Academic Pathways (NCEA and IB)

Academic Pathways (NCEA and IB)

Our students have the unique opportunity to choose from two education pathways; NCEA or the International Baccalaureate Diploma, both of which offer a wide range of subjects to suit the individual interests and strengths of each student. Whichever path they choose, every student will learn Ethics and Philosophy to help her develop a deeper understanding of critical thinking along with our Leadership and Service Learning programme.

Academic Pathways at Dio

How it works: Students in Years 1-6 follow the Primary Years Programme (an IB programme). From Years 7-11 students continue to follow the New Zealand curriculum. All students begin NCEA Level 1 in Year 10 and gain this qualification by the end of Year 11. During Year 11 students decide whether to carry on with NCEA for Levels 2 and 3 in Years 12 and 13 or to begin the two year IB Diploma Programme.


Click here to view our Exam Results.

NCEA at a glance

  • NCEA results are recognised at universities all over the world
  • Students enter NCEA Level 1 in Year 11 (with students beginning some NCEA standards in Year 10).
  • NCEA is taught over three years. Students are internally assessed during the year and sit end-of-year exams each year.
  • Subjects are broken up into standards, which assess different areas of knowledge and skill.
  • Students can gain one of four grades for each standard: Not Achieved, Achieved, Merit or Excellence.
  • NCEA students cover Religious Education, the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and three other subjects in Year 11.
  • In Year 12 students study Philosophy, Religion and Ethics as a subject as well as English (Mathematics strongly recommended).  Students then choose four or five other subjects. In Year 13, students can choose any five subjects in addition to Philosophy, Religion and Ethics.
  • Students can also sit NZQA Scholarship exams in Years 12 and 13.
  • Further details about NCEA are available through the NZQA website http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/

IB at a glance

  • All Year 12 students who meet the entry requirements are welcome to enter the Diploma Programme. It is not limited to only students who achieve highly.
  • The Programme is taught over two years in Years 12 and 13 with final exams held at the end of Year 13.
  • Students study six subjects chosen from six different subject areas. These must include Literature, a second Language, Mathematics, Humanities and Science. Three or four are then studied at a higher level. The rest are studied at a standard level.
  • IB students can also take NZQA scholarship exams.
  • View the IB Learner Profile