Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to the questions that we are most frequently asked. If you cannot find the answer to a question you may have, please call one of our friendly staff in Admissions who will be happy to help with your query.
Phone: 09 577 0703 or email Admissions
You will find quick answers to questions below under the following headings.
- Independent Education
- Scholarships and Bursaries
- Open Day and Campus Tours
- Academic Pathways
- Laptop Computers
- Bus Routes
- International Students
What does an Independent School offer?
Making the choice about where your child should be educated is one of the most important decisions a family has to make. Parents have the right to choose the schooling that best meets the needs of their child and an independent education provides that choice. With no zoning issues, families can make a choice about where they would like to live and where they would like to send their children to school.
The main advantages of an independent education comes from the school's high level of autonomy, better governance and a competitive drive on the part of school to provide quality education and facilities in return for tuition fees. A College such as Saint Kentigern expects the best from both their staff and students and believes in accountability to our parents. Our class sizes are generally smaller, further split to smaller tutor groups for attentive pastoral care. We attract the best teaching staff and have the freedom to be innovative, combining the best of traditional methods with the most recent pedagogical research whilst placing a strong emphasis on teaching Christian values, ethics and philosophy.
Each Independent school has its own special character – ours is underpinned by a strong Scottish heritage; a living values programme; innovative teaching; modern, world class facilities; a personal laptop programme; and the option of two qualification pathways for senior students: NCEA or the International Baccalaureate Diploma option.
When should I send in an application? Is there a closing date?
The main intake years at the College are Years 7 and 9 for both boys and girls with places at other year levels if spaces become available. Whilst we do not have a closing date, we do ask for applications to be received by the end of Term 1 of the year preceding entry.
Also see the entry below regarding applying mid-year.
Do we need to apply years in advance?
Your Application Form may be submitted from one to three years ahead of entry but please be aware that we do not keep a ‘priority list’. The College keeps all applications on hand and endeavours to interview all suitable, prospective students, along with their parents or caregivers, in the year prior to entry. As there are always many more applications received than places available, we encourage you to submit your application as early as possible.
Do you have places now?
Are there places available mid-way through the year?
Our roll is generally full from the start of each academic year; however, there is sometimes movement in the roll during the course of the year which may result in places becoming available. Our Admissions Office can let you know whether there is a place available mid-year.
What is the process after we submit an application form?
Complete an application form and forward with the Application Fee ($300 incl. GST).
The Application Fee covers the costs of considering the application and is non-refundable.
The following items are required with the application:
- Passport style photograph of Applicant
- Application Fee (non-refundable) payable to Saint Kentigern Trust Board
- Photocopy of most recent school report
- Photocopy of passport/visa entry for non-New Zealand students
- Photocopy identifying date of birth on birth certificate or passport
- Written letter of reference
Following receipt of your application, you and your child will be invited for an interview of about 30 minutes duration in an informal and friendly setting. Interview times are arranged by the College and generally take place during Terms 2 and 3 of the year preceding entry.
In the event of a successful application, you will receive a written offer of a place at the College for your child. This is usually sent within 3 weeks of the interview. To secure this place, the enrolment agreement must be signed and returned along with the Acceptance Fee ($900 inc GST), the Association Fee ($575 in GST) and the Education Bond ($2,000 nil GST).
Does my child need to be ‘academic’?
We acknowledge that not all children can be ‘the’ best but we encourage all our students ‘to be the best that they can be.’ Your child does not have to be a ‘top academic’ but they will need to have a good all-round ability and be expected to apply themselves fully to all endeavours whilst at the College.
In addition to their academic studies, they will be expected to contribute to the wider life of the College in areas such as sports, music, drama, service, worship and leadership. Selection to the College is based on a ‘best fit’ for the student.
Do you have an entry examination?
We do not have a general entry examination but students applying for a Scholarship sit a Scholarship Entrance exam.
After all students have been accepted to the College, they do sit a New Entrant exam in November in the year prior to entry. For students entering Year 7, this is purely to gauge their level upon starting at the College. For students entering Year 9, it is used to stream some classes.
When do interviews take place?
We start interviewing from Term 2 of the year preceding entry. We interview our larger intakes first, that is, Years 7 - 9, and continue with these during the year until the places have filled.
We start interviewing students applying for entry into Year 10 – 13 during Term 3.
Scholarships / Bursaries
Are scholarships available?
Yes, there is a limited number of scholarships available to outstanding students. To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must be currently in Year 8 at a school in New Zealand. Scholarships are awarded from the beginning of Year 9. Scholarships are awarded for excellence at a high level in the areas of Academics, Sports, Music and Performing Arts. Students applying for a scholarship face a rigorous assessment in their field of excellence by way of examinations, trials or auditions.
How do I apply for a scholarship?
Scholarship application forms to enter at Year 9 are available on our website. All candidates will be required to sit a test or assessment.
There is also one Old Collegian Scholarship for a student who has a strong family connection to Saint Kentigern, that is, a parent or relative who is a former student.
I would like my child to have the opportunity for an independent education but can’t really afford the fees, is help available?
Bursaries are sometimes available for families whose child would otherwise be unable to attend. These are decided on individual circumstances and are awarded at the discretion of the Head of College. The Ministry of Education also offers a scheme for students entering Year 9 the following year. The Aspire Scholarship has been designed for students from low income families who would like to attend a New Zealand private secondary school. Full details of Aspire Scholarships may be found on the link to the Ministry of Education below.
Open Day and Campus Tours
Can we visit the College before we make a decision to apply?
Yes. We hold an annual Open Day for parents in early March each year. We also run regular Campus Tours throughout the year during term time. Our current dates are available here on our website.
What is the difference between an Open Day and a Campus Tour?
Our Open Day is a full morning designed to fully inform you of the benefits of a Saint Kentigern education and to give you insight into our College in action. After a welcome from the Pipes and Drums, you will meet our Head of College before taking a tour of the campus in action. After morning tea, you will be invited to a question and answer session with the appropriate Head of Middle School or Head of Senior School to learn more about the programmes pertinent to your child.
If you are unable to attend Open Day, you are also welcome to join us for one of our short guided tours which take place regularly throughout the year. Morning and afternoon tours are available on set dates. If, however, you are visiting from overseas or out of town, we will always do our best to accommodate a request for a personal tour at your convenience.
Do I need to register for a tour?
To ensure that we have a suitable number of guides available, we do ask that families register to attend by phoning the College Admissions office, sending an email or filling in the online form. Those considering boarding for their child are also encouraged to make this known so that a personal tour of the boarding facilities can be arranged.
Phone 09 577 0703 or email Admissions
How many in a class?
We offer smaller class sizes, usually 25 or less with a maximum of 28 in Years 7-8.
Students in Years 9-13 are placed in small Tutor Groups of approximately 15 students for their daily pastoral care. Depending on their choice of subject, some class sizes can be very much smaller.
Do you offer Cambridge Exams?
No. During Year 11, all students complete their NCEA Level 1 qualifications. Year 12 students can choose either to continue on the NCEA pathway at Level 2 or begin the two year International Baccalaureate Diploma programme.
What does the IB programme offer?
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) Diploma is an internationally recognised qualification for entry into higher education that provides an excellent fit with the Saint Kentigern College ethos. The programme emphasises high academic standards in the mandatory areas of literature, a second language, mathematics, humanities and science. Academic excellence is coupled with emphasis on personal development in areas such as research, philosophy and social awareness. It is aimed at average to good students with a strong work ethic.
What second language learning do you offer at the College?
We currently offer Latin, French, Japanese, Chinese and Spanish.
Do all students need a laptop?
Yes. Saint Kentigern College is a wireless campus with a strong focus on current technologies. All our students use laptops daily for study, research, homework and presentation.
Can students use their own laptops?
They need to be configured to our network and have our software loaded on them.
The laptops we offer at College are designed to a specification level which is very robust for school use. It is preferable that your child’s laptop is bought as part of our IT package. Your own laptop would not be covered by our insurance or service contract at the College. An indication of the cost of the IT package is outlined on the Attendance Cost form.
What age do you take Boarders from?
The College accepts Boarders from Year 7 (age 11) for both the girls’ and boys’ boarding facilities.
Are weekly boarding options available?
Yes, we offer both full term and weekly boarding for boys and girls in our onsite boarding facility.
Are there different fees for weekly and full time boarding?
No. Weekly boarders often want to stay Friday night to be ready for Saturday sport. The one charge allows them to stay in some weekends if they wish to.
Can I visit the boarding house to inspect the facilities?
Yes, you are welcome to tour both the College and the boarding facilities. We acknowledge that attending one of our regular Campus Tours may be difficult for those who live out of town so we are happy to arrange a personal tour of the boarding house at your convenience.
Can I get some more information about boarding facilities?
A booklet about life as a boarder is available from Admissions.
Phone 09 577 0703 or email Admissions
What are your bus routes and where can my child catch the bus?
We have an extensive bus network that covers Auckland with over 27 different bus routes, including mini vans from South Auckland, West Auckland and Central suburbs. Students can catch the bus from any marked bus stop along our routes.
How much does the bus service cost?
Costs vary according to proximity to the College. Admissions can advise the likely cost for your chosen route. The bus service is billed twice per year.
Email Admissions or Phone 09 577 0703
Is there a discount for more than one child?
The sibling discount on tuition fees is 5% for two children at Saint Kentigern and 10% for three children (or more). Full details about the cost of attending Saint Kentigern College are available here.
Does my child need to be able to speak English?
Yes, International Students intending to apply to Saint Kentigern College do require a good level of written and spoken English. We do have limited tuition available for ESOL students in Years 7 to 10. Students entering Years 11-13 require a high level of comprehension in both written and spoken English.
My child is coming from overseas. What are the equivalent levels/grades at Saint Kentigern College?
This is usually assessed on age and school reports.
We would be able to confirm the most suitable level for your child during an interview and when we have viewed their current school reports.
What documentation do you require for international students?
Detailed information about applying to Saint Kentigern as an International Student can be found in the International section of this website.