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. Visits for groups of parents/caregivers interested in enrolling students into Years 7-13 occur at 1.40pm on Thursday afternoons in Term 3.  Visits for parents/caregivers interested in enrolling students into Years 1-6 may be arranged at any time of year. If you would like to visit the school at any of these times, please contact the Principal’s PA to arrange 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 the 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

We had more ‘preference’ applications for 2022 enrolment than we have places for. Therefore, sadly we do not have any places for ‘non-preference’ applicants.

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 2022 enrolment closed at 4pm on Monday 6th September.

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 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.

Preference, Zone 1 enrolment

‘Preference’ applicants living in the Area of Reasonable Convenience (Zone 1) may be enrolled separately to the processes described above (i.e. these applications will be considered throughout the year). However, they 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 their 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 Principal’s PA to request a meeting if required.

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 Principal’s PA (extn 6102).