Entry Testing
Class ability levels

Gifted and Talented
Overseas Year Level

Age and Attendance

First Day at School

Go to Q1 and Q2
Go to Q3

Go to Q4

Go to Q5 and Q6
Go to Q7
Go to Q8
Go to Q9
Go to Q10 & Q11

Go to Q12


Q1 Does my child have to be tested if he or she is enrolling for Year 9?
A1 Yes.

  • Year 8 students are tested in Term 4, in collaboration with their Intermediate Schools. Howick College is currently using the asTTle Reading and asTTle Maths tests to provide class placement information and to assist teachers in their course planning. The tests take approximately 1hr 30 min.
  • Year 9 Students enrolling after the start of the year will be tested before their first day of attendance and may have to also sit the asTTle Writing test. Allow 2 hr for all three tests.
  • Students whose First Language is not English are tested also by the Language Support Department. This is a different test. It is to find out how much help students will need to improve their English. These students may do both tests depending on their English Language ability. The Language test takes up to 3 hours. (See also Q2).

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Q2 Does my child have to be tested when enrolled into Y10?
A2 Yes.

  • Y10 Students undertake the asTTle Reading and Maths tests for Y10 students.

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Q3 Are students 'streamed' at Howick College?
A3 Yes

  • Year 9. Students are streamed into one of three ability groupings English and Social Studies - - based on their asTTle Reading results . Similarly, they are streamed in Maths and Science based on their Maths results. Students are then placed into a class comprised of students of similar abilities in English, Maths etc. These placings are checked at the start of the year by having the students sit a second set of asTTle tests and changes are made to any obviously misplaced students.
  • Y10. Students are streamed within each subject into upper, mixed and lower ability groupings. This allows students to be taught at a level appropriate to their abilities in each subject. Students in Year 10 and above attend each class with a different group of students.
  • Y11. Some of the 'core' subjects have an 'advanced' class that offers students the opportunity to sit extra Achievement Standards. Most students are placed in a regular core class that offers between 21 and 24 Achievement Standard credits. 'Alternative' English, Maths and Science classes sit fewer Achievement Standards or a mix of Achievement and Unit Standards. Other levels (e.g. 'Applied' classes and the 'SPEC' Programme) provide other opportunities for students to gain qualifications.
  • Y12. Besides the regular classes, Alternative programmes are offered in English (Communication Skills), Maths and Science, and the 'SPEC' programme also runs at this level.
  • Students who are gifted in a particular subject may be taught with older students at a level appropriate to their needs. Very few students fall into this category.

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Q4 My child is gifted. How will his or her needs be met?

• Some students are advanced one or more years in the subject that they need to be learning at that advanced level. However, most gifted or talented students have their needs met in our 'upper band' classes. The Director of Learning monitors the progress of gifted and talented students.

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Q5 My child has been attending school overseas. What year level will he or she be placed in?

A5 Students from overseas are usually place in classes according to their age. This is an especially useful guideline for students in Year 9, 10 and 11. A student who has turned 13 by the start of May will normally be in Y9, etc.


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Q6 What Form will my child be in?

A6 Most NZ schools refer to 'Year Levels' rather than 'Forms'. What used to be called 'Form 3' is now 'Year 9'". Like most NZ high schools, Howick College has teaching programmes that terminate at Year 13, that is, entrance to University is gained through the successful completion of a Y13 course of study and examinations. However, students who take an extra year to complete their studies are listed as Year 14.


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Q7 At what age am I no longer allowed to attend school?

A7 Students entitled to a free education in NZ may continue to attend school up to and including the year they turn 19 years of age.

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Q8 Can my child attend school while we are waiting for our Work Permit or Permanent Residency to be approved?

A8 Only Fee-paying students may attend school if a parent is neither a permanent resident, a holder of a work permit nor a NZ Citizen. All fee-paying students and those students who are the children of work permit holders must have a current student permit.

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Q9 What will it cost me to have my child attend Howick College
A9 Costs vary from child to child depending on what courses and activities the child participates in. Usual costs include:

  • Uniform. Expect to pay up to $500 for a new uniform, excluding shoes. Uniforms are sold only through the school's uniform shop. (It is best to buy both a jacket and the jersey for winter - the school is exposed to a cold wind!)
  • Course Costs. Expect to pay $30 - $100 for workbooks. (Workbooks are comprised of write-on material that the student keeps.) Materials costs are charged in some subjects, e.g. photography. These costs sometimes exceed $ 400 for such subjects in the senior school.
  • The School Donation. The annual 'per child' donation of $300 is expected to be paid on enrolment and thereafter at the start of each year. If this is not possible then arrangements can be made to pay the donation by Automatic Payment. (See the Cashier for the AP form). Caregivers are sent invoices regularly throughout the year for outstanding amounts. (These invoices also list all payments made to date in the current year.)
  • Exercise books. Allow between about $50 - $100 for exercise books and calculator. Discounted Stationery packs are available through 'Paper Plus' (Crandall and Peters) in Howick. Say that it is for Howick College in order to gain the discount.
  • Trips and other events are charged for nearer the time of the event. These are charged on a 'cost recovery' basis.

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Q10 How much time does the enrolment interview take?
A10 Parents should endeavour to have all documentation completed before the interview. Planning a senior course is time-consuming therefore it is very helpful if the student has read the Course Manual and has planned a course. The interviewer will check the planned course and will offer advice and on changes to the course but the student should be prepared and have in mind realistic alternatives should a chosen course be inappropriate.

  • Year 9. Pre-enrolment of Y9 students usually takes about 15 minutes per child - provided all documentation is complete.
  • Year 9 Enrolment during the year. This often takes at least half an hour.
  • Year 10 and older. Allow 30 - 45 minutes depending on the families' familiarity with the NZ education environment. Explanation of the NCEA assessment system is time-consuming. Similarly, students who do not have a clear vision of their future and who are unsure of which subjects to enrol for take more time at enrolment.

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Q11 When can my child start attending Howick College
A11 Enrolments interviews during the term are done by appointment. Students can usually attend school about two days after their interview.

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Q12 What happens on my first day?
A12 Students who are attending Howick College for the first time at the start of the year (that is, all Year 9 students and all other new students) will be advised of the procedures for the first day of the year through a letter to their parents and through advertisements in the local newspapers. Information related to the start of the year for all students is advertised in the local newspapers in January.
On their first day any other time during the year:

  • Students should wait outside the receptionist's office at about 8.30am. (Sometimes there is an unavoidable delay in getting students started. We ask that new students check in to the receptionist but to wait patiently until they can be collected.)
  • A House Dean or a Deputy Principal will collect the students and explain the timetable etc. to them. The Dean will then give the students a short orientation tour of the school and introduce them to their first class.
  • Some students may be required to undergo some testing on their first day but most will simply continue attending their timetabled classes for the rest of the day.