The education system in New Zealand is simple. The students begin formal education at the age of 5.
The New Zealand school year is divided into 4 school terms (approximately 10 weeks per term) with a two week holiday break in between each term.
Term 1: Usually begins late January early February through to mid April
Term 2: Late April – early July
Term 3: Late July – late September
Term 4: Mid October – mid December
Please visit the school website for exact start and finish dates for each term as they will vary from year to year.
While most schools in New Zealand has a national curriculum (NCEA), there are many schools that offer IB (International Baccalaureate) or CAIE (Cambridge)
NCEA (The National Certificate of Educational Achievement) is the national qualification for senior secondary school students in New Zealand. The internal and external examinations are held by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Courses challenge students of all abilities, in all
learning areas. Students are offered huge flexibility in their course programming. Students are recognised for outstanding achievement in individual standards, over a whole course and at each NCEA certificate level. NCEA is recognised by employers and used by universities, both in New Zealand and internationally.
IB (The International Baccalaureate) is based in Switzerland. It is highly regarded for its rigor depending on the subjects that students take. is a highly respected international qualification with a holistic education philosophy designed to produce internationally-minded global citizens. It has been running for over 50 years, across more than 150 countries.
CAIE (Cambridge Assessment International Education) is the world’s largest provider of primary and secondary school qualifications. Based out of the prestigious University of Cambridge, they provide examinations to over 160 countries. A student progressing through the typical CAIE pathway will sit three levels of exams: IGCSE in Year 11, AS in Year 12, and A2 in Year 13. Each corresponds to a year-long set of courses, with each course having between one and three examinations at the end of the year.
We are a partner with SIEBA, is the peak body for schools that enroll international students. Please see the full school list at https://sieba.nz/members/member-schools/.