The curriculum offered at Queen Charlotte College enables every student to participate in the eight Essential Learning Areas of the New Zealand Curriculum Framework in order to gain the knowledge and understanding needed for a broad and balanced education. They provide the context within which skills, attitudes and values are developed.

The Essential Learning Areas are Language (English) and Languages (Learning Languages), Mathematics, Science, Technology, Social Sciences, The Arts and Health and Physical Education. National Certificates and examinations are available at Years 11, 12 and 13. We prepare our students for qualifications at all levels and we are proud of their achievements.

Where it is appropriate senior students are encouraged to follow multi-level courses of study. Acceleration of the very able is identified and in all subjects extension is encouraged.

Subject combinations are arranged to suit the majority of students. Courses will run provided there are sufficient students to form a class and that the requested combination of classes can be timetabled. If the class size is uneconomic it may be possible for students to be enrolled with the Correspondence School. On occasions subject choice can also be expanded by joint enrolment with the Correspondence School. In the past Accounting and Languages have been studied in this way.

As far as possible we operate a homeroom for Year 7 and 8 where one teacher teaches more than one subject. This is an attempt to ease the transition into secondary school so students feel comfortable and gradually adjust to the more diverse secondary timetable. As we are constantly undergoing self review, and the New Zealand Curriculum Framework is progressively being introduced, the curriculum is subject to change.

Special Programmes


Our Employment Skills programme enables students to participate in a wide range of study areas for personal interest and career enhancement.


Opportunities in Outdoor Education are available to all students.


Queen Charlotte College encourages all adult learners and we can accommodate most interests. Some adults take one or two subjects for interest or to prepare them for higher certification in their jobs, while others may be enrolled full time or part time to study for NCEA and NQF Qualifications.


QCC offers structured workplace learning in association with the Tertiary Education Commission through the Gateway Programme. (This learning eases the passage of students from school to employment.)


Queen Charlotte College Aquaculture Academy (QCCAA) was initiated during 2002 as a partnership between Queen Charlotte College and the Marine Farming Association (MFA).




In English students begin a journey of self exploration from year 7 that culminates in year 13 with a deeper understanding if who they are and their place in the universe. In the junior school students explore the themes of identity and culture through texts, speeches, movies, song lyrics, poetry, and images. They learn how to respond to these texts with thought and care and how to craft their written, oral and visual work with and understanding of language and its communicative value. Students are encouraged to read every day and to immerse themselves in a variety of texts.

In the senior school students learn to structure their responses to texts by supporting their arguments and opinions in an articulate and academic manner. A variety of NCEA standards are offered in order to stretch students who have an affinity for language, and support those who struggle to express themselves. Instruction is delivered in a flexible and engaging manner in order to foster a life-long love of reading and learning.


Due to the special nature of Queen Charlotte College we are able to plan a Te Reo Māori programme from Year 7 to Year 13. This gives us the ability to lay down the foundations of the language at an early stage. From there we are able to apply more practical experiences such as marae visits, powhiri, poroporoaki, and plays to enhance students learning, and to gain credits in performance.



Mathematics runs in mixed ability groups from Years 7 to 10 at Queen Charlotte College. In Years 11 and 12 they are split roughly by ability. The Curriculum covers three strands: Number & Algebra, Measurement & Geometry and Statistics & Probability. Problem solving skills are covered in all areas.

There is more of a focus on numeracy skills in Years 7 and 8 where all students are monitored against National Standards.

Whilst they vary slightly from year the following options are available in the senior school:

  • Year 11 NCEA Level 1

11MAT: internal and external standards

11MAP: internal standards only

  • Year 12 NCEA Level 2

12MAT: internal and external standards

12MAM: internal standards only

  • Year 13: NCEA Level 3

13STA: Internal and external standards mainly selected from the Statistics and Probability Domains

13CAL: Internal and external standards selected from the: Calculus, Trigonometry and Algebra Domains.



PutaiaoA general science course is taught to all students in Years 7-10. During year 10, students are given the opportunity to complete two Achievement Standards in Science. The Level 1 Science course is primarily assessed using Achievement Standards, with half of the credits coming from externally assessed examinations. Students may be offered to makes use of Unit Standards that are assessed internally throughout the year. Students who wish to specialise in Science at Year 12 and 13 by following Biology, Chemistry or Physics will be guided by their Science teacher.


Matauranga Koi OraWe teach a full NCEA Biology course at Levels 2 and 3 using the full compliment of available Achievement Standards.

Queen Charlotte College is fortunate in its geographical location and the teaching of Biology makes full use of the local environment to enhance the learning opportunities of students. The Aquaculture Academy’s facilities such as the Barge and water space in Shakespeare Bay are used for teaching the ecological and research aspects of Biology. At both Level 2 and 3, students attend a field trips as part of the curriculum. In 2016, students of Level 2 will attend a week long camp at Lake Rotoiti, while Level 3 will attend a research / practical visit to the local area of the Marlborough Sounds.


Matauranga MatuChemistry is taught as a separate Science subject at Years 12 and 13 (NCEA Levels 2 & 3 respectively). Chemistry courses are central to future study in Science, Engineering and Medicine at tertiary level. Both the Year 12 and Year 13 courses are assessed using Achievement Standards. Practical work is a key component of Chemistry and several of the assessments are practical based.


AhupungaoPhysics is taught as a separate Science subject at Years 12 and 13 (NCEA Levels 2 & 3 respectively). The key topics for the Year 12 course are mechanics, light, electricity and nuclear physics. The Year 13 course builds on the material learned from the Year 12 course. Both courses are assessed using Achievement Standards. Practical work is included with all topics as it encourages individual work and initiative.



AhumoanaThe Aquaculture Academy offers courses in Aquaculture in Years 11, 12 and 13. The students are taught Seafood Industry Unit Standards that count towards their NCEA Level 1, 2 and 3. Additionally, students gain vocational qualifications in diving, boating and first aid. A key component of all three courses is the immersion of students in aquaculture industry activities, such as mussel harvesting and processing, salmon biology and farming, site visits and experimental research. Students are also taught diving and boating skills.

The Academy is extremely well resourced with an 11m purpose built barge, a modern passenger carrier vehicle, designated water space for field-based learning activities, and an on-site wetlab for experimental procedures.

Social Sciences


Social Studies aims to enable students to participate in a changing society as informed, confident and responsible citizens. New Zealand needs its young people to be challenged to think clearly and critically about our society and about the countries and regions that have significance for New Zealand.

When students build their own understanding of their own way of life, and that of others, they are better able to appreciate individual and cultural differences. To do this the Social Studies curriculum looks at the following Strands:

      • Social Organisation

      • Culture and Heritage

      • Place and Environment

      • Time, Continuity and Change

      • Resources and Economic Activities

In the time and place settings of:

      • New Zealand (past and present)

      • The Pacific

      • Europe

      • Asia

      • Other and Global settings

Using the Inquiry, Values exploration, and Social decision making processes.

Picton offers a wealth of resources, places, history, people, and points of interest invaluable to our Social Studies programme, including

      • The Picton Museum

      • The services of Heritage Education, through the Marlborough Museum

      • History of bygone eras – Exploration and discovery, Moa Hunters, Whalers, early Maori and European settlement

      • Maritime history – the Echo and Edwin Fox

      • The Waikawa Marae

A variety of primary, processing and service industries including aquaculture, forestry, tourism and the port. In using such a fascinating local environment, Social Studies can come alive for students at Queen Charlotte College!


Geography is the study of people and places and the ways in which people interact with their environment. The Year 11, 12 and 13 courses are assessed against NCEA Achievement Standards and students can gain up to 24 credits at each level.

Topics include:

Level One (Year 11)

      • Natural events and their impact on people concentrating on New Zealand earthquakes and tropical cyclones in the South West Pacific.

      • People and places – concentrating on population of New Zealand and Monsoon Asia.

      • Resource use – concentrating on coal mining in New Zealand and dairy farming.

Level Two (Year 12)

      • Natural Landscapes – concentrating on Marlborough Sounds and tropical rainforests of the Amazon.

      • Urban settlements.

      • Inequalities of Development.

Level Three (Year 13)

      • Natural Processes – analysing interacting coastal processes of Marlborough Sounds and Rarangi Beach.

      • Cultural Process – analysing tourism processes in New Zealand and Bali.

All courses make use of the unique qualities of the marine environment of the Marlborough Sounds and associated settlements as a focus of studies. Each level considers current geographic issues and global studies.


This is a fascinating and relevant subject because it affects every one of us in our daily lives. Sometimes dubbed “the science of common sense”, it focuses on the way human communities use different systems to solve the problem of scarcity. We are all interested in getting more for less! If we can understand how to make the best choices in the use of our scarce resources to produce goods and services, then we will maximise our economic welfare.

At junior levels, we focus on personal economics – consumers need to know about making choices, work and income, saving and investment, insurance and consumer rights.

      • NCEA Level 1 also looks at producers and markets.

      • NCEA Level 2 focuses on the economic issues of growth, employment, inflation, trade and inequality.

      • NCEA Level 3 looks at the microeconomics of the market and firms, government management of the economy, and the macroeconomics of the economy functioning as a whole.

Economics is happening all around us, and these courses try to get students out into the real world to make the link between theory and reality.


Definition: Business Studies enables students to understand how producers of goods and services operate in the business environment.

Aim: Business Studies provides a grounding from which students may be empowered to enter the work-force for themselves or participate with others in the business environment. Students are introduced to the complexities of the world of business and encouraged to develop an interest and ability to work effectively within that environment.

Course Content: Business Studies contributes to the Essential Learning Area of Mathematics in that it enables students to develop logical approaches to procedures and systems. It also contributes to the Essential Learning Area of Technology through the use of technological applications for business use.

The following essential skills as identified in the New Zealand Curriculum Framework are specifically acquired through a Business Studies programme: numeracy skills, problem-solving skills, self management and competitive skills.

The course outline will be developed in consultation with students, to best reflect the needs and interests of the class. Here at QCC this course draws heavily on the businesses of the Marlborough region, and the opportunities of our local environment.

Core components will include:

      • Small Business Modules

      • Case studies of local businesses (Tourism, Marine, Aquaculture)

Electives may be selected from:

      • Lifeskills modules

      • Adventure Tourism Skills Modules (from Mountainbike, Sea Kayak, Bushcraft, Firearms and Hunting, Dive Course)

      • Driver’s Licence/Driveplan

      • FirstAid Certificate

      • Transition to Work Modules

      • A number of Modules may offer NCEA credits at level 1 or 2.

Health and Wellbeing


Physical Education enables students to develop knowledge, skills and strategies to enhance physical, mental and emotional, social, and spiritual well-being. Students develop understandings of self and others, make informed decisions and actively participate for their own well-being, and that of others and society.

At Queen Charlotte College our Year 7 to 10 programmes use a variety of movement and learning contexts that provide our students with the opportunity to increase their understanding of the four core dimensions of Hauora (Well-being). We emphasise the need for our students to develop social responsibility through participation in healthy physical activities. Our senior courses include Recreation, PE NCEA level 1, 2 and 3 Achievement Standard programmes.

Queen Charlotte College has superb PE facilities including a full size gym, sand all weather field, astro-turfed all weather courts, pool and exercise room/weights room on site.


Health Education Programmes are taught to all students in Year 7 to Year 10. The aim of this education is to enable students to acquire the knowledge and skills to develop their personal health and the health of others in the community. Total Well-being and Hauora is the focus. Spiritual, mental, social and physical health are all interrelated and if one aspect is not healthy the other areas will suffer.


While not a subject in itself, it is part of a number of curriculum areas. Outdoor Education at Queen Charlotte College provides all our students with wonderful opportunities to experience the outdoors in different environments. We offer camps at three-year levels, Year 8, 9 and 10. Each is set in different situations and introduces the students to activities specifically designed for that year level.

Our Year 8 camp is held at Umungata Bay (Davies Bay) in the Marlborough Sounds and introduces camping, day tramps, kayaking and several other water based activities. Year 9 camp is held at Lake Rotoiti Lodge and involves semi-alpine tramping and various exciting lodge based activities.

Year 10 Camp offers the students four modules. These include sea kayaking in the Marlborough Sounds, tramping in the Nelson Lakes and Abel Tasman National Parks, and mountain biking in the Hanmer area, The above modules last for one week and outside providers are employed where required.

Visual Arts


The Art Studies programme offered at Queen Charlotte College encourages learning Art Language, knowledge of the role of Art historically and in contemporary society and creative communication.

Effective Art education is a mix of many things. One of our tasks is to share the vision we have as we work with and alongside students: enabling them to reach their potential in individual and personal ways; encouraging excellence, not always providing the answers but encouraging them to ask the questions and find their own answers.

Within the department there are specific goals listed below (not in order of priority):

      • Foster an attitude of respect and value for Art in the wider school community by means of effective, quality teaching.

      • Meet the challenges of changing directions of the subject, technological developments, and the changing needs of students by a process of reviewing and updating our programmes, equipment and professional expertise.

      • Achieve a high success rate with all our students participating in external examinations.

      • Provide our students with the best possible preparation for tertiary study in the subject and informed vocational guidance.


In Technology students will learn to be innovative developers of products and systems and discerning consumers who can make a difference in the world. In order to achieve this, students must be proficient and knowledgeable in the three technology areas of the New Zealand Curriculum:

  • Technological practice

  • Technological knowledge

  • The nature if technology

As the technologies involve products and systems, it is expected that the students will be involved in the creative process. Work in all four strands of technology (Construction and Materials Building, Engineering, Food Technology, Digital Technology) is both theoretical and practical. The departmental schemes of work endeavor to reflect QCC’s Principles of Learning:

  • Learning is a product of thinking

  • It requires engagement

  • People learn in different ways at different rates

  • People learn best in supportive social groups

  • Students must have ownership of their learning

The Department encourages the following values:

  • Innovation, Inquiry and curiosity

  • Community and participation

  • Excellence

  • Integrity

  • Respect

Correspondence and Other Courses


We also offer Correspondence subjects and STAR courses as requested.

Gateway Tomokanga

‘Gateway’ builds the links between school and business and allows Queen Charlotte College to offer workplace-learning opportunities for our students. The programme will develop students’ vocational skills while still at school. They will be able to get first-hand experience of what it’s like in the workforce, and to begin the qualifications needed in today’s job market. Students on the Gateway Programme will work off Campus one day per week (this can be negotiated). Students will be assessed both in the workplace and at school. This course will be Unit Standard based, and also, Industry based Unit Standards will be available. This course can lead to a Modern Apprenticeship or employment. The Gateway and Youth Apprenticeships Programme is offered to all senior students.

Adult Education


QCC welcomes adult students to attend classes at the College during the day. This may be as part time students choosing one or two classes or as full time students. In the past Computing, senior English and Economics have been popular classes.

Special Education

The Special Education Department provides a wide range of opportunities for students with special educational needs and abilities. Students entering Queen Charlotte College under the Government’s Ongoing Resourcing Scheme are integrated into all facets of College life. They receive both adult and peer support in the classroom and in all outside educational activities as part of our inclusive policy. The students have the opportunity to join the Queen Charlotte College Catering Group, a group formed to encourage special needs students to cook under supervision.

We have an extensive Literacy programme where students gain extra assistance depending on their present levels of achievement.

At Queen Charlotte College we operate an extensive, diagnostic testing programme so that a student’s individual strengths and needs are recognised and programmes of extension or remediation are prepared. These are undertaken in consultation with their classroom teachers. Our Head of Department liaises with a wide range of community agencies to ensure that an holistic approach is taken towards the education of our students. All the special education staff encourage parental involvement to ensure that we all work together to provide the best possible opportunities for all students.