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Thread: Question for the families

  1. #1
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    Default Question for the families

    We are hoping to arrive in Oct although still a lot to be confirmed. We have two young children who would need to be placed in primary school. As we will need to rent before we buy but would like to buy as soon as possible how did you work out when to get them into a school. My concern is that due to schools being zoned, if we rented and put them in the school for that area and then found a suitable house that was in another area we would be moving them twice, which would be very unsettling. I am also keen for them to make friends and think that by enrolling them into school soon after arriving would help with that. Just wanted to know how other families dealt with this situation as I am sure many have had to????

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Jun 2012
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    Christchurch, New Zealand
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    Hi Andrew,

    You still have time to do some research since it is a couple of months away. Best is to rent in an area you are most likely to buy in or somewhere in the vicinity. That was what we did before moving to Christchurch. Unless it is Auckland you won't be too far away if you decide to buy outside the zone eventually. If you let us know which city you are moving to it will give us a better way to guide you.

  3. #3
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    We are hoping to move the Christchurch but are keen to look at Rangiora and Rolleston, which is the dilemma. Which one do we rent in? I am swaying more to Rangiora as it appears to have a few social clubs that would interest the children who are 6 & 8 but Rolleston seems to have more houses on offer. Where do you live in Christchurch?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Family View Post
    We are hoping to arrive in Oct although still a lot to be confirmed. We have two young children who would need to be placed in primary school. As we will need to rent before we buy but would like to buy as soon as possible how did you work out when to get them into a school. My concern is that due to schools being zoned, if we rented and put them in the school for that area and then found a suitable house that was in another area we would be moving them twice, which would be very unsettling. I am also keen for them to make friends and think that by enrolling them into school soon after arriving would help with that. Just wanted to know how other families dealt with this situation as I am sure many have had to????

    Thanks
    You'll want to check with the various schools' policies because when we first arrived, we enrolled our child in a zoned school (we arrived on Wednesday and he started school on Monday). When we were looking for a different place to live we were concerned that he would have to change schools but the school he was in allowed him to remain even if we moved zones. I don't think this is standard for all schools in NZ. We ended up moving to an entirely different region and he had to change schools anyway. That was his 4th school in 3 1/2 years and that final move was the most difficult for him. He's thriving and happy now but I relate his experience because he is a really outgoing boy who fits in and makes friends quite easily and the last move made him appprehensive and shy. However, he's back to his happy, friendly self but it was a rough month or so for him. I know people always say, "Kids are fine, they adapt, we're the one's that worry" but sometimes even an easygoing kid like mine can have a hard time. The school our kids currently attend is zoned and allows students to continue to attend if you move out of the zone. Through sport and clubs, we know a lot of people in the surrounding schools in the region. So, if we were to move to an area that was too far to drive to their current school, our kids wouldn't be strangers in the various country schools in the region. A few months back we were considering moving and our children didn't seem concerned because they knew they would still be able to see their friends from school and that they would be going to school with people they already know. You won't know if this is the same in your community until you live there but sport clubs and activities can be a way to give them continuity even if switching schools.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2012
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    East Mids, UK - Wellington
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    Same for us in Wellington - we moved just recently, not far but out of zone for the school our boys entered when we arrived here in NZ, but the school allowed them to remain at the school because we were in zone when they registered.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2008
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    North Canterbury, New Zealand
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    Rolleston is what I would call a 'new' town. There are many new houses there but, to me, it is all rather bland. Rangiora is a nice self-contained little town that has seen huge growth over the last decade and especially recently. The new developments that I have visited are quite nicely done and would be pleasant places to live. There is a good choice of schools, shops, restaurants, pubs etc.

    Downsides to Rangiora are that the main street is a bit of a desert since the quakes, the main department store never re-opened and I doubt whether it will and the street is full of barriers and containers; it is a mess 2 years after the event. The other problem is the commuter traffic if you are intending to work in Chch. There has been a huge population movement north from Chch and the morning traffic is no fun at all.

  7. #7
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    My daughter changed primary schools twice too here in NZ. Her first one was for a month and she also could have stayed there but it was too far from where we moved so she changed. To be honest, children often go to three schools here anyway - primary until year 6, intermediate for years 7 and 8 and then high school from year 9. Primary schools go to either year 6 or year 8 so that might be something to look into as well in your search as you may have views on the merits or otherwise of the 2 different systems.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlwithanewf View Post
    My daughter changed primary schools twice too here in NZ. Her first one was for a month and she also could have stayed there but it was too far from where we moved so she changed. To be honest, children often go to three schools here anyway - primary until year 6, intermediate for years 7 and 8 and then high school from year 9. Primary schools go to either year 6 or year 8 so that might be something to look into as well in your search as you may have views on the merits or otherwise of the 2 different systems.
    To add to that, if you do have a choice between primary schools that go to year 8, you'll want to compare how they do it. Some schools try to make a distinction between the intermediate and junior grades and others don't effectively differentiate these grades. Every primary school that goes to year 8 has a different strategy and philosophy on how to integrate or differentiate this huge age difference.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwieagle View Post
    To add to that, if you do have a choice between primary schools that go to year 8, you'll want to compare how they do it. Some schools try to make a distinction between the intermediate and junior grades and others don't effectively differentiate these grades. Every primary school that goes to year 8 has a different strategy and philosophy on how to integrate or differentiate this huge age difference.
    Yes, this is very important. In a school going up to year 8 the students can effectively be in the same school setting from age 5 to 12 or 13. That is obviously a very different experience being at a primary school still at that age especially when compared with England where children go to secondary/high schoools aged 11.
    In many cases though, parents don't have the luxury of choice.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlwithanewf View Post
    In many cases though, parents don't have the luxury of choice.
    I'm not sure how other places in NZ do it but in our little area, all of the primary schools go to year 8. We do not have a high school or college nearby so, when that time comes, we get to choose between the high schools in three different areas nearby. Those three areas also have intermediate schools which we also have the option to send our kids to. So, even though our primary school goes to year 8, we have the option to send them to intermediate school in the nearby towns. Several people I know, because of their philosophy of schooling, exercise this choice. I have no idea if this is unique to our area or if this is a common thing in small towns with no high school, college or intermediate school. It's something to ask about when considering a school zone.
    Last edited by kiwieagle; 19th August 2013 at 03:26 PM.

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