Ashburton Borough School warmly welcomes 5-13 year old students to not only enjoy an excellent academic programme but also many opportunities in music, sports, environmental and cultural activities. With less than 5 international students in the school, your child will be fully integrated into a New Zealand primary classroom and have the opportunity to make many Kiwi friends.

Ashburton is a friendly, growing, Mid-Canterbury town, in the middle of New Zealand’s beautiful South Island - just one hour’s drive from Christchurch. For over 140 years Ashburton Borough School has supported and enriched the lives of boys and girls in this district. You can have confidence in the quality of the education and care we provide.


principal photo 

Contact Sam Winterbourn  (Principal)

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 0064 (0)3 307 8529 

Open hours: 8.30am - 3.30pm, Monday - Friday (excl. school holidays). Timezone: (UTC+12:00).

Term Dates 2016:-

  • Term 1:  2nd February to 15th April
  • Term 2:  2nd April to 8th July
  • Term 3: 25th July to 23rd September
  • Term 4: 10th October to 16th December

Why Choose Us

Quality Education

Our 140 year history of academic, sporting and cultural success has given Ashburton Borough School an excellent reputation. Ashburton Borough School is a candidate school for the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and is pursuing authorisation as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy- a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Ashburton Borough School believes is important for our students. 

thinknew2Highly qualified, caring teachers deliver a rich and varied curriculum that aims to meet the needs of all learners. One special feature of the curriculum is Environmental Education. The school was the first in the South Island to achieve Green-Gold status; the highest award in the Enviro-Schools programme .  Ashburton Borough School has also been recognised for its commitment to sustainability and global-mindedness through its participation in the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network.  International Students are invited to participate in conservation and environmental projects at school and in the beautiful landscape that surrounds Ashburton.

Low Numbers

Ashburton Borough School has a roll of 420 students from Years 1-8 (ages 5-13). Because we have less than five international students a year at our school, international students are considered quite special. Ashburton Borough students just love welcoming children from around the world into their classes and into their lives. Class numbers are low: between 15-22 students in year 1-4 classes and 20-26 students in year 5-8 classrooms.


For a true New Zealand experience, students can study at a school with beautiful grounds featuring large green playing fields, historic trees, vegetable gardens, an orchard, native gardens and even hens! Just five minutes' walk away is the town centre of Ashburton. We also have a school site in the country, surrounded by farmland. Two classrooms are located at the Lagmhor site and students there enjoy a swimming pool, amazing views of the mountains, large grounds and a family-like atmosphere.

The town of Ashburton has a population of 18,000 people. It is a friendly, thriving town, located nicely between the mountains and the sea, one hour south of Christchurch. There are great sporting, music and theatre facilities available. In easy reach of Ashburton you will find un-crowded beaches, clear rivers and lakes, ski fields, fertile farmland and the spectacular snow-capped Southern Alps.



School life

Individual international students aged 5-13 will be fully integrated into a primary classroom, participating in the Primary Years Programme of the IB.

English language support will be provided, depending on the needs and level of the student. International students will not be placed in the same class as another student who speaks their language. This is to ensure that students use and develop confidence in English.

We have high expectations of all our students, wanting them to achieve their potential in all areas. Students are encouraged to get involved in groupsthinknew3and there are many leadership opportunities, especially for students in years 7&8. Like their kiwi friends, international students will have the opportunity to be librarians, be in the choir, the Māori culture group, the Environmental group, the UNESCO group etc. There are also many different sports available through the school and in the Ashburton community.

Ashburton Borough School makes innovative and creative use of iPads, computers and other information technology. After school tuition in a number of subject areas is available at our school and in the wider community.

Long term stays are preferable, where international students study with us for a year or more. But contact us if you are interested in shorter stays and they may be arranged.


If children are living with their parent(s) then they are welcome to study with us from age 5.

If children are 11-13 years old, they are able to stay with one of our wonderful home-stay families. Here children can develop language and cultural skills in a family setting.

Ashburton Borough School is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. It is very important to us that our international students have the finest of pastoral care and support.


Studying at Ashburton Borough School provides excellent preparation for secondary schooling in New Zealand or at an IB school anywhere in the world.
After studying at Ashburton Borough School, international students can pathway into Ashburton College and on to Canterbury University to complete their education.



We welcome short term groups of up to 24 students, ages 10 – 14. Students are placed in home-stay families, either individually or in pairs. Committed, caring teachers and a buddy student system contribute to an enjoyable and supportive experience for our international group students.

Group programmes vary according to the needs and wishes of the group, but usually combine specialist English language teaching, buddy class lessons thinknew1and many opportunities for education outside the classroom.

A typical 3 week programme at Ashburton Borough School would include:

  • Mornings: English lessons by a specialist ESOL teacher
  • Afternoons:  lessons with buddy class, a visit to a junior class, cooking NZ food, a visit to the Art Gallery, Museum and Library, a meeting with the mayor
  • An environmental conservation project. This would usually involve a trip to the beautiful Ashburton Lakes area to hike, test water, monitor traps for pests or plant trees.
  • A Māori cultural day at Hakatere Marae: official welcome, flax weaving, traditional games, singing, poi etc.
  • Day trips to local farms, the Antarctic Centre and Christchurch city centre
  • Optional adventures: jet boat riding, horse-riding, golf coaching, skiing

Contact us for more information on group trips: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



International experience in childhood provides lifelong benefits. Whether on a short-term or full time programme, your child's stay with us will help them progress through the rest of their education with increased ability and confidence. Our programmes and resources ensure your child's success and well-being.

Please see the following documents for details on how to enrol.

Tuition fees per student are $12,000 per year or $3200 per term.

We provide free insurance and a school uniform for students enrolling for a year. Enquire about discounts for siblings. Homestay costs are $215 per week.

Group programme prices vary depending on the size of the group, the length of the visit and programme requests - email us for more information This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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