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25th September 2020 (Friday)
We have reached the end of Term 3 in this strange year. I think both students and staff need some time off to recharge their batteries, so that they can return refreshed next term. Term 4 promises to be very hectic and hopefully Covid-19 levels will not impact on exams or the various events the college has to celebrate success.
2021 Head Prefects
It is with great delight that I am able to announce the 2021 Head Prefects.
Along with the other staff involved in selecting these positions, I was impressed with the calibre of all applicants. I look forward to working with Harriet, Joshua, Bella and Jaxson as well as all the other house prefects in 2021.
Middle Years Programme (MYP) Accreditation
In the last week of lockdown 2, the college underwent a comprehensive review by the International Baccalaureate (IB) organisation to determine whether the college was ready to be authorised as an IB school. The level of investigation was on a par with an ERO review. The review concluded that the college was ready for authorisation and the report was glowing in terms of the level of preparation and the quality of the programmes being provided to the Year 9 and 10 students. Below are some comments from the report.
“The school’s vision succinctly aligns with all key components of the IB Mission and philosophy.”
“The language policy takes into account the learning of both English and Te Reo Maori….The school is recommended to share this approach with international schools as a model for embracing both English and the language of the host country.”
“The (Special Educational Needs) team and other faculty members were able to give detailed descriptions of the extensive support provided over extended periods of time to their students in order to support meaningful inclusion.”
“The high quality of the work produced by teachers is evidence of their planning expertise.”
“A picture has been painted whereby collaborative planning is a natural part of professional relationships at the school.”
“The school has developed exemplary meaningful experiences for the students through a carefully thought out collection of units. The units reflected that diverse teaching practices had to be in place for them to be enacted.”
I am very proud of the staff we have at Glendowie College. This report from an independent international reviewer shows the high quality of the teachers and the learning programmes they are producing. The purpose of the MYP programme is to develop a programme that is relevant and engaging for students and authentic to New Zealand and Glendowie. We want our junior students to have the skills and attributes to be better prepared for the senior school and to have success in NCEA. Faculties will be refining the MYP programme further in 2021 and the same quality planning will be in place to develop the Year 11 programme next year.
A huge amount of work has been undertaken by all staff, but Mrs Hewetson, who has overseen the development of the MYP programme, the MYP coordinators and the Faculty Heads should especially be recognised.
Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews and Senior Exams
A big thank you to the parents/caregivers and students who attended the Year 11-13 Zoom interviews. Despite some technical glitches, the consensus was that the interviews were a success and that the Zoom format is worth considering for the future. We will survey a cross-section of parents about this.
The focus of the interviews was preparation for the end of the year school exams and further to those the NCEA exams. The possibility of having to use derived grades if the NCEA exams are impacted by Covid-19 means that the school exams have become more important. As stated at the beginning of the newsletter, while it is important to have a break, senior students must plan to undertake revision during the holidays to be ready for school exams in the first week back.
Proposed 2020 Year 11 Glendowie Certificate
In May after the first lockdown, it was proposed that Glendowie College would offer its own Year 11 certificate due to the disruption in learning. Students who gained 60 Level 1 credits or were endorsed at merit and/or excellence with 40 credits would gain the Glendowie Year 11 certificate.
However, NCEA have altered the number of credits required to gain Level 1, merit and excellence endorsements. NZQA now offer up to 16 Learning Recognition credits which effectively means students need to attain 64 credits to gain Level 1. Likewise, level endorsements have been reduced from 50 to 44 credits.
As these reductions make the NCEA Level 1 credit boundaries very similar to the ones proposed by the college in May, we have decided not to proceed with the 2020 Year 11 Glendowie Certificate as few, if any, students will be affected.
Ngā mihi nui,
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