The word Science comes from the Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”

The Nayland College Science programme investigates the world around us by applying theories, predicting, and testing. We are looking for explanations.

Teaching the Nature of Science enhances the way we observe and use evidence and understanding to make links between scientific knowledge and everyday actions and decisions.

Our specialist teaching team enable students to explore the five strands of secondary level science in years 9, 10 and 11.

Students choose to go onto an in-depth study of these in years 12 and 13. We offer:

  • Biology – living things and their interactions, including evolution, genetics and ecology.
  • Chemistry – matter and the changes it undergoes, including reactions, organics and types and properties of substances.
  • Physics – physical systems, such as forces, energy and electricity.
  • Earth and Space Science (with a Marine focus) – interconnected systems and processes of the planet Earth, our solar system, and beyond.
  • Horticulture and Primary Industries – the control and development of plants and agriculture for human benefit.

Our close relationships with the Department of Conservation at Lake Rotoiti, Richard De Hamel from the Otago University outreach programme, the Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology, and the staff at the Cawthron Institute ensure that students experience hands-on science.

The Nayland Science teachers are renowned for their contributions to the science community.

Some sites by our science teachers:

To find out more, contact Hamish McLellan (

Social Sciences

The Nayland Social Sciences programme is built on the interests of our students and the wide range of experiences our nationally recognised teachers bring.

We offer a range of exciting subjects in the senior school including Tourism, Sociology, Geography and History.

In years 9 and 10 students explore human rights, careers, culture, economics, migration, government, treaties and sustainability. A real strength is the passion and commitment our teachers have for their specialist subjects and for literacy.

We like to shake things up, stimulate new thinking and create change in the world.

In social studies, we enable students to take part in society by thinking critically about different ways of living, giving to their communities and being responsible young adults.

In the senior school we get our students out of the classroom and into their world. We take field trips to Kaikoura, the West Coast (Denniston and Stockton mines), Queenstown, the Gold Coast and Abel Tasman, as well as Tahunanui, Cable Bay and The Glen.

We get involved in the issues that affect Nelson. We support The Foodbank, the 40 Hour Famine and other community groups by taking social action and through the use of authentic inquiry learning. All our learning focuses on remembering knowledge, demonstrating understanding, inquiring and applying these skills.

For more information contact Glenn Cheyne (

Physical Education and Health

The Nayland College Physical Education and Health programme develops a sense of personal identity and self-worth through physical effort. Resilience, empathy and an awareness of a healthy lifestyle are looked at from both a theoretical and practical basis.

The programmes in health and physical education encourage enjoyment and personal satisfaction, improve skill level and develop kinesthetic awareness through physical challenge both in individual and group situations. The contribution of physical activity to a healthy life is a cornerstone of all the programmes. Teachers are skilled in role-modelling the importance of being considerate of others’ needs, feelings and varying ability levels in individual and group situations.

Regular opportunities to mentor younger athletes, to coach and to referee at local schools are offered as part of the programme.

Our modern gymnasiums and well-set-out playing fields and courts make participating even more enjoyable. The Sports Director and Sports Coordinator work closely with students and staff.

For more information contact Brennan Geddes (

Visual Arts

With four fully equipped art rooms, a suite of computers, a darkroom, three full-time and two part-time highly qualified, experienced and enthusiastic teaching staff the learning experience at Nayland College is a great place if you want quality art education.

All courses at all levels place the student at the centre of their learning. Students are actively involved in selecting and creating what is important to them.

At the junior level, students learn lots of different ways to create art and are challenged to experiment in ways of seeing and recording information. They may use pencils and crayons, but might also use biros, different coloured rice, toasted bread or M&M’s! What is very important to us is that the early experiences are good ones where the student feels valued and have some say in how and what they make.

At senior level the student takes control and direction of what they produce, the method they produce it and what korero they tell. Staff advise, direct and guide students.

From Level 2 onwards students may choose to study in up to three disciplines of Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture.

Students who pursue the Visual Arts at Nayland College successfully step into further education and work. They have entered careers in architecture, fine arts, interior and fashion design, photography, film, media studies, visual communication, illustration, graphic design, makeup modelling, game development, art history and photography.

To find out more contact Diana Maskill (

Performing Arts


Drama is offered at all year levels. Regular events are an opportunity to present performances both within the school and the community. Opportunities to both choreograph and act are offered from year 9 onwards. The Nayland Drama Company meets weekly and is open to all students.

The Performing Arts Centre ( the PAC ) was designed and built to showcase the artistic creations of our students. The clever use of space allows us to create, rehearse and perform professionally lit shows from every genre.

To find out more contact Verity Davidson (


The Nayland College music teachers are performers themselves and bring their enthusiasm and experience into the classrooms.

Regular events are an opportunity for students to perform both within school and the community. We are often invited to play at the Red Square and Honest Lawyer. Students can both choreograph and perform music from year 9 onwards. Musical lessons are offered on-site in flute, violin, cello, guitar, drums and vocal.

The Orchestra and Jazz Band are a special feature of the music programme and offer students weekly opportunities to perform together.

The cleverly designed music suite creates a physical hub that celebrates creativity and fosters a musical community.

To find out more contact Nigel Weeks (


The Nayland College Business programme walks the walk to find and nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The programme takes a comprehensive look from the accounting, business and economics perspectives at how decisions impact on businesses, society, individuals and the New Zealand economy.

The tempting variety of exciting and challenging subjects offered from year 9 -13 allows success for students from a wide range of academic abilities.

Enthusiastic, dedicated and nationally recognised staff mentor students keen to continue in the Business field.

Nayland’s Business programme offers the full range of specialist subjects taught by specialist teachers with advanced qualifications and experience.

Nayland Business students have enjoyed success in national accounting, economics and business competitions at junior and senior level.

  • Top and top 10 placings in national Young Enterprise exam
  • Scholarship successes in NZQA exams
  • Scholarships and awards from Universities
  • Top of the South Young Enterprise Scholarship
  • Practical applications in the junior school

For more information contact Rob Ikink (



The Nayland College Te Reo Māori programme has the flexibility to cater for students at different levels of proficiency. This allows all students to progress at a manageable pace and have some success in the process. Each course is adapted as required to meet the needs of the current students.

Te Reo Māori covers the language, customs and traditions in Year 9 and during each successive year builds language development in Kōrero(speaking), Whakarongo (listening), Panui (Reading), Waihanga Tuhi (creative writing) and tuhituhi (writing) .

Students also have the opportunity to attend and/or participate in hui e.g. Powhiri, Ngā Manu Kōrero competitions and Kapa Haka. Kapa Haka is run on a weekly basis to prepare for powhiri and to tautoko the Principal for mihi and powhiri as needed.

Maori at Nayland College also supports students to understand their personal place in the world. This may be especially important for those students who identify as Māori and for whom te reo Māori is a second language. For these students, the enhanced sense of connection to a rich cultural heritage can be deeply empowering.

To find out more contact Chanel Ngaruhe (

International Languages

Speaking an international language is an important skill for communicating in today’s global economy.

New Zealand depends largely on tourism and exports and having another language, combined with some understanding of the cultural world that goes with that language can help open doors in life after school.

Learning another language has also been proven to improve overall memory and recall – which certainly helps in other subject areas.

Spanish and Chinese (Mandarin) are offered from year 9 and students gradually develop confidence in speaking and understanding so that by year 13 they can debate social issues or discuss their opinions of a movie. Along the way they learn about the food, traditions, festivals, lifestyle, music and culture of the countries that speak the language that they study.

As part of their learning journey they might go an exchange to Chile or spend some time in China. We have established school-to-school relationships in both these countries allowing students the chance to connect with real speakers of the language they have chosen to study.

To find out more contact Judi Boyd (