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Thread: New Zealand Schools

  1. #1
    TobeornottobeaKiwi is offline Junior Member
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    Default New Zealand Schools

    Hello Everyone,
    We are planning to move next year, 2007. Prior to our move I have several questions reguarding the school system.

    1.) Do the schools in New Zealand take a standarized test? If so, do the schools get graded or reconzied?

    I was reading Glenda's exciting story and several parts got my attention:
    1.) 'she needs special insurance cover ? another $160' ------What is this insurance for? Do all children need to get insurance?
    2.) 'coughed up the $1000 bond each and terms tuition fees - $1539 for one $1338 for the other. No uniform but stationery for the two amounted to $213' -----------What is the bond for? Do all schools ask for a bond?

  2. #2
    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
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    Default New Zealand Schools

    Hi new member with the long username (wasn't quite sure what to call you for brevity) ;D ;)

    Welcome to the forum. I'm not one to be very helpful with schooling matters in NZ, but I'm sure some of the others, who already have children there, will be along soon to provide some information. Just wanted to welcome you aboard.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  3. #3
    fisheress's Avatar
    fisheress is offline Senior Member
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    Default New Zealand Schools

    Hi there!

    I started teaching in NZ in Feb and have an 8 and 17 year old in the schooling system. Not sure where you are from to give a good comparison...we're from the UK and some things are different.

    Schools have catchment zones so if you live in the zone, you are in. You can still apply for a place if you live out of zone, but it depends on numbers and places available as to whether you get a place. The board of Trustees have a ballot to decide on 'out of zone' kids. So the kids don't need to sit a test, but my eldest was required to provide a recent school report.

    Schools are graded on a decile scale 0 being low socio-economic background, 10 being high. You can find school information on the TKI site (use google I can't remember the specific address). This site also gives you the most recent ERO (inspection) reports.

    Decile 10 schools, as anywhere in the world, get less money form the government as parents are seen wealthy enough to contribute towards their childrens education. So you are expected to pay fees, buy stationery, uniform, pay for any sports clubs they attend etc.

    If you are non-residents, the annual school fees you pay are considerably more than if you are a resident. Thankfully we are residents.

    At primary level, there are no statutory standardised tests, although there are informal tests that schools use to monitor chns progress. For my 17 year old, I have to pay exam fees whereas at home, they were free.

    I presume that you would have tests to sit if you were considering private education, something i don't know anything about.

    Hope this has helped.

    Fisheress

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    fisheress's Avatar
    fisheress is offline Senior Member
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    Default New Zealand Schools

    Oh ! Going back to Glends's story, I don't think they were residents at the time hence the large sums of money required. I'm sure she'll correct me if I'm wrong. As far as insurance goes.......don't know anything about it.

    Fisheress

  5. #5
    TobeornottobeaKiwi is offline Junior Member
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    Default New Zealand Schools

    Thanks for all of your help.

    I will be coming from the States and I have a soon to 2nd grader and an upcoming Kindergarten.

    Did any of you have a different school year in your home country than NZ's.
    For instance, here in the States the school year is from August to May, but in NZ the school year is from January to December.
    How did the NZ schools place your children?
    Did the children have to take a placement test?

  6. #6
    SteveyC's Avatar
    SteveyC is offline Right Royal Pain In The Posterior
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    Default New Zealand Schools

    Wow nice post fisheress, I even found that useful and my kids aren't even anywhere near school age. Nice and concise great.

    Welcome Shakespeare quoter lady hope you continue to find the forum useful and friendly, keep us updated with your thoughts and plans it's good. :icon_mrgreen:

  7. #7
    Glenda's Avatar
    Glenda is offline All Knowing Deity
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    Default Re: New Zealand Schools

    I was reading Glenda's exciting story and several parts got my attention:
    1.) 'she needs special insurance cover ? another $160' ------What is this insurance for? Do all children need to get insurance?
    2.) 'coughed up the $1000 bond each and terms tuition fees - $1539 for one $1338 for the other. No uniform but stationery for the two amounted to $213' -----------What is the bond for? Do all schools ask for a bond?
    Hi there and welcome,

    We moved to NZ on a visitor's visa and I was trying to get the kids into school before getting permanent residency.

    I have four children (6 to 14) and the idea was to put my eldest into a private school, the rest into state.

    The primary schools would not accept my two youngest until we either had PR or a work and student visa. The secondary school accepted my daughter only as an international student - dreadful fees of $2,400 a term plus the insurance of $160 - which is for medical/accommodation purposes.

    The private school accepted my eldest on normal residency-rate fees on the understanding that PR would be shortly forthcoming. After mentioning the difficulty with getting my two youngest into primary, the school said there was a place for my youngest to start immediately - so we accepted it. A bond of $1,000 has to be paid when a child starts at the school, which is quite common with private schools.

    Hope that is a bit clearer. I must admit that my story was written in a rush and does sound a bit confusing in places.

    :)
    Glenda
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

  8. #8
    Welshgirl's Avatar
    Welshgirl is offline Super Moderator
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    Default New Zealand Schools

    We currently have a 6 year old daughter in school here in NZ.

    In NZ, kids can start school any time after they are 5 - they can actually start school on their 5th birthday if they want to! This means that in the first year, classes can start with as little as 1 or 2 pupils, increasing in size as more children in the area turn 5 and begin school. By the end of the first year, our daughters class had 27 pupils in it!

    The school year pretty much runs from Jan to Dec, depending on the holidays. The year is split up into 4 terms of between 8 & 12 weeks each. The kids 'summer holidays' run from just before Christmas to usually about the beginning of February. (We came to the end of Term 1 just before Easter and they start back on the 26th April).

    Primary school lasts until the child is 11, then they move to an Intermediate school until they are 13, at which time they start secondary/high school. Most schools require the child to move to a separate Intermediate school but some schools are lucky enough to have an intergrated Intermediate school, which means that they can stay in the same location, with the same friends, until they are 13.

    I think they have a pretty standard curriculum across NZ, but you may find that the higher decile rated schools have more equipment and are better equipped, and also the annual fees may be higher. To give you an idea of cost, we have PR and our daughters annual school fee is $55.

    NZ schools are keen to encourage success in all areas, not just academic - an enthusiastic & successful sports player is someone to be just as proud of as an A grade student!

    Thumbs up to NZ education from me

  9. #9
    Cairenh is offline Junior Member
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    Default New Zealand Schools

    We currently have a 6 year old daughter in school here in NZ.
    Hi welshgirl... my daughter is six too.. she turns 7 end of October and we are heading to NZ in August this year.. she will have just finished year one here (having done the normal reception year first) class level would she be going into in NZ?.. her teacher has said she could quite easily skip ahead a year if need be and is happy to write me a report to bring with me to that effect..

    By the way doing the Working Visa for me and the Student Visa for her before we travel... was advised to do it this way as I'm a single mum so will need to get her into school as soon as possible

  10. #10
    TobeornottobeaKiwi is offline Junior Member
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    Default New Zealand Schools

    Let me make sure I understood this correctly.
    A child starts school at the age of 5. It does not matter if the child turns 5 in January or Septmber. If the child turns 5 in September this particular child will be able to attend school until this date. Right.

    So does this mean the child that started school in September will be promoted the the next grade level, even though the child did not actually complete the full year?

    If a child has completed a school year in their home country, for us here in the States. Will the child need to be tested to see if they skip to the next grade level at the middle of NZ school year or will the child have to retake the last semester of the same grade?

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