Student FAQs

Student FAQs


No. We get top grades because students enjoy our college and value their teachers. The students work hard and very few are gifted. They are motivated students who genuinely want to do well – sound like you?

In honesty, all teachers at Senior College genuinely enjoy their job and working with such great students. In questioning the students about college life,  the thing they appreciate most about the school is their teachers. They treat students with respect, are specialists, know their subject and work hard with you for top grades.

Try talking to your subject teacher or tutor teacher before this happens. They are here to help you. Sometimes, students just need help to get organised and meet deadlines. Never leave it too late. Help is always there.

Work hard, ask questions, read around your subject, check old exam papers, make good study notes – ask for extra work.

  • Firstly the Principal or Deputy Principal at the time of enrolment.
  • The Dean can also give advice and help.
  • Subject teachers can give information about their respective curriculum.

The Careers Counsellor is very knowledgeable about future careers and which subjects a student needs to take in order to gain entry to tertiary institutions.

Absolutely. The Careers Counsellor has vast knowledge about applying for universities in both New Zealand and internationally. Just last year, we had a student get into Cambridge and one into Oxford. Also two students gained entry to the London School of music – one at Masters Level and one as a first year. 

Every student who graduates from the College receives a full profile of their time at the college including results, extra-curricular and a full reference.

We want students to have choice and this means choosing the programme best for you. CIE starts at the beginning of the year and IB in July. Click below to find out more about each of the them. Talk to us if you need to know more.

Absolutely. Both are great qualifications and are well accepted world-wide.

All CIE and IB courses are challenging. That is one reason why the College chose to follow the CIE path. Courses are rigorous and academically challenging and hence require dedication and hard work in order to achieve a thorough understanding of the subject matter and develop skills to a high level. However, the courses are not beyond a student of average ability who has a healthy work ethic and an inquiring mind.

Absolutely not. It is similar to Cambridge. It is more about what suits you best. For that you need to explore both.

Come in and be a Senior College student for a day – try out IB and CIE. If you are going to change schools you want to be sure.

You have two exams a year if you are a Cambridge student. One in Term 2 and then final school exams in Term 3 about five weeks before the CIE exams at the end of the year. One is held early in Term 2 and one late in Term three.

If you are an IB student, you have tests at the end of the term but examinations at the end of Term 2 and Term 4 in the first year. In the second year, there are exams at the end of Term 2 and 3. IB students sit their only external examinations at the beginning of Term 4 in their second year.

Year 11: Cambridge students take six subjects: English Language and English Literature (two separate courses) and Mathematics are compulsory, plus three options. 

Year 12 and Year 13: Cambridge students normally take four or in the case of exceptionally high achieving students, five subjects each year. AS and A2 courses require 170 hours of teaching time compared with 120 hours for the old Sixth Form Certificate or Bursary. This time reflects the increased content, level of difficulty and higher skills required to succeed in the CIE system. Four AS or AS and A2 courses keep most students very busy.

Pre IB: Students take a variety of courses throughout the year that prepare them with the skills and knowledge for success in the six IBDP groups (listed below) and the IBDP Core. They also complete the Duke of Edinburgh ( D of E ) Hillary Bronze Award, which serves as an excellent introduction to the IBDP CAS component.

IB Diploma: students take six subjects over two years (Group 1: Language A – Native language, Group 2: Language B – learned language, Group 3: Humanities, Group 4 Experimental Science, Group 5: Mathematics and either Group 6: a creative subject (Art or Music) or another subject from Groups 2 to 4. Normally, three subjects are studied at Higher Level, and three at Standard Level. In addition, IB students also complete the plus the Core requirements, comprising Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) and complete an Extended Essay (EE), and have the option of completing the D of E Hillary Award to Silver or Gold standard

Each lesson lasts for 80 minutes. This is considerably longer than most students have experienced at previous schools and initially takes a little getting used to. However, students soon adjust to this. There is much research to show that senior students benefit greatly from this approach. Teachers of course are experienced in breaking lessons up into different activities. To be able to concentrate on one subject for this length of time brings enormous benefits.

Classes start at 8.30am and finish at 4.35pm. However, students are in charge of their own free time. Students who have a non-contact period first thing may arrive in time for their first lesson at 9.55, or if you have a free last lesson in the afternoon you may leave at 3.05 to go home. Students are only expected to be in College during scheduled lesson time and a roll is taken every lesson. You are trusted to use your non-contact time wisely.

Yes. Although the atmosphere at ACG Senior College provides students with much freedom, there are a few important rules which we uphold very strongly. One of these is that all scheduled lessons are compulsory. Students are expected to attend lessons punctually, prepared and equipped to work.

Yes. Year 11 students are expected to spend about two and a half hours on each subject per week. At Year 12 and Year 13, students spend approximately 4 hours per subject per week. Most students manage to complete a lot of this work during non-contact periods at the College. Some of this time is spent on specific assignments set by the teacher, while some will also be spent on background reading, revision and organising your notes.

Most students succeed at the College through hard work, positive attitude and application. The courses are challenging, but not beyond students of average ability and above, who are prepared to push the boundaries a little. If you don't like hard work then ACG Senior College is not the place to come!

If you want support to do well – then this is the school for you


Student Life

You can come in and Be a Student for the Day. All you need to do is ring Mrs Tamepo on 3075390 or email her on and request a day. She will ask which subjects you would like to see and organise a timetable for you. We buddy you up with a school ambassador so you have someone to spend lunchtime and break with. This is a great way for you to get the feel of the school and see if it is right for you.

Essentially yes. However, if you have come to Senior College it is because you want to be trusted to do your work to the best of your ability. That is why students spend lots of time during the day working in the library in their non-contact time. That way, when you go home, apart from study, you have extra time to see friends, play sport and many other family things.

Yes. There is so much to be gained by being part of our school – this could be involvement in sport or drama or in collecting for charities or writing in the school in-house magazine and so much more. Giving back is important for anyone today. All of this makes you part of the college. It also shows something about you the person. When students leave and apply for university courses, scholarships and part-time jobs, this involvement is considered to be very important. Besides, you get to meet people in the school that you would never come across in class.

At the start of the year, the leaders tell students what is available in the school. They have a noticeboard with lots of things that are happening. Likewise, the notices on the television where you enter the school post when meetings take place – just sign up.

If for some reason you are not used to doing this or are shy, ask your tutor to help you and they will do so in a quiet way.

Absolutely not. We may not do everything a big school does but what we do, we aim to do well. We have so many extra-curricular activities – link here
Being part of the school community is an important aspect of the college. The other thing is that there is no traditions we have to follow. If a new student wants to start a sports team or any activity, they need to put it to their Dean or the Principal and so often this happens.

Absolutely. This year, we have a new Year 13 student who gained one of the seven leadership roles on offer because she was a superb student with lots to give and a great background in school involvement. 

Yes - we have a number of trips that link to course work - like a Geography trip to the beach, a biology trip to the zoo and so on. We also have overseas trips.

Essentially no, but you cannot be late for Period 2. Our advice is that you come to school anyway and use this time for homework. That way you can complete lots of homework at school and have time at home for the other things in which you wish to take part.

Within reason. The College has a dress code that does not allow ripped or torn clothing or such things as unusual hair colour. Our rules are simple and we ask that students adhere to them. In essence, students are required to be neat and tidy. They are not permitted to wear anything offensive. Link to the handbook.

Students are not allowed to smoke during the school day and even if you smell of smoke, you will be asked to see the Deputy Principal. Our college is a smoke free zone. If you are given the freedom to go out of the college it is expected that you adhere to the rules of the school.

Students are asked to validate their time away by providing either a note or a phone call from their parents. It is up to the student to see their teachers and catch up the work missed.

No. Students are only allowed to have a water bottle. Make sure you organise your time so that you have breakfast, something at break and then lunchtime. They are not so far apart that you cannot last. In laboratories, there is no drinking or eating at any time.

Yes it does. Students are not allowed to interrupt classes through being late unless there is a valid reason. Sleeping in is most definitely not a valid reason. Students who are late must sign in at Level 2 Reception. Failure to have a valid reason could mean that you are excluded and have to catch up this work on Friday after school.
Class time is the most important time spent at school and it is therefore important that every minute counts and time is uninterrupted by late students. After all, students are not late for their after school job so why be late for school?

Students can text the College and if the reason is valid, a Late Slip will be waiting for the student once they arrive. They are expected to run from the bus to avoid further lateness. However, no matter what the excuse, if a student is considerably late, they will not gain entry to class.

You would be leaving the College. We have a zero tolerance for drugs.

Some students choose to go out of the building and have lunch in Aotea Square or in a cafe. Many have lunch in the College. All rooms are open except for laboratories. There is a room so that students can heat food and have access to boiling water. All we ask is that you clean up your own mess.


Yes! Sports teams are organised by students. We have recently had successful soccer, indoor basketball, rugby, cricket, netball, eventing and many more. Other activities include Choir, Garage Band Classes, Rock bands, Individual Music classes, Drama, two annual school productions, Model United Nations, Student Art exhibition; supporting worthwhile charities eg. Canteen, FADE, 40 hour famine and School newspaper. Annual overseas trips include a Business Studies trip to Tokyo, New York and London, a Design trip to Melbourne, Language trips to Japan and South America and a History trip to Europe. Lecture series after school and Focus groups at each level (Youth Affairs, supporting charities, Fostering school climate) are other examples of extra-curricular activities available and much more… You can also start something new if you wish. Is Physical Education compulsory?
In Year 11, students are required to spend one lesson each week doing PE to keep you fit. 
In Years 12 and 13, PE is not compulsory, however, there is a well-equipped gymnasium available for student use. AS and A2 Physical Education are offered as option choices.


Student Support

Being homesick is something we take seriously. You tell your tutor teacher or Dean who will be really helpful.


With respect. All students are treated as an adult unless they behave like a child. The relationship between staff and students is really important. That is why so many students keep in touch with their teachers after leaving school.


Your Art or Music teacher would be delighted - it shows the work is really important or that you are passionate about your study. What could be better!


Absolutely. It is not unusual for students to experience learning difficulty and this is identified by an Educational Psychologist. We do an action plan for you so that the teachers understand the challenges and work with you to ensure you work to potential. Of course, this also relies on you working hard also. It is so normal for students to be awarded the use of a computer for exams or extra time that no one even notices or comments.


The College has very little harassment of any kind. Such matters are dealt with immediately. The student who is being bullied is considered at all times and their confidence is kept safe. So if this ever happened, we would expect you to tell us. We won’t expose you or make it worse. We will aim to stop it! Every student has the right to attend a school where they can be respected for who they are.


Talk to your tutor teacher, Dean or a teacher you really get on well with. These conversations will always be in confidence.


Yes but different from other schools. At Senior College you have a tutor teacher who is normally one of your subject teachers. They do everything from having oversight of your academic work to supporting you personally. Some even give you bus money when you forget to bring it. They are your “go to person”.

Students meet with the whole group on a Monday and then individually every 2 weeks with their tutor but you can see them any time for any help. There is a Dean for Domestic students and one for International students who is there to help you. Deans do not do discipline. Their role is to support students.


ACG Senior College We are pleased to announce the appointment of Tracey Dykstra as Principal from 1 November:
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ACG Senior College

Address: 66 Lorne Street
(entrance from Rutland Street)

Auckland, New Zealand 

Phone:+64 9 307 4477