Taupo-nui-a-Tia College continually review the curriculum and the way we teach so that we provide classroom activities that are challenging, exciting and relevant to our students. Teachers are actively involved in a range of professional development activities that enhance the teaching and learning in the classroom
Points to Consider
• Follow your vision, eg. artist, professional sportsperson, etc, but ensure you have at least two other
career fields in mind too.
• Have two or three broad career fields in mind, eg science based careers, art and design careers.
• Look well ahead – plan next year and beyond.
• Talk with parents, teachers, deans, industry people, professional associations and career consultants
about subject ideas.
• Choose subjects which keep as many career options open as possible, eg beware of ‘dropping’
mathematics or science in Year 11. It may be better to get ‘achieved’ than not to do the subject at all.
• Check how subjects develop in the senior school and where they can lead to in tertiary education and in
careers. (eg. geography, economics, mathematics and a language form an excellent programme as a
base for a career in Tourism Management.)
• A level of education is often as important as grades in subjects. A Year 12 year, for instance, may be
as important in itself if it allows you the chance to try new subjects, develop new skills and participate in
extra curricular activities, whilst you gain another year of personal maturity.
• Check whether you need to take a subject at every level. It is now possible to start many subjects at
tertiary level. Chemistry, physics, mathematics and fine arts are exceptions. (Note: bridging courses
are offered at some polytechnics and universities to enable a student to bring these areas up to
standard if some foundation work has been missed).
• Watch the science subjects. These are the hardest ones to retrieve if you drop them or don’t choose
them at school. A few keys points are:
- You must have studied Year 11 science if you wish to take Years 12 or 13 science subjects
- You must have studied chemistry at Year 12 to take the Year 13 course.
- Mathematics and/or physics are essential for many technical careers.
- Many girls cut themselves out of career opportunities because they drop science or take only
biology at Year 12.
- Talk to your careers advisor or science teachers about this.
• Performing Arts (music, drama, dance) – talent skill and experience in this industry are valued, however
for some jobs tertiary qualifications are required. Diplomas and degrees can be obtained through
universities, polytechnics and performing arts schools. For performance majors these all require
• Check out the minimum subject requirements for tertiary course, eg a good art portfolio on its own may
not be enough. Is it supported by study in computing, graphics and design technology?
• Check NZQA, Unit Standards, NCEA levels and other qualifications.
• Ensure NCEA numeracy and literacy and literacy requirements are met.
• Some school subjects diversify in senior school (social studies, mathematics, science, business
studies/commerce) – check how they relate to future career choices.
• Some subjects do not lead to NCEA Level 3 courses and hence Scholarship and University Entrance
(check the options that alternative mathematics and science give).
• Take subjects
- you are interested in and enjoy
- you have some ability in
- which you may need in occupational areas of interest
- not because your friends are, you like the teacher or your parents want you to, rather because those
subjects will assist you with your future plans and goals.
• Each subject area will help you develop skills which you will take into your working life.
• English skills are important – a scientist conducting research needs to write and present reports
• Maths is a key element in many jobs – study in psychology needs courses in statistics.
• Science careers usually require some chemistry. Biology on its own is not enough.
• An Art programme would desirably have some computer graphics and graphic design to accompany it.
• Music and Performing Arts – A particular talent and passion can lead to a good career. Opportunities
within the performing arts exist for actors, dancers, musicians, producers, choreographers, writers and
composers. Entry to tertiary level often involves auditions if there is a performance component to the
• Computer skills are essential in today’s working world
• Languages help develop communication, language construction and writing skills.
• Technologies (materials, food and textiles) can lead to creative and practical opportunities.
• Business Studies help us understand and work in our economic world
• Social Sciences (geography, history, classics) help us understand cultures and to develop values.
Remember the concept of lifelong learning:
The initial training will not be the only training a person does –
training will be ongoing throughout life.