Kia ora e te whanau
I have written in a past newsletter about “Raising the bar” in regard to students not just settling for Achieved grades when they are capable of Merit and Excellence. One of our challenges as parents and as a school is to focus on doing our absolute best. Merit’s and Excellence’s however do not fall out of the sky and they most certainly do not happen if the student only completes the tasks set in class spoon fed to them by the teacher. Merit’s and Excellence’s happen when students are self-disciplined and have a learning ethic that is embedded outside of the classroom. This means putting time aside after school, in the evenings and weekends to study and read.
“Raising the Bar” means to do our best as opposed to just doing enough. We all know when we have worked really hard to achieve something or when we have just done enough and our students know this too. Talk with them about their classes, the assignments they are doing and ask them to articulate the learning process for you. Read the fortnightly ATL reports and talk with your children about their academic progress and their attitude to learning. Often students will say they have no homework, or they completed all of their work at school. There are always extra reading and practice tasks that can be done to consolidate the learning that has taken place in class that day.
You will have no doubt heard the good news in the media this week around Learning Recognition Credits for senior students sitting NCEA. This boost alleviates some of the stress and pressure teachers and students were feeling around their progress due to disruptions in teaching and learning because of ongoing absences this year. In summary the changes are:
Students will be entitled to 1 Learning Recognition Credit (LRC) for every 5 credits earned through assessment, up to a maximum of:
NCEA Level 1 - Maximum LRC’s 10
NCEA Level 2 - Maximum LRC's 8
NCEA Level 3 - Maximum LRC's 8
To receive a Certificate Endorsement, students will need 46 credits at Merit or Excellence level, instead of the usual 50.
To be awarded University Entrance, students will need 14 credits in each of two UE Approved Subjects, and 12 credits in a third UE Approved Subject (they will also need to attain NCEA Level 3 and meet the regular literacy and numeracy requirements).
The risk in these changes is that students may rest a little further on their laurels and do even less work in and outside the classroom. If we never expect our children to attempt more than they currently can do, while giving them certainty, it won’t lead to them fulfilling their potential.
I encourage all our students to treat their studies just as they would their sports or cultural endeavours. Being prepared to win requires preparation, it can’t happen on a whim the night
before. Our young people must continue to strive to be independent learners, self-motivated and driven. Not doing just enough, not just doing their best but doing what is required.
Charity Fulfils the Law