International Policies

International Student Education Policy  


Otamatea Christian School accepts a small number of international full fee paying students and short term individual students each year and endeavours to ensure that all parties find this a rewarding experience. The International Education Policy is consistent with the School’s strategic direction.   Key Features and Outcomes

  1. To ensure that all fee paying international students have the best possible learning opportunities while at Otamatea Christian School.
  2. To deliver curriculum that is Biblically based.
  3. To provide a student centred learning environment for students, through the Accelerated Christian Education Program (A.C.E) which has the following Key Features known as ‘Distinctives’:

Key Distinctives of A.C.E:

  1. Our purpose goes beyond simply helping students learn the academics required to enter university or get a good job. We desire to build in students a life-long burning passion to learn and grow spiritually. It is one thing to want children to be successful and quite another to provide the academic and character training to ensure this accomplishment.

(i)  Character Development

Godly character training is part of the A.C.E. learning experience, and it prepares students to welcome and accept challenges and future opportunities. Sixty character traits, such as kindness, loyalty, and honesty, are taught within the curriculum.

(ii)  Scriptural Foundation

To prepare students for tomorrow’s world while giving them traditional and moral values that will last a lifetime.

(iii) Individualised Approach

Whether the student is a high achiever, a moderately paced learner, a slow learner, or a speaker of another language the A.C.E. educational process begins at the exact level determined by the child’s ability after diagnostic testing.  This individualization, makes it possible for each study  to master the subject matter before moving on. Such mastery is the foundation upon which all future learning is built.

  1. Academic Excellence:

The A.C.E. individualized curriculum has been carefully compiled to introduce students to concrete and abstract reasoning skills at appropriate levels of learning. A.C.E.’s experienced writers and editors have meticulously chosen grade level vocabulary and concepts that move in a mastery-based format from simple to complex and from concrete to abstract.

Three Levels of Learning

A.C.E.’s individualized program introduces children to concrete and abstract reasoning skills at appropriate learning levels. Writers and editors have carefully developed a scope and sequence with vocabulary that moves from simple to complex and from concrete to abstract as students’ progress. This Christian curriculum is structured to include all three levels of the learning process: knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Knowledge – At the start of their education the student does focus on each new concept from a mastery viewpoint—line upon line, precept upon precept; focus is on the who, what, where, and when of information.

Understanding – At this level students concentrate on concepts that expand to the abstract or cognitive level; the focus is on why and how. This is referred to as the understanding dimension of life. Students learn not only facts (knowledge) but also how those facts relate to culture, science, and history (understanding).

Wisdom – Another, and perhaps the chief distinctive of the A.C.E. curriculum, is its focus on wisdom. Wisdom is seen as a deliberate aspect of the learning process. The curriculum has a special combination of academics and methodology, based on physiological development patterns and Biblical principles.   Students are exposed to mastery learning, critical analysis, conceptualization, cognitive reasoning, and a view of life from God’s perspective.

1. To provide opportunities to extend the A.C.E curriculum through community and school based programmes.

(a)   Broader curriculum is offered in the Arts, Technology, Health and P.E to all students Year 10 and below.  The school draws its expertise from specialist members of the community and the parent body as well as the teaching staff.

(b)   Students are encouraged every 2nd year to compete at A.C.E Convention nationally in all curriculum subject areas.  This fosters broader Christian relationships and lifts student achievement to a high level.  Students that achieve highly are encouraged to go to A.C.E International Convention.

2. To provide professional development to teachers through opportunities for cross-cultural teaching.
3. To promote economic benefits in the wider community.
4. To form lasting linkages across international bordersso that the school and its students benefit.
5.  To develop cross-cultural skills for students to enhance their abilities to communicate and work in an increasingly global world of work.
6. To ensure that all barriers to learning specific to these children are recognised and addressed through diagnostic testing that identifies learning gaps and individualised level of learning.
7.To ensure that the school recognises its responsibility to oversee the well-being of all fee paying students enrolled at Otamatea Christian School and that the requirements concerning the care of these students as set out in Ministry of Education Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (2010) are met.
  1. To provide 4 hours of ESOL (Oral language and Communication Skills) for all International Students that do not have English as a first language.  As the student becomes more fluent the need the student will be assessed and tuition adjusted to meet their needs.

Target market:  Our initial target market will be for International Students that speak English as their first language aged from Year 7 to Year 13 with or without a parent.  Priority will be given to practicing Christians who wish to attend our school for a Christian Education.  The initial market will be Canada (we have two students wanting to attend in Term 1 of 2015) with perhaps other students from America, Alaska or the United Kingdom.  We do have families in our school who have contacts with Japan and Germany and so we hope to in the future accommodate students for short term and long term stays from these countries.  We are not applying for Group students at this time.  All applicants will be considered on an individual basis Initial target is for 4 full time students as determined by current staffing levels and available resources building up to a maximum of 10 full time students.  Short homestays of less than six weeks with individual students will be considered dependent on current staffing levels and student numbers in the school.  (At this stage group students will not be considered.) Impact on Domestic Students:  Initial Report:  We have a small school with a fluctuating roll  of 35-40 students.  Two teachers are employed full time to meet the needs of Year 1-7 and Year 8-13. CASE STUDY:  For three years we had an E.S.O.L student who came from Japan but had dual citizenship.  When he was immersed in the school fully his oral language picked up immensely.  Settling into the system required more teacher time but as the A.C.E curriculum is designed to meet students at their level of learning. Our intensive language program had him breaking down English into its sentence structures and he received all his instruction by total immersion. When he came into the school he had very little English.  He now speaks fluently. The year 8 to 13 Learning Centre can accommodate up to 25 students at any one time dependent on learning needs.  20 students is an optimum.  The Year 1-7 learning centre best operates with no more than 20 students.  15 students is an optimum number depending on the needs of the students. When considering placement of students with English as a first language and E.S.O.L students these numbers and existing student needs will be considered in consultation with the staff and Board of Governors. The Year 8-13 teacher will also be required to take two 2 hour E.S.O.L lessons per week after school hours to facilitate lessons in Oral Language and Speaking as well as to address specific needs of the students in their learning of the English Language. ESOL tutoring time will therefore not impact on Domestic Students. Accommodation Options will include Living with a Parent, Living with a Designated Caregiver, and Living in a Homestay.  See Accommodation Policy*. Recruitment will be via the following means:

  1. Word of mouth and recommendations from past students.
  2. Direct contact via email from those seeking out our school on our web site.
  3. School families that have contacts, friends and relations overseas wishing to come to New Zealand for their education.
  4. Recruitment Agent.  *(See Recruitment Agent Agreement) (Initially we are not looking to use a recruitment agent but we wish to have things in place should we choose to.)

Facilities, Staffing and Resourcing Year 7 to 13 International Students will be taught in the Senior Learning Centre for the morning program and will require their own individualised office area complete with a weekly goal chart for setting their goals in each subject area and a term by term progress chart. Students in Year 7 to 13 will receive small group teaching in the afternoon for the wider curriculum areas including Platform, Art and Craft, Writing, ICT.  Outside specialists and parent helpers will be involved in the teaching of some Physical Education Activities, Music and Vocals, and some Technology Activities. Present full time staff members (2) will be responsible for the supervision of students at their appropriate level of learning. Small class sizes ensures that our teachers can meet the needs of individual students in our classes. One present teacher of Year 7 to 13 is a skilled practitioner in multi-level teaching and has had experience at the local state High school teaching Japanese ESOL students. Resourcing for International Students will initially come from school funds but it is intended that 10% of International Student fees will be used to build E.S.O.L resources and staff training.  An E.S.O.L Resource Area will be set aside in the Senior Learning Centre.   The A.C.E E.S.O.L may be used as a teaching tool in the afternoon programs depending on the needs of the student(s). Pastoral Care Team for international students: Pastoral Care of students will be the Primary responsibility of the Director of International Studies.  The Church Pastor will also be a support person to provide advice and guidance to the director, students and caregivers responsible for students while they are in New Zealand. An office is provided for the church pastor where he can meet with parents, home stay parents, the student, the teacher and the principal as and when required to discuss matters that may arise. The international director will work closely with the church pastor, and outside agencies when required to ensure that international students are well cared for spiritually, physically and mentally. Where necessary outside specialists will be sought out in consultation with the student’s parents and homestay parents  Fees Setting: Fees will be set by the Board of Governors and reviewed annually to allow for inflation.  Fees will be updated and published both on the website and in the International Student Handbook.   Enrolment guideline  Introduction: International Students enrolling at Otamatea Christian School must: Procedure:

  1. Have suitable supervised accommodation guaranteed for the entire school year enrolled.
  2. Have parent(s) signed contract stating consent(s) to study at Otamatea Christian School before enrolment.

3. Prove that they have adequate medical and personal loss insurance throughout their stay in New Zealand. 4. Inform Otamatea Christian School of any sickness, behavioural, disability or special education needs before enrolment. 5. Have a basic knowledge of the English Language (i.e. numeracy and letter recognition skills).Include a reference from a past school Principal or Teacher with each application outlining the level of English achieved with test results where applicable. 7. Meet the conditions of New Zealand Immigration Service student visa/permits requirements.

  1. Accept the direction of the professional staff of Otamatea Christian School in subject and level placement.

  Marketing Material Introduction Agent and prospective students along with their parents must have accesses to correct information about the school and the community. Procedure: 1. All material is produced with the view that it represents the school fairly. 2. All material is correct at the time of distribution. 3. All material is reviewed annually.                     Code for the Pastoral Care of International Students School signatories’ annual self-review Signatories (even if they do not have international students currently enrolled) must, at least annually, review their own performance and the accuracy and relevance of all the information provided to prospective and enrolled international students to ensure compliance with the Code. The outcomes of this review must be recorded in a form that can and must be made available to the Code Administrator if requested. (Section 28.3 of the Code) Highly effective self-review:

  • is ongoing, robust, and comprehensive
  • covers welfare, progress, integration and programmes provided
  • is based on a range of information
  • includes surveys or interviews students, parents, teachers, and homestay parents
  • monitors compliance with the  Code
  • leads to changes to provisions where appropriate.

Schools are expected to undertake this self-review not only to ensure the relevance and accuracy of practice with respect to the Code but also to identify areas of future and strategic focus. The Education Review Office will, on behalf of the Code Administrator, appraise the effectiveness of schools’ self-review and self-review processes as part of their regular school review and report their findings in each school’s report. The ERO reports any non-compliances to the Code Administrator. The following questions are guidelines for a summary of the Otamatea Christian school’s self-review.

  1. Effectiveness of self-review process (Section 28 of the Code)
Record evidence of review, reflection, and outcome below
  • Is our review process ongoing and based on a range of information about students’ welfare, academic progress and social integration, and Code compliance?
  • Does our annual self-review process inform routine and strategic decisions with action as appropriate?
  1. Accuracy and relevance  of information, practice and compliance with the Code

(Part 2,3 and 4 of the Code)

Record evidence of review, reflection, and outcome below
  • Is the information for international students and parents current, ethical and responsible, including the prospectus, website, marketing and arrival information? ( Part 2 of the Code)
  • How effective are our processes for marketing, recruitment, enrolment and orientation of international students? (Part 2 of the Code)
  • How effectively do we ensure immigration and insurance requirements for students are met?
  • How effectively do we meet the requirements around contractual and financial obligations including agents? (Part 3 and 4 of the code)
  1. School’s goals and objectives in relation to enrolling international students
Record evidence of review, reflection, and outcome below
  • Have we reviewed our rationale, goals and objectives for the enrolment of international students and made any necessary changes?
  • How effective are we in meeting these goals and objectives in the current year?
  1. Pastoral care and welfare of international students
Record evidence of review, reflection, and outcome below
  • How effectively is our pastoral care for international students monitored and met
  • within the school
  • at their accommodation
  • in relation to social settings and activities?
  • Are our systems for keeping in communication with International Students, including parents and other stakeholders, working effectively?
  1. Academic progress and monitoring
Record evidence of review, reflection, and outcome below
  • How effectively do our education programmes respond to the aspirations, interest and needs of international students and their parents?
  • How well do we monitor and respond to information about international students’ progress and achievement?
  • How well are international students integrated into the school and local community?
  • How effective are we in supporting international students in English language development?


  Self-Review Questions: School culture and leadership for including English speaking International Students and E.S.O.L International students:

  1. To what extent do we expect our staff to adapt their practice to support the achievement of all our international students?
  2. How caring is the culture of our school towards  all international students?
  3. What access do our staff have to a wide range of knowledge, strategies, learning networks and resources that are needed to support E.S.O.L students?
Self-Review Questions    Improving and equipping staff for teaching E.S.O.L students.

  1. What are our present staff  and curriculum strengths and weaknesses for delivering a sound E.S.O.L program.
  2. To what extent do the teachers develop and use individualised programs for E.S.O.L students?
  3. What further training does the teaching staff need to complete to further their abilities to provide a quality program for the E.S.O.L student?
  4. Are all staff familiar with the Code of Practice for International Students?

Managing and Governing

  1. Are the policies we have meeting the current code of practice?
Teamwork, working with host families and guardians, using information and transition into New Zealand Culture:  

  1. How well does the school use existing staff to meet the learning needs of its International students including E.S.O.L students.
  2. How well does the school use information about students, including information about achievement, social and physical skills, to better include and support international and E.S.O.L students.
  3. How effective is our induction program in assisting the international and E.S.O.L student into New Zealand Culture?
  4. How effective is our homestay program in promoting the wellbeing of all international students.




Reporting and Division of Responsibility

Introduction: Reporting and a division of responsibility is necessary for the welfare of the International students.   Procedure: These personal will be assigned Responsibilities as follows:   Board (Governance)

  • To make sure the correct policies are in place and correctly implemented.
  • To help resolve grievances placed before the board.

Principal  (Management and reporting directly to the Board of Governors)

  • To ensure Code Compliance is met by school.
  • To report to the board necessary changes to the CODE.
  • To monitor the running of the International program.
  • In conjunction with the International Student Director review policies annually.
  • To help resolve grievances placed before the principal.
  •  Is responsible for overseeing the overall pastoral care and wellbeing of the International students.
  • Will keep Functional relationships with:
  • School Secretary (Financial Controller)
  • The Board of Governors
  • The Pastoral Care co-ordinator
  • The Director of International Studies
  • Parents of International Students
  • Homestay co-ordinator
  • Homestay hosts
  • Recruitment Agents (if and when the school starts to use them.)
  •  Is responsible for implementation of policies as directed by the Board of Governors.


International Students Director International Students Administrator
  • Is responsible for reviewing the CODE documents and associated materials.
  • Marketing and advertising of Otamatea Christian School.
  • Producing advertisement materials
  • Enrolment of International students prior to arrival in New Zealand including Immigration and Ministry of Education requirements.
  • Continuous contact with overseas agencies via email
  • Greeting International Students upon their arrival at the airport

  Pastoral Care:  International Student Director

  • Meeting with students weekly to discuss possible issues  ( shared with Church Pastor)
  • Monitoring academic progress and liaison with subject teachers and support people.
  • Finding and assessing suitable homestay accommodation.
  • Confirm homestay placement.
  • Meet with designated caregivers.
  • Visiting homestay families once a term
  • Organising orientation program and student mentors (buddy system)
  • Preparing all printed materials for orientation (Orientation booklet, map of the school, tourist information booklet, emergency contact numbers)
  • Arranging and reviewing timetable
  • Organising social events with homestay families and students. (welcoming and farewell parties)
  • Arranging end of study certificates and academic certificates for those obtaining New Zealand recognised qualifications
  • Reporting to parents via agencies once a term (academic and social comments)
  • Willingness to participate in Cross-Cultural training and ESOL training if these qualifications and training have not already been gained.
Data entry:

  • Creating electronic files for new students
  • Updating existing files
  • Photocopying documents and advertisement materials
  • Other general administration as needed
  • Up loading electronic copies of International Students reports
  • Maintain the  website for International Students
  • Reporting to International Students director
ESOL Teacher
  • Student Assessment & Reporting to Board of Governors, Principal & Parents.
  • Design learning programs for individual students based on assessed curriculum levels in Math, English, Word Building, Literature, Social Studies and Science.
  • Include practical tasks for new students – town library / borrowing books, dentist, shopping, eating out, personal safety, currency, methods of payment, sports clubs.
  • ESOL lessons – two lessons per week of two hours initially.  Reassessment and adjustment as fluency levels improve. In class support.
  • Willingness to participate in Cross-Cultural training and ESOL training if these qualifications and training have not already been gained.

This policy will be reviewed annually in December of each year.

Principal:                                                                                        Date signed:   Chairman:                                                                                      Date signed:


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