Students intending to study in New Zealand can be assured of achieving qualifications that are of a standard comparable to qualifications achieved in leading educational institutions in other parts of the world.

The academic year in New Zealand runs from January to December with four terms a year. School holidays occur in April, July and October along with the extended summer break over December/January. Students are expected to return home for calendared school holidays.


Secondary study is five years long, from Year 9 to Year 13 (13-18).

In New Zealand, classes are divided into year levels beginning with Year 1 for students who have turned five and finishing with students graduating from Year 13 when they are 17-18 years of age.

  • Years 1-6 are Primary School years
  • Years 7-8 are Intermediate School years
  • Years 9-13 are Secondary School years

Saint Kentigern College has provision for students from Year 7-13 (11-18).


New Zealand's secondary schools offer national qualifications that are recognised by universities and other tertiary institutions both in New Zealand and internationally.

The main secondary school qualification in New Zealand is the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (most commonly referred to as NCEA), although schools can also elect to offer other alternative qualifications.

Saint Kentigern College offers both NCEA and the International Baccalaureate Diploma to give students a choice of qualification to suit their style of study.

More about NCEA

More about IB Diploma Programme

Click here to download the Senior School Course Handbook

New Zealand secondary schools offer a great range of co-curricular programmes in music, drama and sports as well as excellence in academic studies. Students studying in New Zealand find that the lifestyle is relaxed yet expectations to work hard and achieve are high.