We seek to ensure that our learning programmes are relevant and engaging for our 21st-century learners. The eight essential learning areas are integrated in exciting and meaningful ways where possible. There is a strong focus on collaborative learning and teaching and ‘mahi tahi/working together within the school and with outside partners.

The student voice is valued as part of the planning process. There is a focus on inquiry learning and the development of the key competencies thinking skills. We seek to provide learning programmes that are responsive to need, passions, and interests.

We offer:

  • A wide range of subjects
  • Extensive sporting and cultural activities
  • Generous, unrestricted, park-like grounds
  • Excellent facilities to support students’ learning
  • Individualised learning programmes to suit students’ needs
  • Wi-Fi throughout the school

Ensuring that each student is making sufficient progress and achieving their “Personal Best – Nothing Less” is the primary focus at Hillmorton High School.

All students are encouraged to believe in their own abilities. Developing this potential so that our students achieve to the best of their ability, is the driving force at the school.

A culture of continuous school improvement exists, where achievement in broad terms – academic and social is emphasised.

Our curriculum is broad, designed to meet the diverse needs of our school community. A full range of subjects across all the essential learning areas is available.

Hillmorton High School offers a wide array of course options that lead to exciting careers and further studies at tertiary institutes such as universities and polytechnics. We aim to cater for our students with learning pathways that are guided by our talented careers team. Knowing our students from the start of Year 7 means we can provide them with tailored educational opportunities that not only provide them with academic achievements but also the skills and attributes to be successful in tomorrow’s world.

About Level One

  • L1 NCEA is usually completed during Year 11.
  • You must achieve 80 or more L1 credits to gain L1 NCEA.
  • Three subjects are compulsory: English, Mathematics and Science (you must do them).
  • You can choose three subjects. Spend time going through the Level 1 Coursebook with a family member.
  • Some L1 courses have prerequisites that are required for course acceptance. Read carefully.
  • Some credits are ‘Internal’ – you achieve them by passing assessments during the year.
  • Some credits are ‘External’ – you achieve them by passing examinations at the end of the year.

About Level Two

  • Level Two NCEA is usually completed during Year 12.
  • You must achieve 60 or more Level Two credits to gain Level Two NCEA.
  • One subject is compulsory: English
  • You can choose full year courses and semester courses.
  • Semester courses run for half a year. Two semester courses are the equivalent of 1 full year course.
  • You can choose five or six full year equivalent courses.
  • Level Two NCEA is widely regarded as the minimum qualification required by school leavers.
  • Achieving Level Two NCEA will extend your career opportunities beyond secondary school.
  • Universities take into account how well you do in Level Two NCEA when granting acceptance into tertiary courses.

About Level Three

  • L3 NCEA is usually completed during Year 13.
  • You must achieve 60 or more L3 credits to gain L1 NCEA.
  • There are no compulsory subjects.
  • You can choose five or six subjects. Spend time going through the L3 Coursebook with a family member.
  • Some L3 courses have prerequisites that are required for course acceptance. Read carefully.
  • University Entrance (UE)
  • UE gives students direct entry into most bachelor’s degree courses at universities and polytechnics in New Zealand.
  • UE requires students to pass Level Three NCEA including:
  • 14 credits in three ‘university approved’ subjects
  • Five Reading credits (available in a range of subjects)
  • Five Writing credits (available in a range of subjects)
  • 10 Numeracy credits from Level One

“Ko te Tamaiti te taonga”

The Child is the gift

As a school community, in partnership with our whanau/families, we are committed to providing for the needs of all students.

For those gifted and talented students in our school we seek to establish programmes and ensure provision to cater for and strengthen, the individual talents and special abilities of students in a wide range of giftedness – in both curricular and extra-curricular programmes.

Each department develops suitably differentiated programmes that recognise the cognitive, social and emotional needs of gifted and talented students. Provision takes many forms – extension opportunities; acceleration appropriate to needs and individual programmes.

Students are given the opportunity to participate in workshops with visiting tutors; compete in national and international competitions such as ICAS and many have the opportunity to participate in leadership activities such as Outward Bound, Spirit of Adventure to name but two.

Gifted and talented provision is aligned closely to the school goals of Rigorous pursuit of Academic Success; Celebrating Community and Diversity and Developing leadership and independence.

Hillmorton High School has historical connections with Transition Education which developed in the 1980s. This tradition of making the move to life beyond school as seamless as possible still exists. Senior ākonga can enrol in a Directions class, undertake a Gateway work placement or participate in a STAR course through a tertiary provider.

Personal, employment and social development modules such as Time Management, Career Plan, Interviewing and Teamwork comprise some of the Unit Standards students can achieve. These Unit Standards based courses are enriched with experiential learning opportunities, as part of the course. These involve attending short term courses with vocational and personal development influences.


The Gateway programme is an option for all senior ākonga where they have an individualized Gateway Learning Plan that includes Unit Standards assessed in the workplace, at school or in a tertiary environment.

Each ākonga is placed in an area of their choice for a length of time, which varies according to the ākonga and the employer. Various other learning opportunities are available for all ākonga from Year 10 ‘one day taster courses’ through to more comprehensive experiences like STAR (secondary/tertiary alignment resource) courses.

Tertiary Tasters

Senior ākonga are able to take part in Tertiary Taster courses through University of Canterbury, Ara, Christchurch Institute of Canterbury and other tertiary providers.