Hi, I raised this on another part of the forum but it should probably be here. I would be very interested to hear of anyones's (pref recent) experiences withthe ACG Senior college in auckland. A lot of it sounds very good and we will be going to Open Day etc but some experience would also be helpful. Some of my questions are: they position themselves as very high achievement culture which is more than just exam results, emphasises critical thinking etc. Do they walk the talk? I have observed cambridge system can in some schools become very 'teach for the exam'.
Also, are the kids 'too old for their age' eg because there is this 'pre-university' treat them as young adults etc attitude, does that lead to a 'too much too young' social culture when it comes to relationships, socialising etc? My kids are young for their school years already and while they could cope with further academic acceleration I do not think a peer environment which is 'too old' would necessarily be right at 14 or so.
Any comments at all on experiences with the school, esp with younger/accelerated students, would be really welcome.
We have had recent experience of Senior College and have recommended it to many people. It did not work out for our daughter, but we were very impressed with the supportive staff and there were no bullying issues. You do need to be self-motivated. Personally I wouldn't send a young (previously accelerated) child there unless they were extremely mature socially and in terms of responsibility. I would wait until they were at least 15.
I agree with mum2two about social maturity - I started there aged 13 (almost 14), and there are other students younger than me in my year too. The point about social maturity and responsibility is especially valid - free periods (at school) are basically free time, and it is your responsibility to manage it.
As for too much too young - that depends upon perspective. I was reasonably mature socially, and I enjoyed the company of older teens (i.e. a year or two older than me) anyway, so it suited me perfectly, as now most of my friends are within this age range.
Another point is that I look a lot older than I am - most would pass me as one of the older kids in the year at first glance. This helps a lot socially, as it means that I made friends before my age was noted; though I cop a fair amount of flak for it now (butt of every joke directed my way), it is quite amusing. A good sense of humour and/or a thick skin will basically deal with anything that might be considered 'bullying' - though as with anywhere, the line between a joke and bullying is blurred and varied depending upon the person.
In some subjects, it is 'teach for the exam', just due to the nature of the people in the class. However, it is very easy to extend beyond what the course/class strictly offers; teachers are very helpful with such wishes.
Also, courses like Global Perspectives/Thinking Skills may prove interesting. These are definitely not your typical class; it is a case of sitting around desks pushed together conference-table style and discussing. These sorts of opportunities are what really pushes it beyond just an exam orientated culture. Extracurricular activities e.g. music groups also help.