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Thread: primary school catchment zones

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    Burgundy21 is offline Member
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    Question primary school catchment zones

    Hi again everyone, I am certainly enjoying the wealth of info available here, especially the stuff on schools. I think I've worked out the decile system but want to know if the zones for schools are strict? We will be renting initially and our boy will start in 2008 , he's seven. We are hoping to be in or very near Christchurch, I know it's urban but 15 years of cows and fields and we are craving " culture" ( whatever that is??) So, any good primary schools and if so what areas should I be looking at? His experience in France has been old school, lots of spelling tests and learning by heart of poetry but v little games, music or drama. Can we hope for more creative time in NZ for him? Also ( long shot...know any other French familes in CChurch??)

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    Dawn's Avatar
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    Hey, we live up in Hamilton so not sure if it's the same in Cch but primary schools don't seem to have the catchment zones like the intermediates and highs. If it's a high achieving and popular school it could have a zone though so find out first. We did find though that nobody was particularly interested in talking to us until they knew we were actually in their zone, they defo don't want to be bothered if you're not even in the country yet.

    The other thing you may find is that they won't offer you a place until they've seen your work permit or residency sticker and don't forget you have to apply for your kids to study even if you achieve residency.
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    I don't know if you'll find anything of use in here , but looks promising.
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    KiwiHopeful's Avatar
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    What you will find is that the moment you step off the plane in Chch you will hear *everyone's* opinion of and advice about the schools. You would think that if you don't have your child in the right primary school, they'll never go to University and be doomed to a life of picking through rubbish bins looking for recyclables to sell for beer money.

    My own son goes to a decile 2 school. *Oh the horrors!* The principal is wonderful, his teacher is terrific, the school is in better physical condition than most of the schools I've seen in US cities (which isn't really much of a commendation, I know), and he is happy there. And, yes, he plays with the poor kids.

    The school snobbery is one of the few things I've found to dislike about Chch.
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    Burgundy21 is offline Member
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    That is pretty useful stuff. I don't mind about deciles but I do care about quality and happiness. I have seen the term "international" bandied around a lot, does that mean we would be paying fees for state education? I looked at the price for Cashmere and found 10 000 dollars a year.....do you pay for your kids?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgundy21 View Post
    I have seen the term "international" bandied around a lot, does that mean we would be paying fees for state education?
    You only have to pay international fees for schooling if you don't have a long term WP or PR or are a citizen.

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    KiwiHopeful's Avatar
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    All we needed to do was bring our passports and a copy of our rental agreement to register our son for school. Since he was a new entrant (year 0), there were no supplies or stationary to buy, as it is provided for them. The only thing we've paid for were his swim lessons ($20 for two weeks) and of course we had to buy his uniform.

    I hope my post didn't come off as accusing you of being elitist ... that wasn't my intention at all, as I reread it I think it could have been read that way. I was just expressing my chagrin at the attitude I've encountered here in Chch--people seem to confuse decile with quality. While I'm sure that is sometimes true, it seems to be more important at the high school level rather than the elementary level.
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    No, not elitist at all. More a bit disappointed by the seemingly inescapable parental quest for the "best" usually displayed by folks with more money than time to check out first hand what is really good. I'm a teacher too so swing between "what the heck, kids are resiliant" to " I could never send my child there". I think what I will do though is bring out some of the French wrkbooks so we can keep up with some home school if there are any glitches.
    Oh, I read your blogs too. Genial!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiHopeful View Post
    All we needed to do was bring our passports and a copy of our rental agreement to register our son for school. .
    It differs so much doesn't it? The primary school we wanted Poppy to go to accepted her straight away even though we are at least 20 min drive away and we didn't have WP's or anything to show them, they didn't even ask for passport or rental info. Poppy is only 5. School is decile 9.

    The school we wanted Charlie (12) to go to was completely different though. They won't even offer us a place until we've moved into the catchment zone and they've seen our work permits. The school is also decile 9.

    We looked round other schools as well and we didn't just choose these schools for their rating. Defo the higher rated schools have more facilities for the kids to use. They also seem to offer more in the way of out of school/after school activities. Both of the schools also were heavily into encouraging this risk-taking thing and did lots of things to encourage the kids to take responsibility for themselves and their day. Coming from a country where the nanny state likes to make everyones decisions for them including what they're allowed to wear, eat, read, learn, say and what future careers they decide to slant the curriculum towards, I found this highly motivating. The arts were also highly visible throughout all aspects of school, the children seemed happy and enthusiastic. Arts were included in my kids school in the UK only when they had time to fit it in and neither Charlie nor Poppy were either happy nor enthusiastic.

    And KH you are so right, parents who are right up their own arse about education are the same ones that drive their kids to school in their BMW's every morning and pull up on the double yellow lines right in front of the gates jeopardising other kids safety because they think the rules don't apply to them. And the same ones who'll donate money if they get a mention in the school newsletter for it but won't donate their time getting their hands dirty making stuff or coming to footy matches early to get the nets up.
    Last edited by Dawn; 16-09-2007 at 11:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn View Post
    And KH you are so right, parents who are right up their own arse about education are the same ones that drive their kids to school in their BMW's every morning and pull up on the double yellow lines right in front of the gates jeopardising other kids safety because they think the rules don't apply to them. And the same ones who'll donate money if they get a mention in the school newsletter for it but won't donate their time getting their hands dirty making stuff or coming to footy matches early to get the nets up.
    I couldn't have said it better myself.

    I would add one thing though: they aren't there before the matching, but they are there after--chewing the ear of the coach about why the coach is ruining their kid's chance to get a scholarship by not giving them enough playing time.
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