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Frequently asked questions

We have 17 or fewer children per educator, which is a very low ratio for a New Zealand school. Small classes have myriad benefits over large classes, which can be impersonal and in which students’ needs can easily be overlooked. In friendly, ‘personal’ learning environments, children
feel safer, happier and more connected, and can be supported to grow emotionally, socially and intellectually.

We all learn faster and achieve more when we are intrinsically motivated. Well-directed ‘play’ has proven to be the most effective way to learn. Our highly skilled educators cleverly and unobtrusively direct the child’s natural instincts for play towards learning the variety of skills we’re helping them to develop.

Happiness and success are two sides of the same coin. When people are happy, they are open at all levels of their being. When lessons are boring, irrelevant or just too hard for a student, they close down their mental and emotional energies so that learning is restricted. Making learning enjoyable is one of the secrets of our success.

Academic achievement at Seven Oaks is a natural result of building students’ motivation, self-belief and confidence. We put Building Brilliance at the core of our curriculum to do just that. Our students learn that their unique personality is highly valued and that they all capable individuals.

State education was founded in war torn Europe in 1807 to impress the will of the state upon its citizens. Its military traditions (uniforms, rules, competitiveness etc) are still strongly evident, but we believe a humanist approach is most beneficial in our world today. Seven Oaks draws on the most up-to-date proven knowledge and experience in the fields of education, parenting, psychology, biology, ecology, science and spirituality to offer a truly global and holistic education.

As you will have discovered from your own experiences at school, teachers have a huge impact on pupils. Authoritarian teachers disrespect and suppress the individual nature of every child, weakening their self-esteem. Caring, respectful, highly capable educators recognise the unique spark in each child and encourage it to flourish. Such positive experiences last a lifetime and we carefully choose educators who have these abilities.

Every year we are honoured to receive feedback showing our students excelling when they move on to a variety of high schools. The strong self-awareness and the social skills they build at Seven Oaks gives them a great advantage over their peers who have not had the opportunity to develop those abilities.

As an independent school, Seven Oaks is not zoned and is free to accept students from anywhere.

Seven Oaks caters for students from Years 1 to 8, (approximately 5 to 13 years old). In July 2020, we will open our pre-school on site and in 2022 we plan to open to Year 9 and 10 students.

We have a growing number of children registered to start with us in the coming years. However, for many reasons not all of them will come to Seven Oaks, so there is still an excellent chance that your child will be able to start with us.

We generally follow the standard school terms. School hours are 8:45 to 3:00. Drop-off time in the morning is between 8:30 and 8:45. Pick-up time in the afternoon is 3:00 to 3:30. Term dates and public holidays are here.

Uniforms reflect the military origins of schooling and the standardisation of education. We believe uniforms are outdated and are a barrier to students’ innate desire to express their individuality.

Private schools are often seen as place for children who are not fitting into their local state school. Seven Oaks is not designed for children with behavioural difficulties. However, many families start talking to us because their children are exhibiting behaviours that reflect the anxiety they are experiencing as a result of oversized classrooms, an impersonal approach, rigid rules and bullying. These children are welcomed into the Seven Oaks community and almost always thrive. Read more about this here.

The range of standard subjects we offer is in line with most primary schools, but the way children learn those subjects differs at Seven Oaks. As much as possible, we teach every subject via practical experience and highly engaging activities so that the learning is enjoyable, practical, deep and permanent.

Read more here

Although Seven Oaks students achieve outstanding academic results, we do not focus on tests and we do not participate in comparative assessment between students because it has negative consequences for all students. Student progress is continually monitored and recorded across all aspects of our curriculum and used by educators to evaluate and guide progress.

We use the PAT test in literacy and numeracy to evaluate the effectiveness of our academic programme.

Our advanced curriculum subjects are learned mostly by experience through the culture, processes and learning approach of the school. Rather than taking time away from the learning of standard subjects, these strands underpin and enrich the curriculum and enhance our students’ ability to learn.

We are aware of the education and communication benefits that computers can provide. We are also aware of how addictive they can become and the associated mental and physical health issues that accompany extended use. We provide computers and support their use only when they are the most appropriate tool for the job. Interestingly very few Seven Oaks students bother to bring phones, tablets or computers to school.

Seven Oaks students do all their work at school. However, when students request homework to progress a certain skill, this can be provided.

“Moving her to Seven Oaks was the best decision we have ever made”

Amazing school. My daughter was not coping well with the modern learning environment at her previous primary school. She was...

Meeghan, parent

“Both of our children instantly felt a strong sense of belonging at their new school”

The decision to move our children to Seven Oaks School was based upon the fact that we wanted our children...

Leeane, parent

“We love the wide curriculum”

Seven Oaks School offers the individual approach we were looking for our children and we would highly recommend it. We...

Jo, parent

“Our son thrives when he can learn in a hands-on environment”

Seven Oaks has been a fantastic fit for our family. In particular, the play-based learning philosophy for the new entrants...

Matthew, parent

“All about developing more than just educational outcomes!!! Which they do well in too…” 

The right school... Small class sizes (less than 10 currently). Play-based learning is developing our child amazingly well. Key element...

Liam, parent