Moving on from primary school

Your child might stay at primary school until the end of year 8, or you might enrol them into an intermediate school for years 7 and 8. For year 9 they will need to be enrolled in a secondary school.

Moving to intermediate school

The intermediate years are Years 7 and 8, usually when students are 11 and 12 years old. Intermediate education can take place at an intermediate school, full primary or middle school or kura.

Some children stay in their same primary school or kura for their intermediate education and do not experience much change, but others will need to make the move to a new school.

If your child does move to an intermediate school they will find that the classroom operates in a similar way to primary school, with a home room in one class with one teacher. What will be different is that that there will be more subject variety, and some subjects will be taught by different teachers.

If your child is going to a different school for their intermediate years, here are some things you can do to help them get ready:

  • Contact the school and find out about their enrolment process and timing, and to get enrolment forms. This is particularly important if you want to enrol your child in a private or independent school, or you're an out-of-zone enrolment
  • Find out about open days at the school and encourage your child to go along and get familiar with the place.  Sometimes intermediate schools work with primary schools to run information sessions so that the primary school can take all the interested year 6 children and their whānau along to the intermediate together. If they have parents' events, go along and meet the teachers and other parents
  • Talk to friends and family who know the school about what to expect
  • Work out how your child will get to and from school, and plan any before and/or after school care
  • Get ready ahead of time with things like stationery and supplies, school uniform and sports gear. The more prepared you are, the less stressful the change will be. The school should be able to give you a list of things to bring.

Moving to secondary school

Here are some things to think about and plan with your child as they get ready to move on from primary or intermediate to secondary school:

  • If you have a choice of secondary schools, check out the options and choose one that suits your child's needs
  • Find out if the secondary schools in your area have open days, and go along with your child. If they have parents' information events, make sure you go. These events are a good opportunity to check out the school environment, and meet teachers, other students and parents.
  • Work out how your child will get to and from school, and plan any before and after school care.
  • Get ready ahead of time with things like stationery and supplies, school uniform and sports gear. The more prepared you are, the less stressful the change will be.
  • Read tips for getting ready to start secondary school.
  • Talk with your child about the differences between primary and secondary school so they can be prepared for the change.

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