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16+/A level education in NZ

(7 Posts)
curlywurlycremeegg Mon 22-Aug-11 14:48:01

As mentioned on a previous thread DH and I have now come to an amicable decision on emigration, we are both on the skills shortage list, however we have decided that I will apply for a job whilst still in the UK and work our visa application etc around that. Our plan is that DH will be a SAHD for a while as I have had the chance to do this role for the last 6 years and with four children, three of whom are 6 and under, we will need some flexible childcare to start with.

DH's cousin has been in Aukland for the last 5 years and they have decided they will not be returning to the uk for the foreseeable future. She has been a great source of help with practical advice, however I am a major planner and need to know everything about everything!

DS1 is going into Y11 this year so a move in the next 12 months is off the cards, we had always thought we would stay in the uk until he completed his A levels (so another 3 years), however the urge to leave is great and I would like to find out more about the options for education at 16 in NZ.

DS1 is hoping to go to uni to study Marine Biology, so we are looking for options that would offer him the standard of education that would enable that.

kakapo Mon 22-Aug-11 16:03:06

The school system in NZ has changed a lot recently, it started to change while I was still at school so I know a little about it. They have an assessment scheme called NCEA with levels 1, 2 and 3. These are taken in year 11, 12 and 13.

I think your DS would be able to slot into his chosen subjects at year 12, one of my friends did this coming over from the UK - the school just took her GCSEs as level 1 equivalent. You should check with the individual subjects/school though, as maybe some courses directly feed into each other IYSWIM.

The University of Auckland does Marine Biology (maybe other places do as well, that is the only one I know of). They have a marine biology lab in Leigh (North of the North Island). I think their prospectus is in the link for entry requirements. You might be interested in this too smile

curlywurlycremeegg Mon 22-Aug-11 18:22:30

Thanks so much for the info and the links are great, will have good browse later when the little ones are asleep

Sibble Tue 23-Aug-11 04:45:54

I'm not sure where in Auckland you want to settle but there are schools that offer the Cambridge exams, public if you are in zone and private if that is a possibility. This might be a consideration if he is currently studying Cambridge for GCSE/A level.

I don't want to put you off the move because there are alot of other really good reasons to come to Auckland but we have not been impressed with NCEA (very personal opinion of course) so DS1 is attending Strathallan School Karaka (private) which offers Cambridge exams. State schools that offer them are: Auckland Boys Grammar and MacLeans. Our house is currently on the market and we are looking at the option of moving into the MacLeans zone. Check out this article, a year old and who knows how accurate, but might be of interest.

curlywurlycremeegg Tue 23-Aug-11 09:24:19

Thanks Sibble, private education will not be an option whilst we only have one income so I guess we would have have to look at catchment areas, which I assume effects the house prices as it does in the UK.

I feel like I am going round in circles at the moment trying to plan the best time for a move, I am pretty sure I will be able to find employment at any time (I have seen many midwifery jobs advertised in the UK over the last 15 years) and the little ones aren't at a crucial age, so it is just planning the move round DS1. My other concern is that if we wait for a levels will he then be charged the international student fees at uni if he decides to move with us. Do you know when the academic year starts at the unis?

kakapo Tue 23-Aug-11 18:06:52

The academic year at the uni usually starts around 1st march (high schools around 1st feb).

I have a friend on a permanent residence visa, and she was not charged international fees after returning in Year 11. I don't think there is any clause about length of time living here for the fees (if you are permanent resident or citizen - see here, scroll down to 'if I have a change of residency status'), but it might be more hassle to apply if they have to convert from A levels (may have to take additional tests?). This may help.

It must be a lot of information to take in at once! Oh, one more thing, if you are searching for state high schools, they are often called 'colleges' in NZ. So for eg, Rangitoto College is a high school that caters for yr 9-13. Yr12/13 colleges don't exist as far as I'm aware.

curlywurlycremeegg Wed 24-Aug-11 11:03:30

That's good news kakapo, with a March start it means we would have plenty of time from him completing a levels to starting so hopefully all residency issues will be smoothed out by then. I have already had a look at Aukland's requirements for acceptance on Marine Biology courses and the A levels he is planning to take appear to be suitable, but I will check directly with the faculty nearer the time. smile

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