Studying at GBHS

By choosing Green Bay High School you can be assured of earning a world-class qualification.

Two recent global reports have found that New Zealand leads the way in preparing students for future success in a time of rapid change. The New Zealand system places less importance on learning facts and more on teaching students how to learn and instilling a love of learning. Read the article from Education New Zealand here.

New Zealand Academic Calendar

The New Zealand Academic year runs from February to December and is divided into four terms of around ten weeks each. Between each term there is a two week holiday, which is a great time for international students to travel around New Zealand. Students are encouraged to participate in sports and other co-curricular activities at lunchtime, after school or at weekends.

Study Period

It is possible for international students to study at Green Bay High School for just three months, six months or one year as an overseas experience. This gives students the chance to experience a different lifestyle, try different sports and activities, and meet new friends.

Year Levels

New Zealand children start primary school when they are five years old and attend secondary school until they are 17 or 18 years old. Students must be 13 years old to be legally allowed to study at secondary school.

Green Bay High School has five year levels:

  • Year 9 13/14 years old
  • Year 10 14/15 years old
  • Year 11 15/16 years old
  • Year 12 16/17 years old
  • Year 13 17/18 years old

Usually students are placed in the right year for their age, however, some students may choose a lower year level if their English is not very strong. This will give them additional time to improve their language skills before participating in national exams.


Green Bay High School believes in investing in world-class facilities to assist learning. Our facilities include:

  • modern classrooms
  • computer access and wifi for all students and staff
  • a library and information centre featuring senior study and reading rooms
  • an auditorium
  • a purpose built Science block with laboratories for Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Electronics
  • a purpose built Art block with a dark room, and computer suite with Design software
  • a dance studio with sprung floor
  • a music block with soundproof practice rooms
  • a gymnasium
  • spacious fields for rugby, cricket, football and recreation
  • an all-weather turf for tennis, hockey etc

Subject Choices


We deliver New Zealand’s National Certificates of Educational Achievement (NCEA) Level 1 – 3. These are national qualifications for secondary school students and are widely recognised throughout the world. There will be assessments throughout the year and also national examinations in November.

You can watch a short video on how NCEA works or read this brochure.

BYOD – Bring Your Own Device

At Green Bay High School it is compulsory for students to bring personal devices to help with learning. Any device will be OK – a laptop, Chrome Book or iPad. You can rent one from us if you don’t have one.

Learning in New Zealand may be different to what you are used to in your home country. Students participate in their learning – i.e. teachers will expect you to ask questions of them and provide ideas for discussion. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You won’t appear stupid by asking questions. The teaching method is inquiry based and uses relevant real life problems as scenarios for students to come up with solutions.

“Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand.”

Academic Pathways

We take pride in getting to know each individual student and doing everything we can to ensure they reach their academic goals. In addition to the usual support from the school, the international staff conduct interviews with individual students at least twice a year to determine goals, select subjects, and reflect on assessments.

We have a very active Careers Department who spend time with each student to look at different options for students once they graduate, and assist them with the application process for tertiary study.

In recent years our graduates have gone on to study at Auckland University and AUT.



School Life in Auckland