Academics at St. John’s

Excellence is a habit: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle’s words endorse our academic philosophy at St. John’s College. Our aim is to produce self-reliant workers, able to take responsibility for their own learning and develop study habits ​that will see our young men attain at the highest level possible. We provide a robust academic programme, based on the New Zealand Curriculum Framework, gaining outstanding results in Merit and Excellence endorsements and our Scholarship programme. All of our senior students enter National Certificate of Education Achievement courses at Levels 1, 2 and 3; with a strong core of senior pupils sitting Level 4 Scholarship exams.


Academic Dean: Introduced in 2014 to support all students studying N.C.E.A., the Academic Dean tracks students through their academic programmes. Emphasis is placed on gaining literacy and numeracy credits. Support is offered through mentoring, arranging tutorials, issuing study programmes and close monitoring of N.C.E.A credits. This academic structure has produced outstanding NCEA results in 2018 including:

NCEA Level 1 – 91.5%
NCEA Level 2 – 95.8%
NCEA Level 3 – 91.2%
University Entrance – 73.7%

(Note – %’s are participation based)

Subject Options

St John’s College prides itself in providing an Academic programme that caters for the needs of every individual through a dual Pathway catering for Industry and Academia. This programme has Pathways that enable students to enhance their passions and create bright futures.


Senior and Junior Options books can be viewed here:

Religious Ed Science Art Commerce
English Social Sciences Art History Gateway
Maori Physical Education Technologies Star
Mathematics Music Digital & Visual Communication

National Certificate of Education

New Zealand’s National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) are national qualifications for senior secondary school students. NCEA is the main qualification pathway at St Johns College and all students enter NCEA.

Junior Course Programme

Senior Course Programme

Career Pathways

Leaving the safety and predictability of school-life and making decisions for the future can be both exciting and daunting. The transition from school to tertiary training, an apprenticeship or directly into employment can be challenging for all students, irrespective of their academic achievement.  The Careers and Guidance Advisor is available to meet with individual students to help them navigate this process.  There are many resources available in the Careers room which may help students to formulate their plan.  The school invites representatives from Universities, Institutes of Technology, the Defence Forces, Police and other private providers to make presentations to the boys about the multitude of opportunities available to them. Many useful resources are also available in the Careers room and students are welcome to take these publications home to begin conversations with their parents.


It is important that boys are fully informed about any pre-requisites they may need to enter specific tertiary courses.  For those Year 12 students who have a clear pathway in mind, they should ensure that when making subject choices for Year 13, they are meeting these requirements.  Please see Mrs Ross if you require further information.


Gateway is a work-based learning programme which provides students with the opportunity to get hands-on experience in an authentic working environment in an area of interest to them.  It is available to Year 13 students who have a genuine interest in gaining an apprenticeship, enrolling in a pre-apprenticeship programme or going directly into the work force once they finish school.  Students spend one day a week in a workplace to gain an insight into what their chosen career involves.  They will develop specific skills to their chosen career, along with generic work-ready skills which will help them become successful employees in the future.  A broad range of work experiences are available for the boys and can include building, plumbing, electrician, hospitality, retail, horticulture, agriculture, automotive and tourism placements.

Further information is available from Mrs Sue Ross

Heads of Department

H.O.D Art – Don Dickson​
H.O.D Commerce – David Ivory​
H.O.D Culinary Arts – Craig Ireland
H.O.D English – Lyndie Balfour
H.O.D Graphics & Technology – Ian Smith
H.O.D Learning Support – Chris Versey
H.O.D Mathematics – Grant McFarland
H.O.D Music – Christopher Wilson
H.O.D Physical Education / TIC of Sport – Jason Pearson
H.O.D Religious Education – Conor Bolton
H.O.D Science – Kim Pickering
H.O.D Social Sciences – Catherine Spence
H.O.D Te Reo Maori – Maia Solomon

Academic Deans

Year 11, 12 & 13 Dean – Tracey Russell (TRu)
Dean of International Students – Peter Hijazeen (PHi)​

House Deans

Reignier House Dean – Mr Ian Smith
Redwood House Dean – Mr John Bishop
Colin House Dean – Mr Christopher Wilson
Forest House Dean – Mrs Carmel Spencer

ACC Accounting
AHI Art History
BIO Biology
BCH Biochemistry
BUS Business Studies
CAR Careers
CHE Chemistry
CPS Computer Science
CUL Culinary Arts
DVC Digital & Visual Communication
DDS Digital Design
DTT Digital Technology
ECO Economics
ENG English
GAT Gateway
GEO  Geography
HIS History
HOR Horticulture
MAO Te Reao Maori
MAT Mathematics
MTT Material Technology

MUS Music
MXC Mathematics with Calculus
MXS Mathematics with Statistics
MAC Level 2 and 3 ‘B’ Mathematics (previously Senior Maths)
MXB Level 1 ‘B’ Mathematics (previously called Practical Maths
PAI Painting
PED Physical Education
PHY Physics
REL Religious Education
SIB Sports Institute (Basketball)
SIR Sports Institute (Rugby)
SCI Science
​SEN Senior English
SOC Social Studies
STU Study

​YEAR 9.

Students do the core subjects (ENG, SCI, SOC, REL, PED) in their house groups.

There are four Maths classes which are streamed (Line 3).

The four technology modules (CUL, PRT, CMT, MTT) are on line 2 and are also taught in the house groups. They will rotate every term. Year 9 options are on lines 4 and 6. The options are half year, except for Te Reo Maori which is full year. Language skills (LAN) is for those boys who have major Literacy difficulties.6

YEAR 10.

Students do SOC, REL, and PED in ‘S, J, C’ groups.
ENG, MAT and SCI are streamed. ENG is cross blocked with SCI
(Lines 3 & 6).

MAT is on Line 1.

Option lines are Lines 5 and 7. All options are full year subjects.


Holistic education is critical to the full development of a young man.  This entails academic, as well as spiritual, social psychological and physical growth.  To assist this co-curricular programme, St. John’s College has set-up Institutes so that each gifted and talented student receives specific tuition in their chosen area of specialisation.

Initially St. John’s College set up five Sports’ Institutes which has been very successful.  The College has now expanded the Institute programme by an additional five new Institutes in a broad range of subjects.

The subjects we have added to our Institute programme are:

Fine Arts, Performance Arts, Culinary Arts, Debating and Music

The Sports’ Institute was establised in 2014 to identify and develop high-performing students who we believe have the potential to become elite sportsmen.  The aim is to improve the fundamental skills of our junior athletes in their aspirational years, setting up correct pathways to help these sportsmen excel in their given sports.  The Institute is available to Year 9 and 10 students and places are only available for those selected.  The main part of the selection process involves sports-specific skills, chosen by our sports coaches and a panel of expert coaches from outside the College.

Coaching is fundamental to the success of the athletes.  At St. John’s College we will endeavour to select Level 3 or above coaches in our Sports’ Institute.  This means talented athletes will have expert tuition in all their years at the College.

The following sports are included in the Sports Institutes

Rugby, Football, Cricket, Basketball and Canoe Polo

House Time Period 1 Period 2 Interval Period 3 Period 4 Lunch Period 5
Monday 8:35 – 8:50 8:50 – 9:50 9:50 – 10:50 10:50 – 11:20 11:20 – 12:20 12:20 – 1:15 1:20 – 2:05 2:05 – 3:05
Tuesday 8:45 – 8:55 8:55 – 9:50 9:50 – 10:50 10:50 – 11:20 11:20 – 12:20 12:20 – 1:20 1:20 – 2:20 2:20 – 3:05
Wednesday 8:35 – 8:50 8:50 – 9:50 9:50 – 10:50 10:50 – 11:20 11:20 – 12:20 12:20 – 1:15 1:20 – 2:05 2:05 – 3:05
Thursday 8:35 – 8:50 8:50 – 9:50 9:50 – 10:50 10:50 – 11:20 11:20 – 12:20 12:20 – 1:20 1:20 – 2:05 2:05 – 3:05
Winter Thu 8:35 – 8:50 8:50 – 9:45 9:45 – 10:40 10:40 – 11:10 11:10 – 12:05 12:05 – 1:00 1:00 – 1:45 Sport 1:45
Friday 8:35 – 8:50 8:50 – 9:35 9:40 – 10:20 11:30 – 11:55 11:55 – 12:40 12:40 – 1:25 1:25 – 2:15 2:15 – 3:05

All senior subjects are on set option lines (1 to 7).

Line 7 is where all Year 13 students who do not do gateway have either study,
REC or Careers.

These run daily – please contact Mr Christopher Wilson for any individual student timetables

This agreement has six conditions or facets of being a Digital Citizen. Aspects of this agreement link back to the St John’s College Values and Habits.

  • The S of SJC stands for Show Respect. Respect yourself, respect others and respect the hardware you have access to.
  • The J of SJC stands for Jesus as our role model. As a Saint John’s man we should look to treat others and their property with respect. We should look to protect others from harm and we should always act and behave in an ethical and moral manner. Say yes to doing the right thing.
  • The C of SJC stands for Commitment to growing in Word and in Deed. We need to show we are digital citizens through our actions. This will enable us to have trust in each other and will give us the confidence to learn new ways of doing things.