Monday, 27 June 2016

Frequently asked questions

When meeting people I have been receiving a range of questions from the community regarding the Senior High School. Some of the questions are frequently asked so I have decided to collate these questions and responses so that more people are able to get a sense of how things are progressing.

Frequently asked questions

  • What Year levels will there be at the Senior High School?

In 2017 we will open with Year 11 students. In 2018 we will be open to Year 11 and Year 12 students and in 2019 we will have Year 11-13 students in the school.

  • What teaching staff will you have?

We will be overstaffed in our first 3 years as the Ministry of Education gives extra staffing to ensure we can cover all curriculum areas. As with all state schools our teachers need to be registered and qualified. We are expecting about 100 students next year with a staffing allocation of 20 teachers, yes a very good ratio for the first few years of our opening! We are determined to provide a curriculum for our students that has breadth and full coverage. As soon as we know what staffing we have we will be able to confirm what courses of learning will be on offer.

  • What facilities does the school have?

We have state of the art facilities for general and specialist learning. These include weight room facilities, performance art studios, film recording and media studios, an auditorium, science laboratories, visual arts and design studios, hard and soft materials technology workshops and catering level food technology spaces. We are currently working on an agreement with Hamilton City Council for the development of a four court indoor facility.

  • How will students be prepared to sit exams - some may not have sat them before?

Modes of assessment have significantly shifted with the introduction of NCEA. There are two forms of assessment that are used within the NCEA framework: Internal examination and External examination.

Internal examination can be assessed in many different ways eg. full class exams, portfolios of work, verbal assessments with a teacher, presentation methods. Teachers choose the way they think it is beneficial for the students in their school context to be assessed. In our school we want to ensure that there are choices here so that students are able to deliver the best quality of work.

External Examinations: These are sat at the end of the year under guidelines set by NZQA. We will provide opportunities for students who will be sitting these externals to prepare for them. Learning Advisors will work closely with students across the year to look at the modes of assessment that they are completing to ensure that they are aware throughout the year of how they should be preparing for the externals.

NZQA are working to have all externals online in the next few years. This means that students will no longer have to sit external examinations in large rooms with many other people on paper. External examinations will occur anywhere anytime. This is currently being piloted in schools to be fully in place in all schools by 2020. Here is a link to the NZQA information page on digital assessment

  • How will you develop students as leaders for younger students?

Providing opportunities to grow leadership amongst our foundation students will be an important responsibility and will be led by one of our staff members, with the support of Learning Coaches. We plan to explore existing leadership programmes, such as Spirit of Adventure and Outward Bound, and to develop opportunities in partnership with our community. As well, strong links with Rototuna Junior High School will present many opportunities for our senior students to operate as leaders in that school as well.

  • Will there be many changes in the uniform? How strictly will they be adhered to?

We will have a different senior school uniform which the students and the BOT are currently engaged in developing. The overwhelming feedback from the school community is for us to have a more mature and senior uniform. The intention is for us to align what we have in the Junior High School with the Senior High School. It is important that we are connected as Rototuna High Schools but also that our students feel pride and a sense of belonging in the Senior High School. We will provide options for students to select from in the uniform as we want them to feel pride in their choices that they make. Making sure that students are well presented and in correct uniform will be monitored and maintained.

As soon as we have a sketch up of designs we, including the students, will share these and their ideas with the wider community.

  • How does the school communicate with parents?
At the moment as our website is being developed our best source of sharing information is via the Rototuna High Schools facebook page and via teh RSHS journey blog
We are coordinating communication with the Junior High School to ensure that the messages are clear and informative for all members of our current and prospective school community.

As soon as our website is up and running we will send this information out.

  • When can we enrol?
We will be taking pre enrolments as of 27 July 2016. This will help us determine the best possible learning opportunities for students so we encourage families to pre enrol for us to create a seamless transition for students. Here is a link to view our next information evenings

  • How will out-of-zone enrolments operate?

There are no out-of-zone enrolments. A description of our zone and a map is on the MOE website and is included in the enrolment pack. zone for the 9-10 for the Junior High School does extend to Year 13 to include the Senior High School.

All families are required to provide proof of residential address. If a family currently lives out of zone and is intending to move into zone before the start of next year we are able to complete a pre-enrolment (see above for information).

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