Waihopai School Enrolment Scheme

Waihopai School is required by the Ministry of Education to operate an Enrolment Scheme. The Scheme was adopted by the Board of Trustees and came into operation at the beginning of 2005.

An enrolment scheme is a mechanism for controlling overcrowding in state schools. It requires the school to define a “home zone” and to manage its roll around an “optimum roll” - a number that is specified by the Ministry of Education.

Any student living within the Home Zone who wishes to attend the School is, by law, automatically entitled to enrol, even if the school roll is above the optimum number.

An enrolment scheme also requires a school to put in place a procedure for managing enrolments of students who live outside the home zone, but wish to attend the school.  The process that the school must follow is a legal requirement, the required process summarised below.  

The Board of Trustees decide each year how many out-of-zone students Waihopai School is likely to be able to accept (and at what Year level/s), and how many “enrolment” and “pre-enrolment periods” there will be. A “pre-enrolment period” is the time during which the school will accept applications from out of zone students for the next “enrolment period”.

At the end of each pre-enrolment period, the school will prioritise any eligible applications according to legally determined categories:

siblings of current students

siblings of former students

children of Board employees

all others

Places for out of zone enrolments are then allocated according to these priorities.

If there are more applications than available places, the school must hold a ballot to allocate them. Unsuccessful candidates in a ballot are placed on a waiting list which remains current up until the next ballot.

5 Year Old Cohort Entry

We have reviewed when our New Entrant children start school. Following this review, Waihopai has decided to move to Cohort Entry from the beginning of 

Term 1 2024. This means children will start with us at either the beginning of the term or on the Monday of the sixth week. 

What is Cohort Entry? 

The children will start school in Cohort groups following their 5th birthday. Cohort dates are assigned by the Ministry of Education and there are eight Cohort intakes throughout the year, one at the beginning of each term and one midway through each term.

The Benefits of Cohort entry

● Helps children settle

● Builds stronger relationships

● Gives a sense of belonging through being part of a community

● A better start for children setting up routines and expectations

● Less disruption for the current New Entrant children and Mentors


Q: My Child turns 5 that day after a cohort entry date, can they start on their birthday?

A: Unfortunately not. Your children would be starting at the next cohort entry date.

Q: My child turns 5 the day after a cohort entry date, can they begin a day earlier with the cohort.

A: Unfortunately not. Children in New Zealand can’t be enrolled until they are 5.

Q: When is the latest my child can start school?

A: In New Zealand all children must be enrolled by their 6th birthday.

Q: My child is just 5 and has already been enrolled in another New Zealand school under a non cohort policy and we are transferring to Waihopai do we need to wait until the next cohort begins?

A: No, as your child has already been enrolled, they can begin immediately at Waihopai.

Term Start of Term Date Mid Term Date* End of Term

1 30/01/2024 11/03/2024 12/04/2024

2 29/04/2024 04/06/2024 (Tuesday) 05/07/2024

3 22/07/2024 26/08/2024 27/09/2024

4 14/10/2024 18/11/2024 13/12/2024

Enrolment Procedures

When a child is enrolled at the school, some personal information is required.  This involves such aspects as family placement, health background, interests.  Such information becomes part of school records and enables teachers to make informed decisions about the child.  A school record card is started and relevant academic and health information is entered.  This card follows the child through the classes and is sent on to the next school attended.  It should be pointed out that any information on the record card is completely confidential to the Principal, Class Teacher, selected official personnel who have to refer to the card - eg, Health Nurse and the parents of the child.  Parents have the right to access any records pertaining to their child that the school holds and can amend or correct the record if required.

Note: It is a Ministry of Education requirement that we sight a birth certificate or passport for 5 year old children, and an Immunisation Certificate.  A copy of the Immunisation certificate will be retained by the school and details entered into an Immunisation Register.   

The certificate shows whether a child is fully immunised or not.  If not, it shows which, if any, of the nine diseases the child is protected against.  The immunisation certificate must be completed and signed by the doctor or practice nurse. 

This immunisation certificate can be found on the back page of the Well Child-Tamariki Ora Health Book given to parents of every child at birth.  If the book is lost, parents and caregivers can get another book or separate certificate from their doctor or nurse.   

A file on each pupil is created giving personal data regarding addresses, telephone numbers, including emergency contacts.  It is most important that this file is kept up to date.  Please inform the school, as soon as possible, of any changes in such data.  This also applies to business telephone numbers.

Enrolment Form.pdf

Waihopai School Home Zone 

Boundary Description

North and West

Waihopai River: westwards then southwards along the true left bank of the river, from the intersection of the true left bank and the western boundary of Queens Drive to the intersection with the projection of the western end of Victoria Ave


Victoria Ave: from the western end of the road and its projection to where it meets the the true left bank of the Waihopai River, to Leven St.

Properties on the south side of Victoria Ave are not included.

Leven St: from Victoria Ave to Gala St.

Gala St: from Leven St to Queens Drive

Properties on the south side of Gala St are not included


Queens Drive: from Gala St, north to the true left bank of the Waihopai River. Properties on the east side of Queens Drive are not included.

The Park Syndicate operates an independent home zone which covers the Southland Region.  Please enquire at the school office for details.