Skip to main content
    Senior Years 11 – 13

    Welcome to the Senior Years!

    In the Senior Years our vision is to shift our gaze away from looking predominantly at the achievement ‘of’ a young person, to engaging in the achievement of the young person ‘as’ themselves with regards to their identity, language, customs, preparation to participate, and their values as akonga.

    Our aim is for students of Mercury Bay Area School to “become the very best person they can be, capable of effective thinking, acting, relating and accomplishing in any field they enjoy and have passions for” - Marc Prensky (The True Goal of Education)

    The school KAURI expectations of Kindness, Achievement, Unity, Respect and Identity lie at the centre of our pastoral coaching and dispositional curriculum allowing for the wellbeing of all.

    When our ākonga come to leave, they will leave well. They will have a confirmed future learning, employment or vocational/training pathway. Achievement will derive from a range of recognised qualifications including Vocational Entrance, NCEA L3, University Entrance, licences etc. As a result, students will be role models, will have developed a strong work ethic, be articulate speakers and have a respect for knowledge in all of its forms.

    Learning in the Senior Years

    Teaching in the Senior Years

    The teaching in the Senior Years promotes, values and delivers through:

    • Manaakitanga (belief and care for learners)
    • Mana motuhaka (high expectations)
    • Whakapiringatanga (well-managed learning contexts)
    • Ako (effective teaching strategies,
    • Whakataunaki (evidence based learning)
    • Whai pikinga (accelerating improvement)

    to ensure strong learning relationships.

    Culturally Responsive & Relational Pedagogy

    Values, dispositions and competencies are nurtured and grown through coaching, pastoral care and strong quality teaching and leadership based on a belief in, and dedicated practice of, culturally responsive and relational pedagogy.

    An important space for our students to build these learning relationships is in both their Kauri Group and in Senior Independent Learning Time.

    Kauri Group

    Kauri Group and SILT are planned lessons just like any other, and the expectation is that all students will participate in the activities just as students would be expected to do in any other lesson.

    The purpose of Kauri Group and SILT is for students to work on developing their learning dispositions (such as self-management, problem-solving and self-reflection) and to explore their understanding and practice of our school's KAURI (Kindness, Achievement, Unity, Respect and Identity) values - in a way that is appropriate for young people in the senior school.

    Senior Independent Learning Time (SILT)

    Is an extension of Kauri Group time and has a particular focus on supporting students to develop their independent learning skills. During SILT, as in Kauri Group, students are required to participate in learning activities intended to support the development of learning dispositions and independent learning skills.

    Students are given time to put these skills into practice by spending some of the time making a start with their independent learning, depending on the goals and priorities students have set and discussed with their teacher. This independent learning does not happen in SILT alone - students are expected to apply these skills in their other classes and to put them into practice during their home learning.

    What is NCEA?

    New Zealand Certificate of Educational Achievement

    In year 11 - 13 our students study towards a relevant level 1, 2 or 3 NCEA Qualification. These levels are not age or year level specific, for example a student can complete NCEA Level 2 in Year 13, having not completed NCEA Level 1.

    There are changes to NCEA at level 1 for 2024. Students require 60 level 1 credits to achieve NCEA level 1. MBAS will be offering NCEA level 1 in 2024.

    There is also a new Literacy and Numeracy corequisite that must be met by all students to achieve any NCEA qualifications. This new corequisite of literacy (10 credits) and numeracy (10 credits) can be gained by successfully passing an externally marked common assessment activity offered up to twice per year from Year 10 at MBAS (if considered ready to be successful) or for the next two change transition years through a limted number of specific achievement standards. Credits achieved in attaining the corequisite do not count towards the 60 credits for level 1 NCEA.

    NCEA certificate endorsement

    For an NCEA certificate to be endorsed with Merit or Excellence, a student must gain 50 credits at Merit or Excellence at the level of the certificate or above.
    diagram showing how NCEA is calculated

    University Entrance

    Additionally, we encourage all students to gain the University Entrance (UE) qualification even if they are not necessarily wishing to attend a New Zealand University right away.

    UE is the minimum requirement for getting into a New Zealand university. Many universities and other tertiary providers have further programme entry requirements so you will need to check with them as well.

    To gain University Entrance for 2024 you need:

    • NCEA Level 3
    • Three university approved subjects at Level 3 with 14 credits in each subject.
    • UE Literacy: 10 credits at Level 2 or above (5 credits in reading, 5 in writing) available from a wide range of Level 2 and 3 courses offered at MBAS
    • Numeracy - 10 credits at Level 1 or above

    Go to ask your teachers for further information.


    House points after the Cross Country.

    Buffalo 1462 points


    Tainui 1516 points


    Mercury 1743 points


    Matahaorua 1057 points