I'm looking for feedback on Christchurch high schools.
We're in the northeast of ChCh but will also be applying for schools out of zone - there is not a lot out this way. Feedback on Mairehau anyone? That's our closest co-ed one.
We have zero chance of selling our house and moving to be in the enrolment zone of other schools as our house is severely 'quake damaged. We're a repair, on TC3 land, and because we're waiting on geotech guidelines etc we wont have repaired by the time high school comes along. So selling and moving is not an option. So if anyone has info on which schools are not only good for G&T but also easy to get into out-of-zone, it would be appreciated. Also, we're looking for a co-ed school catering to the gifted, creative. HG, accelerated, all-around gifted, especially in the arts. We were hoping for Burnside, but, out-of-zone. :-(
Not asking for a lot am I?
Private isn't really an option as I stopped working after the earthquake so our income is reduced.
Have wondered about the high schools for a while now but the possibility of choosing a high school, selling up, and just moving into zone has now gone.
As far as I know Mairehau offers a kind of mentoring programme where the students work on something that inspires them and an outside expert is brought in occasionally. It's a small school so there isn't a much subject choice as in some of the bigger ones but class sizes could be smaller.
Burnside had a lot of their international students leave after the earthquake and were definitely taking out-of-zone students at the beginning of this year. There is a lot going on there for gifted students to be involved with. It would be worth phoning them.
Other schools with a strong reputation for gifted and talented education are Hagley and Riccarton.
Thanks Another Anon. Will definitely give Burnside a call.
I wasn't aware that Hagley and Riccarton had good reputations for g&t students, so thanks for that. To be honest, I've had my head in the sand about high schools, thinking we'd deal with it at the time and that we might have to move. Now moving is out of the question so things just got more difficult!
We were 75th on the wait list for Riccarton out of zone students but this did not matter as in the end it was not our first choice. We went with Hagley. We are out of zone but had no trouble getting in. I would encourage you to look at Hagley, mostly for the flexibility. They are really open to discussion and nothing seems too much trouble.
* DD could take NCEA level 1 Maths in Year 9 or they would find another way of extending her in the Year 9 class.
* DD had spent 4 years learning a language that was not one of their options but they will access the correspondence school for her and she can do Year 11 correspondence over two years in Years 9 & 10. This will be in her own time at home.
* Hagley offered DD a place in their top Year 9 class (assessed as being at that level in their process) even though she would have been 11 at the start of that year and not turning 12 until June.
They are the only school we found who do not just assess Mathematics and English ability but use an educational psychologist to provide a wider assessment of intellectual strengths and weaknesses.
There were less than 100 places offered at Year 9 and from Year 11 there can be adults attending classes adding a whole level of maturity to the class environment. Two of their Year 12 students last year have been accepted into Canterbury University this year. Some students (maybe these ones) were doing Canterbury Uni (STAR?) courses while still at school. ERO have them on a long review cycle because they are happy with the school’s self-review processes. The school is not too far from the current bus exchange and quite a few buses from the East go on to stop outside the hospital.
The only potential downside is that classes are streamed on English ability, so if your child is weak in English, this could be a something to consider.
S, a lot of Christchurch state secondary schools have Year 12 and 13 students doing STAR courses at university, specially in maths. Not saying anything bad about Hagley because I know they do an excellent job for their gifted students. Just saying I'd be put off a school that didn't have senior students at university rather than impressed with one that does.
Don't discount your local schools in favour of larger, more "popular" schools on the other side of town.
Both Mairehau and Aranui are around the 500 pupil mark, research shows that smaller, community schools have more personal time for students and often have the same support available, but shared amongst less kids.
Both these schools have suffered in the past from idle gossip, perpetuating in reputations that are often unfounded. I have spent time in both schools - and the staff and support for students in both are awesome.
It is interesting to note that both Aranui and Mairehau have Gifted and Talented programmes that run along similar lines. The options available to students vary on the nature of the child's "gift" or "talent". They both run junior enrichment programmes involving withdrawl, project work, mentoring etc. Senior students at both schools are not often withdrawn due to the impact on examined subjects, but Individual Learning Plans are put into place after consultation with the student and whanau/family. Both school regularly run extra-curricular trips and events for G&T pupils.
I have personal experience of the ways that students can be catered for at Aranui and I have a professional relationship with the coordinator at Mairehau. Both schools have offered accelerated pathways for certain students, when it is appropriate.
Yes, there may often be more curricular choice at a large school, but personally, for those children that need extra support, for both positive and negative reasons, I prefer taking the smaller school option.
My advice is, visit all the schools and ask questions. Don't listen to what some people say, especially those that are just sharing rumours or hearsay. I know that now is the time for open nights, there have been many advertisements in the Press and in local papers. I know that Aranui has one on the 30th May, not sure when the Mairehau one is.