WHAT is your background in education Alwyn?
I started teaching in 1991. I taught at Tauranga Boys, which is a good school, then did a little time at Hamilton Boys and then taught at Saint Cuthbertâ€™s college. During that time I worked really hard in the background doing some study looking at some other countries. In the end the questions were, what is really good about the New Zealand education system and what could change?
The bottom line is that for the vast majority of children in New Zealand if you place them in year eleven in good shape they will do fine.
Alwyn Poole has a BBS, MEd (Hons), Dip Tchg and a PG Dip Sport Mgt. He is a Principal and Academic Manager.
WHY is there a need for a new Middle School model?
I think one place that we are incredibly remiss in New Zealand is that we donâ€™t ask our Primary School applicants to have a minimum NCEA level of two or three in Maths and a Science therefore we have got a whole heap of Primary teachers who are unable to be strong in those areas.
Children are coming to year seven quite often without a good background in those subjects.
So where do we fall down? The answer is in years seven, eight, nine and ten.
I think for many people Intermediate schooling has done its dash. And the first two years of secondary schooling are under valued and under resourced. You have got bigger classes and you put your less able teachers and you donâ€™t put as much emphasis on it because the Schools are judged on year eleven, twelve and thirteen.
So at that year nine and ten time when the kids really need help developmentally and intellectually to be catered for at their best, is when in our New Zealand education system we choose to give them the least.