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Villa Maria Girls College (age 13 - 18) Christchurch


Villa Maria College is a state integrated Catholic secondary school for girls in years 7 - 13. Situated near the University of Canterbury in Upper Riccarton, Christchurch, Villa Maria College has been providing educational excellence under the guidance of the Sisters of Mercy since 1918.

Villa Maria began serving the district as a parish school when boys were admitted in 1921. When another Catholic school (St Teresa's) opened later nearby, boys were transferred from Villa and from 1941 the school reverted to being a college for girls. The school continued to grow due to housing developments in the area and additional building was undertaken to keep pace with the growth. This included accommodation for boarders which was maintained until a decision by the Sisters saw the boarding school phased out from 1979 and Villa Maria reverting to a day school.

In 1981 the College was integrated into the New Zealand state school system. In 1992 the last Sister of Mercy Principal resigned and the first lay Principal was appointed. In 1995 the Sisters gifted the Villa Maria convent buildings to the College for use as classrooms.

Villa Maria College's reputation as a quality institution with high academic achievement levels is well renowned both in New Zealand and internationally. A recent survey showed that most of our International students come because of recommendations from a current or past International student. The fact that Villa Maria College is a girls only College is very appealing to International students. Villa Maria College supports International students by offering a fully developed programme to help them have a happy and successful education in New Zealand.

High priority is given to the welfare of International students and Villa Maria College strives to create a family-like atmosphere. Each student will be teamed up with another Villa girl (a kiwi buddy) to help her settle into Villa.

Why would you send your daughter to an all girl's school?

Good study skills and appropriate examination preparation are taught early on and the broad curriculum base allows students to:
•    Become independent learners, exploring ideas
     and problem solving
•    Experience the challenges of outdoor education
•    Gain an appreciation of drama, music and art
•    Have the opportunity to achieve academic
•    Become aware of opportunities in tertiary institutions
•    Make informed career choices

This broad curriculum allows the students to gain self-confidence, become independent learners, and participate in and gain an appreciation for music, art, and drama, together with the outdoors. Religious Education is regarded as another essential learning area and is delivered at all levels.

High academic standards are emphasised. Students are guided, supported and encouraged to set goals to achieve their potential. Subjects are offered that will best prepare the students to make a valuable contribution to society in any vocational area they may choose. The College has a specialist Learning and Support Centre which operates to support both the Gifted and Talented and those with specific learning needs to thrive during their educational years at Villa.

Years 7 and 8. Students cover all the essential learning areas and explore a range of subject areas within these, including Languages, the Arts, and Technology.

Years 9 and 10. Students continue to develop skills in all the essential learning areas. Year 9 students follow a programme that enables them to achieve success in all learning areas. Year 10 students follow a core programme and are able to select options in the Arts and Languages and study these in more detail as they prepare for National Qualifications in Year 11.

Years 11 to 13. Students in Year 11, 12, and 13 are preparing for the National Certificate in Educational Achievement, Level 1, 2, or 3. All subjects are assessed with either Achievement Standards or Unit Standards and all have a credit rating. Some students also work toward other National Certificates, in Computing, Tourism, and Hospitality.

Striving for Academic Excellence
The College motto ‘that you may learn to prize what is of value' continues to be central to all our undertakings in every aspect of College life.  The new Mission Statement enables us to see through the lens of this motto: Empowering each young woman to determine her potential, live Gospel values, confidently embrace life-long learning and as Mercy women be inspired to make a difference. As a College community we have applied these values to our Curriculum Goal to raise achievement for all.


NZ$ 14,500 per year 
NZ$   1,000 administration fee
                   (non-refundable) first year only
NZ$      270 per week homestay

Extras:    Stationary, Sport Equipment

Please note: Pocket money and personal expenses are not included