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Ashburton Borough School

“A real New Zealand wonderland”

- Choose New Zealand

We see:

  • A small community in a vibrant town that has the perfect blend of rural New Zealand life with easy availability of adventure activities, close to the mountains and the coast and just a one hour drive from Christchurch.
  • Special facilities include an orchard, vegetable gardens, adventure playgrounds, a Performance Centre and a short walk to a top class aquatic centre.
  • Strengths in Second Language Learning, Environmental awareness and international mindedness. It is a UNESCO associated school and the first Green Gold Environmental school in the South Island.

The Government report (ERO) says: (Full report here)

  • The school gives priority to raising the achievement of all students.
  • The school has a positive impact through practices such as the welcome given to new families, an inter-class buddy system, targeted learning programmes for individual students, and supportive relationships amongst teachers and students.
  • Students are becoming more aware of their place in the world, and in doing so are taking greater responsibility for their own learning.
  • International students achieve well and are sincerely welcomed. Students’ needs are reviewed and strategies are used to support their learning, including ESOL support.

Ashburton Borough School is a full primary school catering for students years 1 – 8 that enjoys two school sites, one rural, at Lagmhor, the other centrally located in Ashburton. Ashburton Borough School was opened in 1872, for over 140 years Ashburton Borough School students have excelled in academic, sporting and cultural pursuits. Our team of parents, children and staff work together for success, as we seek to engage in a global world.

In 2001 Ashburton Borough School merged with Lagmhor School, ensuring the continuance of a rural school in a rural community. The combined schools are known as Ashburton Borough School incorporating Lagmhor School. It boast a number of pupils who have gone on to make their names in the world, including a Rhodes Scholar, successful academics, professionals, business leaders and New Zealand sport representatives.

Our School is proud to offer both short and long-term programmes for international students, both individuals and groups. A special feature of our programmes is that they offer International Students the chance to engage in conservation projects in the beautiful local environment and also experience Māori culture at our local Marae.  We are also a candidate school for the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and is pursuing authorisation as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy- a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Ashburton Borough School believes is important for our students. 

Ashburton Borough School was the first Green Gold Enviro School in the South Island and is one of only sixteen schools in New Zealand recognised as a UNESCO Associated School.

Roll: about 420; less than 5 International Students.


“Learners of Today, Prepared for Tomorrow

ABS aims for our students to be literate and numerate lifelong learners. They are thinkers and self-managers who have a positive attitude to learning, with the knowledge and skills to be able to effectively communicate as global citizens.

Thinkers are curious and take risks in their learning. They seek, use and create knowledge by asking questions, being creative, critical and metacognitive. They use a range of thinking tools to organise their thought processes to reflect on, and solve problems.

Self-managers are enterprising, resourceful, reliable and resilient. They know when to lead, when to follow and when and how to act independently.

Students with a positive attitude to learning are highly focused and able to set and work towards achieving goals to the best of their ability. They use a variety of methods including; goal setting, purposefulness, competitiveness and perseverance.

Effective communicators are students who are able to give and receive information efficiently; orally, visually and in written form. They can competently use a variety of technologies and genre in each of the learning areas

Global citizens respect themselves, others and the environment. They value diversity and understand the importance of their place in our world and that they can make a difference.

Why Choose us:

  • We are a Green Gold Enviro School and were in fact the first Green Gold School in the South Island
  • We are an Associated UNESCO school with particular interest in our children being 'Global Citizens'.
  • We are a candidate school of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme
  • We offer a wide range of extra-curricular activity, including an associated sports club, the Ashburton Borough Sports Club.
  • We enjoy excellent facilities, a Performance Centre an Information Centre and access to the Ashburton Craft Technology Centre for students in years 7 and 8.
  • All students learn a second language - Spanish and/or Te Reo
  • We will enjoy ready access to the newly sited Community Sports complex that will include swimming pools and sports stadium.
  • We have a set of Core Beliefs that underpin the life of our school and three known values: Respect, Resilience and Responsibility.
  • We have an effective behaviour management and support programme that is well understood
  • We enjoy parental support and regular consultation.
  • We are a school with a long and proud history, with some fourth and fifth generation students.
  • We access a shared school transport system.
  • Our children are acknowledged as achieving well or better when compared to national expectations as well as there are extensive opportunities for children to take responsibility for their own learning.
  • Teachers have high expectations of learning and behaviour and there is extensive support for students underachieving or at risk of underachieving.
  • We have no school zone.
  • We are signatories to the code of practice for pastoral care of International students


For a true New Zealand experience, students can study at a school with beautiful grounds featuring large green playing fields, historic trees, vegetable gardens, an orchard, native gardens and even hens! Just five minutes' walk away is the town centre of Ashburton. We also have a school site in the country, surrounded by farmland. Two classrooms are located at the Lagmhor site and students there enjoy a swimming pool, amazing views of the mountains, large grounds and a family-like atmosphere.

The town of Ashburton has a population of 18,000 people. It is a friendly, thriving town, located nicely between the mountains and the sea, one hour south of Christchurch. There are great sporting, music and theatre facilities available. In easy reach of Ashburton you will find un-crowded beaches, clear rivers and lakes, ski fields, fertile farmland and the spectacular snow-capped Southern Alps.

The annual Wheels Week event in May is a must and involves many heritage attractions that can be explored all year round, including the Ashburton Vintage Car Museum, the Plains Railway and Historical Village, Lynn Historical Woodworking Trust, and the Ashburton Aviation Museum, with a huge collection of planes from yesteryear and displays of the years it spent as an air force training base during World War II.


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