Riccarton High School


Kia ora koutou.

Week 3 of the term and our senior students are about to embark on six days of prelim exams, important on two counts; firstly, they act as a way of gauging progress but also as a way of creating derived grades should the students not be able to sit their external exams in November for some reason. When they do return to class after the prelims in week 5, it will signal essentially nine school weeks until the end of the academic year. Certainly, this still provides the time to make the necessary changes both in attitude and effort for those who need it.

Mentioned in our previous newsletter was an invitation to a community event held in the first week of term which focused on our school’s approach to Global and Educational change. My thanks to those who attended. The evening provoked discussion around not only the challenges that we face in a rapidly changing world but also some exciting opportunities within the educational arena, specifically for us here at Riccarton High School. The audience was also briefed on some changes to be implemented at the school starting in 2020. These changes are derived from our Education Brief, a document created 18 months ago as a result of extensive consultation with a variety of groups. You are still able to read this Brief on our website.

The key changes include:

  • A move away from a very old-fashioned timetable structure of five one hour periods per day. Starting in 2020, our senior students will have at least one extended learning session each day which will provide more opportunities to focus on some of those key skills; creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, curiosity and effective communication. In addition, these learning sessions will allow teaching staff more opportunity to collaborate on more of an integrated curriculum, so students don’t see subjects in isolation but see clear relationships between them.
  • The other key change for 2020 will be a move to a vertical whānau class type structure within a ‘House’ framework. This will allow smaller groups of students to feel a greater sense of inclusiveness/belonging with a whānau teacher who will follow them through their journey at Riccarton. This structure will also allow for a greater number of leadership opportunities for our students.
  • On 23 August 2019, staff will undertake professional development in preparation for the changes in 2020, therefore this will be a staff only day.

I encourage those who weren’t able to come to our community evening to watch the video outlining what is changing and particularly why it is changing. You will find details on how to access this in our newsletter.

At our recent PTA Meeting parents voiced their dissapointment at the lack of consultation over the placement of the Gun City store at Sockburn.  Our understanding is that consent for this to happen was given back in 2018.  Certainly as a school it concerns us, particularly after the events of March this year.  Should you wish to discuss this further, please don't hesitate in contacting either myself or members of our guidance department.

Ngā mihi

Neil Haywood


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