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Classical studies and external qualifications

NCEA achievement standards

These standards are designed for use in a classical studies programme or in other cross-curricular or senior subject programmes of learning.

Assessment specifications, moderators’ reports, and clarification documents are available on the NZQA website. Internal assessment resources will be made available on NCEA on TKI.

For considerations regarding the way the classical studies achievement standards may be integrated into your programme, go to the relevant level.

Using local contexts for internal assessments

Several schools report students achieving higher levels of success in NCEA when the focus has been on issues in local contexts. This means that teachers take into account a range of factors, such as the culture, gender, literacy needs, specific learning differences, and styles, when they choose texts or assessment contexts for their learners. This may mean that teachers need to change assessment contexts or topics or texts each year to suit the learners.

For example:

  • If a teacher had a class with high levels of interest in drama and music, he or she could choose Sophocles’ tragedies instead of Homeric epic to explore the key concept of citizenship and society. This would also allow for a performance element. Gifted students could choose a classical literary work that they were interested in. Different cultural viewpoints could be shared and explored through relevant inquiry and debate. Contexts may be different for different students, but the student would still be working towards the same learning outcome.
  • The Olympics or similar major sporting event could be a context for learning about culture and identity for a class keen on sport. A visit to the local sports stadium might be included in order to set student learning in a real-life context.

Learning programme design offers further guidance.

Level 1

These standards are derived from level 6 of the New Zealand Curriculum and the learning objectives 6-1 and 6-2.

Literacy requirements in classical studies at level 1

From 2011, five level 1 classical studies standards meet the criteria for level 1 literacy. Classical studies teachers will need to give special attention to deliberately teaching academic reading and writing skills. These skills include acquiring vocabulary particular to the subject of classical studies and an understanding of the demands of particular writing genres for classical studies such as description, explanation, argument, and drawing conclusions.

  • AS91021 Classical studies 1.1 Demonstrate understanding of ideas and values of the classical world; External, 4 credits.
  • AS91022 Classical studies 1.2 Demonstrate understanding of the significance of features of work(s) of art in the classical world; External, 4 credits.
  • AS91023 Classical studies 1.3 Demonstrate understanding of an important historical figure in the classical world; External, 4 credits.
  • AS91024 Classical studies 1.4 Demonstrate understanding of social relationships in the classical world; Internal, 6 credits.
  • AS91025 Classical studies 1.5 Demonstrate understanding of links between aspects of the classical world and another culture; Internal, 6 credits.

Level 2

These standards are derived from level 7 of the New Zealand Curriculum and the learning objectives 7-1 and 7-2.

  • AS91200 Classical studies 2.1 Examine ideas and values of the classical world; External, 4 credits.
  • AS91201 Classical studies 2.2 Examine the significance of features of work(s) of art in the classical world; External, 4 credits.
  • AS91202 Classical studies 2.3 Demonstrate understanding of a significant event in the classical world; Internal, 4 credits.
  • AS91203 Classical studies 2.4 Examine socio-political life in the classical world; External, 6 credits.
  • AS91204 Classical studies 2.5 Demonstrate understanding of the relationship between aspects of the classical world and aspects of other cultures; Internal, 6 credits.

Level 3

These standards are derived from level 8 of the New Zealand Curriculum and the learning objectives 8-1 and 8-2.

At the time of publication, achievement standards were in development to align them with The New Zealand Curriculum. Please ensure that you are using the correct version of the standards by going to the NZQA website.

The NZQA subject-specific resources pages are very helpful. From there, you can find all the achievement standards and links to assessment resources, both internal and external.

Learn more:

  • AS91394 Classical studies 3.1 Analyse ideas and values of the classical world; External, 4 credits.
  • AS91395 Classical studies 3.2 Analyse the significance of a work(s) of art in the classical world; External, 4 credits.
  • AS91396 Classical studies 3.3 Analyse the impact of a significant historical figure on the classical world; External, 6 credits.
  • AS91397 Classical studies 3.4 Demonstrate understanding of significant ideology(ies) in the classical world; Internal, 6 credits.
  • AS91398 Classical studies 3.5 Demonstrate understanding of the lasting influences of the classical world on other cultures across time; Internal, 6 credits.

New Zealand Scholarship in classical studies

Scholarship demands a high level of critical and creative thinking. It helps students develop the ability to formulate a cogent argument based on depth and breadth of understanding. Students learn to communicate their ideas with precision and expressiveness that focuses the reader’s attention on salient points.

Scholarship teaching and learning takes the complexity and diversity of social, political, artistic, and ideological aspects of the classical world to new heights. Students analyse a wide variety of sources to make informed conclusions about the key concepts. Scholarship requires student-led learning, independent inquiry, and commitment to participating and contributing. The teacher’s role is to guide and facilitate learning experiences and provide formative assessment opportunities.

Structuring a classical studies scholarship programme

  • Depending on the interests and needs of their students, teachers may choose to:
  • provide advice and guidance about relevant wide reading options
  • build student capacity to be able to independently unpack and respond to a wide range of essay questions
  • provide regular formative assessment opportunities for students to practise the skill of communicating their argument in essay format
  • run an additional scholarship class weekly or fortnightly
  • run regional seminars and tutorials regularly for scholarship students across a number of schools
  • organise guest speakers to talk to groups of students from a number of schools, for example, university lecturers
  • network a student’s blog with other scholarship students so that they provide feedback and discussion alongside teachers
  • use an online forum (for example, Moodle, Google docs) to host a discussion around particular topics and ideas
  • enable students to present seminars on specific themes within topics.

The scholarship performance standards and assessment specifications are located at New Zealand Scholarship subjects.

Learn more:

Last updated April 12, 2021