Selecting your pathway through school


Some Advice on the Process

Know Yourself

Your first step is to understand who you are and what you want – both from your work and your life. We are all uniquely created. Becoming ‘self aware’ is one of the career tasks we need to work through as we grow into adulthood. We all need to know what possible jobs we could do with our skills and talents.

Think about your abilities and interests at school

  • What subjects are you good at or not so good at?
  • What does this tell you about yourself?
  • Are you a good writer, good with numbers, or a practical person?
  • Which subjects have you enjoyed studying?
  • Which do you dislike and why?
  • Thinking about these sorts of things will help you figure out what subjects you could do and what jobs you might want to pursue in the future. You need to know how to be a ‘life-long learner’ to support your life and work goals.

The tool Garin uses for students to research and evidence careers ideas, research, goal setting and planning is Dreamcatcher. It is an electronic programme that helps students in their Career Development Process from Year 7 to Year 13. Dreamcatcher's focus is to empower New Zealand's youth by giving them the tools, extensive ideas, contacts and structure for their thoughts to make informed decisions to foster ownership of their future.

This Career Development programme is an essential part of how students can manage their ambitions and how they can achieve them. A major feature of this programme is that YOU can have direct input from home. The fantastic aspect is that YOU as a parent play a vital role in this process of decision making from subject selection, self perception and career pathway choices.

We are at varying stages of working with our students and would appreciate if you could reinforce the importance of this work at home, by logging on and viewing what your son/daughter has identified in each module so far.

The information recorded in DreamCatcher is accessible by families and teaching staff. School wide careers Education and Subject Selection are based within this programme and it is a vital tool. For further information about accessing and using DreamCathcher please talk to your whanau teacher, your subject teachers and the Careers Development Staff, Mr Rose and Ms Holmes.

Use Careers NZ

You need to be able to efficiently locate careers/life information and use it effectively. This involves exploring your skills, interests, personality, qualities and values. You can use the excellent Careers NZ website’s online quizzes and tools to get started. They will help you to understand what is important to you, and give you some ideas about possible future careers which will assist you in choosing your courses. Record this information in your DreamCatcher.

Parent/Caregiver Help

In addition to parent portal in DreamCatcher, the Careers New Zealand website has information and interactive tools for parents/caregivers. Parents/caregivers can take the opportunity to discuss these results with the students and to work collaboratively with the many interactive tools.

Know your options

Year 11 subject options are important as some subject combinations (e.g. two Arts, or Social Science based subjects) may exclude other subjects (e.g. Science at Year 12). It is always a good policy to aim for a broad based education at Year 11 in order to have a broad base of knowledge and to keep your options open. 

For individual NCEA course details, click here.

Other Resources

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment – work information, skills shortages and labour market update

Course Information and Entry Requirements for:

Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology
University of Auckland
Victoria University of Wellington
University of Canterbury
University of Otago