Planning for the future

Taking the time to consider your child's interests and future career intentions is worthwhile, as it will impact what subjects they choose to study, and maybe even which school they attend.

All year 9 and 10 pupils in English medium schools are required to study core subjects, such as English, maths, science, health and physical education.

Most secondary schools also offer a wide range of other subject options, such as technology, arts, social sciences and language, that your child may take.

If your child has a particular strength or area of interest, it would be best to consider these while they are in year 8, so they can select the best subjects, and potentially the best school, when they move into year 9.

In years 11 to 13, subjects become more specialised as pupils work towards NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement).

In most schools, pupils will start looking at subject choices while in year 10.

Considerations include what qualifications they will require to move on to the work or tertiary study area of their choice when they leave school.

In addition to core subject area, many schools offer courses which lead to trades or vocations, including engineering, tourism and hospitality.

If you or your child have any questions about which subjects they should be taking, school career advisers are available.

Careers NZ also provides great information about subject choices, further study and career choices. A step-by-step guide to choosing school subjects is on their website:

When choosing subjects, some things to consider include:

  • What subjects do they enjoy?
  • What subjects are they good at?
  • What are their interests outside of school?
  • What study options are available at their school?
  • Are there any subjects they need to study to get into their chosen tertiary course or career?
  • Have they chosen a range of subjects to keep their options open in the future?