Primary and Secondary School
When considering schools there are a number of subtle differences to be aware of. The majority of schools in New Zealand are state schools, meaning the curriculum is approved and regulate by the ministry of education. A student studying at one state school in New Zealand will have a very similar education experiance as a student enrolled in another, regardless of the decile rating.
Discipline in schools
Children will be made to feel comfortable and safe at school in New Zealand. It is illegal in New Zealand for anyone to use physical force to discipline a child. A parent may only use force to prevent a child from harm. A teacher may not use force in any situation, so physical discipline of children, such as smacking, caning, strapping, is not allowed. School punishments usually involve extra homework or staying late after school to do tasks while supervised by a teacher.
Lunches in schools
In New Zealand few schools will have a full cafeteria. Most schools will have a shop selling sandwiches, salads as well as drinks. It is generally expected that a student’s parent or guardian will provide them with a preprepared lunch.
A common complaint of parents of international students is that New Zealand schools do not provide enough home work. Typically a school will set between 30 minutes and 1 hour of homework a day. Many students will complete their homework in their free time at school leaving them free after school. While homework is minimal many schools offer extra curricular programmes in areas such as music, drama, sport. Some schools will have science and audio visual clubs. These programmes are usually run outside of classroom houses, either at lunch time or after school.