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Innovation Programme - Extraordinary Results!


Since 2014 Avondale College students have won five consecutive National Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Championships, and have gone on to compete in the World Championships in the USA - Microsoft's version of the Olympics.

Each year more than 750,000 students aged 13 to 23 participate in this global competition, which tests students' aptitude in Microsoft Office applications.

Avondale students have performed incredibly well at these World Championships, winning 12 top-ten placings, including three podium finishes, in four years of competition.


Avondale College's Innovation students consistently gain excellent results in their internal and external examinations.

Some highlights from our Cambridge exam results include:

2017 High Achievement Award - Applied ICT (AS)

2014 First in NZ - Applied ICT (A Level)

2013 First in World - Applied ICT (AS Level)


More than 4,500 internationally recognised professional IT qualifications have been gained by Avondale College students and staff to date.

Innovation Programme

Avondale College is forging new ground in ICT education in New Zealand.

Enabling the success of our world-class students is Avondale College’s ground-breaking Innovation Programme.

The programme aims to bridge a widening gap between ICT education and the digital marketplace. A philosophy of knowledge-creation and innovative practice allows students to use sophisticated, industrystandard technology to create their own market-ready applications, as well as gain educational qualifications and industry-benchmarked certifications along the way.

It’s a strategy that is already gaining results. Not only are they gaining NZQA, CIE, MOS, Adobe, Autodesk and HP certifications alongside a proven-experience portfolio that will see them “hit the ground running” in any corporate digital environment, but Avondale College students are making headlines as they win national and international awards in IT.

The wider implications of this success are promising - not only for the individual students themselves, but for the future of New Zealand innovation in a globally competitive marketplace

Related Links > Innovation Programme brochure

Innovation Programme Video

How it works

Students have the opportunity to select Innovation Technology as one of their option choices in the junior school, and as a core subject in the senior school.

The Innovation classrooms are also open to students before school and during break times. Saturday clinics and school holiday workshops further bolster the boutique, positive and development-focused environment.

Inside the classroom students are able to work on exciting real-world innovation projects using leading edge technology. They gain market-ready professional experience as well as acquiring advanced skills which will equip them for future employment or entrepreneurial pursuits.

“That freedom to be creative is fantastic," says Paul McClean, Avondale College's Director of Innovation. "We take the students through the project and watch them exploring ideas, learning from potential mistakes and moving forward in different directions as they harness the information."

Industry Certifications

An official Certiport Examination Centre, Avondale College is uniquely positioned to offer industry level qualifications to students and staff.

To date, Avondale College has awarded more than 4,500 internationally recognised industry certifications in Microsoft, Adobe, Autodesk and Certiport. Over 81 leading certifications are on offer to students, and these are embedded into the core programme.

Our students have also become the first secondary school students in New Zealand ever to gain Microsoft’s flagship "Technology Associate" qualifications across five new programming disciplines.

It's not just the students who are making the most of these opportunities; Avondale College has the most highly qualified IT-savvy staff in New Zealand.

Value - International success

By remodelling the end-to-end academy delivery model, graduates from the Innovation Programme are proving they are able to enter industry, tertiary and or entrepreneurial pursuits with creative confidence and assured aspiration. An integral component of the programme therefore, includes Cambridge, Hewlett Packard Institute and NCEA ICT qualifications with interwoven Microsoft certifications. A wave of international success, in the programme, shows students are able to demonstrate proven completion of exciting "real world" innovation projects with practical applications, market ready ICT experience and advanced skills for future employers.

Jayden Cooke and Ashley Mark presented to an Australasian CIO’s conference confirming that these characteristics validate the programme's unique hypothesis, showing students accomplish by:

*     Being interdependent members who are able to pursue their own learning goals in a manner that maximises their student-environment fit in a competitive setting.

*     Succeeding in transferring knowledge and capability through collaborative circumstances.

*     Developing strong industry and social networks that can help innovation projects transform into reality.

The pair stole the show and proudly announced news, proving the effects of integrated real world project based learning, with not one but, three, Top in the World rankings for CIE.

 (Watch Ashley and Jayden's presentation below)


Value - International success

"From the strategic delivery through to classroom layers, we've integrated 'Systems Thinking' and 'Design Thinking'. As a result the quality of new wave thinking being generated more than responds to industry’s calls for a fundamentally new, education and industrial paradigm." says Director of Innovation, Mr Paul McClean.

This is because Industry prosperity has been held back, for decades, by ever diminishing pools of talent, coming from a secondary system struggling to find an education response to the digital era. This, in New Zealand innovation terms, means a lack of creativity and results in the preserving legacy approaches to enterprise systems (and education):

“We encourage students to become creative, adaptive and collaborative risk takers who don’t just see the future but are willing to create it!”

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