New Zealand State Education System for schools comprises 13 Year levels. There is a compulsory National Curriculum for Years 1 to 10. There are over 2,500 state schools in New Zealand.
- 1st in world for education (London-based think tank, The Legatum Institute).
- New Zealand is a top-performing country in terms of the quality of its educational system (2013 Better Life index).
- New Zealand’s 15 year-olds have consistently performed above the OECD (PISA).
- In the QS World University Rankings, all eight of New Zealand Universities are ranked in the top 500.
- Investment in education has risen to 7.5 percent of GDP which is the fourth highest in the OECD.
- Twenty two percent of all public expenditure is invested in education, the highest percentage in the OECD.
New Zealand has a world-leading National Curriculum which applies to all state schools and state integrated schools. It covers all the years of schooling and is compulsory from Year 1 to the end of Year 10.
The National Curriculum aims for all young people to be confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners.
It specifies eight learning areas: English; the Arts; Health and Physical Education; Languages; Mathematics and Statistics; Science; Social Sciences; and Technology. And through their studies students work to develop five sets of key competencies: thinking; using language symbols and texts; managing self; relating to others; participating and contributing.
The curriculum gives teachers flexibility to apply their professional knowledge. They can personalise learning to the needs of their students and communities.
Children may start school at age five, although schooling is not compulsory until age six. Primary education starts at Year 1 and continues until Year 8, with Years 7 and 8 mostly offered at either a primary, or a separate intermediate school. Primary education focuses on strong foundation learning, especially in literacy and numeracy.
Covers Years 9 to 13 (ages 13 to 18/19). State secondary schools are usually known as secondary schools, high schools or colleges. In secondary schools the timetable is arranged around subjects and although students continue to experience a broad and balanced curriculum some specialisation is possible especially in Years 11 to 13. Students are provided with professional career information and guidance. Secondary students may begin courses of a more vocational nature while at school but there is no direct separation of programmes into academic and vocational streams. Entry to work or further study (eg. university) is not limited by the type of secondary school a student attends.
Information for parents from the Ministry of Education
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