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Student Programmes

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Spotswood College provides international students with the best educational opportunities, with qualified staff and up-to-date resources. Every attempt is made to assist students with their study and offer counselling and support in all areas. When a student to whom English is a second language first arrives, they are referred for assessment and an individual study programme is prepared for them.

Some students with limited English may spend most of their time at first studying English with fully trained and qualified English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teachers. All students are placed in a Whanau class and are usually mainstreamed into Mathematics, Science, Physical Education and Music and Art as soon as possible. As the level of understanding improves, a student will be gradually placed in regular classes and given support and extra assistance if needed. All international students continue learning English during their time at college and ongoing assistance is available through to Year 13.

Careful selection of subjects is very important. Guidance and advice is given to all students by the International Dean. Some subjects are heavily language orientated and students often find them more difficult in their first year at college. Students may also find that they cannot take subjects at a senior level if they have not studied them previously. It is very important for students to choose subjects carefully. Private tutoring in English and other subjects can be arranged at the request of parents. There is an additional charge for this service.

Reports are sent twice a year to the parents of International students. The College welcomes contact with families and parents and is always happy to discuss any questions or concerns that may arise.

The courses are divided into the Eight Essential Learning areas:

Courses Available Include

English English, Alternative English, English Literacy, ESOL
Learning Languages Drama, French, Japanese, Spanish, Te Reo Maori, Maori Performance
Mathematics Maths, Maths Numeracy, -Maths NCEA Level 1 – 3, Maths with Calculus, Maths with Statistics & Modelling
Social Sciences Accounting, Economics, Geography, History, Classical Studies,Tourism Yr 12 National Certiicate (full year course)
Sciences Science Alternative Science, NCEA Level 1 – 3, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Horticulture, Alternative Horticulture
The Arts Music, Music Performance, Art History, Practical Art, Photography, Art-Painting, 3D Studies-Sculpture, Design, Dance, Drama.
Technology Textiles, Mechanical Engineering (Tools4Work),Wood Construction, Wood Technology, Technology, Design& Visual Communication (Graphics), Electronics, Computer Studies, Digital Technologies- Information & Media
Health & Physical Wellbeing Physical Education, Sports Studies, Health-Wellbeing & Presentation, Food & Nutrition, Food For Flatters


  • National examinations (National Certificate in Educational Achievement – NCEA) are available at Year 11, Year 12 , Year 13 . These are not compulsory.
  • Fees for national examinations are an additional cost, ($383.30) and are levied by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority in July.
  • Students are encouraged to develop courses of studies which will best suit their future needs.


Recreational Programmes

Music Music tuition (most instruments), band
Performing Arts Drama, theatre sports, public speaking and debating.
Sports Athletics, badminton, basketball, cycling, golf, harriers, table tennis, hockey,  rugby, skiing, soccer, swimming, touch rugby, tramping and volleyball.

These activities may have additional costs and are not compulsory.

Private Music and Speech Lessons

Music tuition in a variety of instruments is available at Spotswood College in school time. The cost for this is covered by the academic fee.

Private lessons in piano and orchestral instruments are available with highly qualified tutors. These lesson also  take place in school time but there is an extra cost.

School Ball

The annual School Ball is the highlight of the senior school social calendar and is organised by the school prefects. Formal evening dress is worn to this event which takes place either late in Term 2 or early Term 3.


All students in Years 9 to 12  must wear school uniform. Year 13 wear mufti (no uniform required). A Year 12 International  student who is only studying for two terms or less, may wear mufti if they wish.  The Spotswood College Prospectus outlines the uniform in detail. Students may wish to bring a plain navy coloured waterproof jacket with them. Help will be given by the International staff  to purchase a uniform upon arrival in New Plymouth. Approximate cost for full, new uniform $400.00. Some re-cycled pieces available for purchase.


Students are expected to provide their own school stationery. Each class teacher advises students what stationery is required for that class. Help will be given by the International staff  to purchase stationery upon arrival in New Plymouth.

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