Curriculum and teaching that engages

Waikato Diocesan School's range of subjects and challenging educational experiences are designed to meet and extend the needs of students. At Dio we see school as a place to seek and build knowledge, explore new ideas and work to achieve the highest possible standards. 

Dio students perform admirably when compared with national averages and across all year levels. While such national bench-marking is important, our primary goal is to challenge each student to achieve at the highest level of which she is capable.

Field trips, visiting speakers, national and international competitions, access to technology and e-learning, and excellent teaching resources all enhance the learning experiences of our girls. Every opportunity is taken to give students real-world experiences and hands-on tasks as part of their learning.

Staff expect all students to extend themselves to reach their full potential, in an environment of healthy challenges. 

At each level girls are mentored through course selection, goal setting, learning needs, time management and study skills.

All students follow a programme of Religious Studies and Physical Education and Health as these elements are at the core of educating the whole student at Waikato Diocesan School for Girls.

Junior Programme

Each student is placed in a class that will best suit her learning needs. This class placement is based on her placement test results, information from contributing schools and any further information that is required. All classes are challenging, and at Dio students are expected to maximise their learning opportunities. Year 9 students find out which class they are in at the start of the school year, and a letter will be emailed to you by the last week of January to confirm your daughter’s programme of learning.

Mission of the Junior Programme of Learning at Waikato Diocesan School for Girls:

To provide a programme in which each student is given a broad and sound foundation in order to develop her personal and interpersonal skills, and to assist her in building meaningful relationships with God, with self, with others, with society and with the environment. 

The Junior Programme of Learning will also provide each student with an appropriate level of challenge and support so that she can develop the necessary skills and learning strategies to equip her for the academic rigour of the senior school. 

The curriculum at Year 9 is designed to give students a sound foundation of content and skills and to enable them to make informed subject selections as they move through to the senior school.

A] All students study the following subjects during the year:

Year-long Courses

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Education & Health
  • Religious Education
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Short Courses

  • ICT and Digital Literacy
  • Tikanga Māori
  • Nōku te Āo - The world is mine! (our own transition to secondary school programme)

B] Year 9 students study one language for the entire year unless they are on an individualised learning programme. Students choose from one of the following:

Year-long Language Courses

  • French
  • Japanese
  • Te Reo Māori

Students who require extra literacy support will do so instead of studying a language.  This will be at the discretion of the HoD Learning Support and in consultation with parents/caregivers.

PLEASE NOTE: While every effort will be made to give students their first language selection, this cannot be guaranteed due to timetabling constraints and the viability of running courses for small class numbers. However, we will endeavour to cater for everyone’s preferred choices. 

C] All students also study four of the following subjects as foundation modules during the year including at least one arts subject and one technology subject:


  • Art
  • Dance
  • Drama
  • Music


  • Design and Visual Communication (DVC)
  • Digital Design Innovation (DDI)
  • Fashion and Design
  • Food Technology

PLEASE NOTE: While every effort will be made to give students their first four choices, this cannot be guaranteed. Please be assured that none of these foundation modules are prerequisites for taking the subject the following year. Even if a student does not study a subject as a foundation module in Year 9, she will still be able to enrol in that subject as a Year 10 student. 

Year 10 Curriculum

In many ways, Year 10 is a very important year in a student's education. The skills gained, opportunities taken and experiences enjoyed will lay a foundation for academic, physical, cultural, creative and spiritual success through the rest of a student's schooling.
  • At Year 10 a student:Makes subject choices that provide some specialisation and preparation for NCEA
  • Takes a wide range of subjects that keep options open
  • Builds on essential knowledge and understanding in the different learning areas
  • Consolidates effective learning and study habits
  • Experiences assessment designed to demonstrate achievement and inform further learning needs, with emphasis on self-evaluation and goal setting
  • Extends herself in particular areas of talent or interest across the curriculum and beyond the classrooms
  • Sets goals about the future, based on talents, interests, and passions
  • Has a special focus on thinking ethically and responsibly about technology, society, and personal health
  • Takes responsibility for self in all areas of school life
  • Challenges her personal, physical and spiritual strength at Year 10 camp
  • Gets involved in school life through House events, chapel and assembly, sports, arts, and cultural groups; takes opportunities to participate and lead
  • Has a voice in school governance through the Student Council and links  with student leaders and teachers
  • Continues their spiritual journey in keeping with the Anglican character of the school
  • Develops a global conscience though participating in school-sponsored service programmes, and interacting with a range of faiths, cultures and international experiences.

The Rite Journey


Their sense of self is continually challenged by rapid and pervasive social and technological change and the onslaught of destructive messages from media and advertising. Striving for independence, they often turn to peers and popular culture for answers, potentially resulting in a lack of respect for oneself and others, poor decision making and unhealthy outcomes.

Senior Programme

Waikato Diocesan School offers a holistic education and seeks to nurture every facet of every student. The values, academic and life skills, and love of learning that students acquire during their time at Waikato Diocesan School will lay the foundation for a meaningful and successful life beyond school. Our NCEA results and our sporting and cultural achievements show that our students respond positively to the many opportunities and challenges available to them.

Students are taught in accordance with the internationally acclaimed New Zealand Curriculum. An increasingly wide range of courses is available which is intended to give a broad general education while also providing a foundation for future specialisation. Within individual courses we emphasise the importance of learning how to learn, of developing independence as a learner, making cross-curricular connections and solving problems or undertaking projects in real life contexts.

We provide a positive and focused learning environment within which we help students to meet their individual learning needs. Students can also expect to be involved in a variety of co-curricular and extracurricular activities which will enhance  learning and help develop the personal and social aptitudes that will enable valuable contributions to the community.

A diverse range of subjects and a committed and well qualified staff prepare students well for tertiary education and other vocational pathways. NCEA provides a great degree of flexibility in course choice and this requires careful planning. Informed subject and course choice is important and teachers, deans and  the careers advisor provide students with clear guidance for planning a course of study which is relevant to future career pathways.

The Senior Options Guide assists students and their parents to decide on subject choices for the senior school years and is to be used in conjunction with curriculum planning sessions and, where necessary, individual interviews with the deans, careers advisor, subject teachers, or senior leadership.


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. 

  • Each year, students study a number of courses or subjects.
  • In each subject, skills and knowledge are assessed against a number of standards. For example, a Mathematics standard could be: Apply numeric reasoning in solving problems.
  • Schools use a range of internal and external assessments to measure how well students meet these standards.
  • When a student achieves a standard, they gain a number of credits. Students must achieve a certain number of credits to gain an NCEA certificate.
  • There are three levels of NCEA certificate, depending on the difficulty of the standards achieved. In general, students work through levels 1 to 3 in years 11 to 13 at school.
  • Students are recognised for high achievement at each level by gaining NCEA with Merit or NCEA with Excellence. High achievement in a course is also recognised.

NCEA Results

As a community, we can take enormous pride in our NCEA and scholarship results for 2020. Considering the year that was, our students have achieved some outstanding results even exceeding previous years in overall achievement and endorsement rates.

  • 2020 saw 100% of our Year 11 students gain their NCEA Level 1 certificate and 88.8% of these students gained either a Merit or Excellence endorsement.
  • At NCEA Level 2 98.6% of our Year 12 students achieved this qualification with 78.2% gaining either a Merit or Excellence endorsement.
  • At NCEA Level 3 95.5% of our Year 13 students gained this certificate and 91% of these students also achieved University Entrance – 68.5% of these students gained an endorsement and 22.8% at Excellence.

Of particular note is that our pass rates exceed those at each year level across New Zealand, according to decile 8 to10 schools and ethnicity. All our students achieved their academic potential with our Māori and Pasifika students' NCEA achievement equal to or greater than our non-Māori and Pasifika students.

There is much cause for celebration and we are very proud of our senior students and the teachers and staff who supported them to such impressive levels of academic achievement.


Scholarship is a monetary award to recognise top secondary school students. Scholarship exams are externally assessed and are an additional set of exams. They do not attract credits, nor contribute towards a qualification, but the fact that a student has gained a Scholarship appears on their Record of Achievement.

For more information, click here.

Advanced Learning Support

The learning needs of gifted and talented students are accounted for in personalised advanced learning programmes, and elite senior academic students are invited to join the Scholars mentoring programme, which aims to enable maximum academic achievement and provide guidance for the future thought–provoking seminars which allow students to think outside the box.

Advanced learning support is holistic in nature to support gifted and talented students’ development within their area(s) of capability, whilst concurrently supporting their social and emotional well-being and growth. There is a focus on fostering resilience within these students in order that they may be able to make choices that lead them to live fulfilled, meaningful and satisfying lives.

The Individual Education Programme is the foundation for ensuring that students are provided with educational opportunities that allow talents to flourish. We meet regularly with students to discuss their needs and to put in place strategies to ensure those needs are being met. These strategies could include:

  • Extension work in class
  • Curriculum compacting, allowing for in-depth inquiry
  • Individual subject acceleration to a higher year level
  • Utilising Te Kura - The Correspondence School
  • University papers

We also provide enriching co-curricular experiences. These could include field trips, workshops and speakers. Alongside the academic support, students receive regular mentoring from the Head of Advanced Learning.

Learning Support

Our Learning Support Team, whose role is to meet the remedial learning needs, especially in literacy and numeracy, support the learning extension needs of individual students. The role of learning support is to provide a needs-based learning support structure so that all students have an opportunity to reach their true potential. This is achieved through:

  • Provision of appropriate resources
  • Modified programmes / assessments / IEPs
  • Small group and individual support
  • In-class support/withdrawal support

Priority is given to students who have been identified through assessment as having significant learning needs. This information is obtained from school-based assessment, contributing school information, educational psychology reports, community and caregiver information. Support is offered across the curriculum and across all year levels.

Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR)

The STAR is funding provided to all state Secondary Schools to help students decide what they want to do when they leave school. This gives students access to a wide range of courses which will motivate them to achieve and help to make informed decisions about their future.

There are many opportunities available to Dio students, ranging from one day short courses through to University papers.  One day courses are beneficial to students who may be unsure of their career path whereas University papers are designed to challenge Year 13 students academically in preparation for future learning.


The Dio library holds a range of items including books, DVDs and magazines. We also subscribe to the Wheelers ePlatform where there is a large selection of ebooks and audiobooks. These can be accessed through the library database below. 

The library is open 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 8:00 am - 3:30 pm on Fridays.

Online Database

Click here to access the library database

Sign in and you will be able to keep up-to-date with anything happening in the library, view and reserve items, access EPIC databases and use one search.

Senior Dux Recipients

  • 1922: T. Monckton
  • 1923: N. Sergel
  • 1924: N. Sergel
  • 1929: M. Taylor
  • 1930: E. Bell
  • 1934: A. Every
  • 1937: N. Pirritt
  • 1938: B. Graham
  • 1939: B. Calvert
  • 1940: A. Anderson
  • 1941: B. Graham
  • 1942: P. Tod
  • 1943: B. Potts
  • 1944: H. Paine
  • 1945: M. Corbett
  • 1946: J. Beattie
  • 1947: J. Beattie
  • 1948: S. Fletcher
  • 1949: A. Reid
  • 1950: G. Wilson
  • 1951: G. Wilson
  • 1952: H. Pearson
  • 1953: P. Davis
  • 1954: R. Clifton-Mogg
  • 1955: A. Stephenson
  • 1856: B. Johnson
  • 1957: J. Wallis
  • 1958: J. Gardner
  • 1959: C. Petch
  • 1960: D. Rogers
    and S. Roberts
  • 1961: A. Cato
  • 1962: A. Ellis
  • 1963: M. Allman-Marchant
  • 1964: B. Lewis
  • 1965: J. Bambury
  • 1966: I. Ollivier
  • 1967: I. Ollivier
  • 1969: A. Hodgson (Science),
    M Waring (Arts)
  • 1970: F. St George
  • 1971: A. James
  • 1972: J. Sampson
  • 1973: M. Wood
  • 1974: S. Stephenson (Arts),
    K. Lipscombe (Science)
  • 1975: S. Gumner
  • 1976: P. Jolly
  • 1977: K. Lamb
  • 1978: R. Holmes
  • 1979: L. Sadler
  • 1980: M. Rothwell
  • 1981: B. Higgins
  • 1982: F. Katterns
  • 1983: R. Blake
  • 1984: J. Bindon
  • 1985: H. Priest
  • 1986: S. Nicholson
    and P. Thornton
  • 1987: T. Stanford
  • 1988: S. Scott
  • 1989: J. Gould
  • 1990: C. Lowe
  • 1991: K. Bannon
  • 1992: I. Ng
  • 1993: P. Bond
    and J. Tay
  • 1994: P. Bull
  • 1995: R. Walters
  • 1996: S. Healy
  • 1997: J. Hill
  • 1998: K. Bartlett
    and A. McConnell
  • 1999: D. Koo
  • 2000: A. Yeh
  • 2001: J. Matthews
  • 2002: R. Bright
    and C. Davey
  • 2003: S. Lee
  • 2004: A. Young
  • 2005: K. Lin
  • 2006: R. McMaster
  • 2007: E. Dale
  • 2008: E. Wheeler
  • 2009: N. Harrington
  • 2010: T. Sun
  • 2011: J. Ratcliffe
  • 2012: M. Barker
  • 2013: E. Totman
  • 2014: E. Tsen
  • 2015: A. Newell
  • 2016: A. Spittal
  • 2017: C. Lin
  • 2018: E. Williams
  • 2019: Tiana Mayo
  • 2020: Aliyah Thotathil