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Learning Auckland, established 2012 Issue 1, March/April 2015

Publisher Education Today Limited PO Box 22321, Wellington 6441 New Zealand ISSN 1175 9240 Advertising For rate card, media specs and general enquiries phone 04 499 9180 email

02  treasure in our hearts 04  setting the record straight 06  vox pops: ANZAC DAY 09  gallipoli visit for speech finalists 10  dosh - everyone needs it 12  don’t give in 13  te reo app for beginners 14  the deal with deciles 16  making tracks 17  path to success  19  hammering out independence  20  comics as student voice

Subscriptions Email use subject line SUBSCRIBER or subscribe online at Annual subscriptions to Learning Auckland are $25 inc GST in New Zealand, three editions per year. Overseas rates are available on request.





Cover Our cover art is from a comic by Alfriston College student Gabby Westerlund. Her new series is featured on pages 23 - 25 of this issue. Learning Auckland is produced by Education Today to tie in with the Learning Auckland Accord, Whakakotahitanga te Ara Mātauranga, as part of a wide range of collaborators working together for a shared goal. Education Today and Learning Auckland are independently owned and promote creative, stimulating thoughts and ideas for the benefit of students and educators. Contributions to Education Today and Learning Auckland are welcome, and contribution guidelines can be obtained from production@ Photographs are also welcome, and where applicable must include appropriate permission sign-off from parents, students, and school principals. Photos need to be sent as minimum 1MB jpeg attachments. Sign-off form and format information is available on the website or by email. The Education Today and Learning Auckland website homepage also publishes student artwork which does not require sign-off. Artwork copyright remains the property of the student and it is accepted that artwork is submitted to be shown on the Education Today website with the permission of the students. To submit artwork, see the website or email Learning Auckland and Education Today content is copyright, but may be published elsewhere after gaining consent from the publishers. All care but no responsibility taken for loss or damage. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the writers.








editorial - march/april 2015

Fresh perspective


his edition includes an interview by Linda Whittaker with Education Deputy Secretary Dr Graham Stoop who is responsible for the decile system of funding across New Zealand schools.

Linda is a senior student at Wainuiomata High School and, as part of our student editorial group gathering material for the magazines has interviewed a number of educationists, and at a high level, including OECD international student assessment boss Andreas Schleicher (ET 2, 2014), and Ministry of Education research manager Lynne Whitney (ET 3 2014).


with the same request: ‘In words a 14-year-old would understand, tell me what you do’. This sets the scene for the education leader and the reader. Educationists are invariably skilled at talking with other educationists in language they understand; however, may need to pause and consider how they would describe what they do to the people they do it for – students.

Education Today is a not-for-profit series of publications, produced by pro-bono journalists who work with the students to encourage their engagement with the education system With the pragmatic approach setting her inter- in which they study. The student writers enjoy view style apart, Linda opens each interview describing how they feel about their schooling,

Building with bricks

and, like Linda, relish engagement with the people who shape the system they are in. At the end of Linda’s interview, Andreas Schleicher was moved to tell her talking with a student for the record ‘was one of the high points of his year’, as he seldom had the chance to talk with the very people he worked for. Dr Stoop, likewise, said he enjoyed the opportunity to explain his work in the language students would understand. Student perspectives are crucial in helping to lift student achievement, and we value the time the many professionals give our writers in gathering material for these magazines. Thank you

“My previous comics hadn’t featured many human characters so this time I had to draw people. I needed to work out a style and how to be consistent from panel to panel,” Michael said.

ET’s resident cartoonist Michael Sanders completed Colonel Kernel’s adventures on page one of ET edition six and Learning Auckland (LA) These strips are exclusive to Education Today Limited. edition three at the end of last year, and introduces BRICKS for 2015.

“I’ve had strips from my comic Colonel Kernel in Education Today for LINKS two years. This year the magazine asked me to draw a comic that • Michael has had three books picked up by Wheelers Books for was education-themed,” Michael said. their eBook Platform (for libraries and schools). “I had read Matt Groening’s Life in Hell. A number of the strips fea• He has started uploading ColK strips to GoComics-Sherpa. This tured a school setting and were collected as School is Hell (1987). He is a USA website and an opportunity to present them to a new made school-themed comics seem easy. It wasn’t. audience. Michael has ~100 strips and can provide at two strips a “Having to create jokes to a theme that wasn’t mine was difficult. I week over 2015.                                                                              based some of the strips on things that happened to me, or others, at school. Once the first ideas occurred, it became an easier process. • Colonel Kernel by Michael Sanders, February 06, 2015 Via @ I created a strip called BRICKS and set it in a school. GoComics 




We publish student writing, art, photographs and ideas. Send material to: or call 0277344756 for more details. Education Today can provide a permission form where photos and interviews of students require principal and caregiver signoff.

ANZ RSA Cyril Basset vc Speech Competition

STUDENT VOICE. ISOBEL PEPPER was at Palmerston North Girls High School when she was selected as a finalist in the 2014 ANZ RSA Cyril Basset Speech Competition commemorating Anzac Day. Isobel is now at Massey University studying a conjoined Business and Arts degree. Here is her speech.

Treasure in our hearts O n the 11th of the 11th, 1918 the big guns of Europe fell silent. After five years of pounding the eardrums and the flesh of all who strayed near, it was over. And though those guns were half a world away from New Zealand, their reverberations were felt here.

“Life was very different 100 years

ago - yet the similarities today are striking. The young still thirst for adventure, peace is challenged by pugilism and one bullet does as much damage as ever.”

on October 16 1914 when 10 troop ships bearing 8,454 men headed across the Tasman to link up with the Australians. Together, they set out across the Indian Ocean bound for France. While all those who undertook this journey are now dead, we still have their journal accounts of this trip, and while researching for this speech I was able to read a few of these.

The war began for New Zealand on August 6 1914. Last year, 2014, we began a program of 100th anniversary commemoration to mark all Each one provided a fascinating insight into the the important milestones such as the outbreak privations experienced onboard - dealing with of war, the Anzac landings, the battles at the the heat, the horses, the boredom. But what Somme and Passchendaele, Armistice Day In all, 100,444 New Zealand troops and nurses struck me most was the underlying sense and the Treaty of Versailles. served overseas from a population of just over of excitement that each man experienced I want to talk about that war and what it meant a million. That is 10 per cent of our population. - that the deprivations were a transitory for us as New Zealanders. And given the Nearly every family in New Zealand was inconvenience rather than a reality of war. importance of the number one hundred I want involved - be it a husband, a brother or a son. I was also surprised at the seeming lack of to concentrate on the first one hundred days of Many of those husbands, those brothers, and alarm in the change of plans. When Turkey our involvement. those sons went overseas and never came entered the war as a German ally, the NZ Just over one hundred days after entering home. Many of those lost were young men, and Australian troop ships were diverted to the war we suffered our first casualty, Private more ardent for adventure than altruistic in Alexandria, in Egypt. For some, writing in William Ham, of the Nelson Company. As one intent. For this was a terrible war. It stole a their journals, this seemed to be an exciting serviceman said; “I thought it would be great generation of our best and finest and shattered sidetrack rather than an alarming development. The descriptions of local sights of Cairo such as adventure and it’d be real fun. And it was - up the lives of those they left behind. to a point - past that point it wasn’t funny at all.” The first 100 days for New Zealand really began the camels, date trees and exotic women read


Main picture: ANZ RSA Cyril Basset Speech Competition 2014 finalist Isobel Pepper. ‘The Battle of Chunuk Bair, August 8 1915’ painting by Ion Brown (Parliament Collection). Small town New Zealand sailing off to war, October 1914 (Wilson & Horton). The Canterbury Battalion digging in on the first days at Anzac Cove. Arthur McCoy, 44, smoking the pipe, died at Helles on May 10 1915 (Alexander Turnbull Library, Gresson Collection).

more as a holiday narrative than a narrative of at the infamous Gallipoli Peninsula. And after their evacuation from Gallipoli, New Zealand war. However, the tone of the journals changed troops were sent to France and Belgium on when just over one hundred days after leaving the Western Front, the place where most New Wellington, New Zealand suffered its first Zealanders saw action and where the most casualty during the defense of the Suez Canal. died. The attack came on February 3. One hundred New Zealanders kept Turkish infantry at bay on the opposite side of the Suez Canal with a steady close-range fusillade. They were later commended for their efforts, especially given that they had only rifles at their disposal; for due to an operational oversight, their machine guns had been left at camp, 10 miles away.

signed the Treaty of Versailles as a nation in our own right, the first time we had ever done such a thing.

Milestones become millstones if not perceived to hold value. For us however this year’s milestone - if it is any stone, then surely it is In the 100 years since that time they have pounamu - treasured, valued and of national kept on dying - in fact more than 30,000 men significance. and women of the army, navy, air force and Pounamu was used to create the memorial merchant marine have been lost. wall at the National Army Museum at Waiouru. They have served our country and sacrificed all And like the wall, the commemorations, which over the world - under the blazing suns of the begin this year, will make us pause and reflect desert, in the deepest jungles of Malaya, on upon those who have served us in war. the slopes of Monte Cassino, the mountains

of Korea, through the muddy fields of Flanders To Cyril Basset, under whose image we (give these speeches) and Private Ham, our first and the cold rivers of Italy. But now, as the commemorations begin, we casualty of World War One, and all those brave think not only of their sacrifice but also their gift. New Zealanders over the past one hundred They gave us the underpinning values of our years who gave their lives in conflict so that we nation. Values such as courage, commitment may live ours in peace - at the going down of Life was very different 100 years ago - yet the and comradeship. New Zealand entered World the sun, and in the morning, we will remember similarities today are striking. The young still War One on the coat-tails of Britain, but we you.☆ thirst for adventure, peace is challenged by It was small town and district New Zealand that sailed off to war. Provincial pugilism and one bullet does as much damage rivalry was intense. The men went as the Taihape, Clive or Ashburton Boys. as ever. They did not yet look upon themselves as New Zealanders. The Suez Canal was soon to lose its significance when, in the next one hundred – Christopher Pugsley, Anzac, The New Zealanders at Gallipoli days, our country suffered far greater losses In the attack, a soldier was hit. Private William Ham of the Nelson Company, “an ideal action, splendid” according to reports. A chance bullet ricocheted off his rifle and struck his neck, breaking his spine. He died of his wounds on February 5 1915. 


Setting the record straight DAVID CRAIG explores details of the men who served at Gallipoli, and in particular the Maori Contingent whose amazing contribution was almost overlooked by history. Education Today wishes to acknowledge the research provided for this story by GERTRUDE WARNES, Ngati Mamoe and Waitaha, a daughter of Maori Contingent soldier William Tuna Pohio Rickus.


he battle for Chunuk Bair was one of the most famous encounters for Kiwis in the Gallipoli campaign. Yet one New Zealand Army unit which fought with great skill and courage and suffered enormous casualties in that battle is not mentioned in most historical accounts.

warriors was stripped of their identity and four What the Minister did do by writing to Gertrude Warnes in the sensitive manner he chose to of their officers were sent home in disgrace. adopt, was demonstrate she had finally caught August 21 2014 was an historic day for New the attention of officialdom in respect of a Zealand. grievance which has lain dormant and unadOn that day the then Minister for Arts, Culture dressed for 100 years. and Heritage, Christopher Finlayson, wrote Our story starts in Gallipoli in 1915. sympathetically to Gertrude Warnes, a tireThat unit was the Maori Contingent, also A New Zealand Army unit known as the Maori known as the New Zealand (Maori) Pioneer less campaigner for justice and compassion for Contingent, consisting of 461 men led by 16 Battalion. And far from receiving the accolades wrongs suffered by the Maori Contingent. officers landed at Gallipoli in early July 1915 for which they had fought and died, soon after The Minister did not offer or promise the apol- under the badge Te Hokowhitu-a-Tu. Included in this force were Captain Roger Dansey, the battle for Chunuk Bair this brave band of ogy sought by Gertrude Warnes.

The King’s Colour The King’s Colour symbolises ‘the honour of the battalion, and the blood of soldiers killed and wounded in battle’. It was one of the 13 flags awarded to units of the NZEF of the First World War. As the Pioneer Battalion was disbanded shortly after its heroic service at Chunuk Bair which cost it so many men, and was not recalled, the King’s Colour was not consecrated, presented or paraded by the Battalion. It was stored by the last commander of the Battalion. In 1939 his widow presented the King’s Colour to the Minister of Native Affairs, hoping that it could be used by the newly formed 28th (Maori) Battalion. But as military protocol would not allow one unit to take up another unit’s colours, the flag ended up in the Dominion Museum. The flag lay at the museum until 1988 when the last commander of the 28th Maori Battalion, Sir James Henare, and others initiated a search for it. After it was recovered it was embroidered with the number and title of the Pioneer Battalion. It was consecrated and paraded before members of the 28th Maori Battalion Association in 1993. - From Maori Pioneer Battalion flag, www., (Ministry for Culture and Heritage). Image, Christopher Pugsley.

Other reading The King’s Colour awarded to the New Zealand Maori Pioneer Battalion by King George V in 1919.


• ‘Better late than never’, Mana Magazine, No. 3, Aug/Sept 1993, pp. 86-89. • ‘Kings Colour flies at Waitangi’, Te Maori News, 4, 2, Feb 1995, p. 3.

Pictured on the previous page are the members of the Maori Contingent in 1915; above: Maori and Australian soldiers haul a water tank uphill from Anzac Cove, Gallipoli; right: Maori Contingent researcher and daughter of Contingent soldier William Rickus, Gertrude Warnes, 84, of Wellington has a cuddle with her four day old great-granddaughters Hana Ngatahi Chajecka and five-year-old Aramia Vause. Below left is a clipping from The Soldier Boys’ Own Paper; and below right Maori infantrymen assemble before going into action.

Captain William Pitt and Lieutenants Thomas Despite these reports of extraordinary courHetet and Turu Hiroti. Gertrude Warnes’ father, age, skill and sacrifice by the end of August William Tuna Pohio Rickus was also in this unit. the Maori Contingent had been disbanded, The Maori Contingent was in action in their pre- stripped of its identity and its component comferred role as infantry for the first time in early panies divided amongst other New Zealand August 1915 in the battle for Chunuk Bair. To battalions. Worse, four of its officers were quote distinguished historian Dr Monty Soutar: sent home with allegations of poor command performance and in one case, (Captain Pitt) “In the enemy’s forward trenches, on the foot- cowardice hanging over their heads. hills of Chunuk Bair, they excelled in the use of the bayonet, reports of which spread quickly. A The relevant command figures were: Major Pakeha officer, Captain F. M. Twistleton, who General Sir Alexander Godly was in charge had 50 Maori under his command during the of the New Zealand and Australian Division battle, spoke for many when he wrote from at Gallipoli; Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Herbert the frontline: ‘…they are amongst the best commanded the Maori Contingent and the bayonet fighters in the world… As trench fight- Contingent itself consisted of two companies; A Company, commanded by Captain Roger ers you can’t beat them’.” Dansey with Lieutenant Thomas Hetet in Another, Major J.H. Wallingford, wrote; ‘I am charge of Platoon 2 and Lieutenant Turu Hiroti satisfied that better troops do not exist in all in charge of Platoon 3. B Company was comthe world.’ manded by Captain William Pitt. n a personal note Gertrude Warnes Prior to the battle Godly had identified a recounts that her father and two uncles, problem between the Maori officers and (one of whom never came back – he was their commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel buried at sea), took part in that engagement. Herbert. Godly requested from the New Her father got involved in a hand to hand strug- Zealand Government an officer experienced gle with a Turk which culminated in one of her in the ways of Maoridom to act as a “ gofather’s mates shooting the Turk. between” for Herbert and his Maori officers.


Major Wallingford also reported that he had seen members of the Maori Contingent: ‘…lie in the open at the foot of Chunuk Bair, mixed with Ghurkas, for two days and nights, when at least thirty per cent were either killed or wounded…’

felt that his orders were not being obeyed. Godly, predictably, took Herbert’s side. If the Maori officers (mainly Pitt) were disobeying orders at Chunuk Bair they were in good company. New Zealand’s most famous officer associated with Chunuk Bair Lieutenant Colonel Malone in charge of the Wellington Battalion disobeyed an order to mount a suicidal daylight attack on Chunuk Bair. Malone was later instrumental in the taking and temporarily holding of Chunuk Bair. Within days of the Chunuk Bair battle Dansey, Pitt, Hetet and Hiroti were sent home by Godly for failings in their command performance despite there being eye-witness accounts of the bravery and leadership qualities of all four. Back home Maoridom raised a storm about the unjust treatment of the four officers and the disbanding of the Maori Contingent. Eventually the officers were reinstated and the Maori Contingent reconstituted as a Pioneer Battalion, but the damage had been done. The hurt suffered by the families of the whole Maori Contingent burns to this day.

Gertrude Warnes and her supporters feel that the first step in achieving redress in this matter is for the courage and sacrifice of the Maori The Government rejected the officer so Godly Contingent at Chunuk Bair to be restored to the chose to deal with the matter in another historical record. way which in the end was not effective. The This means the proud warriors of the Maori outcome was that the Maori officers felt Contingent can take their place along with all demeaned, humiliated and racistly abused by the other New Zealand soldiers who served Herbert and other senior officers and Herbert with honour and distinction at Gallipoli. 

s p o p x o v

Without preamble or discussion, we asked our student editorial group writers, which includes primary to first-year tertiary students, what they think when they hear of Anzac Day. Here are their answers. Brielle Neilson, Flanshaw Road Primary School A ship sailed up to the beach, other ships followed armed and ready to fight. ‘All right men, Gallipoli straight ahead,’ yelled the commander. ‘Yes sir,’ the soldiers replied. When they landed the men got the guns and snuck up the beach. But they did not know the enemy was hiding. Suddenly, BOOM! The Battle of Gallipoli. The beach was gloomy.

Caitlin Rushton, Flanshaw Road Primary School Australia, New Zealand Army Corp day, known as ANZAC Day, was fought in the First World War in the 1900s. We celebrate ANZAC day because it’s about all the people from the NZ and Australia Army corps who died in the war. They fought in Turkey. The ANZAC did not like the Turkish and they just wanted to fight for peace in their countries but the Turkish just cared about themselves. ANZAC Day is somewhere around April every year. Some of the graves of these brave men are in the graveyards in NZ and Australia.

Jason Tavega, St Paul’s College ANZAC is Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. “Lest We Forget” the soldiers who laid down their lives in battle. Anzacs shaped how we live now. Poppies. New Zealand and Australian History. Really Important to the citizens of a country. Blood, sweat and tears were literally shed. They fought for our freedom.

Katelyn Eden, University of Auckland ANZAC stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corps. The name originated from Gallipoli where soldiers fought in World War One (1914-1918). We celebrate the bravery of men and women in World War One and all other wars on April 25, called ANZAC day. Shops close for half a day in commemoration and it is an official public holiday. The Auckland museum holds a dawn service, as well as memorials around the country. We wear poppies to remember our brave New Zealanders as it is a common flower in Gallipoli (huge fields of poppies). Currently, we are commemorating 100 years since WW1 and one example of celebration was when the Tower of London in England was surrounded by replica poppies – one for each fallen soldier.

Jaazib Mirza, Flanshaw Road Primary School I think Anzac Day is about remembering the people in the Australian and New Zealand armies that gave their lives in World War One against the Germans. One way to show we care is by (wearing) poppies to (remind) people the sure destruction of war. Another way to show we care is with Anzac cookies and closing shops early to give people time to focus on the people that gave their lives rather than (themselves).

Khaylitsa Lolohea, St Paul’s College Armies, allies enemies at war. Soldiers wondering whether they’ll see the next sunset or the next sunrise. Guns unaffected by passion or zeal, sorrow or hope. Bullets of blood become the truth. Calmness and chaos ensue. Enemies faceless in the fog of war. When will they be clear?



vox pops

Continued from Page 6...

Ciccone Hakaraia-Turner, Nga Kakano o te Kaihanga Kura Anzac Day remembers the troops went to fight. Australia and New Zealand troops teamed up. It’s when World War 1 was happening and it was held in Gallipoli. The word Anzac stands for Australia New Zealand Army Corp. Australia and New Zealand went to fight against Germany and there are poppies that help us remember all the people that fought in the war.

Kea Churchill, Flanshaw Road Primary School ANZAC. World War 1. A biscuit. Poppy. Australia/NZ. Anzac day is about remembering NZ and Australian army people when they died in World War 1. These days people usually wear a poppy to remember them by. ANZACS are also biscuits so people made them on Anzac Day to give out at an Anzac Parade. ANZAC stands for Australia New Zealand Army Corps.

Kayla McShane, Flanshaw Road Primary School A biscuit. A poppy. Australian / NZ. World War 1. Anzac Day is about remembering NZ and Australian army people who died in World War 1. These days people usually wear poppies to remember them by. Anzacs are biscuits so sometimes they make them and give them out at an Anzac parade. Anzac stands for Australia and NZ. It’s held in April, usually after Easter.

Charlotte Collins, University of Auckland The Australia New Zealand Army Corps found their foundations in the war at Gallipoli in the midst of World War One. It represents the sacrifice men and women made during the war fighting to protect their country. Now on April 25 every year both New Zealand and Australia observe the day with remembrance, having a public holiday. The battle of Gallipoli is one of the most recognised battles of World War One. The day itself has become a chance to remember not just the sacrifices of those in World War One, but those who have fought and died for New Zealand in the following wars. The poppy that grew in the fields of Gallipoli is now worn on the shirts of everyday people as a symbol of remembrance and respect for those who served.

Lieske Beach, Massey High School Australia, New Zealand Army Corps - the troops who landed at Gallipoli during World War 1. ANZAC day commemorates those who lost their lives in the battle. They got bad directions and commands and ended up in the wrong place and in a bad situation. It essentially ended in a massacre and lots of Australian and New Zealand lives were lost. This year is the 100th anniversary of the battle.

Mia Reihana, Flanshaw Road Primary School ANZAC. Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. 1914 was the year of World War 1. ANZAC Day is remembered by wearing a red poppy. Also, there are these biscuits called Anzac biscuits, called this because every army soldier (or almost all) had a tin of Anzac biscuits.


ANZ RSA Cyril Basset VC Speech Competition 2015

Gallipoli visit for speech finalists Inspiring Maori Contingent speech wins national award for CAITLIN PAPUNI McLELLAN from Opotiki College.


aitlin Papuni McLellan, 16, from the Bay The students had six to eight minutes to speak of Plenty has won the ANZ RSA Cyril about New Zealanders in World War One. Bassett VC Speech Competition and will “It’s tremendous to see the Anzac legacy being deliver her speech at the centenary commem- embraced by our young New Zealanders. They orations in Gallipoli in April. will carry the legacy forward and ensure the

This year to mark 100 years since troops landed in Gallipoli, all of the eight finalists will join the trip to Turkey, with Youth Ambassadors attending the formal remembrances. The national winner’s trophy was presented by The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae. His Excellency is pictured above with Caitlin. Caitlin gave a personal and powerful speech about her relative Kurei Papuni and the mana and integrity of the Maori Contingent who fought at Gallipoli.

Each finalist received the trip to Gallipoli, a smartphone, $1,000 in an ANZ bank account and a further $1,000 cheque for their school. In addition to these prizes, Caitlin received a laptop and the honour of delivering her speech courage and selflessness of our Anzacs continat Gallipoli. ues to be honoured for generations to come,” The other finalists were: Richard Young, NZRSA president BJ Clark said. The competition is a partnership between the Huanui College; Abigail May, Woodford House; RSA and ANZ to promote a greater understand- Georgina Lomax-Sawyer, Buller High School; ing of the sacrifices made by those who have Jacobi Kohu-Morris, Logan Park High School; served New Zealand in conflicts overseas. Katie Mills, Papanui High School; George Now in its fifth year, it was established as a Barton, Wellington College; Joshua Bruce, tribute to Cyril Bassett, VC (1892-1983) – the Macleans College. only New Zealander at Gallipoli to be awarded the Victoria Cross, who spent his entire career • Watch Caitlin’s winning speech at https://youtube/XDTGtdJaBEk with ANZ Group.

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Dosh – everyone needs it

MATHEW DITCHBURN has moved on from Massey High School to Otago University, where he’s studying Law and Commerce, majoring in Economics. He writes about the challenges students face mixing jobs, study, and the area which usually suffers in the squeeze – a social life. ne of the struggles for this genera- industrial warehouses, and around 200 hours tion of kids is money. in a retail shop. I’ve always worked in my holiNo longer can you go down to the days, never working during the school term. local store and buy lollies and other Since I decided not to work in the school term, such treats with pocket money – unless you’re I wondered if I should have to earn some extra getting a substantial sum each week. Most money or if it would affect my grades or my people have to work to earn their dairy fix, but is social life which is quite involved in sport. I this work interfering with schoolwork or social decided to first do some research on having a life? Is it better to stockpile money during the part time job during the school term, then ask a holidays and spend it during the term, or is it few of my classmates about their experiences, better to earn it gradually during the term, or or lack thereof. maybe not to earn it at all and focus on your I am happy I got a factory job as young as 14, schoolwork? as it meant that I could learn work ethic and I have been earning by working from a very financial responsibility from a young age. I young age. My first source of income was firmly believe it is important to have had a part a paper run, back in year 7. Since then I’ve time job before you leave school, not just for worked well over 600 hours in a couple of the cash but for the experience.

“All of the positives outweigh the small negatives of a reduced social life and possibly reduced study time.” Quite a lot of opinions resemble a triangle that students may only have two thirds of (see graph). My biggest questions are: Do the pros of having a part time job during school outweigh the cons and what can be done to reduce the effect of these negatives? My survey results show part-time jobs are desirable among most of my respondents, but they value their schoolwork over the benefits of a part-time job. However, business leaders in

vox pops Dayna Teo Mathew Ditchburn I conducted a survey on year 13 students at Massey High School to get their opinions on part time jobs during school...

Joe Gasparich Part time jobs are great for your CV, as they prove to future employers that you have experience in the workplace. The money is also very helpful. With them however comes a lack of time for study and recreational activities. I would cut down on my social life and keep both my part-time job and study time if I was struggling.

Sung-Min Sung-Min Jun: Part time jobs can teach essential life skills, like time management, and they expose you to real-world life. Lack of study time would arise from a part time job though. I value my school work and other extra-curricular activities over a part-time job.

Rory O’Connor The most important things that my part time job gave me were lessons on financial responsibility, and money to spend. I can understand that people may put work before school however, so it can reduce study and social life. A part-time job is more valuable to me than outstanding school results.


Part time jobs allow you to experience a sense of responsibility, and taste what the real world has to offer. The hardest part about them is to find balance between work, social life and school. I would drop a parttime job to focus more on school if I was struggling.

Shelley Waddams My part time job has given me experience in the workplace, along with money to spend. However, it does cut into my study and social life, so it can put me under a lot of stress. If I was really struggling at school, I would drop the part-time job (reluctantly) to focus on study.

the UK disagree in this article by the Daily Mail: Parents-urge-children-time-job-doing-examsbusiness-leaders-warn.html. The problem these leaders identify is that parents are too focused on their children attaining high academic results in secondary school. These leaders say a few substandard results matter less than a lack of work experience when a student leaves secondary or tertiary school. Their message to students and parents is implicit - experience is sometimes much more useful than a couple of excellent results in secondary school. The job market may value the work experience. This lends weight to schemes we have here such as Youth Guarantee and the Vocational Pathways programmes where students align their studies with the expectations of the workplace, and, most important, gain work experience as an assessed and integral part of

Rough justice


he severity of sentences imposed in New Zealand’s District Courts can differ dramatically between regions, PhD research from a Victoria University of Wellington graduating student reveals.

Wayne Goodall, who graduated with a PhD in Criminology in December, found that offenders committing similar crimes received different sentences depending on the location of the sentencing. He found provincial circuits in general to be harsher than the metropolitan areas, with a higher likelihood of incarceration and longer sentences. “This means that justice is what the local judges believe it is,” Wayne said. “I don’t see this as a fault of the judges, but a weakness of the law that needs to be addressed.”

their studies. For this to develop and succeed, LINKS we need the involvement of as many indusEven though this is for an American teenager, tries as possible, and where possible, in the it outlines good things about a part time job schools’ catchments. and downfalls that come with them. I stand by my original statement; it is impor• to have had a part time job before you school/jobs-and-chores/40622.html leave school, not just for the cash but for the experience. The references for my curriculum his lends weight to schemes we vitae, the fiscal responsibility lessons and the have here such as Youth Guarantee real-world experience in a professional environand the Vocational Pathways proment have helped prepare me for the future grammes where students align their and for stepping out into the real world. studies with the expectations of the Without this experience, I would have sigworkplace, and, most important, gain nificantly less ability to get a part time job work experience as an assessed and when I eventually need one – jobs are heavily integral part of their studies. For this based on work experience these days – and to develop and succeed, we need the I would’ve lacked the financial responsibility I involvement of as many business need going into tertiary education on a student people and industries as possible, loan. Combined, all of the positives outweigh and where possible, in the schools’ the small negatives of a reduced social life and catchments. possibly reduced study time.


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“In the current system, judges are given wide discretion to decide what sentences people get,” Wayne said. “Although they get some guidance from the law, it’s very general and leaves each judge to determine his or her personal sentencing approach for offences such as drink driving. The system allows judges’ personal values, preferences and biases to come into play. “New Zealand places a high value on judges sentencing each individual uniquely and on their merits,” Wayne said. “Although this is critically important, it is not a justification for widespread inconsistency in the sentencing of high volumes of closely similar cases. Much greater consistency could be achieved by implementing offence-based sentencing guidelines like those envisaged in the Sentencing Council Act passed in 2007.”

A guide to understanding dyslexia in children and youth, with strategies for assessing and teaching reading and spelling Tom Nicholson and Susan Dymock

The largest inconsistencies were found for aggravated drink driving and burglary sentences. In general, drink driver offenders in provincial New Zealand were six times more likely to be incarcerated than offenders in metropolitan areas. Despite this, there were no significant differences between the genders or by ethnicity. The likelihood of incarceration for men and women was almost identical. There were significant differences in sentencing according to gender and ethnicity for burglary, however. Men, Māori and Pasifika offenders were 20 per cent more likely to be incarcerated than women and Europeans for similar offences. Once a decision to incarcerate had been made though, the length of prison sentences was fairly consistent.

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Don’t give in STUDENT VOICE.


LUSIA LATU at Otahuhu College says procrastination is the student’s enemy, with social media and many other things ready to draw their attention away from tasks at hand. Lusia also offers some advice on how to resist the great time waster.

e’ve all given in to the temptations of procrastinating about our homework and assignments.

“The price of freedom at the cost of one all-nighter is better than an extremely overdue assignment”

For some of us it happens occasionally though for most of us it’s become embedded into part of our regular routine. Aimlessly pursuing any other task to pass time is better than dwelling on that dreaded text book completely clueless choose to avoid it now, there’s no escaping its grasp later on when it’s due and further down as to what it’s asking of you. the year when you aren’t greeted with marks Days and weeks pass by after the assignment you’re hoping for. has been set and you promise yourself to get started, and finished, but you never quite bring One of the ways you can counter the urge to yourself to actually do it until the night before slam your textbook shut and watch the latest episode of Shortland Street is to separate yourthe due date. It’s happened to the best of us. Otahuhu self from any kind of distractions. Anything College student Helen Ta’alo confesses: “I do that is capable of snapping your attention away from getting your work done like digital it all the time”. devices, or logging onto Facebook should be Hence comes the piling up of internal assigntemporarily deleted from your memory until ments, and then follows the stress and panic you’ve conquered those questions and solved attacks of them being overdue, and the inevithose equations. table pleading to teachers for extensions. Just imagine all the time you’ll have on your Consequently, we are left to try and break this hands once you’ve finished your assignments, time-consuming habit. But how do we actually do that? According to which haven’t been rushed, that you’ve finHelen, it’s all a matter of being “motivated to ished at your own pace and have happily edited stay focused on your assignments rather than to your liking.

drift off and try to avoid it”.

This is much easier said than done, which is why Helen sympathizes with those of us unfortunate enough to be stranded with this issue: “but don’t get me wrong, it’s still a hard habit to break out of if you’ve been doing it for such a long time”. Whether it’s intentional or not, procrastinating both homework and assignments never pans out well in the long run. Although you can

being successful. No one wants to look back in their life and regret not having done that one assessment that could have potentially made a difference in their life. Well that’s a bit dramatic, but you get I mean. But what if I have a load of commitments that preoccupy my time and is the reason I procrastinate my assignments? You’re on the same boat as Otahuhu College student, Mikayla Pihema, who is in her last year. Constantly on the move, she is involved in her church youth, local community’s sports club, and with her regular chores at home. As Mikayla puts it: “it all tires me out! So I prefer to leave my assignments hidden in my bag so I won’t feel guilty for not doing it”.

It’s quite understandable why she couldn’t bear the thought of doing it after a long day, but her choice to procrastinate her assignments only prolong the simple task of just chucking together a few paragraphs to make an essay that’ll most likely only take an hour or less. But it remains hidden in her bag, which most of us Avoiding procrastination gives you confidence are guilty of doing. in your work, strengths your work ethic and That won’t make Mikayla’s load any lighter and gives you plenty of time to get help if you need she says: “I regret not doing them earlier”. extra assistance. The price of freedom at the cost of one allAnother way you can tackle the temptation of nighter is better than an extremely overdue procrastinating is thinking of all the great things assignment. Mikayla says she’s going to do ahead in your life. No, I don’t mean abandon that from now on and save herself the trouble. your work and start daydreaming of your future, However, procrastinating does offer us an which in itself is procrastinating, but fuel your- opportunity to learn from our mistakes and self with thoughts of encouragement and better our time-management skills.

“Avoiding procrastination gives you confidence in your work, strengthens your work ethic and gives you plenty of time to get help if you need extra assistance”


learning tools

Te reo app for beginners


ictoria University of Wellington’s Faculty of Education has released its second te reo Māori learning app—Puna—which is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

Dr Tabitha McKenzie and her son Russell using the educational te reo Maori learning app Puna.

Māori, said what sets Puna apart from other Words can be written out on screen using a Māori learning apps on the market is that it can finger, with a choice of colour and font. be tailored by the user. A game can be selected with a number of “There are five modules of study and the options for scoring and playing — either one or learner can tailor each one with the choice of two players, or competing against the smartwords, flash cards and voice,” Dr McKenzie phone software. said.  There are also notes for teachers and parents  The words can be grouped into categories of food, living things, body, home, school, places, with audio samples of sentences in which the things that move, marae, clothes, actions and vocabulary can be used.

The app, developed by staff from Te Kura Māori, which carries out teaching and research related to Māori education, policy, and practice, is a tool for children or those beginning to learn Māori. The first app—Kura—was developed for people with some level of proficiency in the time.  “Puna is an educational, fun and challenging language.  Puna is currently all in te reo however there way to learn te reo Māori. Users say it makes them want to learn,” Dr McKenzie said.  Dr Tabitha McKenzie, a lecturer from Te Kura are plans for an English translation.

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LINDA WHITTAKER of Wainuiomata High School interviewed Education Deputy Secretary Dr Graham Stoop who manages the decile system of funding for New Zealand’s schools.

The deal with deciles Q: Dr Stoop, in language a 14-year-old

would understand, tell me very briefly what you do.

A: My job is to look after primary school and

“Decile and quality are not the same thing at all”

secondary school education. That means the curriculum, what teachers teach in schools, how schools are resourced - everything to do with primary schools and secondary schools is what I’m responsible for here at the Ministry of Education.

the quality of its teachers. You can have really good teachers and really good student achievement in big schools and small schools. You can have good achievement in schools that are in wealthy communities and good achievement in schools that are in poor communities. Decile Q: I would like to know more about and quality are not the same thing at all. the decile system. How does it work? Q: Is there any plan to make major A: The decile system was brought into this changes to the decile system, or to country in the mid-1990s. It’s a way of giving remove it completely? extra resource to the schools that need it most. A: There are some people who think the decile Some schools are in communities that are system needs to be reviewed. The Minister of poorer than other communities and so it’s a Education, Minister Parata, has also indicated way of keeping up the balance, if you like, and she would like to look at it. At the moment giving those schools that need more money there are no firm plans to do that review but that resource as an additional resource for the Minister has said she thinks (the decile them to use. system) is what she calls ‘a blunt instrument’.

system is that it actually gives more money where it’s needed, so that’s a positive. I think school principals and teachers and boards of trustees all around the country recognise the decile funding system is well intentioned. It sets out to give schools resource when they really need it. But on the negative side the decile system needs to be re-done every few years. When there is a census we need to re-look at the decile. That means some schools go up in decile, some schools go down in decile and schools never really know what their decile is going to be until after we have done a census to give us that sort of information.

There is a great deal of uncertainty in the schools around the deciles. Is it going to go down? Is it going to go up? Am I going to gain money? Am I going to lose money? Some schools are saying there is an inherent unfairness about this even though when it was introduced there were really good intentions.

Q: Does the decile system have an We need to re-look at how we fund schools. effect on the quality of teachers, and Q: Many people think decile and qual- We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. if so how does extra funding deal with ity are linked. Is there a relationship that? between quality and decile? If so what Q: What do you think are positives and A: A good teacher is a good teacher. An effective is it? negatives of the decile system? teacher will be an effective teacher whether they A: The quality of a school is dependent on A: One of the good things about the decile are in a high decile school or a low decile school.

Dr. Graham Stoop and Wainuiomata High School student Linda Whittaker. Dr Graham Stoop, Ministry of Education Deputy Secretary, Student Achievement and Investing in Educational Success. Dr Stoop joined the Ministry of Education as the Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Group on the reform of the New Zealand Teachers Council, on secondment from his role as Chief Executive at the Education Review Office. His strong experience in education includes roles as Pro Vice Chancellor University of Canterbury, Chief Executive Christchurch College of Education, and Principal of Burnside High School (then the largest secondary school in Australasia).


Once again, it comes back to the earlier point that I made that quality and decile aren’t necessarily related at all. Students get good teaching at all sorts of schools: single sex, co-ed, rural or urban, in a poor community, in a wealthy community.

the teaching is poor – the teaching is probably really good. The extra funding is to allow schools to do some extra things they might not be able to do without the extra funding. The money doesn’t go to the teachers. They are probably already doing a really good job. It just helps the schools out with other programmes they can use to support the students.

Picture courtesy of Natasha Laree Photography

The key thing is the quality of the teacher. The extra funding schools get isn’t because

“The extra funding schools get isn’t because the teaching is poor – the teaching is probably really good. The extra funding is to allow schools to do some extra things they might not be able to do without the extra funding.”

School decile ratings

students from low socio-economic communities, whereas decile 10 schools are the 10 Deciles are a way in which the Ministry of percent of schools with the lowest proporEducation allocates additional funding to tion of these students. schools to enable them to overcome the The lower a school’s decile rating, the more barriers to learning facing student from low decile-based funding it gets. The decilesocio-economic households. based increased funding is targeted and A decile is a 10 percent grouping, there given to lower decile schools to provide are ten deciles and around 10 percent of additional resources to support their stuschools are in each decile. A school’s decile rating indicates the extent to which it draws dents’ learning needs. its students from low socio-economic A decile does not indicate the overall sociocommunities. economic mix of the students attending a Decile 1 schools are the 10 percent of school or measure the standard of educaschools with the highest proportion of tion delivered at a school.


Deciles – questions and answers • SchoolOperations/Resourcing/OperationalFunding/Deciles/ FrequentlyAskedQuestionsAboutDeciles.aspx 


Vocational pathways


Otumoetai College Year 11 student KIERAN NGATAI is on track for a bright future thanks to Vocational Pathways and BMX.


ieran Ngatai is peddling to his potential. The 15-year-old has been riding competitively since age four and has his eyes firmly on a place in New Zealand’s Olympic team, and he also has a clear plan beyond BMX.

excellent innovation as a tool to initiate discussion with students.

He said the College was using the Vocational Pathways Profile Builder in conjunction with academic mentoring and online progress reporting with great success. The Profile “I’m realistic. Most riders are done by about 25 Builder can be used to plan study options and years old. My other goal is to study engineer- see what pathway a student might be heading ing at university.” along. The ambition was sparked in Year 10 when Kieran, who is of Ngaiterangi descent, was nominated by his science and maths teachers for the ‘BEAMS’ (Business, Engineering, Architecture, Medicine and Science) programme at Auckland University. BEAMS involves interactive workshops, run by the Equity Office for Māori and Pasifika students across a range of faculties, including Engineering.

“i’m realistic. most riders are done by about other goal is to study engineering at university”

Kieran said the university was clear on requirements. He needed to study math in Year 10, and both math and physics in Year 11 to qualify for a place.

The Vocational Profile shows a student’s record of achievement. It’s a visual graph showing learner achievement against the six Vocational Pathways - Primary Industries; Services This requirement was a foundation for Kieran’s Industries; Social & Community Services; task in a school of more than 2,000 students. subject selection in Year 11. Otumoetai College Manufacturing & Technology; Construction & We are also getting great feedback from paralso implemented the Ministry of Education’s Infrastructure; and Creative Industries. ents on how motivated students are.” Vocational Pathways this year. Learners are able to identify their progress Kieran said he is on his way to achievVocational Pathways provides a clear frame- along the pathways and identify where they ing Vocational Pathway Awards in the work for vocational options, supports better need to raise their level of achievement. Manufacturing and Technology and Creative programme design, careers advice, and “We’re seeing a marked difference from previ- Industries pathways. improves links between education and ous years. Staff are mentoring for engagement. To achieve the Vocational Pathways Award, stuemployment. Students are more engaged and focused, and dents must achieve NCEA level 2 with 60 level “Vocational Pathways has helped to formalise are asking better questions when consider- 2 credits from the Recommended Assessment and finalise my aspirations of Engineering. I ing their options. And our careers advisors are Standards for a Vocational Pathways sector, of which 20 must be sector related. might specialise in Civil, but am still working booked out,” Mr Farthing said. on this part of my pathway,” Kieran said. “With progress at the touch of a button all Students can achieve more than one Vocational Otumoetai College deputy principal Bruce involved can see what needs to be done for Pathways Award if they complete more than Farthing said Vocational Pathways was an students to achieve their goals. This is no small one Vocational Pathway.


Kieran Ngatai, left and above, has a combination of plans for his future including his love for BMX riding.

• vocational-pathway The Vocational Profile shows a student’s record of achievement. It’s a visual graph showing learner achievement against the six Vocational Pathways 1. Primary Industries 2. Services Industries 3. Social & Community Services 4. Manufacturing & Technology 5. Construction & Infrastructure 6. Creative Industries.


Vocational pathways

Path to success Learning on the job brings a whole new approach to ‘being at school’. Twins NANUMEA and TE PINE POUA found a fresh way to lay a foundation for their future.


n their final year at school, twins, Nanumea to you to make your placement a success. It a go at panel beating and mechanics and as and Te Pine Foua were St Patrick’s College made me want to come to school. I wouldn’t a result plans to do an automotive course at students fast on their way to success. have tried as hard otherwise,” Te Pine said. Weltec next year. He wants to secure an apprenticeship too. They achieved tertiary level credits while still at secondary school. And Te Pine has secured a plumbing apprenticeship for 2015. The brothers, of Tokelauan decent, are Year 13 graduates having achieved NCEA Level 3, thanks to hard work, interesting subject choices and time spent ‘on the job’.

“I wanted a solid plan for after school. I was worried about the future,” Te Pine said. “I went to the Careers New Zealand website and looked at the labour market and skill shortages. I identified construction and plumbing as a good starting point.”

“Non-traditional choices make no difference to the students’ experience of school in the pastoral sense.”

St Patrick’s rector Gerard Tully said work placement offerings and tailored curricula which include a wide and more relevant choice with better links to industry helps keep students at school longer. “And research shows the longer students stay in education, the more success they will have in life,” he said.

Arthur Graves, the Ministry of Education’s Group Manager for Youth Guarantee said Te Pine could choose subjects related to when students study subjects in areas which plumbing through the school’s partnership with the Plumbing Industry Training are relevant and interesting to them they are Organisation. This means he is set up to earn much more likely to stay at school and remain a Vocational Pathways Award in Construction engaged with their learning. and Infrastructure, showing he has linked his “Having a minimum of NCEA Level 2 also school work with the industry he is interested means students are well-prepared to undertake further training, study or work, as they in and where he wants to work in the future. Nanumea started with his work placement in have a solid foundation to build on,” he said.

As a result, Te Pine, with the help of his career advisors, adjusted his subject choices to fit this sector and he interviewed and got applicable work placements. He did a combination of domestic plumbing as well as two weeks on a large, commercial construction site. All of Year 12 and with support from the school, he Mr Tully said these ‘non-traditional’ choices which earned him credits. make no difference to the students’ experifollowed his interest in muscle cars. “It’s what I expected and it’s confirmed I’d like He secured a spot at G & H, a private train- ence of school in the pastoral sense. to do plumbing in the future. It’s not like being ing provider in Petone, doing an automotive “Camaraderie is an important part of this school. at school – there is no one chasing you. It’s up course while earning NCEA credits. He had Students are proud to be ‘Streamers’. The guys 


Vocational pathways



is aut

nd h cars, a uscle ssion. m s e v a oua lo ward his p mea F ay to Nanu w a g is trainin

Te Pine Foua wa nts to se options cure his for doin fu g that in work he ture, and trades enjoys. training is giving him

...continued from page 17 doing the Trades Academy or work placements Participation by secondary students is growing are still part of the school. They can play rugby steadily with figures showing 46 per cent of for the school team and go to the Year 13 Ball.” learners involved in the programmes identify There are not many New Zealand schools more themselves as Maori and 18 per cent as Pacific.

The scheme encourages young people to get further education, training and work. It uses a range of interventions to meet this goal including enrolment in fees-free courses, trades academies, and vocational pathways pro“As a school we’ve identified the need to raise grammes that are part of the ‘Youth Guarantee’ Pasifika student achievement and we are network and partnerships. working hard to address this through curriculum offerings. steeped in tradition than Silverstream’s St Patrick’s College but to stay relevant, Mr Tully said the way boys are educated must change, especially when targeting better results for Pasifika students.

“We are supporting Pasifika families to see how the system can work for their children because we know parental involvement is key.” He believes another key to success is relationships. “You need to treat people differently to get the same result. Research shows us strong relationships between teachers and students improve learning outcomes. This is particularly important for Pasifika students.” “If students get on with their teacher, respect that teacher and know that that teacher cares and wants the best for the student, we will get better results. It’s about knowing your learner, creating a respectful relationship, and understanding motivations,” he said. The Youth Guarantee scheme is a multi-agency programme led by the Ministry of Education helping thousands of young New Zealanders earn higher qualifications and get better jobs and brighter prospects for the future.

“Research shows us strong relationships between teachers and students improve learning outcomes. This is particularly important for Pasifika students.”

About Youth Guarantee


ood qualifications are essential to securing a good job and a higher income. New Zealand needs to increase the number of young people, moving into further education, training or employment. In particular, we need to improve the rate of NCEA Level 2 achievement, the minimum qualification a young person needs to get to be ready for a better future. We also need to increase the number of 15-19 year olds in education to ensure they get the qualifications and skills that will benefit them.

We also need more young New Zealanders progressing to Level 4 or above, on the New Zealand qualifications framework, and moving into further education or skills training. The Youth Guarantee provides 15-19 year olds more opportunities to study towards achieving NCEA Level 2, through programmes that make sense to them and have a clear pathway to further education, training and employment. Youth Guarantee offers: • A free place to learn • A choice of relevant and meaningful learning opportunities • A strong foundation NCEA L2 or equivalent with Vocational Pathways, to progress on their pathway to further education, training and work.  • YOUTH GUARANTEE


Vocational pathways

Herepainga Ra wiri of Otang arei, Whangar is fiercely inde ei, pendent.

Hammering out independence

PAI RAWIRI knows what she wants. Studying the theory of her trade choice in a practical setting makes the bits she doesn’t enjoy more relevant. She’s nailing it.


erepainga Rawiri, or Pai as she is better their study options and see how it relates to known, is a talented artist and keen future job or career options. Students can carpenter. get relevant qualifications and a Vocational Her aspiration for the future is to be happy. Pathway which will set them up for their next Pai, of Ngati Hine decent, was in Year 13 at steps, whether it’s into tertiary study, industry Tikipunga High School in 2014 and what made training or employment,” said Arthur Graves, her happy at school was that she could do the the Ministry of Education’s Group Manager for Youth Guarantee which runs the Vocational things she loves: art and carpentry. Pai did this through Te Taitokerau Trades Pathways and Trades Academies programmes.

Academy and NorthTec. She is getting the At Tikipunga High School the carpentry qualifications she needs for her future. group has been involved in a couple of major Pai has recently exhibited her work and even builds. The school joined forces with local iwi, Ngatiwai who provided the resources needed sold a piece. for students to build an actual three-bedroom, “I’m fiercely independent and enjoy learning re-locatable house. practical things so I can do them for myself. When I started the building programme, I Last year they also rebuilt the manse at found I was really good at it and I thought this Pehiaweri marae. would be a ‘mean’ job,” Pai said. Real builds are able to happen because the

Pai said she is now the dedicated handywoman at home. She also enjoys trade-talk with her brother-in-law, a builder in Christchurch, and her older brother, who also did the carpentry programme at Tikipunga and who is now working locally as a bricklayer.

“The school joined forces with local iwi, Ngatiwai, who provided the resources needed for students to build an actual three-bedroom, re-locatable house.”

“With my art, my teachers encouraged me to tutor is also a certified builder. Students act as his workforce. They do all aspects of the build apply and it’s been great.” Trades Academy learning differs from tradi- - theory and practical, as part of the Secondary- Pai said the programme has opened up more tional school subjects. Students will spend Tertiary Programme (STP). It works like an options and possibly a job for the future. most school periods involved in their academy apprenticeship with students completing Level “I find seeing something evolve in front of me work, be it practical or theory orientated. In 1 to 4 credits onsite. Credits include traditional and being part of that process really satisfying. Pai’s case she spent 15 hours a week on the subjects for NCEA, like English and math, but I’d like to do a carpentry apprenticeship so I art programme, five of these at the NorthTec these are taught in a contextualized way. can learn more before going out on my own. Campus and 10 hours doing carpentry at Pai enjoyed the hands on work and experience That’s me - independent.” Tikipunga High School. part of the programme. She didn’t enjoy the “Learning in a Trades Academy gives students theory, but when it is presented in a way that Pai was recently featured on Maori Television’s real life skills and qualifications. While using she can relate to her work, then the learning is Sunday show, Te Hau Awhiowhio. Vocational Pathways young people can choose both fun and relevant. 


Comics as student voice Alfriston College deputy principal STEVE SAVILLE curates our comics section and mentors comic artists. He discusses how comics contribute to student achievement.


lfriston College has, for a number of years, encouraged students to produce comics as a valid and authentic learning experience.

produce one final effort.

PRABHJOT KAUR, pictured, had produced her first comic as part of the group mentioned above and enjoyed the process so much that It has provided a significant number of learners she was keen to produce another comic before with a way of expressing themselves in a crea- she left school for good. Both were keen to tive way and because of this the college has produce something that was hopefully going to be of some future use to the college. valued the work they have produced.

Over the last two years some students have marked leaving secondary school by producing a comic, almost as a creative farewell to the college. This has been a nice side effect of the whole process of encouraging student creativity through comics. Two years ago a group of six Year 12 and 13 learners interpreted famous poems in comic form and presented these back to the school. For them it was a way of transitioning out of school for the year or permanently in a way that allowed them to express themselves creatively. They were all highly academic students and most were also accomplished artists; it was almost a release from the demands of NCEA study and exams and an outlet for the stress felt by students at that time of the year.

Gabby’s comic was originally going to be based on the idea of the secret life of teachers where she was going to show a classroom teacher indulging in imaginative flights of fancy in an attempt to show that teachers are people too.

student voice to introduce the year’s focus on developing a learner-centred curriculum aimed at empowering independent young adults. Prabhjot wanted to produce a comic to be used with new Year 9 students who were beginning their secondary education in 2015. She wanted to say to them that success is all about the choices you make. Sometimes these decisions aren’t popular or easy but ultimately they are worth it.

In researching her comic she had a conversation with a staff member and as a result the nature of her comic changed to an examination of what it means to teach. She retained the imaginative concept by having her mentor and the student portrayed as futuristic characters This comic has already been used in Year 9 with unique powers and abilities. The narrative is all about the nature of teaching. classes at the college not only for its valid and It is an appeal to teachers to not just deliver relevant message but as a teaching resource but to listen to work with their students and by to show effective use of symbol in a text.

working together unleashing real learning and None of this was a planned outcome of the then realising that having helped to develop comic production process at Alfriston but they Last year this process was repeated by two that ‘power’ the student must be left to soar. are examples of how, when you really release leaving students. GABBY WESTERLUND had The college used this comic to start the teacher students to follow their creative passions, the been producing comics of a high quality for the only day at the beginning of the school year for spin offs are sometimes unexpected and more previous four years and so it made sense to staff. The comic was used as an example of often than not, very exciting.

He replied to me saying… A

lfriston College student GABBY WESTERLUND continues her contribution to our comic pages with this three-page piece (pages 23-25) on education.

Gabby says: “I named this comic ‘He replied to me saying’ because in my interview I asked the teacher ‘What’s the best way to teach in order for students to learn efficiently?’ and I illustrated his reply. The teacher wanted to be anonymous.


By Prabhjot Kaur 


He replied to me saying…














LA1, 2015  

Learning Auckland, Issue 1, 2015

LA1, 2015  

Learning Auckland, Issue 1, 2015