Science at Te Kauwhata College

Te Kauwhata College offers students the opportunity to explore their world through Science. Courses run from Year 7 through to Year 13, with NCEA assessment offered to support career pathways both to industry/vocational and further tertiary study.

Learning is a mix of hands on activities, theory and application. Assessment through EOTC, industry and real-world context is offered across our senior courses. We thank NZ Steel, Auckland Zoo and Rainbow’s End for hosting our trips.

Chemistry, Physics and Biology are separated into focus courses at NCEA Level 2 and 3.

Horticulture is available to select as an ‘Option Subject’ at Year 9 and 10.
Horticulture is offered at NCEA Level 1 and 2.

Current Science Teachers & Teacher Code

Kiri Pengelly – PE
Rajal Singh – SN
Kirsten Jessup – JS
McKenzie Holman – HM
Sangita Achary – AC
Keshmin Reddy – RE
Susan Pomate – PO

Our Focus and Values (GROW)

In the Science Learning Area, our goal is to lift engagement and retention of our aakonga in Science subjects.

Science Learning Area and Digital Technologies

The Science Learning Area has access to iPads and Chromebooks, which are frequently used to support the learning of students across all year levels. Education Perfect is a tool that has been taken up by the Science Learning Area to supplement learning of students in key areas of the curriculum.

Contact Us

Year 7/8

Living World
Students learn about plant anatomy and physiology and the classification of living things. Alternate years: Ecology, animals and evolution

Material World
Students learn about solution chemistry, crystallisation and particles. Alternate years: States of matter, chemicals and collision theory

Physical World
The world of light and electricity is investigated in a programme spanning shadows, lenses, mirrors and lightning among other phenomena. Alternate years: Sound, waves, forces and magnetism

Planet Earth and Beyond
The focus for planet Earth is weather and the water cycle, and we delve deep into the planet to study the rock cycle and volcanoes. Alternate years: The solar system, climate change and the carbon cycle

Year 9

Living World
Students learn about living vs non-living things via MRS GREN with a focus on movement, respiration, sensitivity, growth, reproduction, excretion and nutrition.

Material World
The topic ‘We’re in our element’ covers an introduction to core chemistry knowledge. Students gain an understanding of atoms, elements and structure of matter. This will help the students gain valuable knowledge for Year 10.

Physical World
In the area of physical world, students are introduced to motion, forces and energy which will be crucial for them to build on in Year 10. The assessment requires students to build a toy car using a physics lens.

Planet Earth and Beyond
Students cover Earth science by learning about the structure of the earth, rock cycle and ecology of lowland lakes of Waikato. The last few weeks are finished off with harakeke.

Year 10

Living World
Students gain an understanding of DNA, genes and key genetics concepts and the major structures of the human body.

Material World
Acids and bases are investigated through ‘real world Chemistry’, emphasising student understanding about the elements of the periodic table, compounds and mixtures. Understanding of chemical reactions is developed through enquiry and communicated through assessment.

Physical World
The physical world is explored through the topic of forces and motion, which lays the groundwork for NCEA Level 1 study and beyond in the area of Physics. Students also study the theoretical and practical elements of electricity.

Planet Earth and Beyond
The theme of space colonisation is explored by the weaving together of the Science Curriculum strands. This topic has been developed to bring together learning from the year and apply it to the burgeoning industry of space exploration.

NCEA Level 1 Science

Science at NCEA Level 1 is compulsory. Students complete a range of internal assessments and external examinations.

Internal Assessments are taught in contextual learning styles where students have the opportunity to complete a mixture of practical investigations and reports to gain these credits.

External Assessments available are the three Science examinations:

  • Mechanics (AS90940)
  • Acids & Bases (AS90944)
  • Genetics (AS90948)

Teachers and students will design their course for the year based on their interests. One of the external examinations will be compulsory whilst the second one will be optional. Students intending to do any of the NCEA Level 2 Science subjects are urged to do both external examinations.

This is an optional addition to the compulsory Science course. Leads onto Level 2 Horticulture. Internally Assessed

NCEA Level 2 Science

Students pick up from NCEA Level 1 Mechanics and learn in depth to why ‘things’ move. A trip to Rainbow’s End during the year helps students apply their knowledge of Mechanics and complete a written report. Students also learn about Atomic & Nuclear Physics.

Students pick up from NCEA Level 1 Acids & Bases and learn the core skills needed in chemistry. A trip to NZ Steel Mill during the year assists the students in understanding how steel is made for an internal assessment. Students also learn organic chemistry which is the study of hydrocarbons.

Students pick up from NCEA Level 1 Genetics and learn the other areas of Biology. Students complete a practical investigation involving field work to gather data. Students also dive deeper into cells with an internal assessment using microscopes. External examinations learnt this year allow students to broaden their knowledge of Biology.

Students pick up from NCEA Level 1 Horticulture and learn a vast range of skills which allows them to apply them in the real world. Students are required to prepare and maintain a garden area to display their knowledge of the subject.

NCEA Level 3 Science

Students pick up from NCEA Level 2 Physics and get a deeper understanding of applied physics. This course helps prepare those students intending to do Science or Engineering post school. A trip to Rainbow’s End helps students to apply their knowledge of physics in a written report.

Students pick up from NCEA Level 2 Chemistry and broaden their knowledge of the core fundamentals of chemistry and organic chemistry. Students visit the analytical laboratory at Waikato University giving them a sound understanding of how chemistry is used in the real world. The course allows students to have crucial chemistry knowledge required for those students intending to do Science post school.

Students pick up from NCEA Level 2 Biology where they expand their learning along with learn about other areas of Biology. A trip to Auckland Zoo allows students to gain a deeper understanding about biology for their internal assessment. This course gives the fundamental skills required for students wanting to do Science post school.

Frequently asked questions

Are there prerequisites for the courses?

There are no prerequisites for any of the subjects. However, it is highly recommended that you take the specific subject the year before to gain foundation knowledge for the course.

You can talk to any of the Science teachers to find out more.

Which qualifications can I get?

  • NCEA Level 1 Science
  • NCEA Level 1 Horticulture


  • NCEA Level 2 Biology
  • NCEA Level 2 Chemistry
  • NCEA Level 2 Physics
  • NCEA Level 2 Horticulture


  • NCEA Level 3 Biology
  • NCEA Level 3 Chemistry
  • NCEA Level 3 Physics

What is NCEA?

The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main national qualification for secondary school students in New Zealand. NCEA is recognised by employers, and used for selection by universities and polytechnics, both in New Zealand and overseas.

Visit the NCEA Website for more information.

How do I get in contact with a Science Teacher?

The list of current Science Teachers can be found at the top of this page. You can view their contact information on the staff page.

Where do I find the online learning content?

Each of the science classes have their own Google Classroom. Every student will either get an invite or a class code to join at the start of the year.

Google Classroom will have weekly tasks for the students to complete along with communication from their teachers.

A parent or guardian can be added to the classroom under their child’s profile in that Google Classroom to keep a track of their child’s work.

Click here to be redirected to the Google Classroom log in page. Students will use their and their school password to log in.

How do extensions, resubmission and reassessments work?

Extensions, resubmission and reassessments are available. You must discuss this with your teacher to see if you are eligible for any of the above.