Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > New Zealand
Reload this Page >

College - anyone had experiences?

College - anyone had experiences?

Old May 31st 2011, 3:34 am
  #1  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
P18PPS's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Qatar
Posts: 959
P18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond repute
Default College - anyone had experiences?

We've seen one through primary and intermediate here and survived. The eldest is now going through College - a good state college by all reports and word of mouth, however we're not entirely impressed.

We've had a few administrative errors from the school such as an incorrect report, then absentee days recorded, which after investigating (and accusing the 13 year old of skipping) were found out to be incorrect. The form tutor is a science teacher who, well, administration and people skills are not their forte - so far it's taken on average 3 requests (via email) to get anything actioned - I say via email as the face to face contact is non-existent now as parents are not expected to be on-site uninvited. The Dean of the year doesn't seem to be any more proactive than absolutely required by job description.

On top of all this is the teenage mood swings, and the battles with spotty teenagers (and their parents) who seem to be allowed to do whatever they want!!!

The transition into college life for Mum and Dad is hard, and loosing that lovely nurturing caring environment of the local primary is a real shock to the system.

Has anyone else had similar experiences, or had trouble/issues with college?

Basically am I being a neurotic parent or do we have reason to be concerned?
P18PPS is offline  
Old May 31st 2011, 5:38 am
  #2  
jmh
BE Forum Addict
 
jmh's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: South Auckland
Posts: 2,228
jmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: College - anyone had experiences?

The teenage years are a period of transition and this makes it hard for the kids, parents and teachers. You will find as your child gets older the school will expect the child to be more independent and to be given more responsibility. The warm cuddly environment of primary is gone and your child is on the rocky road to adulthood.

Maybe the incorrect absence recordings are a concern, but to fair, the main reason an absence is listed is because the child wasn't there when the register was taken. Since you have proved to them that this was impossible they have amended the register. They will be looking for a pattern of absence and since your son/daughter has not skipped school of course they won't find one. If there was a pattern then there would be cause for concern.

It is correct that parents should not be on the school grounds without permission. This is to protect the staff and pupils. You would be completely shocked at the stories I have of bad behaviour from parents such as using violence against a member of staff and taking inappropriate photographs of female pupils. Yes, this is parents I'm talking about.

My experience is teaching 16+ and it is certainly a challenging age group. It's hard to say if the school is at fault and not just a couple of individuals. I have met some pretty crap teachers in my time, but I have met some wonderful ones too. What does your son/daughter think of all this? Does he/she like the school?
jmh is offline  
Old May 31st 2011, 8:45 am
  #3  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
P18PPS's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Qatar
Posts: 959
P18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: College - anyone had experiences?

Thanks jmh.

Our teenager seems to be settling into the college well, although her 'best' friend has gone to a different college, she has some friends she's retained from the intermediate school, though everyone (rightly so) has been mixed up with those from other schools.

There also seems to be a distinct lack of homework, and very little apparent pressure from the school as to consequences (other than a bad mark) if assignments aren't completed or a poor test result. I think back to my early teens and I was easily doing a couple of hours homework a night - there seems to be a 15 minute 'go on mathletics' assignment and perhaps some other project work, but nothing very taxing.

I get the point with regards to parents onsite - my immediate concern (once we'd established she hadn't been skipping) was that it took the school 2 months from the absent day to ask us for a letter of explanation.... surely the school should have been sounding alarm bells that a 13 year old girl was unaccounted for?

We plan to visit an alternative college next month to see by comparison what they have on offer for next year. Initially I thought that we'd somehow find the money to go private, but then after making enquiries am horrified at the reports and stories that come out of some of the elite Auckland private schools, and, regardless of how good the teaching is, the after school antics that go on with some students.

Maybe an all girls boarding school in the deep south is the way to go!
P18PPS is offline  
Old May 31st 2011, 9:07 am
  #4  
jmh
BE Forum Addict
 
jmh's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: South Auckland
Posts: 2,228
jmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: College - anyone had experiences?

I don't think they get the same level of homework here as you get in the UK so this may be typical. I went to college here in NZ a LONG time ago and your description of homework sounds familiar to me.

It would be good to go visit the other college and you now have an indication of the sorts of questions to ask. Report back and let us know as I am sure there are others with kids coming up to the same age.

Good luck!
jmh is offline  
Old May 31st 2011, 9:24 pm
  #5  
BE Enthusiast
 
Spacecake799's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: Was Torbay, NZ now North Yorkshire UK
Posts: 813
Spacecake799 has a reputation beyond reputeSpacecake799 has a reputation beyond reputeSpacecake799 has a reputation beyond reputeSpacecake799 has a reputation beyond reputeSpacecake799 has a reputation beyond reputeSpacecake799 has a reputation beyond reputeSpacecake799 has a reputation beyond reputeSpacecake799 has a reputation beyond reputeSpacecake799 has a reputation beyond reputeSpacecake799 has a reputation beyond reputeSpacecake799 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: College - anyone had experiences?

Originally Posted by P18PPS View Post
We've seen one through primary and intermediate here and survived. The eldest is now going through College - a good state college by all reports and word of mouth, however we're not entirely impressed.

We've had a few administrative errors from the school such as an incorrect report, then absentee days recorded, which after investigating (and accusing the 13 year old of skipping) were found out to be incorrect. The form tutor is a science teacher who, well, administration and people skills are not their forte - so far it's taken on average 3 requests (via email) to get anything actioned - I say via email as the face to face contact is non-existent now as parents are not expected to be on-site uninvited. The Dean of the year doesn't seem to be any more proactive than absolutely required by job description.

On top of all this is the teenage mood swings, and the battles with spotty teenagers (and their parents) who seem to be allowed to do whatever they want!!!

The transition into college life for Mum and Dad is hard, and loosing that lovely nurturing caring environment of the local primary is a real shock to the system.

Has anyone else had similar experiences, or had trouble/issues with college?

Basically am I being a neurotic parent or do we have reason to be concerned?


Hi,

I have to say everything you have mentioned is everything I have experienced with two of mine through college here and the reason my third will be going back to England for the rest of there schooling.

Just my opinion
Spacecake799 is offline  
Old Jun 1st 2011, 7:08 am
  #6  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
P18PPS's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Qatar
Posts: 959
P18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: College - anyone had experiences?

Blimey spacecake that's extreme, I'm not that far yet myself.... we're going to another college next week, and talking to the college itself to see if we can get some more support from them to a level where we feel more comfortable.

jmh - assuming you are still teaching - a question for you and the ALP programmes that the colleges run - how much extra support/opportunities do children that make it into these get?? we don't really have any great knowledge of them - except now how much of a bragging badge they seem to be for parents!
P18PPS is offline  
Old Jun 1st 2011, 7:28 am
  #7  
BE Forum Addict
 
j19fmm's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Pakaraka
Posts: 3,264
j19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond reputej19fmm has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: College - anyone had experiences?

Originally Posted by Spacecake799 View Post
Hi,

I have to say everything you have mentioned is everything I have experienced with two of mine through college here and the reason my third will be going back to England for the rest of there schooling.

Just my opinion
Sounds no worse than my experiences with secondary for my two...here in the UK.
j19fmm is offline  
Old Jun 1st 2011, 11:58 am
  #8  
jmh
BE Forum Addict
 
jmh's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: South Auckland
Posts: 2,228
jmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: College - anyone had experiences?

Originally Posted by P18PPS View Post

jmh - assuming you are still teaching - a question for you and the ALP programmes that the colleges run - how much extra support/opportunities do children that make it into these get?? we don't really have any great knowledge of them - except now how much of a bragging badge they seem to be for parents!
I've not taught that age group since I got back to NZ so I can't help you I'm afraid. I'll ask my mum next time I see her as she works in education (although primary so she may not know either.).
jmh is offline  
Old Jun 2nd 2011, 4:48 am
  #9  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,820
UKNZAUS has a reputation beyond reputeUKNZAUS has a reputation beyond reputeUKNZAUS has a reputation beyond reputeUKNZAUS has a reputation beyond reputeUKNZAUS has a reputation beyond reputeUKNZAUS has a reputation beyond reputeUKNZAUS has a reputation beyond reputeUKNZAUS has a reputation beyond reputeUKNZAUS has a reputation beyond reputeUKNZAUS has a reputation beyond reputeUKNZAUS has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: College - anyone had experiences?

Yes! All bad...!

We have packed up and are [email protected]$^ing off to an area where my son can go to a College that actually gives a damn about his education and future. There is only so much a parent can take when all the College staff want to do is shut the door at complaints and concerns. There are 2 College's here in my area and unfortunately, he's at the better of the 2. The other college scored bottom place in ALL College's in Auckland - 98 I think. Yes, even below South Auckland
UKNZAUS is offline  
Old Jun 2nd 2011, 7:49 am
  #10  
jmh
BE Forum Addict
 
jmh's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: South Auckland
Posts: 2,228
jmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: College - anyone had experiences?

P18PPS - what area do you live in (PM if you don't want to say publicly)? I'll ask my mum what she thinks of your local colleges. She hadn't heard of ALP. Her suggestion for top quality schools were Diocesan and Epsom Girls. You will have trouble getting in to those schools because obviously they are popular but if your girl is an academic high achiever then you could look in to scholarship opportunities. Both schools turn out very high achieving girls. I have two cousins who went to Epsom and they both did very well.

Her main advice when looking for secondary schools is to look up the ERO report on the internet. Secondly, talk to your neighbours and any other local people you can meet to see what they think of the school.

To anyone looking in the Hibiscus Coast area her suggestion was to look at the new secondary in Albany. She couldn't remember the name. She also mentioned Westlake Girls, Westlake Boys, Takapuna Grammar or Kristin which is a private school. Again, look up the ERO reports.

She did say that Kristin is a small school and as a result your child is likely to get more individual attention than in the bigger state schools. I guess the message from that might be that kids in the bigger schools might get lost in the crowd, so looking at smaller schools might be worth thinking about.

Hope this helps. Let me know if anyone wants me to ask about other areas. I suppose I should issue a disclaimer here - my mum's opinion does not guarantee a successful education for your child!

Also, my mum is a kiwi, so her standards/expectations may not be the same as yours!

Last edited by jmh; Jun 2nd 2011 at 7:54 am.
jmh is offline  
Old Jun 2nd 2011, 9:06 pm
  #11  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
P18PPS's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Qatar
Posts: 959
P18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: College - anyone had experiences?

Thanks for all the info.

Currently attends Glendowie College relatively small school - 900 on the role I think. It's supposed to be one of the best state colleges in Auckland. Selwyn College is close by, which, does not have the best reputation in the world (2000 students and no zone - so they take anyone!), but it is noticeably changing and some friends have sent their children this year and seem to be doing really well. Against the advise of some parents we are nevertheless going to have a look at Selwyn for ourselves to see what they can offer us. I'm also going to look at the possibility of getting a private tutor to help her.

She is not a natural high academic achiever, the question around Accelerated Learning Programs (ALP) was one of curiosity as so much emphasis seems to be placed on them and I was interested to know how much more coaching/opportunities those children had on offer.

We are limited to the Epsom Girls route as we are not in zone and it is notoriously difficult to get into, and some of the other good girls schools you mentioned will be difficult for us to get entry into as we're not catholic. Places like St Kents, or St Cuths are other options - but these are $20k per year!!! and with another 3 to pay for after this one simply not a financial option...... ($20k x 5 years) x 4 children....
P18PPS is offline  
Old Jun 3rd 2011, 7:39 am
  #12  
Forum Regular
 
Divine Comedy's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 282
Divine Comedy is just really niceDivine Comedy is just really niceDivine Comedy is just really niceDivine Comedy is just really niceDivine Comedy is just really niceDivine Comedy is just really niceDivine Comedy is just really niceDivine Comedy is just really niceDivine Comedy is just really niceDivine Comedy is just really niceDivine Comedy is just really nice
Default Re: College - anyone had experiences?

Hi, I have not had an problems with my daughters college. Westlake girls.
I am very happy with how she is getting on.
My theory on choosing a college was to choose one based on my daughters personality and drive and not what the school says it will do for the child in its glossy prospetus
It seems to have payed off as she is doing very well, im not saying she has a super brain because she hasnt,but she is an all round good kid doing her best at all levels, so i think the all round adult will emerge and be a productive member of society. What more can i ask of her?
Divine Comedy is offline  
Old Jun 3rd 2011, 8:12 am
  #13  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 49
Fishy has a brilliant futureFishy has a brilliant futureFishy has a brilliant futureFishy has a brilliant futureFishy has a brilliant futureFishy has a brilliant future
Default Re: College - anyone had experiences?

I say change schools. Our son's college doesn't do any or the things you've experienced so don't accept that as the norm. Hopefully you will find a better place without having to pay privately, though bear in mind change is not that great for kids, it will take a while to re settle so it has to be really worth it.
Fishy is offline  
Old Jun 3rd 2011, 8:24 am
  #14  
jmh
BE Forum Addict
 
jmh's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: South Auckland
Posts: 2,228
jmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond reputejmh has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: College - anyone had experiences?

P18PPS, I'm sorry my mum was not much help. She didn't know Glendowie College, but has heard of Selwyn. It attracts pupils from a wide area because it has a somewhat 'alternative' approach. She said you would probably have a greater choice of 'streams' to choose from there. It's really a case of which you feel is best for the personality of the child.

I'm not entirely clear why you would feel she needs extra tuition at this age? If the school is failing then I agree you must move her.

One point on homework, many principals in the UK believe that the level of homework given to children there does not improve learning and results, and I know from my own experience that often homework is given as much meet the parental expectations as to help the child. Maybe it is not so bad that she is not burdened with over 2 hours of additional work each day. Here's an interesting article on the issue: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/ja...ools.education

Last edited by jmh; Jun 3rd 2011 at 8:31 am.
jmh is offline  
Old Jun 9th 2011, 11:56 pm
  #15  
BE Enthusiast
Thread Starter
 
P18PPS's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Qatar
Posts: 959
P18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond reputeP18PPS has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: College - anyone had experiences?

For those interested - here is the update, and useful to know if you live in the eastern suburbs.

We visited Selwyn College last night. Selwyn does not have the best reputation and is known locally as a bit of a 'social experiment' due to it's lack of zone, until recently lack of school uniform and access to refugees from across the city.....

The new principle is now in her 4th year and has turned around the basic achievement levels for NCEA level 1 from 62% 3 years ago, to a projected 90% this year.

There is a new management team now in their 4th year pushing through change in 'The New Selwyn' which was the buzz word used many times.
They have a number of new teacher recruits some of whom have won national awards for their achievements as teachers.
There is a new head of sports who is a welsh guy chopping at the bit to instigate change, and expand the schools reputation for being a 'dramatic and arts' college adding 'sports' to this list.
Really good myspace kind of intranet that parents get access to aswell so that you can not only check up on attendance but homework, coursework, and where they are and what they're currently studying in the curriculum.
There is already a number of new facilities on the site and this is due to be improved again later this year with the phase 2 of the redevelopment.
The decile issue was tackled too - currently a decile 4 college, the reasoning for this was explained - the refugee block that is on the school site means that all these students are zero decile, which obviously has an impact on the decile of the school and at present the ministry is reluctant to discount these students from the rating..... which is a double edge sword for the college as the lower the rating the more government funding it receives, however the lower the perception by the general public.
Each student is given a mentor teacher and they remain in these mentor groups of 14 all the way through college.

All in all we were very impressed with the place - it is definitely a school going places, committed to and instigating change - a huge contrast to some of the more established colleges in the area such as Glendowie.

We have a fair bit of thinking to do now as to what the best route is for our 13 year old!

My advise to all in this area would be to go and investigate for yourself what these different schools have to offer - don't do as we did and rely purely on local gossisp and assumption based on the last few decades .....
P18PPS is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.