Enrolment Overview

Visiting the school

Prior to filling in an Application for Enrolment form, parents/caregivers may visit the school in order to determine whether it is a good fit for their child. If you would like to visit the school please contact the Enrolment Registrar to request an appointment.


Children who are NZ or Australian citizens, or who have a NZ residence visa or a NZ student visa which does not name a school, are eligible to apply for enrolment at Cornerstone Christian School. We are currently unable to enrol international fee-paying students.

Ministry of Education requirements

Cornerstone Christian School is currently under a Ministry of Education imposed maximum roll cap of 615 students. At least 95% of students at Cornerstone must be ‘preference’. ‘Preference’ is a Ministry of Education term which indicates that a student falls within the special character criteria (which is the school’s reason for existing). Cornerstone Christian School may only enrol ‘non-preference’ applicants if enrolment places remain after all ‘preference’ applicants have been enrolled and the board judges that the enrolment of non-preference applicants will not compromise its ability to offer places to preference applicants who might apply for enrolment at a later date.

Preference of enrolment

Preference of enrolment is determined by the school’s proprietor, the Cornerstone Christian Education Trust. To qualify as a ‘preference’ enrolment at Cornerstone Christian School, a parent of the child must regularly attend an established Christian church* and be a committed Christian, as attested to (in writing) by a church senior pastor/leader.

* Established Christian church would mean a church that has an on-going relationship with other Christian churches in a city or town. This could be established by it being a member or belonging to a Christian leaders/ministers’ network (e.g. CLA in Palmerston North). Secondly, that the church has a set of beliefs that is largely in agreement with the school’s beliefs as established by the proprietor. Variations in belief should be minor in nature, and not seen as a major tenant of the Christian faith. Should a church not belong to a Christian leaders/ministers network, then they may meet the criteria based on their beliefs as stated.

Non-preference enrolments

In 2023, we expect to have more ‘preference’ applications for enrolment than we have places for. Therefore, sadly, we will not have any places for ‘non-preference’ applicants in 2023.

Cohort entry for new entrants

Cornerstone Christian School has adopted cohort entry for new entrants (five year-olds). Each year, we have eight intake dates which fall at the start and mid-point of each school term. New entrants who have been offered a place may start school on the intake following their fifth birthday, or later on request.

Entry at other year levels

Places come up in Years 2-13 when students leave the school due to family relocation etc. In most instances, new students in Years 2-13 will start at the beginning of the school year.

Applying for enrolment

You may download our application documents or pick up an enrolment pack from the school office. Please return the completed application documents to enrol@cornerstone.ac.nz or: The Enrolment Registrar, Cornerstone Christian School, 119 Mihaere Drive, Palmerston North 4414. We will contact you when your application documents have been received. Applications for 2023 enrolment close at 4.30pm on Monday 5th September 2022.

Enrolment agreement

The enrolment agreement on the Application for Enrolment form needs to be signed by a parent/caregiver who understands that the school’s Christian special character will form an integral part of the curriculum and who agrees to pay the attendance dues (a compulsory fee charged by the proprietor of a state-integrated school which helps to cover the cost of land and buildings since these are not funded by the state). Learn more

Pre-enrolment processes

Each year, in July/August, we will advertise the likely number of places that will be available for new students the following year, and the cut-off date by which applications must be received. 

After the cut-off date, applications will be sorted into the order specified by the enrolment scheme and parents/caregivers will be notified of whether their child has been offered a place or (if not) of their place on the waiting list. A parent/caregiver whose child has been offered a place needs to accept or decline the place by returning the reply slip within 14 days. If they don’t accept the place, it will then be offered to the student at the top of the waiting list. This process continues until all available places for the following year have been filled or until there are no students left on the waiting list.

Likely number of places available in 2023 for preference students living outside Zone 1 

The board has determined that the following number of places are likely to be available for preference students living outside zone 1 in 2023:

  • Year 1  –  4
  • Year 7  –  1
  • Year 9  –  1

Priority for these places will be allocated to preference students in the order set out in the enrolment scheme.

Applications for 2023 enrolment close at 4.30pm on Monday 5th September 2022.

Preference, Zone 1 enrolment

‘Preference’ applicants living in  Zone 1 (The Area of Reasonable Convenience) may be enrolled separately to the processes described above (i.e. these applications will be considered throughout the year). However, these students may only be enrolled if this will not result in the school exceeding its maximum roll.  It will greatly assist us with our planning if these applications are made by the cut-off date. Please contact us if you would like to discuss preference, Zone 1 enrolment further.

Enrolment meetings

During Term 4:

  • the Assistant Principals (primary, middle and senior) will meet with each student* who has been offered a place at Cornerstone and their parents/caregivers. These meetings provide opportunity for parents/caregivers to meet the Assistant Principal, learn more about the school, discuss their child’s learning to date, and ask questions.
  • the parents/caregivers of current Year 6 and Year 8 students (moving to Year 7 and Year 9 respectively) will be invited to an information evening where they will learn more about the secondary school, meet the secondary teachers etc.

* New entrant (Year 0-1) students who already have siblings at Cornerstone will not require an enrolment meeting unless it is specifically requested by the parent/caregiver, Assistant Principal, or Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO). These parents/caregivers should contact the Enrolment Registrar to request a meeting if desired.

New entrant transition visits

Transition visits for new entrants (Year 0-1 students) are organised by the teacher in charge of new entrant transition a term ahead of the children’s starting date. Parents/caregivers may bring their child to at least three visits prior to their starting school. Visits give children an opportunity to learn about the classroom environment and meet their teacher, and give parents/caregivers the opportunity to learn more about the school, classroom expectations etc.

Information available for inspection

A copy of the school’s enrolment scheme, the waiting list and an indication of the likely number of places available in the next enrolment intake (if available) are held at the school office and available for inspection during normal school hours.

More information 

Enrolment forms     Enrolment scheme       If you have any questions, please contact the Enrolment Registrar (extn 6103).