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School catchment areas / general questions

School catchment areas / general questions

Old May 9th 2019, 10:19 pm
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Default School catchment areas / general questions

Hello

We are planning on moving from London to Auckland in September/October and I'm slightly concerned about schools for my 6 and 10 year old children.
We will be living on the North Shore - preferably Birkenhead/Chatswood/Beach Haven, but we are open to the bays and would love Milford/Takepuna if we could afford it. However, we will probably stay with the in-laws in Northcote Point for a few weeks when we first arrive.
I have a few questions:
1. How quickly do we have to get them enrolled in school? Would we have a bit of leeway and be able to keep them at home while we try and find a house - hoping to be cash buyers so could be quite fast. I think the upheaval of having to move schools after the big move would be too much for them if we end up buyng too far away.
2. Are catchment areas very small - ie. if we have to enrol from the in-laws would we be very restricted?
3. Can we even enrol them from a temp address with relatives?
4. If we move out of 'catchment' would we still be able to keep them in that school?Sorry
5. How do UK vs NZ primary curriculums compare? I would like to prepare them as best I can, but I literally have no idea how they compare. I'm not so worried about the 6 year old, but I am worried that the 10 year old, who is working hard this year to prep for SATS and the 11+, will find some of this null and void in a new system just because the curriculum is structured differently.

Sorry for all the questions - any advice would be great please as my husband is being useless!!

In case it matters, he is Kiwi, I'm hoping my partner residency comes through by then, and the kids will have citizenship.

Thanks a lot

H

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Old May 9th 2019, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: School catchment areas / general questions

Hi,
1. As far as I know there's no rule or guideline surrounding when a child who has migrated to NZ has to be enrolled in school irrespective of visa status or if they are citizens. The law states all children must be enrolled in school before their 6th birthday and that they must attend school every day.....that's it. I'd assume it is up to the parent to ensure they are enrolled as soon as is reasonably practicable and the date they would start school is negotiated between the parent and the school and depends on the individual schools process for new entrants - they could allow a new entrant to start anytime or they could be cohort and only allow blocks of students at the start of a new term.
Note: all students will break up for the end of the school year and end of term 4 mid December 2019 and then only return beginning Feb 2020. Maybe you could apply to home school for a few months ? Seems pointless enrolling them for a single term or part term and even more so if there's a chance they may have to move schools depending where you buy against where you'll be staying temporarily with relatives.
2. Yeah, especially if there's quite a few schools in the area. You can see school zoning maps on TradeMe when you view residential properties for sale. Just scroll down to the bottom of a property advert where you'll find a mini map for the location of the property and click on the school zoning tab. You can then click on different schools in the area and see the enrollment zone. It'll at least give you an idea of school zoning in the area.
3. Yes. Some naughty people use relatives addresses so they get or get to keep children in a particular school zone without living there. Strictly not allowed and if you are found out who knows what would happen, but it goes on.
4. All depends on the school.
5. Not sure on this point as I haven't schooled a child in the UK for many many years. My boys are 8 and 3 and our eldest goes to a decile 10 rural school which is just awesome and completely different schooling than what i've ever experienced in the UK.
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Old May 10th 2019, 5:51 am
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Default Re: School catchment areas / general questions

roughly same ages that we bought our kids over. Yes your right with the 6 yr old, they wont of had the English system on pat so it will be easier for them. Now the 10yr old may be a different matter. Our 10 year old struggled with the way the schools teach over here. Was bored out of her tiny mind, she's not sporty at all and loves her books and study. We managed to get her into College early and that was the saving grace and she has done very well.
Lots of schools here have mixed year classes, so year 7 with year 8's So my suggestion is that the 10 year old is put them in the upper year class. The mistake they did with my daughter was to put her in her age group class not year class, so they put her put in a year 6-7 class she was put as a year 6, which was way below her level.
It was the only school available to attend in the area we were in. So when we moved her onto college I moved my son out to a school neared the college that didnt have a catchment area and then we moved house a few months later, the first school was a total nightmare and in the end I refused to send my kids there, but thats another matter altogether.
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Old May 10th 2019, 10:26 pm
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Default Re: School catchment areas / general questions

Thanks for the logistical info Escaped. I definitely don't have the patience for home schooling so I think we will have to put them in school as soon as is feasible. I would like them to meet other kids ASAP as well to keep their minds off any homesickness. I think we need to narrow down an area in the first couple of weeks, and maybe rent until we find a house to buy.

And thanks for the insight MrsFychan. I suspected as much but it's really useful to arrive prepared. She's not the most academic child, but above average and a good all rounder but fortunately she is obsessed with sports, particularly rugby which is lucky :-) Although she heard girls her age only play Rippa and the idea of playing tag after a season of full contact means she's going to try out with the boys if she can. We'll see how that goes!

I can't believe how close it's all getting. Ever since I met my husband 12 years ago, he has been 'going back in 2 years', and when we bought our current house we said it was a five year house before NZ - I thought we had all the time in the world. I literally woke up on 1st January with my heart pounding.. The 'for sale' sign went up outside our house today and we have first viewings tomorrow. Aaaaggghhhhh!
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Old May 11th 2019, 7:56 am
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Default Re: School catchment areas / general questions

Look for schools in the areas you are thinking about and contact them directly, they may not have places. Schools do have catchment areas and houses are advertised as within school catchments so competition can be fierce. School donations can be very high at the more sought after schools but you just have to live with it. If you go on Google maps and search "Auckland north shore schools" you can see which are handy for the areas you are considering.
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