Call us on +64 (0)3 377 8603

Frequently asked questions

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

Seven Oaks classes currently run from Years 1 to 8, (approximately 5 to 13 years old). In May 2020 we will open our pre-school and in 2022 we plan to open years 9 and 10.

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 We believe uniforms are outdated and are a barrier to students’ innate desire to express their individuality.

We have up to 17 children per educator, which is a very low ratio for New Zealand schools. Small classes with a friendly, ‘personal’ learning environment have huge benefits over large and impersonal classes. Children feel safer, happier and more connected, and can be supported emotionally, socially and intellectually.

Please contact us on 03 377 8603 or by email to find out how many students are currently in the class your child would be moving into.

Seven Oaks School is owned by The Holistic Education Trust. Our educational model is designed to build powerful social and emotional skills in children so badly needed in the unpredictable world that is emerging today. Drawing on the most up-to-date knowledge and experience in the fields of education, parenting, psychology, biology, science and spirituality, it is truly global and holistic.

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

It has been proven that ‘play’ is the most effective way to learn. 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 their mental and emotional centres down so that learning is restricted.

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.

Every year we receive feedback that shows our students excelling when they move on to a variety of high schools. This is due to the substantial personal growth they experience while they are here.

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.

It is important that children are guided by wise adults on their educational journey, because too little freedom stunts their creative abilities too much freedom so often causes them to struggle through lack of support. Seven Oaks Educators use their personal and professional experience to identify and respond to each child’s current abilities, skills, knowledge and qualities to ensure that learning is always positive.

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.

Parents are encouraged to formally participate in their children’s education via twice-yearly STEP (Student/Educator/Parent) meetings. The school board has ten members, six of whom are parents. All parents are invited to attend our Community Circle meetings to discuss school issues and plan community events.

A peaceful, friendly, respectful and supportive atmosphere for all students and staff is one of Seven Oaks’ core values. Behaviours that disrupt the learning environment or use power to hurt or control others (bullying) are unacceptable.

When bullying occurs our first priority is to protect the recipient.

Conflict is a natural part of life, so rather than repressing or denying it, our approach is to accept and to work with conflict constructively as an opportunity for growth. Ultimately, children want fairness and need to know how to move towards peace after conflict. We use conflict situations to help them identify their feelings, gain understanding of how other people feel and work out between them what they can do to move toward resolution or compromise.

“Free to fly with ideas”

It felt right. I haven't been disappointed. My son is happy, wants to go to school, is excited about learning...

Nicola, parent

“Learning through doing”

The single biggest stand-out feature of the school is the massive hearts, love and nurturing, hugs and support that the...

Ange, parent

“We love Seven Oaks”

In only 3 months she has just blossomed from an anxious, unsettled child who hated school, to a bubbly, enthusiastic...

Kezia, parent

“Believe in yourself”

Our daughter has started to believe in herself again, feeling she is listened to and respected

Eleanor, parent

“Amazing parent community”

By simply placing her in the right environment, it has highlighted just how much she was suffering at her old...

Mark, parent