Rector's message - June 2019

By Nick McIvor | Posted: Wednesday June 12, 2019

The future of NCEA has been announced. It comes from 2018 consultation when the Great Opportunities were circulated about New Zealand for comment. Compared to what was being proposed then, were left with much less change than anticipated or, in many quarters, wanted. Common sense may have prevailed. The NCEA Change Package shows reassertion of academic rigour and excellence, alongside better preparation for vocational success; however the devil is, as always, in the detail. Well watch this space.

In the new design of NCEA is a move towards a more traditional academic focus than the 2018 discussion points indicated. The value given to the ‘chunking’ of learning and use of external assessment has been lifted. All candidate fees in NCEA and Scholarship have been removed. More Special Assessment Conditions will be provided for learning support and equity. There is more focus on Literacy and Numeracy compulsorily (20 credits out of the 80 needed). And a new VE (Vocational Entrance) is being established alongside UE (University Entrance) to name but a few of the changes. The trial and transition time runs from now until 2023 when the first full implementation of a new Level 1 occurs. For further information go to: http://www.conversation.education.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/NCEA-Change-Package-2019-Web.pdf

Negotiation with the Ministry continues regarding the Teacher’s new collective agreement. We genuinely hope that key matters can be resolved suitably and in a timely manner. We thank you in advance for your accommodation of the national action as it exists at our local level.

In staffing we have some changes on the way for Term 3. Callum Waldron has resigned his English teaching position to return to Kent, England. We thank him for his good work in English these past two years. Karen Staples starts study leave during Term 3 to run to the start of 2021, to complete her Master of Education degree through Massey University; also departing from the English Department. Finally, Michelle Moore leaves her role as Food Technician after 4 years dedicated service in support of Food Technology and Hospitality lessons. We wish all three staff well for their next endeavour.

Also indicative of change on the way, I would like to thank members of the Board of Trustees for their excellent support of the school and its improvement these last 3 years. They have, as volunteers, given a great deal of their personal time to making this school the aspirational and effective seat of learning it is – and all with the ‘can – do’ spirit of South Canterbury. A special thank you goes to the departing trustees: Bernadine Reynolds, Jane Sullivan and Shane Edwards. I also welcome newly elected or co-opted parents, Adam Blake, Jason Grant, Brent Isbister, Nick Light, Virginia Callaghan, David Forman, Di Hay and Peter Stayt who will all no doubt bring their beneficial input to the school.

This week we’ve showcased the Arts in a series of Arts Extravaganza Week workshops. As a biennial rollout, it has been about giving boys opportunities to try new performing and visual art activities, over three days. Through participation they may find new personal strength or satisfaction. Also promoting the arts with vigour and flamboyance was Old Boy Neil Gudsell; known to many as ‘Mika Haka’. He received the Teschemaker Cup last Wednesday from the Old Boys. Neil spoke to the boys abouthis time in the school, the support he received while here from particular staff, and gave one main piece of advice: ‘Be you’.

I congratulate all the boys who’ve strived to be ‘better than before’ as we cross the midpoint of the term. Learn from what has passed and use it to your advantage in what follows.

Nick McIvor
Knowledge is Power. Mā te Mātauranga te Mana. Scientia Potestas Est