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Choosing schools in Christchurch

Information Centre
Choosing schools in Christchurch
Christchuch SchoolsChristchuch Schools
Moving overseas
November 8, 2020
minute read

A guide to schools in Christchurch

When you move to a new location with children, often first on your to-do list is finding a suitable school to help your child adjust to a new place. The New Zealand school system has an international reputation for excellence and is highly rated worldwide.

Your international move isn't complete without WridgWays! Our team will make sure all aspects of your move from Australia to Christchurch is taken care of.

New Zealand school system

The New Zealand school system consists of 13 year levels. Primary education is year 1 to year 8, while secondary education is year 9 to year 13. All children from aged six to 16 must attend school.

Children can start school the day they turn five, with most schools offering cohort entry. This means that a child doesn't have to wait until the new school year to start.

Types of schools

State schools

These schools are owned and fully funded by the government. Domestic students are not charged tuition, although parents will need to purchase items like uniforms, stationery and cover any course-related costs.

State integrated schools

These schools have a special character, for instance, they may follow a particular faith, or deliver the curriculum via specialist education methods. Governments fund these type of schools but often charge a compulsory fee for attendance.

Private schools

Private schools are not government funded and you will be charged per term or annually. Some are single sex, while others are co-ed. Some also offer boarding facilities, and students live on-campus.

Choosing a school in Christchurch

Things to consider

When you choose a school for your child there are practical things to consider like:

  • how will your child get to and from school?
  • do they provide things like after or before care services?
  • is there a uniform?
  • is it in an enrolment zone?

Other things you may like to ask the school is:

  • what is their approach to education
  • what additional supports they offer
  • is there any particular focus for curriculum that your child may have an interest in, and do they offer it

School zones in Christchurch

When you choose a school for your child to attend, you will find some have enrolment zones, while others do not. Visit the Education Counts website to find schools in your local area.

Note: If your chosen school falls within an enrolment zone, your address must be within the zone when you apply and it must be your normal place of residence. Check directly with the school if you are unsure.

Next steps

Once you have decided on a school for your child to attend, you will need to contact them directly to find out about the enrolment process. If you have the relevant working visa they may enrol as a domestic student, if not they may need to enrol as an international student.

For more information on the school system in New Zealand, visit the New Zealand Now website.

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