Senior School

The senior years at John McGlashan College are epitomised by choice.  This doesn't always make things easy.  Not only are there a wide range of qualification pathways that can be taken, but within each there are also many options and subjects to select from.  Boys are encouraged at all year levels to familiarise themselves, well ahead of time, with the choices they will need to make regarding future courses and career pathways.  Parental involvement with this process is vital and we encourage your input at all times to assist us in finding the best possible pathway for your son.  

From the standard New Zealand NCEA qualification to the challenge of the International Baccalaureate Diploma, from the new Agribusiness qualification to the Gateway transition to work programme, there are exciting and rewarding options available for everyone.  


The National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the standard qualification offered in most NZ schools.  At McGlashan, all students in Year 11 will complete Level 1 NCEA.  The qualification is gained when sufficient credits (80) are achieved.  Each topic (or standard) in every subject is worth credits depending on the amount of work required to master it.  Most subjects typically offer around 20 credits with an even mix of internally and externally assessed standards.  External standards are assessed in national examinations each November, while internal standards are assessed throughout the year by teachers.  All students at Year 11 will take 6 subjects.

At Year 12 & 13, many students continue on the NCEA pathway which is structured in the same way as Level 1.  At all levels, students can gain the standards at an Achieved, Merit or Excellence level thus allowing 'endorsements' of their certificates to indicate high achievement.  

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IB Diploma

McGlashan has been offering the IB Diploma since 2000.  Over this time hundreds of graduates have benefitted from the thorough preparation this qualification provides for tertiary study whether in NZ or internationally.  IB graduates gain skills in self-management, academic writing, a global perspective and an integrated and holistic approach to their education.  Open to all students (Yr 12-13), this qualification is attainable by anyone with an average academic ability and a solid work ethic, through to those who wish to excel academically and gain opportunities for entry and scholarships to top local or international universities.  

The IB Diploma course involves selecting 6 subjects across a range of disciplines.  Three of these subjects must be selected as Higher Level allowing for real depth of learning and specialisation.  A seventh subject, Theory of Knowledge, is also incorporated into all subjects as well as being taught for an additional 2 periods a week.  In addition, students will take part in service activities, sporting and creative pursuits, and complete a 4000 word research project in their second year.  

McGlashan IB students consistently surpass global average results for this prestigious qualification.  

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As a Centre of Excellence for Agricultural Science and Business, McGlashan is one of only 10 schools in the country who will be delivering this course as from 2017.  This innovative programme and ground breaking curriculum will provide a long term career pathway for many of our students. This NCEA based curriculum will better meet the needs of the sector, providing a solid academic programme that will produce engaged, well-qualified and capable young people who are enthusiastic about career opportunities in the agribusiness sector.

The course has been designed as an educational package that will:

  • attract and engage young people seeking genuine careers in the primary sector
  • provide tertiary capable students who are able and interested in studying towards careers in the primary sector
  • prepare young people with a greater understanding of New Zealand's position in a competitive marketplace.

Students must select Agribusiness as one of their Level 2 subjects as well as English and Maths.  Students following the Agribusiness science pathway must then select either Biology or Chemistry as well as 2 other free-choice subjects.  Students following the Agribusiness commerce pathway, must select from Accounting or Economics as well as 2 other free-choice subjects.

These subjects will follow on to their Level 3 equivalents in 2018.


This course is available at both Year's 12 & 13 and is focused on helping students gain valuable skills that will aid in the transition between school and the workforce. The course has both practical and theory components. 
Students who participate satisfactorily in this course will improve in their ability to:

  • Demonstrate the skills needed to successfully enter the workforce
  • Actively participate in a real world work placement
  • Use language confidently in a variety of social and work situations.

For Level 3 students, this course may aid in applying for an apprenticeship, pre trade course, continuing on to tertiary education, or transitioning into the workforce.