New Zealand families can choose between state and integrated schools (Government funded), or private schools (fee funded).

Māori and Māori-speaking teachers and teachers from Pasifika cultures are in demand across the whole schooling sector, including primary.

Types of Primary Schools

  • A typical primary school in New Zealand educates students from year 1 to year 8, an age range of 5 to 13.
  • Area or composite schools educate students from year 1 to year 13, age range 5 to 18.
  • A contributing primary school caters for children from years 0 to 6, age range 5 to 10. Students then move on to intermediate school.
  • Intermediate schools educate year 7 and 8 students, age range 10 to 13.
  • Middle schools educate students from year 7 to year 10, age range 10 to 14.

School organisation
At primary level, children are placed in a wide variety of learning situations. They are usually based in one classroom and may join with other classes for some activities. Class sizes vary but are generally smaller in the junior school.
The primary school day typically begins at about 9.00am and finishes at about 3.00pm, with breaks (intervals) mid-morning, lunchtime and for some, mid-afternoon.

Considering a career as a primary teacher? Click here to learn more and explore your study options.

New Zealand Teachers Council New Zealand Education Gazette New Zealand Qualifications Authority Immigration New Zealand