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NZ Education System

New Zealand children start school when they are five years old. The first six years are spent at primary school. When students are eleven years old they study for two intermediate years either at their primary school or at an intermediate school. When they are 13 or at the end of their eighth year of school, students go to high school. Year nine to eleven are at the junior high school division and the last two years are senior high school. Total number of years spend at school is 13. From year eleven to year 13 students work towards NCEA (National Certificate of Education Achievement). If they gain the required number of credits they will gain an internationally recognised university entry qualification. Student can opt to leave school after the completion of year eleven or twelve. They will not be eligible for university but will be granted entry to some other training institutes such as polytechnic for applied learning of a trade.

In short:
  • Year 1-6, primary school
  • Year 7-8, intermediate school
  • Year 9-13, high school
Total = 13 years

For the first 8 years of school the curriculum does not offer any additional options as the emphasis is on developing basic literacy and numeracy skills complemented by an understanding of the world around us and emerging research skills. It is at high school that students are asked to make choices as they are able to choose from a wide variety of additional subjects covering arts, languages, sciences, social studies and more. Especially in the senior high school years is this specialisation important as subjects are examined to gain university entry.

General study process of an international studentOnce students are accepted by a high school, students will be tested on their English and other subjects which will determine what level of study they are placed into and also what subjects they will be able to take during their study year. Students must note that schools reserve the right to place students with low English skills in a language school or increase the amount of ESOL class student is taking, if the school has assessed as their English or other subject level are not meet to their standard.




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1st floor, 222 High Street, PO Box 22 268, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Phone: +64 3 366 4563, Fax: +64 3 365 5042, Email:office@nz-education.com
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