Kia Ora Koutou
Recently I joined a group of other Principals from throughout New Zealand at an NCEA summit in Wellington with the Minister of Education.
This meeting forms part of the review process into our national qualification-now 16 years in existence. What I found reassuring about this meeting was to hear from the Minister himself his concern about our students being over assessed and the fact that assessment is essentially driving the learning in our schools.
A day after the summit we held our own parent’s forum here at Riccarton High School to discuss NCEA: its merits and ways in which we could strengthen it as an assessment tool. I was heartened by the response by our school community with almost 200 people gathered in the assembly hall to share their views on NCEA and to clearly articulate some wonderful ideas about what it could be.
The Minister has extended the date for public feedback on the qualification to 19 October and therefore I would strongly encourage you to get online and share your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next week we welcome a four-person team from the Education Review Office (ERO) who last visited Riccarton in 2014. The team expects to be on site for 4-5 days (involving a number of meetings and classroom visits) before presenting a draft report to the Board of Trustees the following week. We look forward to the opportunity of sharing with ERO all the wonderful things currently happening at the school.
As I write my Principal’s comment, our senior students are in the middle of their prelim exams-obviously important not only as a way of gauging progress but also as a way of creating derived grades should they be needed in November. This week also signals the fact that there are nine weeks left for our senior students before the NCEA exams. There is still time to make any necessary changes with attitude and effort.
Our prelim exam week will be followed by a Senior Interview Day on Wednesday 12 September. The intention of this day will not only be to provide feedback on progress but also to provide course/career advice to senior students and their whanau.