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About New Zealand / July 22, 2021

What you should know about boarding schools in New Zealand

Boarding schools in New Zealand are modelled extensively upon the English-speaking school system. Children start school at the age of 5 and leave school generally after 13 years.

The school year is divided into 4 terms of 9-11 weeks each and begins at the end of January. There are two school holidays between the terms, each consisting of 2 weeks. The summer holidays last 6-7 weeks. It is recommended that European pupils arrive at the beginning of the New Zealand school year or at the end of the European school year, ie. the third term in July.
At New Zealand boarding schools the school day begins around 9.00 am and ends around 3:30 pm. Pupils choose subjects from different fields. Computing subjects, which have been developed and in demand for years, have particular status in the New Zealand school system. Technical facilities at private schools are above average; pupils have access to computers and the Internet. After lessons are over, numerous activities traditionally take place in the realm of sports, culture and music. By taking part in musical subjects such as music and theatre, pupils develop a greater sense of belonging, along with independence and self-confidence.

School Uniform
As in England, Australia and Canada, a school uniform is worn at private schools. The costs of the uniform are not usually included in the school fees. On entry into the higher classes the school uniform requirement gives way to a dress code.

Types of Boarding Schools in New Zealand
Parents can choose the right boarding school for their child from numerous types of schools in New Zealand.
Here you will find a list of boarding schools which are typical in New Zealand:

All Boarding
At these schools all pupils live on the campus.

Boarding-Day Schools
The majority of pupils study and live in the school complex, some commute from the neighbourhood and nearby towns.

5-Day Boarding Schools/7-Day Boarding Schools
At 5-Day boarding schools pupils study and reside together from Monday to Friday, spending the weekends at home. At 7-Day boarding schools there is the possibiilty to also spend the weekend on the campus.

Coeducational Boarding Schools
Here girls and boys are taught together. Accommodation is segregated by sex.

Girls’ Boarding Schools/Boys’ Boarding Schools
Boarding schools solely for girls or boys.

Junior Boarding Schools
Junior Boarding Schools accept pupils from classes 1 to 8. Normally 6th to 8th graders study and live in these boarding schools.

College-Preparatory Boarding Schools
College-preparatory boarding schools prepare motivated pupils for college life. Some of them offer programmes for pupils with learning difficulties.

Religious Schools
Denominational boarding schools put special emphasis upon a specific religion or spiritual development. These schools belong to specific religions and normally require their applicants to be affilated to this denomination.

Admission & Language Abilities
As a prerequisite for boarding schools, special admission tests and language certificates may be required. The admissions offices of the schools will supply information on particular admission tests. Depending on the boarding school, the “Secondary School Admission Test“ (SSAT) or “Independent School Entrance Examination“ (ISEE) can be required.
International pupils may have to prove their English language abilities via the "Secondary Level English Proficiency Test" (SLEP) or the "Test of English as a Foreign Language".