Attending EC

Welcoming students from across our school zone

Proven academic results, a supportive environment and exceptional teachers ensure that every child receives the very best education and experience at Ellesmere College-Te Kāreti o Waihora.


We are a small, rural school where every staff member and student alike know and support one another. We offer students a full curriculum, alongside a broad range of extra-curricular activities, to support well-rounded student development.

2024 Start-Up Information

Wednesday – 31st Jan – Year 13 Big Day Out – Year 13 students take part in a number of activities – no other students at school

Thursday – 1st Feb – Year 7 Fun day – Buses start running today – Normal school day for Year 7 students (8.55am-3.10pn) with fun activities to get to know the College, staff and other Year 7 students. Students should wear the PE uniform to school and bring:

  • a hat
  • waterbottle
  • food (canteen will not be open)
  • sunscreen
  • device (laptop or Chromebook)

Year 7 students do not attend school again until Wednesday 7th Feb.

Friday – 2nd Feb – Year 8-10 – 8.55am-12.00pm – Year 8-10 students attend school wearing the correct school uniform

Monday – 5th Feb – Year 11-13 – 9.30am-12.40pm – Year 11-12 students attend school wearing the correct school uniform

Wednesday – 7th Feb – Normal School Day – All students attend school as normal

8.55am – Students go to Check & Connect

9.15am – Mihi Whakatau to welcome new students and staff – parents/whānau very welcome to attend

Enrolment information

Enrolment Scheme Description

All students who live within the home zone described below (and shown on the map above) shall be eligible to enrol at the school.


Includes both sides of the road unless where stated:

  • From Canterbury Bight along the north bank of the Rakaia River to Darrochs Road.
  • Up Darrochs Road to Rakaia Terrace Road.  South along Rakaia Terrace Road to Terrace Road.
  • North along Terrace Road to Mitchells Road.  Along Mitchells Road to Hororata Dunsandel Road.
  • Along Hororata Dunsandel Gillanders Road.
  • Along Gillanders Road to the point where Old South Road meets Coaltrack Road.
  • East along Coaltrack Road to Highfield Road.  North along Highfield Road to Two Chain Road.
  • Along Two Chain Road to Telegraph Road.  South-east along Telegraph Road to State Highway 1.
  • South-west along State Highway 1 to the south bank of the Selwyn River.
  • East along the Selwyn River to Lake Ellesmere.
  • Around the southern Shore of Lake Ellesmere to Canterbury Bight.

Financial information

Domestic students/permanent residents

  • Entry for all NCEA standards: No fees
  • Entry for New Zealand scholarship subjects: No fees

International students/non-New Zealand residents

  • Entry for all NCEA standards: $383.30
  • Entry for New Zealand scholarship subjects: $102.20 per subject

For more information on enrolling at Ellesmere as an international student, please head over to our international page.

Ellesmere College bank details

All payments to the school can be made by direct credit to the following bank account: Ellesmere College BNZ Leeston, 02-0860-0074747-00.

Please include the students name and the reason for payment as a reference, i.e. Yr 7 camp.

Ellesmere Parent Teacher Association

Ellesmere is fortunate to have a very active and passionate PTA, committed to enhancing school life and students’ experiences. The PTA organise various fundraising activities each year, including bake days, cheese sales and quiz nights.

The money raised is used to fund a range of activities and additions to the school. Recent initiatives include a lunchtime learning support club, new lab stools and a drum kit for the arts department.

For more information on PTA events, or if you would like to become involved, please contact the PTA facebook page.

Our Whānau Committee

Our Whānau Committee is a group of individuals made up of whānau, staff and students, who work collaboratively to support Te Ao Māori at Ellesmere College/Te Kāreti o Waihora.

Meeting monthly, the Whānau Committee organises events such as the hugely successful Po Whakangahau annual cultural celebration, and works closely with our school leadership to ensure the voices of the Māori and Pasifika communities are being heard and honored.


Ensuring students travel safely to and from school is crucial both to parents and the College.

The Ellesmere College zone is covered by 12 school buses, which many of our students use daily. The Ministry of Education has a direct contract with the bus provider and determines bus routes.


Please see these links (below) for maps to the current Bus Routes:

D120601 – BROOKSIDE (Primary Controlled)

D120606 – LAKESIDE (Primary Controlled)

D120605 – LOWER DUNSANDEL (College Controlled)

D120604 – DOYLESTON_KILLINCHY (Primary Controlled)

D120603 – DUNSANDEL (College Controlled)

D120602 – IRWELL (Primary Controlled)

D120613 – SOUTHBRIDGE TOWNSHIP (College Controlled)

D120610 – NORWOOD (College Controlled)

D120609 – SOUTHBRIDGE_RAKAIA (College Controlled)

D120608 – SOUTHBRIDGE_LITTLE RAKAIA (College Controlled)

D120607 – BANKSIDE (College Controlled)


Our uniform gives students a shared identity and fosters a sense of pride in the Whānau, College and themselves.

In 2024 our new uniform is compulsory for Years 7 – 12

All new Ellesmere College-Te Kāreti o Waihora uniform items (including the PE uniform) are available for purchase in store from New Zealand Uniforms, 455 Blenheim Road, Sockburn, Christchurch 8042.

We recommend phoning ahead to check on stock levels. 

New Uniform

Connect with the school

We have a number of ways for parents and students to connect with the College and find out what’s going on at Ellesmere.

The Ellesmere College school App can be used to view the College calendar, read the latest newsletters, register absences – and much more! You can download the App on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

We have a lively online community. Join the Ellesmere facebook page and stay up-to-date with the latest Ellesmere happenings.

Enrolment forms, school notices and other information can all be found on the parent portal.