Secondary School New Zealand
Schools will assess each student’s English and academic levels on arrival in New Zealand and place the student in the Year level most appropriate to their abilities. Most secondary schools are government established but there are some private or integrated schools. All secondary schools offer national qualifications that are recognised by all New Zealand tertiary organisations.
Secondary Schools: Many international students enrol at secondary schools for senior studies in Years 11–13, aged 15–18 years in preparation for tertiary studies in New Zealand or in other English-speaking countries. New Zealand secondary schools provide a sound education to students aged 13-18 years. Some schools have classes for students aged 11 and 12 as well. Most secondary schools are government-established but there are also a number of other schools that have special philosophical or religious traditions. These schools are either private or integrated schools. Integrated schools were privately funded in the past, but are now government funded. The entry requirements, courses and educational standards of all secondary schools are similar and prepare students for the same national qualifications. As an alternative to completing studies in a college or high school, some international students select one of the foundation programmes that are offered around New Zealand to directly prepare students for university study.
Students are advised to enrol in courses approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority for which the issuing of student visas have been approved. These courses meet international standards and are recognised world-wide.
Secondary schooling is compulsory in New Zealand until the age of 16 years. Most secondary schools are government established but there are some private or integrated schools that have special philosophical or religious traditions. They are allowed by law to teach particular religious values, but must also conform to the nationally set curriculum. All secondary schools offer national qualifications that are recognised by all New Zealand tertiary organisations.
Students attend secondary school for 5 years and can enrol from Year 9 to Year 13. The school year begins early February and finishes early December. Because students take the National University Entrance Bursary examination at the end of Year 13 most schools will not accept new students into Year 13 from after May or June. Even at this time students may not complete sufficient of the course to qualify to take the Bursary examination.
Students can begin at secondary school in Years 9-12 at anytime of the year however if you are planning to arrive from September it is better for you to attend English school until the end of January when the new secondary school year begins. This is also because much of the school time in October and November is spent on examination preparation and then the long summer holiday is in December and January.
It is important for ISSL to have a good idea of your English level as this will assist in recommending a school which best meets your needs. It is not necessary for students to attend an English school before proceeding to secondary school but it can help those students who have very limited English. Schools will assess each student’s English and academic levels on arrival in New Zealand and place the student in the Year level most appropriate to their abilities.
Secondary school students must complete Year 13 and pass the University Entrance Bursary examination to qualify for Entry to University. All secondary schools are Government registered and there are several different types of secondary schools to choose from.
There are many private training establishments in New Zealand providing a wide range of tertiary and vocational courses. Short-term English language courses use modern teaching methods, including laboratory work and conversational classes. Many polytechnics, institutes of technology and universities also offer English language training.
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