Why NZEI is completely wrong about these two schools

The Primary school teacher’s union NZEI? is actively opposing South Auckland Middle school and Middle school West Auckland transitioning to schools of special character by ignorantly claiming that they are not different.

The Designated Character statements for both schools are below. Both schools are confident that NZEI and other critics will be totally unable to point out a single school in New Zealand that has the same collective features.

What is really upsetting about the opposition from the teacher’s union is that they are hypocrites as they said publicly that they would support the transition?but in private (with very little knowledge and zero engagement), they are actively opposing the schools’ transition. Quote:

Designated Character Statement

a)??Our Middle School (Year 7 – 10) age group – while not unique in NZ – when combined with the Villa structure does provide a very safe, family like structure that is outstanding for pastoral care and the development of both leadership and performance opportunities.??There are very few Middle schools in New Zealand.

b) We have a maximum of 15 students per class.?There are very few schools in New Zealand who re-arrange their funding to allow this.

c) We have a split day structure with a dedicated academic morning (3 core classes and one independent hour) – and Arts and Activities afternoon.?Few schools in New Zealand operate in this manner.

d) We have a 60 student Villa structure to allow for both academic development and pastoral care.?While common to have houses – the 60 student unit appears unique in the Middle schools of New Zealand.

e) We provide full uniform and stationery alongside the services of a dedicated Community Liaison Manager to ensure the welfare of students. This is on top of asking for no donations.?Only a few schools in New Zealand do this – once again making us not ordinary.?

f) We have a learning statement?character?based closely on the Growth Mindset work of Carol Dweck.??Again – not ordinary in New Zealand.?Carol S. Dweck is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.?

g) We have a unique “Villa Student & Learning Skills” statement.?Not seen in any ordinary schools.

We are confident that there is?no “ordinary state school”?in New Zealand that has this mix – and especially none in the near zones of either SAMS or MSWA.

2. The second criteria is?S156(4)(d) …. the students will get an education of a kind that?differs significantly from the education they would get at an ordinary state school.

a) We have a unique Project Based Curriculum that is highly distinct from the “inquiry learning” provided by some state schools. Because it is partnered with our core subjects and is written for the entire New Zealand curriculum over two levels – it not only guarantees full curriculum coverage (unlike standard inquiry learning models) but also allows the opportunity for covering the NZ Curriculum twice for each student with both depth and breadth. This is involves students doing 32 fully cross-curricula projects in the four years with us. Each project has 16 -22 tasks. The units of classroom teaching are thematic during this time – in keeping with the projects that are handed in every 5 weeks. I have attached the topics we cover. Our students graduate with a UNIQUE skills and knowledege set.

Through significant contacts and research we know that NO OTHER SCHOOL in New Zealand has a curriculum just like this in New Zealand, Australia or the USA.

b) The class size of 15 also allows significant differentiation of classroom practices and a much greater individualisation of learning programmes. End of quote.

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