Our planned Open Day is unable to go ahead this year, a result of Covid-19 restrictions and the community response required. In place of a physical tour of our College, we welcome you to take a virtual tour of our College – click here.
Our traditional Open Day is an opportunity for prospective students and their families to see Villa “in action”, hear from our student leaders about their Villa experience and take a guided tour of our College. In 2020, this looks a little different. Please explore our website to learn more about our mission, special character, academic success, cultural and sporting opportunities. You are also invited to take a Villa Virtual Tour and see our facilities and classes in action.
Villa Maria College has proudly served the Catholic community in Christchurch for over 100 years. It is the vision of Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, that is implemented, tested and challenged in all our education at Villa. There is a strong emphasis on service to others and the community, and the Catholic character is evident in everything that we do.
Applications for enrolment for 2021 have now closed, but you may apply for future years at any time.
If you’d like to attend Villa, make sure you have completed the online application. Applications for the 2021 school year have now closed, but you can apply for future years at any time. You will also need to upload a copy of your birth certificate, immunisation record and preference certificate. The preference certificate is extremely important, and needs to be obtained from your Parish Priest. Click here for more information.
We understand that starting at high school can be daunting, everything is new and there’s lots to learn. At Villa, we try to make the transition from primary to high school as easy as possible. Girls will first attend an orientation day, which allows them to get to know other new students and their teachers. We run a programme with Year 12 leaders (Peer Support) who support Year 9 girls to get to know the College and one another. The girls will get to know their Peer Support Leaders and they’ll get a tour of the whole school, so they’ll start to get to know their way around. Orientation is a fun day, aimed at reducing anxiety and helping to settle the girls in.
The next day, we hold a Mihimihi to formally welcome all the new and returning students to school. Whānau are welcome to attend.
We take the time in those early days and weeks to make sure the girls feel comfortable in their new environment and have lots of activities that allow them to get to know their peers and teachers.
The College campus can seem enormous at first! We make sure that new students have a tour of the College so that they get their bearings. There’s plenty of signage around the College with the building names so the girls will know they’re in the right place. Girls find that they are mostly moving as a class together to the same place, so it is not as scary when you are finding things together. If you do look lost, someone will always be nearby and eager to help you find your way. Many new students tell us that within the first week, they feel comfortable navigating around the College buildings.
We have a House system at Villa. Each girl is placed in one of our six Houses. The Houses are designed to encourage camaraderie and a sense of belonging across all year levels. Each House is led by a Head of House, who oversees pastoral care of each student. Within the Houses, we have small Ako Groups. These Ako Groups are made up of girls from varying year levels and they meet daily for prayer, roll check and daily notices. The Ako Groups build connections and relationships between the girls. The girls remain in the same Ako Group and House throughout their schooling at Villa. The classes at Year 9 and 10 are formed within the House, so you get to know your House group really well.
At Villa, there are lots of subject choices. There are core subjects that all students will study, and then subjects that the girls select to study. Girls are encouraged to choose a wide variety of subjects and our staff will help girls with these selections if they’re unsure. When you start in Year 7 or 9, there is not as much choice, but this increases as you progress through the school. Click here to take a look at our Curriculum Guide.
At Villa, you can play just about any sport you like! There are 34 different sports on offer, including Netball, Hockey, Football, Cycling, Equestrian (bring your own pony!), Waterpolo and Rowing. Girls are encouraged to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle, which includes being involved in sport. It’s also a great way for girls to create new friendships. Click here to learn more about Sport at Villa.
Absolutely. There are free itinerant music lessons at the College, and we can also organise instrument hire. Girls may also like to become involved in the College music groups and choirs. Click here for more information on cultural opportunities at Villa.
Girls learn best when they feel confident and secure. Our students feel empowered to join class discussions, ask questions and be fully engaged in their learning. We encourage girls to find their strengths. And our results show this works! Our students consistently perform better than other decile 9 schools and well above the national average for NCEA. For more academic information and results, click here.
When you confirm that you will be coming to Villa in 2021, you will come into school to have an interview with one of our senior leaders. At this time, the staff would like to get to know you better and will ask you about your friends and who you know will also be coming to Villa. While we try to keep friends together, it’s also good to get to know other girls and make new friendships. We also ask your current school about you, so that hopefully we can form good supportive combinations of girls.
We have a summer and winter uniform at Villa. Both uniforms are designed to look smart and be comfortable to wear. Girls at all year levels wear the uniform, and you’ll be able to easily identify our Year 13s because they wear red ties.
We have a Uniform Shop onsite and new students are invited to make an appointment for a uniform fitting before school starts. There are also second-hand uniforms available. For more information, click here.
Villa is a state integrated secondary school. This means we receive some funding from the Ministry of Education but need to ‘top’ that up with attendance fees and contributions from families. There is a fee schedule online and many families find it is easier to set up a direct credit to the College of approximately $40 per week.
Yes! We are a BYOD (bring your own device) school, which means that all students are required to have a suitable laptop for school. The girls bring their laptops to school each day. We will ask you at your interview about any issues you might have in sourcing a suitable device. For information on devices and what’s suitable for Villa, click here.
Villa has a weekly newsletter called Villa Connect that is emailed home to all families. This newsletter contains all the information that families need to know about upcoming events and news from the College. Families are also encouraged to check the school website and download our school App for urgent notices. The Parent Portal is an online system that parents can log into to see their daughter’s school reports and other information. Families will receive usernames and passwords for the Portal once school has begun. We report regularly and run a range of opportunities to meet teachers and discuss progress, some with Ako Kaiako, others with subject teachers run with different formats. Teachers are also able to be contacted about any concerns.
There is a dedicated student sick bay at the Villa Student Office. Girls will be assessed there and may have parents / caregivers called if they need to go home.
We have girls from all over Christchurch and Selwyn at Villa. Many girls travel to and from school on public transport. Many girls also bike to school and there are plenty of bike stands available. You can find out more about bus routes at http://www.metroinfo.co.nz/