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Hagley’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) Course Kawepūrongo (News)

Jenny O'Sullivan —

While New Zealand Certificates are progressively replacing National Certificates in Aotearoa, few are being offered in secondary schools.

Hagley College is delighted to announce it has met NZQA approval to deliver a New Zealand Certificate Level 3 programme in ECE and this shall allow Hagley to continue to provide a very feasible pathway into an exciting and rewarding career in ECE.

Since 1998, when The National Certificate full-time ECE Level 3 course was first offered at Hagley, ākonga have repeatedly said they “really enjoyed the course,” “it prepared me well for my degree,” “I gained confidence to go on and get my diploma in ECE,” “I got offered work from one of my placements,” “I got the help and am so grateful I made lifelong friends” and so on - the comments are always similar. We are certain from feedback received that the full-time ECE programme allows ākonga the time they often need to develop their skills and confidence before entering tertiary study. “The will to succeed is important but the will to prepare is vital.”

Over the years we have enjoyed hearing about and seeing the hua (fruits) of the ākonga learnings in ECE centres in Aotearoa.

Hagley Pre-School

From the beginning when in 1984 Joyce Dore began teaching the first class of Child and Family Studies at Hagley High School, as it was known then, childhood education at Hagley has been supported and taught by inspired and energetic teachers who have a commitment to empowering ākonga with knowledge and skills in the education and care of infants, toddlers and young children. Today’s children are the shapers of our future world and we need to invest our energy, intellect, wisdom and creativity into the study of their development and the enhancement of their care. The experienced and supportive teachers on Hagley’s course intentionally focus on building reciprocal and responsive relationships, creating a sense of belonging and a safe environment, modelling then what matters to children.

A new component of the New Zealand Certificate programme, and not before its time, is Tangata Whenua where ākonga learn basic te reo and tikanga Māori in an ECE context: singing waiata, reciting karakia, their mihi and developing pronunciation of te reo. Twenty minutes of each class is set aside for this as well as it being embedded throughout the programme. We are excited about this required part of the new qualification to have graduates of the course competent going forward as treaty partners and strengthening Māori as Māori in ECE.

No doubt the highlight of the week for most ākonga shall continue to be the weekly one day of supervised placement in a preschool. Allowing significant time for this weekly is unique to Hagley’s programme and key in developing skills, experience and confidence.

Hagley wishes the ākonga in the inaugural New Zealand Certificate in ECE Level 3 course all the best in 2020. As you study for the New Zealand Certificate, remember to read widely, ask questions, study diligently and observe carefully. You too will be able to take your place in the rich and proud tradition of Early Childhood Education and Care at Hagley College.

The New Zealand Certificate course is full for 2020. Any queries for 2021 are welcomed and please email Jenny O'Sullivan jenny.osullivan@hagley.school.nz. A step towards the full-time ECE course could include an option line class. Child and Family Studies is offered in Year 11, 12 and 13. Please accept my sincere thanks to all those who generously offered support and help in gaining the New Zealand Certificate ECE Level 3 approval, without which it could not have happened.