Those students who have been identified as not achieving and/or as having special needs, receive teaching and learning programmes to address those needs.  Access to this support may be within a mainstream class or a supported class.


Supported classes have been put in place to address learning needs within a smaller and specifically targeted learning environment.


Junior Programme

The Awhina Learning Department provides core subject programmes for students in Years 9 and 10 that cater for their individual learning needs but which are still closely related to the core subject curricula.  They follow a differentiated curriculum and complete differentiated assessments.  Where appropriate, students are supported in their learning by Teacher Aides.


Senior Programme

The Awhina Learning Department provides English and Mathematics programmes for students in Year 11 who are capable of achieving at NCEA Level 1.  For some students, these programmes may not be appropriate.  An alternative pathway may be designed according to student needs and availability of resources.



The school subscribes to SPEC (developed by South Pacific Educational Courses), an NZQA approved programme that has been designed to meet the learning needs of students at school and their learning beyond into the adult community.  It has been developed to support the New Zealand National Curriculum.  The programme is a flexible, challenge-based programme which encourages learning within a variety of authentic educational, training, employment and community contexts.  This programme implements a self-directed approach where students choose and negotiate with their tutors which modules and challenges they will work on.


Two Pathways are offered:

  • Certificate in Mainstream Studies - Years 11 to 13 - This course provides an alternative pathway for students who require a course that has an alternative and more individualised approach to provide successful learning outcomes.  Challenges may be linked to NCEA Level 1-3 Unit Standards on the NZQA framework.
  • New Zealand Certificate in Skills for Living for Supported Learners Level 1 (with an optional strand for Skills for Working) - This qualification is an entry level qualification intended for people who require specialised support with their learning. It has a focus on developing competencies. Graduates will be able to self-manage participation in social, cultural, family/whanau and community contexts, with supervision and/or be encouraged to seek further skills and knowledge to improve their educational and employment pathway. There is an optional strand for those candidates who wish to gain specific skills and knowledge required for the workplace.

In social, cultural, family/whanau and community contexts, graduates of this qualification will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate self-managment of day to day living situations
  2. Maintain personal safety, health and well-being
  3. Participate and interact in everyday situations
  4. Participate in planning a future pathway to achieve personal goals
  5. Apply problem-solving techniques and stratefies to resolve day to day issues
  6. Apply literacy and numeracy skills required for day to day living

Graduates of the Skills for Working (optional strand) will be able to:

  1. Apply basic skills required to plan a work pathway
  2. Apply basic skills and practices required to carry out tasks in a work context
  3. Act in accordance with th ebasic rigths, responsibilities and requirements needed for work

Howick College is implementing the SPEC HEADWAY programme and the SPEC Ready for Work programme as a vehicle to achieve this Certificate. SPEC has NZQA approval to do this.