How does it work? : Who supervises my chid while they learn? : What will it cost me? : Contact with teachers :  Resources? Do we need to have a computer and internet access? : How is my child’s work marked and reports written? : What about NCEA? : What about Internal Assessment? : Where and when does my child sit NCEA exams?

How does it work?

Te Kura, formerly known as The Correspondence School, provides secondary school education programmes that are based on the New Zealand Curriculum Framework that is used in face-to-face schools also. This ensures that what your teenager is taught through The Kura is paralleled by what he or she would be learning at a face-to-face college or high school.

There are some obvious differences though. Teaching methods will differ a lot mostly because of the long distance between teacher and student. Teachers of students enrolled at Te Kura use a mix of print, audio, video, CD-ROM, web based and other resources suited to each student’s needs.

Once your teenager is enrolled all the material you both need for studying at a distance is sent to you. Students receive school work in the mail, or by fax or e-mail. If a full-time student of Te Kura then your teenagers teachers will work with him or her to create an education plan for the year. This will include setting goals and charting and keeping a track of progress against these goals and will include a study program appropriate to your teenager.

You then choose what method of learning will best suit your child – whether it be online using online blackboards and interactive classrooms or by the more conventional means of paper and pen followed by post or fax.

Work is completed then sent back to teachers at The Kura who mark and report on your child’s progress at different periods during the year.

The Kura has guidelines to help your child organise a timetable for their study. In the senior levels of secondary study this will need to incorporate the internally and external assessments that area a part of national qualifications. This also helps ensure you cover the curriculum areas required. Studying at secondary level becomes a much more ‘tailored’ process as students begin to enrol in different subjects that interest them and are relevant to their chosen career path.

Who supervises my child while they learn?

It is not the expectation that your child will learn on their own without support. They need encouragement, direction and often focusing just as they would at a face-to-face school. This is the role of the supervisor.

A Supervisor becomes increasingly important at senior secondary level when your child starts entering national qualifications. The supervisor at this point needs to attest that assessments are entirely the students own doing and so on. See more information about this in the NCEA section of this article.

For the most part, parents are their child’s supervisors. However, in some instances, and depending on the reason for your teenager being enrolled at Te Kura, a teacher may be employed to work alongside them, or a nanny may become the supervisor.

A supervisor is there to:

  • Support the student as they develop skills and knowledge
  • Encourage them to become an independent learner – (this means not doing everything for them)
  • Encourage the student to take responsibility for their learning and schoolwork
  • Help plan learning programmes for the student
  • Check the students’ work before it is sent in for assessment to Te Kura.
  • Attest to the authenticity of internally assessed work that is submitted.

There is a great deal of support available from Te Kura for supervisors. The school is able to detail for you how to go about your role as supervisor and give you tips and guidelines for carrying out the role to the best of your ability.

There is also a Home Supervisors Allowance you may be eligible for.

What will it cost me?

If your teenager fulfills the enrolment criteria set by the Ministry of Education there are no fees. However, as with state and state integrated schools, full-time students of Te Kura are asked to make a voluntary donation to the school of $90 per school year per student or a total of $125 for a family with two or more students enrolled.

Students who do not meet the Ministry of Education’s enrolment criteria pay fees

As with any school your child attends there will be a need for you to purchase school stationary items and materials for special assignments, assessments and the like. It is also recommended that your child have a tape recorder that plays and records. If they are a full-time student the school will provide them with one of these.

If your teenager chooses to do a lot of their school work online then you need to consider the cost of your dial-up or broadband internet connection also.

You also need to consider the cost of your student sitting national qualifications. You will be invoiced by NZQA for these fees.

You’ll save on uniform costs if your teenager is a full time student!

Contact with teachers

You have as much access to your teenagers’ Te Kura teachers as you would teachers at a face-to-face school, the difference again being the distance. You and your child are encouraged to phone, e-mail, fax or write to the teachers to keep in touch.

Resources? Do we need to have a computer and internet access?

The short answer is no. Computer and internet access are not essential but are very useful for distance learning in this day and age especially once your child reaches secondary school level. Te Kura provides a lot of online support and teaching materials. However, ‘hard copy’ resources are also readily available through the school and the extensive library.

How is my child’s work marked and reports written?

Your child will receive school work packs that, once they are completed, are returned via post to their teacher. The teacher will assess the work where appropriate, including supporting comments and notes. This work will then be returned to your child will a new set of work.

The marking process once a child reaches secondary level has some additional process and issues. These are outlined in the following section on NCEA.

What about NCEA?

For general information about NCEA see our article about NCEA in our Secondary section.

A student enrolled at Te Kura is eligible and expected to go through the same processes as students at a face-to-face school are where NCEA is concerned.

There are some differences to the methods of delivery and assessment for a student of Te Kura.

What about internal assessment?

A student enrolled in a course which offers internally assessed credits needs to authenticate the assessment tasks they complete.

These tasks contribute to the final assessment for qualifications and the student needs to complete the work alone and in test conditions as any student at a face-to-face school would. To ensure that this happens as it should, the work submitted needs to be signed by the student guaranteeing the work is their own and by the supervisor who attests that the assessment task was completed under test conditions.

Where an internal assessment would otherwise require a verbal presentation, performance or component, your child will be required to speak the work on tape for submission.

Students of Te Kura also have opportunities for reassessment if they do not achieve a standard the first time it is submitted. For more information on opportunities for reassessment read NCEA in the Secondary Section.

When and where do I sit NCEA?

NCEA exams are sat in November/December. In May your teenager will be sent an entry form for NCEA. If they are entering externally assessed standards they will need to nominate a local school as their exam centre. They will then need to call the local school to let them know they plan to sit the exam at their school.

In preparation for external exams Te Kura will send your child practice exams for each subject they are sitting in Term 3. Sitting practice exams is standard practice in face-to-face schools and provides students with valuable practice for the NCEA external exams. They will give them an indication of what areas they need to ‘brush up’ on prior to sitting ‘the real thing’. They will also give the student exam sitting practice in order that they can better organise their time and develop a strategy for sitting exams.

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This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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Jenny whitley

How do we apply for this

Dominique Thompson

Hi, my name is Dominique. I’m just enquiring about my 14 year old daughter getting home schooling. As school was proving to be difficult to get her there.. as I work night shift so sleep most of the day to wake up mid day and still see her home and all she can say to me is I woke up late.. I just think it will be easier putting her on correspondence.

Jasmine Webb

hi my name is jasmine im 15 years old and due to lots of bullying I am not willing to go to school, how do I apply to this online correspondence thingy? ive been to to two different schools bullied at both of them.

Rochelle Gribble

Hi Jasmine, So sorry to hear that you’re having a tough time. The best thing to do is contact Te Kura – http://www.tekura.school.nz/ – they will be able to help you with this. Kind regards, Rochelle


Hi my name is jess I am just inquiring about correspondence for my thirteen year old daughter who is not attending school at present would like to speak with anyone.

Thanking you

Jess Werahiko
10 Ruth Street

Rochelle Gribble

Hi Jess – you will need to contact Te Kura directly – their website is http://www.tekura.school.nz.

Good luck!


yes Te Kura is your best bet i have had a couple of my grandchildren with them great school

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