All Academies (AWVA)

Welcome to the Auckland West Vocational Academies, (AWVA), at Massey High School.

Massey High is the lead provider in AWVA, Auckland West Vocational Academy.

All the academies offer students the opportunity to get involved in a skills based Vocational Pathway at Massey High School, with aligned onsite tutoring at various providers e.g. UNITEC, Auckland Hotel and Chef School, Whitireia (Radio School), ITC (International Travel College), NZ Fashion Tech and other NZQA approved providers during their school year. Some of the academies take place at our partner schools e.g. Mahi a Toi (Maori Performing Arts) and Mechatronics which are based at Rutherford College.

All the academies are different in their detail but they all involve studying for NCEA, working towards a National Certificate, skills based learning at a provider and the opportunity to have their NCEA endorsed with a Vocational Pathways Award at Level 2. The credits gained in the academies count towards the NCEA. Some academies offer opportunities for work experience and all the academy students have the chance of free driving lessons in a manual car.

Most of the academies commence in Year 12 and many progress to Year 13.  At Year 11 there are the following academy options for students to consider:
1. Engineering Level 1,
2. Early Childhood Level 2,
3. Fashion Academy either Yr 11 Pre-Academy or Level 2,
4. Multi Skills Level 1 & 2,
5. Building 103
6. Hospitality

Our Academies include: Automotive, Carpentry and Construction, Engineering, Early Childhood, Fashion, Hospitality, Tourism, Mahi a Toi, Mechatronics, Media, Multi Skills and the Health Pathway.

How To Apply

Application forms for AWVA Academies are available from Ms Douglas in the AWVA office in the old administration building as well as at the main school reception.  Or you can access a copy of the form here: https://masseyhighschoolnz-my....  Print out the form, fill in and return either by scanning/email to address at bottom of form or bring in to school and hand in to Ms Douglas or Mr Hackett by Attendance office.

See the information on individual academies for specific uniform and safety requirements.

Further information about specific Academies is at the beginning of the subject listings in this booklet.

The first step in the course selection process for those who are interested in applying for an academy is to indicate that interest on the 2020 pathway planner form. Further information will be available after that.                                  

Towards the end of 2011 the Ministry of Education appointed Massey High School as a lead provider among a small group of educational institutions known as Trades Academies. The Trades Academies offered through Massey High School are collectively known as the Auckland West Vocational Academies (AWVA).

Other schools who have joined AWVA from 2014 through to 2018 are Waitakere College, Rutherford College, Kelston Boys High School and Green Bay College. Some of the additional AWVA academies these other schools offer will be available to our students if that will be more relevant to their pathway choice.

All AWVA academies enable students to work towards a nationally transferable foundation level tertiary qualification (usually at Level 2), and an NCEA endorsed with one of the six vocational pathway awards (at Level 2 only). These awards are additional to the standard NCEA qualification.

All the standards in Academy courses offer credits which also cross over to the NCEA on a one for one basis.

What is a Nationally Transferable Foundation Level Tertiary Qualification?

A nationally transferable foundation level tertiary qualification is a qualification offered by polytechnics such as Unitec or MIT, or other training institutions (including some schools) that is usually only available to students once they finish their secondary education. Essentially the same qualification (often called a National Certificate or New Zealand Certificate) is taught throughout the country so that a National Certificate gained through AWVA at Massey High School is recognised and accepted throughout the whole country.

Foundation qualifications (sometimes called pre-trade or pre-apprenticeship) prepare students to enrol in a variety of courses at the next tertiary level (often level 4). For example, a student with a National Certificate in Carpentry (BCAT’s) can still qualify for a level 4 course in automotive, plumbing or electrical as well as carpentry.

This is important, because it means that students are not locked into just one career because of decisions made when they are 16 or 17.

What is Different about the AWVA Academies?

Each AWVA academy has its own (vocational pathway aligned) programme that is taught in context at school, but all academies have a connection with an outside teaching institution. These education providers may come to the school to teach, or more usually, host AWVA students at their campus. Work experience and some free driving tuition is also available. Students who are part of AWVA will be assured of coherency in their overall programme, leading to enhanced future employment or study opportunities.

Other Providers

As the lead school in the Auckland West Vocational Academies (AWVA), Massey High School is associated with Unitec, MIT, the BCATS Industry Training Organisation (ITO), Service IQ, ITC, Competenz. Whitireia, NZ Fashion Tech, and AHCTS in addition to a number of other specialist training providers.

AWVA Academies for Massey High School Students

Under the umbrella of the Auckland West Vocational Academies (AWVA) the following academies are offered in 2019:

  • Automotive Level 2 - Year 1
  • Automotive Level 2 - Year 2
  • Building Level 3
  • Carpentry Level 2
  • Early Childhood Level 2/3
  • Fashion Year 1 & Year 2
  • Hospitality Level 2 - Year 1 and Year 2
  • Extended Hospitality Level 3
  • Full time Hospitality
  • Health Pathways
  • Hospitality and Tourism - Year 1
  • Tourism - Year 2
  • Media (Radio) Studies Level 2 & 3
  • Multi Skills Level 1 & 2(Year 11 & 12 students can apply)
  • Hospitality Pre-Academy
  • After Hours Engineering Level 2 (Waitakere)
  • After Hours Maori Performing Arts (Rutherford) Mahi a Toi
  • After Hours Mechatronics Level 2 (Rutherford)

For the above academies there are a number of different academy timetables ranging from full time to just one period per day. The majority are offered for two periods per day, and sometimes continue over a two year cycle. As listed above, an increasing number of 2-6pm “after hours” academies are also being offered.

It is strongly recommended that all academy students include at least one semester of both Mathematics and English in their course selection.

Who Should Apply for an AWVA Academy?

  • Any student who is seriously considering attending a Polytechnic such as Unitec, or MIT, a Wananga or a private training enterprise should apply. The successful completion of an academy will save between 6 months and 1 year’s tuition and any fees!
  • Any student who is hoping to gain an apprenticeship. Employers are keen to employ people who already have an understanding of and skills relevant to the vocation they choose.
  • Any student who has struggled in the conventional classroom but is keen to remain at school in a different environment to secure a positive future.
  • Any student who wants to work hard, gain a qualification and move directly to employment.

Multiple Qualifications

Academy students are expected to work towards multiple qualifications – but this is done with an emphasis on practical lessons. In recognition of the fact that 70% of students nationally do not attend a University, the curriculum emphasis for AWVA students is on coherent applied vocational education in a context rather than on University Entrance, although University Entrance may still be possible.

Other learning opportunities such as specialised driving instruction, literacy and numeracy support are available depending on the individual academy.

No Subject Fees!


AWVA academies are designed to provide vocational pathways for students, as well as enabling them to achieve at least NCEA Level 2 and a National Certificate at Level 2.

The key differences between the AWVA academies and the traditional school subjects are:

  1. Academy students may be taught collaboratively by both Secondary and Tertiary teachers.
  2. Some time may be spent at both campuses (Massey High School and e.g. Unitec).
  3. NCEA is a secondary qualification, while the National Certificates are tertiary qualifications.

Students in some of these academies will be together in some of their other subjects rather than studying different options.

The outcomes of a successful completion of an academy programme are:

  1. Students will finish school with a tertiary qualification which will help considerably with employment.
  2. Students will gain direct entry into degree or diploma courses.
  3. There will be an increased chance of gaining an apprenticeship.
  4. The student can use NCEA Level 2 as a basis for a different career pathway.
  5. All credits gained contribute to NCEA as well.

Numbers in each academy will be limited. Early application is important.

Courses in this Learning Area