There is the risk of being called arrogant for writing for this blog as I do not live in Taumarunui anymore and my youngest son completed school last year. I no longer have to make a choice about my children’s education. However this is an opinion piece, not a new commandment – thou shalt support your local school. Not a bad idea though.
I will never forget that Taumarunui High School enabled and encouraged me to move from a state house in New Road to university and a career in education.
I could not let the comment on the concern about the ‘dress and demeanor of some students I see from time to time’ to stand. Go to the Hamilton Bus Centre fro 3:30pm on any school day and you will see that no school can control student dress all the time.
I too could call myself an educationalist. In the last 35 years I have taught in a variety of rural and urban schools in places like Ohakune, Otorohanga and Edgecombe and Hamilton. I worked with schools in Taumarunui while a Senior Advisor for the Ministry of Education. I write this not to show off but to support the contention that I know and understand rural communities and education.
Parents are always concerned about which high school to send their children to and rightly so. Some choose schools outside their communities to support their religious or cultural values, as is their right.
My clear contention here is to present the case that at the heart of central North Island is a school which is in my opinion leading the way nationally in preparing young people for the current century not the last one.
The last Education Review Office report said a lot of positive things like:
There is willingness among teachers and leaders to innovate, consider change and adapt.
A sustainable cycle of planning, improvement and self-review is established. Strengthened strategic and annual planning, based on evidence, includes demanding targets that require acceleration of student progress and reflects the desire for continuous improvement.
Noteworthy changes affecting learning since the 2011 ERO review included:
- curriculum development, mainly associated with the introduction of junior and senior academies
- timetabling alterations, including moving to four 75 minute learning sessions per day
This is clearly not a school going through the motions
As a teacher I am envious of the programme being offered to the students. There has been a real attempt to make education relevant and engaging. Check it out for yourself
Cloaked around this new approach to curriculum is the academy structure. A lot of schools say they have academies but Taumarunui HS is not just ticking boxes it is leading the way.
Don’t the Students look Smart and Happy
This face book page is an excellent window into what is really being offered at the school
The range of activities, the smartness of the uniforms and the smiles on the faces of nearly every student particularly struck me. It bought back a lot of memories about sports trips, drama productions and the like.
Ok I don’t see the students day to day but I am experienced enough as a parent and educator to recognise that this school is on the rise and if living in Taumarunui with teenagers I would be very happy for them to experience what THS has to offer. It is more than many schools around the country