Gateway/Star Courses

Gateway provides long-term structured workplace learning for Year 12-13 students. It is an exciting opportunity that opens a new pathway from school to employment/on job training or tertiary study by combining school study with work based learning.

Students attend a work placement one day a week over a 10 week period of time (flexible) and complete an individual learning plan with a minimum of 20 industry based credits relating to their chosen area of work.

In consultation with the employer, a learning plan is specifically developed for each student including industry-based Unit Standards that contribute towards NCEA.

School attendance continues as usual, with students attending their Gateway Placement one day per week for a period of time to be arranged.

Students gain valuable experience and learning in a career of their choice, building confidence for a smooth transition to the workplace.

Examples of industry placements include: health/nursing, hospitality, early childhood, retail, design and printing, hairdressing & beauty, personal training/sports science, farming/agriculture/equine and trades.

If you are interested in Gateway please come and talk to our Gateway Co-ordinator Sonya Fitzgerald or email

STAR Courses

The STAR (Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource) programme offers students an opportunity to gain practical skills relevant to workplace industry. Students can get a taste of a subject or job area that interests them. Courses encourage students to explore potential career and further education options. STAR courses are designed to assist year 11-13 students’ transition smoothly from school into tertiary study or work. NZQA unit standards can be gained from most courses.

At Villa Maria College we offer funded STAR Holiday Courses and Term Time Courses, through external providers. Ask your daughter about STAR Holiday courses today!

STAR Term Time Courses are attended by the student during school term hours. Information about these courses is also available from our STAR Coordinator Sonya Fitzgerald. Permission to attend these courses will be given in consultation with your daughter’s Head of House.

Encourage your daughter to explore career pathways with STAR!

Villa Maria College STAR Coordinator, Sonya Fitzgerald can be contacted at