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Tena Koutou Katoa, Nau Mai, Haere Mai - Welcome to Central Normal School/Te Kura Tuatahi o Papaioea.

Thank you for your interest with enrolling at our school. We are incredibly proud to have been the first school in Palmerston North, which is represented in our Maori name, Te Kura Tuatahi o Papaioea, which means, the first school of Palmerston North.

We are a very unique and diverse school comprising of:
Māori Immersion through our 6 classes in Te Arawaru.
A fund holder school for Special Needs children.
A ‘Normal’ school, which means we have a very strong relationship with Massey University with teacher training.

These components contribute to the wonderful school that we have here at Central.

At Central, we know a strong home/school partnership best supports our children’s learning and sets them up for future success. You are always welcome to make a time with your child’s teacher to discuss your child’s learning, progress and achievement.

Thank you for your expression of interest in our school and we look forward to being a part of your child’s learning.

Ngā Mihi

Elly Warnock

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Kia ora ngā whānau,

We are so pleased to welcome you to Central Normal School/Te Kura Tuatahi o Papaioea.

What an exciting time for you and for your whānau as your child starts this next chapter of their lives at school!

You are very welcome to make a time with either myself or Elly. We would love to meet you, learn about your child and to show you around our school.

It is our aim to make the transition to school as easy as possible and know that you have a lot of questions at this time. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions that you may have.

Our New Entrant Team for 2024 comprises of:

  • Melissa Seumanu (Te Arawaru)
  • Susan Macdonald
  • Leanne Fa'aea
  • Sarah Timmins

The following information outlines the transition to school process - I hope that it is useful for you.

Ngā mihi

Catherine Pallesen
Deputy Principal



Pre-enrolment is quick and easy. It gives us an indication that you would like your child to attend Central Normal School and allows us plenty of time to prepare for their arrival. All you need to do is fill in this from from home: Pre-enrol Form. Alternatively, you can pop into the school office to fill this in. You will be asked basic information about your child like their name, date of birth, and your contact details.

If you live in our zone, your child's enrolment is guaranteed for Kura Auraki (mainstream). If you live out of our zone, your child's enrolment depends on the ballot.



Each term, a ballot is held at Central Normal School. A ballot is used when expressions of interest exceed available spaces.

There are three reasons that your child might be on the ballot.

  • Your child is a verified ORS student who lives out of our zone
  • You wish for your child to be part of Te Arawaru (Māori Immersion Programme)
  • You wish for your child to be enrolled at Central Normal School, but you live out of our zone.

The ballot is held the term before your child is due to start at our school. The upcoming dates for our ballot are:

  • 13 October 2023 (For children starting school in Term 1, 2024: 16 December 2023 - 12 April 2024)
  • 2 February 2024 (For children starting school in Term 2, 2024: 13 April 2024 - 5 July 2024)
  • 3 May 2024 (For children starting school in Term 3, 2024: 6 July 2024 - 27 September 2024)
  • 26 July 2024 (For children starting school in Term 4, 2024: 14 October 2024 - 12 December 2024)

You will be notified via email whether or not your child has been successful in the ballot.

For further information, please refer to the Central Normal School Enrolment Scheme.


If your child’s name is on the pre-enrol list, approximately 6 weeks before your child is due to start school, you will be sent an email asking you to fill in an Enrolment Form. You are welcome to fill this in at home, or you can use a device in the school office.

You are also required to bring the following documentation into the office (Enrolments cannot be accepted without this):

The eligibility document for your child. This can be either:
- NZ birth certificate or NZ passport (if NZ citizen)
- Australian passport (if Australian citizen) or
- NZ residency permit or NZ student visa/permit and Parental work permit (if the child is not a NZ citizen).

- If your child (or either parent) is an immigrant or former refugee, please bring in evidence of this.

Immunisation certificate (if immunised)

Proof of your address:
- 1 proof of address from List A
- 1 proof of address from List B or List C



Seedlings is our transition to school programme for our 4 year old students. This is a wonderful opportunity for you and your child to get to know some of the adult faces of the school, become familiar with their peers, the environment, and to engage in some basic literacy/numeracy activities.

Seedlings times vary, but usually run from 9 - 10am. One of our New Entrant teachers will be in touch with you to organise these with you. Please sign-in at the school office and then our Office Managers will show you where to go. You are welcome to attend four Seedlings before your child turns 5. The parent/caregiver will be required to stay during any visits prior to the child turning five. 

If you feel that your child requires more pre-school visits, please contact Whaea Catherine (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or the New Entrant Teacher to organise these. 



We are very excited to be able to heavily subsidise stationery for 2024. We have already ordered stationery and it will be waiting for tamariki in their new classroom on the first day of the year. 

Whānau will be invoiced for $10 (which is approximately half price) early in the new year.


We are a SunSafe School. To keep our children safe in the summer months, a bucket hat is compulsory in Term 1 and Term 4. Central Normal School hats can be purchased from the office for $24.

How are New Entrant Classes Organised?

A child who turns 5 prior to April 20th will start school as a Year 1. A child who turns 5 after April 20th will start school as a Year 0.


On the first day of each term, we have a pōwhiri to welcome new students and their whānau to Central Normal School. We would love to see you at this special event! If your child turns 5 partway through a term, we welcome you to the pōwhiri at the beginning of the term prior to their starting.

The dates for 2024 are:

  • Monday 29 January 2024
  • Monday 29 April 2024
  • Monday 22 July 2024
  • Monday 14 October 2024

Please meet in front of the school office at 9:25am for a 9:30am start.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do with my child’s portfolio from pre-school?

We highly value all of the learning that has been carried out at home and pre-school. If you are able to share your child’s learning portfolio with us, we value all that we can learn from this resource.

What are the school hours?
School starts at 9am. Children can come into class from 8:30am to prepare for their day. Morning tea is from 11am - 11:30am with the final ten minutes being a supervised eating time. Lunchtime is 12:50pm - 1:35pm with the final fifteen minutes being a supervised eating time. School finishes at 3pm.
Is there a school donation?

No. We are very grateful to receive money from the Governments' Donation Scheme which means that we do not need to pass this cost onto families.

What do I give my child for lunch?

In 2024, we are excited to announce that lunch will be provided to every child at Central Normal School. This is provided through the Ministry's initiative Ka Ora, Ka Ako. We receive lunches from Libelle, a local provider.

Please do send a ‘healthy’ snack for brainfood and something for morning tea.

How are children looked after in the playground?
There are always at least four teachers on duty in the playground as well as one in the office for First Aid. Each class has a buddy class they work with at different times of the week and older children are buddied up with younger ones. Buddies look out for each other in the playground and often play or help each other.
What do I do if my child is sick or is going to be absent?

Please phone (3593337) or text (027 3578156) the office before 9:15am if your child is going to be away for the day. If we don’t hear from you, we will text you to follow up any unexplained absences. If no contact is made prior to or on the day of absence, your child will be marked as Truant. If your child is sick for more three consecutive days, please provide a Medical Certificate from your doctor.

When is the best time to talk to a teacher?
There are many ways that you can communicate with your child’s teacher. You can email, send a message on Seesaw (our students online Learning Portfolio) or talk to the teacher directly. Directly before and after school can be quite busy times in a classroom, so you might want to arrange an appointment when the teacher has plenty of time to spend with you. Just ask.