New Zealand State Education System

The education system in New Zealand is a multi-tiered model that includes early childhood centres, primary and intermediate schools, followed by secondary schools and tertiary education at universities and polytechnics.

EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTRES  |  For children aged 2 to 5 years
These are Pre-Schools, Kindergartens and / or Playcentres that aim to prepare young children for formal education.
PRIMARY SCHOOLS  |  For students aged 5 to 10 years
Primary School class levels are from new entrants (Year 1 to Year 6)
INTERMEDIATE SCHOOLS  |  For students aged 11 and 12 years
Intermediate School class levels are from Years 7 and 8
SECONDARY SCHOOLS  |  For students aged 13 to 18 years
Also known as High School's, Grammar School's or College's (the difference is only in the name)
Secondary School class levels are from Years 9 to 13

In Years 9 and 10 English, Mathematics, Science, Social Science, Arts and Physical Education are compulsory. Students can choose some optional courses which may differ from school to school.

In Years 11 to 13 students work towards different levels of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). Standards based assessment is used for internal assessment activities within the school and external assessment exams held in November. Grades of Not Achieved (NA), Achieved (A), Merit (M) or Excellence (E) are awarded as well as a certain number of credits which count towards the certificate.

Many courses need to have been studied at Year 11 or 12 before they can be studied at Year 13. All courses have some internally assessed standards and this may mean that students that start several weeks into the school year may not be able to gain the full number of credits.

YEAR 11 NCEA LEVEL ONE CERTIFICATE:  80 Credits at Level 1
Six courses are selected from a wide range of options
English, Mathematics, Science and Physical Education are compulsory
YEAR 12 NCEA LEVEL TWO CERTIFICATE:  80 Credits with at least 60 Credits at Level 2
Six courses are selected from a wide range of options
English is compulsory
YEAR 13 NCEA LEVEL THREE CERTIFICATE:  80 Credits with at least 60 Credits at Level 3
Five courses are selected from a range of options

TERTIARY STUDIES  |  New Zealand has state funded Universities and Technical Institutes offering a wide range of degrees, diplomas and certificates which are recognized throughout the world.

The NCEA minimum criteria for entrance to university are:
  • 14 credits at Level 1 or higher in Mathematics standards
  • 4 credits at Level 2 or above in Reading standards
  • 4 credits at Level 2 or above in Writing standards
  • 14 credits at Level 3 or higher in at least three different 'approved subjects'.

Individual universities publish details of requirements for selection to particular courses. The selection may relate to certain NCEA Standards which need to be achieved or to the level of achievement that has to be reached. Students at Lynfield College will be guided and advised about these entry requirements by the Careers Adviser and the International Academic Advisor.

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