Providing an innovative and nurturing learning environment


For a general overview of learning at Pakuranga College, please read the 2017 Prospectus. You can also find out what Nigel Latta thought about our school in this documentary.


Our college provides a very special learning environment. It is focused on developing outstanding citizens who are moral and respectful. We place an emphasis on ownership of learning and being actively involved so that our students are well equipped to succeed in the future.

Students are encouraged to be interactive with teachers, technology and their peers to develop real understanding and, most importantly, to apply their knowledge to problem-solving. Rather than becoming repositories of knowledge, we expect students to find out, investigate and create solutions using the many resources around them.


Pakuranga College prides itself on providing a student centred learning environment. The philosophy that underpins our Learning Charter and every facet of daily life in the school places students at the centre of our thinking.

The key messages of the Learning Charter are:

Learning happens when we:

  • Strive for our personal best
  • Make connections
  • Are curious and make discoveries
  • Question and think
  • Build positive relationships

We highly value student voice and have developed structures throughout the school for students to provide feedback and direction on what happens in classrooms and around the school.

Go to the Course Selection page


The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is New Zealand’s formal qualification system.


All students at Pakuranga College enter NCEA . From Year 10 on, students at the College are able to enter a wide variety of NCEA subjects.


Click here to watch a video about how NCEA works

NCEA study skills presentation 2015

2015 Student handbook

Missed assessment, appeals and complaint forms

Click here for more about NCEA

NCEA – How do I gain qualifications?
Your teachers will gather evidence that you have reached standards described in achievement standards (AS) or unit standards (US). Evidence about your achievement may be collected in a variety of ways: seminars, group tasks, tests, projects, exams. Some standards may be assessed during the year (internally assessed) and others through exams held at the end of the year (externally assessed). At all times you should be aiming to achieve the highest grades possible.


Level 1
80 credits at level 1 or higher with 10 of these credits from numeracy standards and 10 from literacy standards. There are two pathways for achieving the literacy and numeracy requirements, either unit standards or achievement standards.

All students take English or EAP (English for Academic Purposes) and mathematics.

It is recommended that students also take level 1 science, as some understanding of science comes into many courses beyond school.


Level 2
80 credits with a minimum of 60 of these credits at level 2 or above and 20 credits at any other level.

Students should be choosing their subjects for level 2 based on previous study in level 1, interests, strengths and future direction. Please pay close attention to the pre-requisites for the subjects you choose. A course in English or EAP or Communications English is necessary.


Level 3
80 credits of which 60 credits must be at level 3 and 20 credits at level 2 or above

Students should be choosing their subjects for level 3 based on previous study in level 2, interests, strengths and future direction.


Gaining NCEA with Merit or Excellence
If you gain 50 or more of the required 80 credits at excellence level, you will earn an NCEA with excellence. If you gain 50 or more credits at merit level (or a mix of merit and excellence), you will earn an NCEA with merit.


Course Endorsement
Since 2011 you can gain course endorsements at merit or excellence.

To gain a course endorsement you must:

  • 14 or more credits at merit or excellence in that course in one year
  • a minimum of 3 credits from an external exam
  • a minimum of 3 credits from an internal assessment


To learn more about course endorsements click here

To learn how to track your course endorsements click here


Gaining University Entrance

Over the next three years the NCEA university entrance requirements are changing.


UE Requirements

  • Achievement of NCEA Level 3.
  • (60 credits at level 3 or higher and 20 credits at level 2 or higher).
  • 14 credits in each of three subjects from the list of approved subjects.
  • The remaining credits to achieve NCEA Level 3 may come from either achievement or unit standards.


UE Numeracy: 10 credits at level 1 or higher from specified achievement standards or three specific numeracy unit standards.


UE Literacy: 10 credits (five in reading and five in writing) from:

  • specific level 2 and higher achievement standards, or specific Te Reo Māori and Te Reo Rangatira level 2 standards, or
  • two specific level 4 English for academic purposes unit standards, or
  • an academic literacy common assessment tool (CAT) at level 3 (no credit value, run by NZQA).


To learn more about university entrance click here


Students who have achieved a significant number of excellence results in any level 2 subject should consider entering scholarship in that subject. Scholarship is a monetary award to recognise top students. It will not attract credits nor contribute towards a qualification but the fact that a student has gained a scholarship will appear on the Record of Achievement.

Some teachers run scholarship classes before school, some after school and some are held during study periods. It is important that students are aware that they will be involved in some very exciting, high level thinking and must be self motivated.

If you would like more information about NCEA, please see the link below


How NCEA works

If you do not have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer, click on the Adobe link to the right.

Education Outside the Classroom

Pakuranga College is committed to Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC). EOTC provides opportunties for students to experience learning that extends outside the four walls of the classroom.


The role of EOTC at Pakuranga College is to enhance the curriculum in interesting and challenging ways. It will encourage students’ understandings of the relationships between people and their physical environment.


It will provide opportunities for students to take an active part in enjoyable physical activity, identify dangerous situations, to manage risks, and take positive action where necessary. It will also promote an appreciation of our heritage – locally, nationally and internationally.


Pakuranga College, while committed to EOTC, recognises that the safety of our students, teachers and volunteers during EOTC is paramount. We therefore have policies and procedures in place not only to encourage EOTC activities, but also enhance safety of all concerned and meet the obligations promulgated by the relevant statutes and best practice recommendations.

Pakuranga College use a co-constructivist model to teach and learn. This means students are able to work at a level which challenges them. Differentiation in the programmes of learning means that teachers and students are engaged in planning what subject activities will challenge the student. Enrichment and acceleration are available to students who are identified as needing these challenges to ensure that they reach their potential.


Optimal Learning Centre
Gifted and Talented Education is a strand of the Optimal Learning Centre, which had its inception in 2005.The Learning Centre, is responsible for quality learning programmes for students with special abilities. Working in conjunction with Heads of Departments, teachers and deans students are identified and an appropriate programme is put in place.


The process of identification involves testing, referral by teachers, parents, the students themselves and subject results. Both performance and potential are taken into consideration.

Programmes that are available to students are time management, how to be a successful learner, lateral thinking, using multiple intelligences, graphic organisers and successful study skills.


There is a committee which works together to shape the Gifted and Talented Education focus in the College. As this is an ever evolving area there is a professional development aspect included.


The coordinator of the Optimal Learning Centre is Adriel Chrisp. She can be contacted at 534 7159 ext 981.

At the Pegasus Unit, we aim to create independent, happy, lifelong learners, with a focus on individual achievement, in order to reach each student’s full potential. We provide a safe and nurturing environment for our students.  We work closely with families and the community in order for our students to be respected, have a sense of belonging, and to become responsible citizens.  Our ultimate aim for our students is to ensure that they are happy and valued members of society.


We are a special education unit currently consisting of sixteen students and six staff within a mainstream college environment.  We provide a range of learning opportunities to nurture each student’s individual needs. We focus on developing important life skills which help to build independence in our students, and will enable them to develop the self-sufficiency required to feel included in society.


Having the unit in a mainstream school that is dedicated to being inclusive and accepting of all students gives our students more opportunities, and the chance to utilise social skills they’ve learnt in the classroom. The close relationship between the unit and the wider school allows students to experience a range of learning opportunities, attend some mainstream classes, and provide the opportunity to gain NZQA qualifications. We use all facilities at the school to provide a variety of learning environments for our students.


Our days are packed full of exciting and fun learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom.  These help us with our goal of transitioning students towards relevant work opportunities, further education and a range of social and physical activities.


Here is a sample of what we do :

  • Individual Education Goals
  • Mainstream Classes – dance, drama, woodwork, cooking, langauges.
  • Unit Standards – Supported learning credits
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Science
  • A week long camp
  • Life skills
  • Art
  • Computers/Technology
  • Special Olympics and school sports days
  • Riding for the Disabled
  • Working with other educational institutions – St Kentigerns College, University of Auckland, Unitec, MIT
  • Shopping and money skills
  • Working with volunteers from Table Tennis
  • Crossfit at Les Mills
  • Social interactions with other special schools around Auckland.
  • Transition Programs
  • Work Experience
  • Tree planting
  • Work with health classes from the college


Michael Hunter (Head of Department) Phone: (09) 5347159 ext 990 Email: hun@pakuranga.school.nz

Jordyn Rouse    Phone: (09) 5347159 ext 990                                               Email: rou@pakuranga.school.nz

Veronica Arnold   Phone: (09) 5347159 ext 990 Email : arn@pakuranga.school.nz

Sometimes parents and students can become concerned that students are not succeeding, and that students are not learning as much as they could be. Through the year written reports are provided to parents to give feedback on students’ progress. If you have concerns about your child’s progress, based on a report or generally, you have a number of ways of getting assistance :


Contact the Subject Teacher
You are welcome to make contact with your child’s teachers if you have any questions about the course, and what she or he is supposed to be learning.


Contact the Tutor Teacher
Tutor classes meet daily. Each student belongs to one tutor class, which they stay with through their time at the College. Tutor teachers can be contacted as an initial contact point for parents and whanau.


Contact the Dean
If you have any concerns, would like some specific feedback about your child … contact his or her Dean and ask for an appointment. This is especially so if the issue appears to be across a number of subjects and if it is also about motivation or attitude.


Contact Learner Support
If you believe extra help is required Learner Support Students with specific learning difficulties are given special support through our Learner Support department.

Support for students’ learning can take a variety of forms including “in class support” and withdrawal from class for specialised attention.

The college has a comprehensive reading programme for students identified as in need of help. In addition we run a special peer tutoring programme supported by volunteer year 12 students.


The Guidance Department provides counselling services within the college. The Guidance Department works closely with the other key staff such deans, senior management, careers, the nurse and teaching staff. Our aim is to ensure the best possible educational outcomes are achieved by students as well as helping them to develop a clear sense of identity and life purpose.

Learn more about our Guidance Department.

Learning is the focus of everything we do at Pakuranga College. To this end, we have developed a ‘learning charter’ … a statement about what we believe makes and supports learning.

In 2009, students and teachers reviewed the original learning charter and came up with the first part of a new learning charter. This year we introduced a series of posters that identify what makes learning happen for students. These posters are up in all classrooms through the school and says, in language that students developed and understand, what needs to happen for students to learn.

Read the information below to get an idea of what we believe needs to happen for learning to occur. Click on any of the images below to open a larger, better quality image of each poster.


Learning happens when we strive for our personal best. To learn, we must set goals both within our subjects and beyond school. We must then challenge ourselves to work hard and achieve those goals, and never give up.


Learning happens when we make connections between what we are learning and what we already know, or between different subjects that we are studying.
We make these connections by being curious and so making discoveries for ourselves. We also make connections by participating in various opportunties to learn, and by stepping outside of our comfort zone.


Learning happens when we build positive relationships – not only with other students, but also with our teachers and whanau.
As we show respect for ourselves, others and the environment we enjoy a better learning environment. We then feel safe and feel like we belong. In turn, this helps us to work together in our learning.


Learning happens when we reflect and think about what we are learning. We do this by discussing what we are learning with others, asking questions and knowing how to improve our work.

The library is an important part of the College’s learning community and is a place for all of us to enjoy using. All members of the College have complete access to the library’s resources. The library hosts a number of before-school, lunch-time and after-school clubs and meetings.


The library has computers and laptops available for school and internet use. The library website and catalogue, Oliver, can be accessed using the link below where information can be found about the library’s latest resources, information and competitions. The library also has access to EPIC and it’s online Encyclopaedia Britanica.


Opening Hours
Monday to Friday 8.00am to 4.30pm.



  • The library has movable module tables and seating.
  • The Senior Study Room has a white board – seats 16 comfortably.
  • There are two 50 inch televisions, one at each end of the Non-Fiction section – teachers’ laptops can be plugged in to these.


Library Manager: Alison Johnson  09 5347159 Ext 741 (email: ajohnson@pakuranga.school.nz)

See more about our library
If you can't find what you are looking for on this website, or if you want to contact us directly for a specific reason, please feel free to use this 'Parent Help Desk' form to contact us. The appropriate person will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours from Monday to Friday.
Parent Help Desk
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