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NCEA and the COVID-19 event - questions and answers

Helping answer questions from students about their NCEA

I’m worried that the COVID-19 disruptions will affect my chances of gaining the NCEA qualification I am aiming for – do you have any advice?

It’s great that you have set yourself goals as a student. These are challenging times for everyone, but your school, parents and whānau will continue to support you in achieving these goals. Everyone accepts there is a need to be flexible and adaptable.

If your school is closed for a period of time, remember that your teachers will be looking for opportunities for you to continue your learning and to gain the credits that you need to achieve NCEA. They will work with you to plan your assessment programme and use the flexibility of NCEA to help you meet your qualification requirements.

We are all focussed on ensuring that students will not be disadvantaged as a result of COVID-19.

Who should I go to for advice on what I should study and what assignments I need to complete?

Your teacher should always be your first port of call. They know you, your class, and your course of study, and are best placed to advise you on any schoolwork you’d like to complete during the lockdown. It may be that your course of study will change to suit students working at home, so it is best to keep in regular contact with your teachers and let them know if you’re unclear on any part of your study.

What will happen if I am unable to complete my Trades Academy course?

Providers will make efforts to ensure you are able to complete the course that you have enrolled in for the year. You may need to reorganise how you work on your course – for example, by spending your time at home working on course theory, so that you can focus more on your practical skills later in the year. Providers are looking at different ways you can do the practical parts of the course, including block courses and remedial classes later in the year.

If lots of companies shut down, how will I be able to do the practical work required to gain my credits for Trades Academy and Gateway?

Schools, course providers and employers will be working together to find ways to support you to successfully complete your course of study by the end of the year. This may mean that you do some things differently from your plan, but the goal will be to support you to get the credits you need.

How will I be able to complete my 20 credits for my Gateway placement?

Talk to your school Gateway coordinator about this, as they will be working with other school staff to make sure you get the opportunity to complete your required credits. This may mean some changes to the credits you do, but your Gateway coordinator will discuss this with you.

Will I still be able to go to university next year if I cannot complete all my required Level 3 credits?

Discuss your situation with your dean, tutor/teacher or career advisor to work out where you need to focus your NCEA programme to enable you to meet university entry requirements.

While there may be situations where schools could face some further disruption after the lockdown period, there are ways that teaching and learning, and assessment can continue. It might mean, for instance, that assessments for some internal standards in your programme happen a little later.

NZQA will be working with Universities New Zealand to ensure that students who are ready for degree level study can progress onto university study. Everyone is focussed on making sure that students are not disadvantaged as a result of COVID-19.

Also, remember that other people will be in the same position, and universities already have a range of processes in place to address exceptional circumstances.

Most of my subjects have practical parts to them – how will I be able to complete the assessments required if I could not access the facilities to work on my projects?

Talk to your subject teacher to discuss how you will be able to complete your assessments. You may be able to change the due date for some work, or do a project that could be completed at home instead. Many courses will need to be changed to accommodate the disruption to schooling, but all schools will be aiming to make sure students achieve their qualification for the year.

There are lots of students in my class and my teacher does not have time to work with me – who else can I contact?

Let your teacher know that you need help with your work, and ask them where/who else you can go to if they are busy. If they are unable to support you or suggest someone else, contact your form/tutor/house group person or your year-level dean to ask for help.

I have to work longer hours or look after my younger siblings, I don’t have time to get my NCEA assessments done – who can I talk to about this?

Please contact someone at your school that you feel best able to talk to. This may be a subject teacher, form/tutor/house group person, your year-level dean, career advisor or the school counsellor. It is important for your school to know that studying at home is going to be difficult for you, so that they can offer you the appropriate support.

Will I be able to get more time to complete my work if I cannot work at home?

If you are finding it difficult to work at home for any reason, contact your subject teachers, form/tutor/house group person, your year-level dean, career advisor, or the school counsellor. It is better you do this early, before you start missing deadlines, so that alternative options can be discussed with you.