New Zealand high schools - secondary schools vary in aspects such as single sex vs. co-education, religious emphasis, sporting strength and arts curriculum. Some students prefer small high schools or boarding schools where they will receive a lot of individual attention while others prefer the stimulating and diverse environment of a big high school.
The choice of a high school is very important as the preferences of the student have to be matched with the special character of the high school. Students attend high school in New Zealand when they are 13 or at the end of their eighth year of school.
Year nine to eleven students in New Zealand spend at the junior high school division and the last two years they attend senior high school.
From year eleven to year 13 students work towards NCEA (National Certificate of Education Achievement). If they pass the NCEA they will gain an internationally recognised university entry qualification.
Students can also decide to leave school after the completion of year eleven or twelve. Although they will not be eligible for university they will be granted entry to some vocational education and training institute.