Many students find the schoolwork challenging at first as they adapt to learning a new language and a new culture. The St Mark’s International Team and class teachers are on hand to assist children with this transition. Students can also use some of the following strategies:
What if my child cannot speak English? How will they understand the school work?
- Ask your teacher for help
- “Could you repeat that please?”
- “Could you speak a little more slowly?”
- Ask your classmates to help you – there may be another student who speaks your home language
- Make the most of your ESOL lessons and ask questions at our shared lunches.
What is ESOL?
ESOL stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages. Our programme is aimed at children who are non-native English speakers. Sessions will be held in our International Hub either individually, or in small groups and led by our ESOL teacher or ESOL teaching assistant. Students receive two sessions per week as part of Tuition Fees, further lessons are available on request and will incur an extra charge. Class teachers and International Team staff will liaise regarding the timetabling of lessons. ESOL teachers do much more than teach the English language. ESOL teachers are also responsible for the acquisition of culture, the social, and emotional development of ESOL students as they prepare them for academic success in the mainstream classroom.
How can my child get to school?
Some students come in private cars, some walk (if they live close by) or travel by public or private bus. You will receive information regarding the available bus routes in your pre-arrival pack which will assist you to plan how to get to and from school. Wellington is an easy city to navigate and Public transport in the Wellington Region is well developed compared to other parts of New Zealand. It consists of electric and diesel buses, commuter trains, ferries and a funicular (the Wellington Cable Car).
Can we buy lunch at your school?
Yes, we have a “lunch on line” service that you can access through our website. Most children bring their own packed morning tea and lunch (you will receive ideas of what to pack in your Pre-arrival pack). We do not have facilities for students to heat food at school.
Is there a teacher in charge of the pastoral care of International Students?
As part of the International Team, the Director of International Students works with teaching staff, students and parents to be an advocate for students. We also have procedures for the wellbeing of our International Students which are specifically aimed at meeting the needs of students to whom English is a second language. The Director of International Students, Deputy Principal (Wellbeing and Inclusion) and Deans of Lower and Upper Primary work with other staff in the school and usual pastoral care procedures will follow in most cases.
Can you help with accommodation?
Your agent will be able to assist you with finding accommodation in Wellington. We are not offering Home Stay at this time and St Mark’s requires a parent to be living with our students at all times while studying at our school. Checks will be done by staff to ensure that students are with at least one parent as required by the Code of Practice for Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners.
Where can I buy insurance?
We can arrange insurance for you through our school insurer, or your agent can advise of NZ based insurance companies. The insurance policy for the students must include travel to and from NZ.
Do I need to stay in Wellington with my child? Can I leave them with family or friends for a short while?
One parent must remain with an International Student at all times while they are studying at St Mark’s. If you (as the parent) are away you may not leave children with other family members – children will need to stay home until the parent returns.
Does my child have to wear a uniform?
Yes, the St Mark’s uniform is available to hire if your student is here for one term or less or to buy if here for periods longer than one term. We have a uniform shop on site and private fittings are arranged at the time of enrolment. You will need to purchase shoes from a local retailer and advice will be given by the Uniform Shop Manager regarding the most appropriate brands.
Where can I see all the policies for International Students?
The Director of International Students has policies available for your perusal, likewise copies of the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Students and copies of the latest ERO report for the school, conducted in 2017. These will be supplied to you at the time of enrolment and at orientation.
How are the Tuition Fees charged?
Tuition Fees are payable in advance for International Students for the time enrolled at St Mark’s. Receipts will be issued by the school to assist with the submission of Visa applications upon the payment of the invoice. The Director of International Students will issue a “Conditional Offer” of which the only condition is the payment of fees. This becomes unconditional when fees are received.