1–6)


5–10 years


Intermediate School
Year 7


11 years


Intermediate School
Year 8


12 years


Secondary School
Year 9


13 years


Secondary School 
Year 10


14 years


Secondary School
Year 11


15 years

Level 1 NCEA

Secondary School 
Year 12


16 years

Level 2 NCEA

Secondary School 
ear 13


17 years

Level 3 NCEA

* International Students who do not have English as their first language can expect to be one to two years older than New Zealand students.

Useful information on learning in New Zealand

The New Zealand Curriculum

Learn more

The New Zealnd Education System

Learn more