NCEA Level 1 Review - Statement to the Community of Saint Kentigern

September 28, 2018 at 5:21 PM

The Minister of Education is currently reviewing the NCEA qualification at Level 1. The Trust Board has made a submission to the Review.

As an independent school, Saint Kentigern will not be bound by any changes made to Level 1 by the Ministry of Education and will continue to offer a programme which is best suited to our students. In this regard, we thought it would be helpful to publish a Saint Kentigern Trust Board Statement of fundamental principles of learning and assessment that it believes should underpin what occurs in the future at Level 1 in the Senior College.

The Trust Board

  • Is committed to a high quality, broad general education that meets the needs of our students.
  • Believes that Year 11 is an important stage of a student’s development towards independence in, and acceptance of, responsibility for their further academic achievement.
  • Has supported the NCEA since its introduction. We gave full and careful consideration to alternative school qualifications and subsequently introduced the International Baccalaureate (IB) 2-year Diploma as a parallel qualification. We will continue to offer these two internationally recognised qualification pathways.
  • Believes students by the end of Year 11 require a high level of literacy that allows them to fully participate in society. Students also require a level of mathematical knowledge and skill that ensures they can carry out a wide range of number problems and calculations relating to finance, measurement, quantity and statistics. A course in Christian Education aligning with Saint Kentigern’s Presbyterian values will be compulsory. We will strongly encourage students to undertake a course of study in Science and Social Science.  A wide range of other courses will be offered to meet student academic needs and interests.
  • Will ensure that courses at Year 11 are designed to prepare students for successful study at Years 12, 13 and beyond, with the expectation that every student will reach their full academic potential.
  • Fully supports the five Key Competencies set out in the New Zealand Curriculum - Thinking, Using Language, Symbols and Texts, Managing Self, Relating to Others and Participating and Contributing. These will be part of the underlying content of all schemes of work.
  • Believes that students should be encouraged and supported to apply knowledge to real life situations and to think critically and creatively. 
  • Believes assessment is an important part of all learning and should be determined by, and appropriate to, the course content. It should be rigorous, fair, transparent and fit for purpose. Assessment must also provide both students and their parents and caregivers with clarity as to the student’s progress and level of achievement. 
  • Believes that course design and content, teaching and assessment methodology must be well communicated to students, parents and caregivers to allow all to fully participate in the learning process.
  • Believes that the role of the teacher is critical to student success. Teaching should be explicit. Lessons should have a coherent purpose. Formal presentation, guided practice, feedback and independent learning should all be included.
  • Are open to the use of innovative teaching and learning practices that demonstrate clear improved outcomes for students.

 The Trust Board will consider carefully the submissions and final outcomes of the Ministerial Review. However, programmes of study and assessment at Saint Kentigern will be determined by the Trust Board, in consultation with the teaching staff, in terms of what best serves the needs of our students. 

Any proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 will have a considerable lead in time. We will be engaging with our community well before there is any alteration to the present programmes at Saint Kentigern. 

We would welcome the opportunity to hear your thoughts and ideas regarding NCEA Level 1.  If you have any comments or queries, please email  Information about the Ministry of Education’s review can be found at here.

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