School technology services up for review

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
Last updated 05:00 20/08/2014

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Cooking, sewing and woodwork are set for a teaching revamp in Canterbury schools.

The Ministry of Education had planned to ask schools how technology subjects should be taught to year 7 and 8 pupils, before the post-quake school mergers and closures.

It has now become more critical with the closure of Branston Intermediate and imminent closure and merger of Phillipstown School. Both host technology centres catering to many different schools.

Ministry head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said full primary schools selected a school that provided specialist technology services for its pupils.

"The configuration does not take account of some of the bigger changes that are taking place in the way education is being delivered now and over the next 10 years," she said.

The ministry was working with principals, boards of trustees and pupils to create a more student-centred and flexible Year 7 and 8 technology system, Casey said.

It would be discussing the options with schools at seminars across the city this month, and recommendations were expected to be finalised by the end of the year.

No final decisions on models, or the schools that might be involved, had been made. Phillipstown School's technology centre caters to more than 1200 pupils from about 30 Christchurch schools, including special education and Maori immersion.

Workshop team leader Daniel Gorman said the more than 100-year-old centre was one of the biggest, with 10 staff teaching eight different subjects such as food, fabric, metal, and wood technology. He was unsure what changes might be made.

"I think what we do is still very critical, especially with kids living in an environment where the city needs to be rebuilt."

The new merger school at Woolston School's site would take over responsibility for the Phillipstown technology centre.

Other technology centre providers are Breens Intermediate, Christchurch East, Hillmorton High and Kirkwood Intermediate. Hornby High has taken over since Branston Intermediate was closed.

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- The Press

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