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Technology is intervention by design. It uses intellectual and practical resources to create technological outcomes, which expand human possibilities by addressing needs and realising opportunities. Design is characterised by innovation sitting at the heart of technological practice and it involves critical and creative thinking and specific design processes.

Technology makes enterprising use of knowledge, skills and practices for exploration and communication. Areas include digitally-aided design, programming, software development, various forms of technological modelling, and visual literacy.

The aim is for students to develop broad technological knowledge, practices and dispositions that will equip them to participate in society on a global scale and to provide a platform for technology-related careers and disciplines. As they learn in technology, students draw on and further develop the key competencies.


The programme is primarily workshop based. Rather than focusing on any one trade the programme builds skills and an understanding of all trades in the construction industry. It also develops literacy, numeracy and communication skills. Students who participate in this programme can go on to consider apprenticeships in a variety of trades such as: building, construction, plumbing, drain laying, roofing, gas fitting, painting and decorating, flooring and joinery.

The subject is offered at Level 1 to 3. More detail about assessments, standards, projects and fees can be found under the subject pathway map for each level. All theory assignments and Assessment Record Sheets are done digitally on Google Classroom.

All standards are assessed internally and are from BCITO. Selected standards are moderated each year by a panel of teachers under guidance of BCITO.

Building and Construction


Design and Visual Communication focuses on communicating ideas and precise information through drawing. Through graphic communication, students give directions to others, plan a procedure or system of operation, exactly describe a mechanism, or realistically portray the shape and form of any object.

At senior levels the course is assessed against NCEA Achievement Standards by the use of design briefs based on realistic and thought-provoking design problems. The increased emphasis on creativity and individual choice provided by the course objectives and by the flexibility of design briefs will allow each student to develop individual, innovative solutions. Using graphics, the student will develop, record, and communicate these solutions in a variety of ways. Studying graphics in this context develops understanding, sharpens perceptions of design, and creates awareness, of the environment and of society's needs.

In today's society, communication and design in its many forms are vital factors. Design and Visual Communication helps to meet needs of a modern technological society by combining the important educational aspects of graphic communication and creative problem solving. Design and Visual Communication is an international language and has its own standards, principles, and practices. Design and Visual Communication is directly related to the dramatic technological developments that have occurred in such fields as electronic data processing, computer-aided design and drawing, media advertising, and telecommunications.

Design and Visual Communication involves a rich variety of learning experiences leading to a wide range of career opportunities, such as Architect.

Design and Visual Communication


The term Digital Technologies is used to describe the use of digital resources to effectively find, analyse, create, communicate and use information in a digital context.  Digital Technologies at Howick College is an academic subject as an option from Years 9 to 13. It is a quadmester course at Year 9 and full year-long option courses with a pathway from Years 10-13. At year 10 students can choose a full year course or a half year course. At Year 12 students can choose programming or digital media courses to suit their interests and strengths.


Students will use computational thinking and problem-solving skills to design and develop digital outcomes. The outcomes could be computer programs, web and app development, and database management systems. Students will also learn computer science concepts such as binary numbers, encryption, algorithms, human computer interaction etc.


Students who study Digital Technologies and pursue further study at University or Polytech find that their knowledge and skills are highly sought after by industry.


Computer Studies


The Digital Technology Department offers Computer Studies as a vocational pathway at Years 12 and 13. This course is suitable for students who want to upskill before going into the workforce. As well as learning a range of computer applications, such as spreadsheets, word processing, desktop publishing, web design, graphics, databases, students:

  • Develop problem solving skills by the development of the thinking processes that are needed with computing technology

  • Acquire a basic understanding of computer technology, terms and computer processes.

  • Look at the career opportunities and social implications of computers.

Digital Technologies


Food Technology


Programmes in Food Technology include understanding and using safe and reliable processes for preparing and presenting food. Food and nutrition education enables students to make informed decisions about food that contributes to their well-being and that of other people. Students examine the influences of culture, technology, and society on food choices, food preparation, and eating patterns. They develop strategies for addressing nutrition-related health concerns.


Students participate in a range of food related practical activities designed to develop skills and foster health-enhancing attitudes to food.

Year 9 and year 10 students participate in the compulsory technology programme that includes two modules of food studies. In Year 9 students design and develop an individualised bread product. In Year 10 students design and promote a lunch bar salad product.

In Years 11, 12 and 13 an Achievement Standards programme is offered as an option. It is open entry at each year level though previous experience in food technology is an advantage. Students can use their level 3 credits in technology for entrance to NZ universities. Scholarship technology is also an option.
Assessment in technology examines the technological process that students undertake. There are no written examinations. Students submit a portfolio at the end of a unit of work. Similarly, examination of scholarship is the evaluation of a written report of the student's technological practice.

Presently New Zealand is experiencing a shortage of Food Technologists. In conjunction with studies in Chemistry and Mathematics, Food Technology makes a useful contribution to a student's career pathway.




Howick College offers students the opportunity to gain the National Certificate in Hospitality Level one. This certificate is managed by the Hospitality Standards Institute of NZ and is especially designed as pre entry to a range of careers in the Hospitality industry.

Career paths leading form Hospitality include the culinary arts, hospitality management, waitressing, tourism and travel, private catering, cordon bleu and a range of other opportunities.

Students can choose hospitality at Years 12 and 13. Course work involves equipping students with knowledge, skills and confidence in the selection, preparation and serving of food and beverages to standards required by the hospitality industry.


All students have the opportunity to prepare and serve food to customers in the College's own restaurant. Onsite work experience in a realistic restaurant/café environment is a significant and enjoyable part of the course.

Outside work experience opportunities are fostered. These often include additional credits.

Additional Unit Standards, at levels two and three, from the hospitality industry are offered to students so that this subject contributes to a student's NCEA

Food Technology and Hospitality


In Years 9 and 10, students taking RMT will experience and learn about researching, designing, and producing projects using a range of materials including woods, metals and plastics to solve a specific need.  Students have access to 3D printers, a Laser Cutter, and well-equipped wood and metal working workshops.


The course provides students with workshop and design skills in a range of resistant materials, and students following the full year courses will experience working with a wide range of materials and processes. 


Years 11, 12 and 13 provide students with the opportunity to select courses which are research, design and stakeholder orientated for University pathways for Engineering, Design and Architecture students to courses aimed towards students intending to follow an Apprenticeship in Engineering or the Construction trades.


This is a University Entrance subject where students experience a range of materials and processes using stakeholder led projects to solve technological problems and evaluate solutions fitness for purpose.  This course develops literacy, numeracy, communication skills, research, problem solving and evaluation skills leading onto University Entrance.

Resistant Materials Technology


Courses in this subject area are designed to foster creative and critical practice in a project-based environment. The primary focus is designing authentic and contemporary products within the context of the ever changing and specialist field of Fashion.


It is a broad introduction at junior levels to ensure students have the opportunity to develop their thinking, design and practical skills. Students generate outcomes for assignment briefs that meet the requirements of NCEA achievement standards at senior levels.


Projects develop skills such as fashion design, garment construction, pattern drafting and adaptation, fashion illustration, outcome design and development.


Textiles and Design Technology facilitates the use of skills and knowledge acquired from core subjects such as maths, English, and science, providing students with opportunities to consolidate and apply their knowledge and skills in authentic project-based assignments. Students are encouraged to push boundaries, think innovatively and critically analyse their ideas. 


Future Pathways

Textiles and Design is a specialist area of Technology from Years 9 - 13. The Level 3 course is designed to scaffold and translate into different areas of University study and is a UE approved Level 3 course.

Textile and Design Technology


Howick College is accredited to deliver the National Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care, Level Two and Three. The aim of this course is to equip students with skills and knowledge that will enable them to support and work with children. The programme is popular with students interested in all branches of teaching, nannying, working in early childhood settings and students wanting to explore overseas au pair opportunities.

This course is offered at Years 12 and 13 and on completion, you will have gained an insight into providing and supporting the education and care of infants, toddlers, and young children in a range of early childhood contexts. You will also learn the basic skills and knowledge necessary for becoming a proficient educator or to work with children in any setting.

An important component of the course is work experience in early childhood centres. All students are encouraged and assisted to complete 20 hours of work experience during school time, giving them a huge advantage in gaining first-hand practical knowledge working at an Early Childhood Education centre.

Early Childhood Education and Care
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