Most children begin their education around their fifth birthday and it all becomes very confusing if you are used to the English system so I’ll note it down for you.
The five year old starts school and goes straight into Junior l, then onto Junior 2 and finally into Junior 3 for his third year. (no infant classes here). His fourth year of school will find him promoted to Standard One, Two, Three and by the age of ten will be entering Standard Four. At the age of eleven he will then be ready for Forms One and Two.
These next two years are spent at an intermediate school, although some church schools cater for children up until the age of 13. The intermediate schools often provide specialist teachers and facilities not normally available to primary schools. They cater for the 11 to 13 year old age group and fill the gap between primary and secondary education.
High school or college as it is known, covers forms three to form seven. The school leaving age is sixteen years, although education is provided free until the age of 19.
All children pay for stationery and technicraft fees. Nominal school fees of approximately $500.00 per annum, are payable in most secondary schools and there are, of course, good fee paying establishments for those who can afford it.
Fifth form - School certificate (similar to GCSE)
Sixth form - Sixth form certificate (internally assessed)
Seventh form - Bursary (slightly lower standard than ‘A’ level)
There are 25 Polytechnics in New Zealand, 18 in the North Island and seven in the South and they all offer a wide range of subjects.
There are seven universities throughout New Zealand and they provide courses in a wide range of subjects in arts, social sciences, commerce and science. In addition engineering is offered at Auckland and Christchurch.
Expensive study fees and large student loans are the subject of much discontent here with some youngsters not wishing to start their working life with a loan, deciding not to take up the option of further education.
To obtain an information booklet outlining various aspects of New Zealand’s education system write to:
Public Affairs Section
Ministry of Education