In English you will read a wide range of literature from different cultures and explore the ideas expressed. You will write creatively and informatively as well as develop speaking, listening and research skills. Talk to your teacher about the best fit for you as some courses have more internal standards and some more external exams. You can also opt to take Media Production which looks at the way different Media is constructed and how groups are represented in the media as well as constructing your own media.


In Mathematics and Statistics, students explore relationships in quantities, space and data and learn to express these relationships in ways that help them to make sense of the world around them. These two disciplines are related but require different ways of thinking to solve problems. Both equip students with effective means for investigating, interpreting and explaining situations. Mathematicians and Statisticians use symbols, graphs, and diagrams to help them find and communicate patterns and relationships, and they create models to represent both real-life and hypothetical situations. These situations are drawn from a wide range of social, cultural, scientific, technological, health, environment, and economic contexts.

Mathematics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in quantities, space, and time

Statistics is the exploration and use of patterns and relationships in data.

Calculus is the study of how mathematics can be used to investigate, interpret and explain the universe around us.


Performing Arts subjects such as Drama and Music, are a powerful form of personal, social and cultural expression. As expressions of culture, the Performing Arts pass on and renew our heritage and traditions and help to shape our sense of identity. 

They recognise, value and contribute to the unique bicultural and multicultural character of Aotearoa New Zealand. They give students a unique way to create ideas and images that reflect, communicate and change their views of the world. They challenge our perceptions, uplift and entertain us and enrich our emotional and spiritual lives. 

Studying a Performing Art stimulates imagination, thinking and understanding and allows students the opportunity to discover, explore and pursue their passions and interests. Essential skills to be learned through an involvement in Performing Arts include creativity, collaboration, co-operation, innovation, critical thinking, adaptability, performance preparation, presentation skills, personal achievement, confidence, perseverance, resilience.

There are many Performing Arts related fields of employment that naturally grow from courses in the Performing Arts (e.g. actor, theatre, television, musician, composer, teaching, film making, reviewer) but many people also pursue careers outside the arts using the analytical, creative, co-operative, entrepreneurial and problem solving skills that have been enhanced through a learning that is grounded in the Performing Arts.


In Health and Physical Education, the focus is on the wellbeing of the students themselves, of other people, and of society through learning in health-related and movement contexts. Students will also develop the leadership and interpersonal skills to plan and manage activities in the outdoors. Four underlying and interdependent concepts are at the heart of this learning area: hauora, attitudes and values, the socio-ecological perspective and health promotion.

Leadership and Exercise Science - This subject gives students the opportunity to develop leadership and planning skills and also knowledge of the human body and exercise science.

Hauroa, Lifestyle and Health Promotion - This subject helps students to develop their understanding of the factors and determinants that influence the health of individuals, groups and society.

Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation - This subject gives an understanding of the influences of one’s participation, health promotion in society and lifelong wellbeing.


Science is a way of investigating, understanding and explaining our natural world, physical world and the wider universe. It involves generating and testing ideas by gathering evidence. This includes making observations, carrying out investigations, modelling, communicating and debating with others in order to develop scientific knowledge, understanding and explanations.

Science is about understanding the world around us. Students learn to carry out investigations, research ideas and use their knowledge to solve problems.

Biology is about living things and how they interact with each other and the environment.

Chemistry involves the study of matter and the changes it undergoes and understanding the composition and properties of atoms and molecules.

Physics provides explanations for a wide range of ideas, including light, sound, heat, electricity, waves, forces and motion, united by the concept of energy that cannot be created or destroyed.

Horticulture is the science of growing fruits, vegetables and flowers. It is a branch of biology.


The Social Science learning area is about how societies work and how people can participate as critical, active, informed, and responsible citizens. Contexts are drawn from the past, present, and future and from places within and beyond New Zealand.

Classical Studies is the study of the people, places, and events of ancient Greece and Rome. Students explore the foundations of literature, art, history, and philosophy, in order to understand the past and the present, and to imagine possible futures.

History is about exploring the past, in order to understand the present, and shape the future. New Zealand history is seen within wider global contexts. Historians are skilled in research and source analysis that is fundamental for other subject areas.

Geography is the study of the relationship between people and their environments. Our environment is at a critical point in its history. Developing knowledge of humans and our impact on the natural world will allow you to prepare for the future.

Business Studies / Economics / Accounting is the study of business is about how individuals and groups of people organise, plan and act to create and develop goods and services to satisfy customers.

Media Psychology gives us a fascinating insight into the behaviour of others, providing an opportunity to view the human mind from a systematic and scientific perspective. Our focus this year is on theory and media psychology.


Languages are inseparably linked to the social and cultural contexts in which they are used. 

Languages and cultures play a key role in developing our personal, group, national, and human identities. Every language has its own ways of expressing meanings; each has intrinsic value and special significance for its users.


In Technology students develop outcomes in a context that interests them. Technology education allows students to gain practical skills, knowledge, and understanding to thoughtfully live with, critique, and contribute to the technological developments that shape our lives.

Textile Products - Students explore design ideas and develop them to produce textile products within contexts such as fashion, wearable art, upcycling and accessories.

Food Products - Students design and manufacture food products to meet a brief.

Digital Products - Media Products focuses on the development of knowledge and skills using a wide range of internet and computing technologies to produce a media outcome.

Design and Visual Communication - Focuses on the development of knowledge and skills in the three-dimensional design contexts of architecture and product design.

Tech Skills - Materials develops practical skills using resistant textile materials. Computing develops practical skills in computing using a variety of programs.


Visual Arts is powerful forms of expression that recognise, value, and contribute to the unique bicultural and multicultural character of Aotearoa New Zealand, enriching the lives of all New Zealanders. Through movement, sound and image, Visual Arts transform people’s creative ideas into expressive works that communicate layered meanings.

Vocational Pathways

For senior students who have completed one or more years of senior schooling and still are unsure where their academic strengths may take them, two other useful websites are 

  • Profile Builder, By entering the standards achieved into this interactive tool, students can see what sectors of the workforce might be most appropriate. Once a particular broad sector has been identified, this website allows the user to click and access individual jobs or industries that are most suited.  Another possible use of this site is to see which pathways are partially completed and would be completed by adding some future standards aligned to this sector.
  • Using the NZQA website and student’s personal NSN (National Student Number) and password. This data can be accessed automatically for standards on a student’s record of learning (ROL). See pathway below:
    • Go to NZQA Home ( using NSN number and password
    • Click Vocational Pathways link from drop down menu box on the left
    • Full profile appears automatically, If more information is required contact the Careers Advisor. 



How many subjects can I choose?

Level 1 Courses

You need to take six subjects at this level You must choose a course from Science, Mathematics and English. 

It is important to choose subjects carefully since some subjects at Year 12 and Year 13 have requirements from a previous level.

Level 2 Courses

You need to take six subjects. An English course is compulsory as it gives you the required literacy credits for further study. An application not to take English can be made to Mrs Kelsey/Mrs Phillips who will ensure that you have option choices that give you UE literacy in Year 12.

You must check on entry requirements for some universities or the more competitive courses as they require far more than the minimum entry requirements for automatic acceptance.

You should opt for a broad range of subjects to keep all their possible future pathways open.

Level 3 Courses

You need to select five or six subjects. If you choose subjects that do have a heavy academic load, the sixth line becomes a study class where you can keep on top of the workload in this year.

Students may choose a 6th subject from a different level that is a new skill area or a vocational subject/Trade.

How do I choose my Subjects?

You need to ensure your individual courses best suit your particular abilities, interest and learning needs AND that you have pathways through to Year 13.

Your ideal course of study will:

  • contain subjects that you are interested and passionate about
  • contain subjects you feel confident you will achieve in and/or provide new skills
  • meet the literacy and numeracy requirements at each level
  • allow for a variety of career paths

If you are unsure of the most appropriate pathway then you must:

  • Read this senior booklet which provides information for each course in 2020 and talk with Akina Coaches.
  • Ask teachers what is in the courses at each level.
  • Book an interview with Mrs Kelsey, Mr Gibbons, Mrs Phillips, Mrs Bentley, Ms Reid, Mr Carmine or your House Dean. This can be with your whānau/aiga if they would like to be there.
  • Visit the careers office to check on subjects required for specific careers, further study or vocational employment/trades.

How many credits do I need?

Courses for next year will generally offer between 16-24 credits per course. Over the full year you will need to accumulate a minimum of 80 credits in total to be awarded the certificate at each level.

To complete NCEA Level 1, you need 80 credits at Level 1 or above. Included in this total you will need at least 10 credits in Literacy and 10 credits in Numeracy from selected standards.

To complete NCEA Level 2, you need 80 credits of which 60 need to be at Level 2 or above. The other 20 can be from any level on the NZQF.

To complete NCEA Level 3, you need 80 credits of which 60 need to be at Level 3 or above. The other 20 credits need to be at Level 2 or above on the NZQF.

Will I definitely get all my choices?

You will certainly get the bulk of your choices and we do our best to run all subjects. Sometimes classes may be mixed year groups to do this. The running of each course is dependent on student numbers.

Multilevel Courses - Some subjects offer their courses in multi-level classes. This allows students to achieve to their potential and learn from each other.

Semester Courses - Some senior courses can be taken for a half-year semester. You may wish to combine two of these.

NCEA Scholarship Courses - The opportunity to attempt the scholarship examination in one or more courses will be available to very able Year 12 & 13 students. Nationally scholarships are awarded to the top 2% or 3% of students studying each Level 3 course. If you think you would like to take scholarship classes and exams talk to your teachers and Mrs Kelsey/ Mrs Phillips. 

If a decision is made to proceed, teachers will help prepare students during normal class and subject tutorial times. Students attempting to obtain a scholarship will be required to either sit an external exam in addition to their Level 3 external exams or submit additional portfolio work over and above their submissions presented to achieve Level 3. Hawke’s Bay Principals’ Association run an external scholarship programme for all students in Hawke’s Bay – see Mrs Phillips for information

Scholarship awards are available to New Zealand citizens or permanent residents only. Scholarship awards attract a one off payment of $500 per subject with a maximum payment of $1000. Special awards of a higher monetary value are available to students gaining 3 or more scholarship awards. More specific details are available from the school.

Can I do any subject?

If you have a genuine commitment to a subject not taught at Hastings Girls’ High School we may be able to offer something offline. Please talk to Mrs Kelsey or Mrs Phillips about this. 

How do I get endorsement at NCEA?

Course endorsement provides recognition if you perform exceptionally well in individual courses. Endorsement requires at least 14 credits at Excellence or Merit for that particular level of endorsement. At least 3 credits must come from externally assessed standards.

NCEA Certificate endorsement requires you to achieve at least 50 credits at Excellence or Merit to gain Certificate endorsement at that level.

Polytechnic/EIT Entrance Requirements

EIT and other Polytechnics offer courses at a range of levels, with different entry requirements.

Degree courses at EIT such as Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood and Primary), Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Business Studies need UE requirements of 14 credits in 3 approved subjects together with UE literacy and numeracy.

Diploma courses vary in their entry requirements but many insist on the successful completion of NCEA Level 2.

Future Careers Advice

Future planning can be a very difficult exercise and for many students at high school will be a very fluid process. Keeping as many doors as possible open for as long as possible is the general rule. Spending time with parents or family to identify academic strengths and areas of particular interest can be a very rewarding exercise. Listed below are a couple of very useful websites that students of all ages could find beneficial.

Visit and complete the 20-minute interactive ‘careersquest’ tool.

More specific advice and guidance is available at school simply by contacting our school Careers Advisor.

Trades Academy Courses run one day a week at EIT in Taradale. There is no cost involved and transport is provided to get you to the courses. The other four days, you remain at school.

Trades Academy Courses are offered in:

  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Building and Construction
  • Computer Technician
  • Forestry
  • Hair and Beauty
  • Hospitality

These courses offer predominantly Level 2 standards and can lead to Level 3 study at EIT in subsequent years. 

Financing your Future Study

EIT and other Polytechnics offer scholarships to assist with either fees and/or accommodation costs.

To be eligible for most university scholarships students need to have achieved Level 2 endorsed with Merit or better.

In addition to academic performance applicants are considered on the basis of involvement in cultural, arts or sports extracurricular as well as community service. Community involvement is highly valued and can be within or outside of school. Year 12 and 13 students are strongly encouraged to take part in some kind of community service.

University Entrance Requirements

These are available in English, Te Reo Māori and a range of subjects at Level 2 and 3