Schools aiming at scholarships

18:28, Apr 03 2014

South Canterbury schools are starting to implement programmes for students aiming to sit Scholarship exams.

Scholarships are a non-compulsory assessment for students sitting NCEA level three, with five high schools in the region having students attain them last year.

Craighead Diocesan achieved five scholarships, Timaru Boys' High three, Timaru Girls' two, and Roncalli and Waimate, one each.

Roncalli principal Chris Comeau said he was happy for the student who had attained the scholarship, however he wished they had had more.

Comeau said schools in the region were looking at pooling resources to provide expert tuition for the Scholarship students.

"Teaching at Scholarship is another level. It takes a lot of work to do it," he said.


Although Comeau said it was only a proposal at the moment, it made sense for the schools to work together, rather than every school doing it separately.

Timaru Girls' High School principal Sarah Davis said the school had developed a three-year programme which was a pathway to academic excellence.

"We start identifying students who are achieving merits or excellence in level one and two NCEA, and give them extra learning opportunities," she said.

Davis said only 3 per cent of all students who sat Scholarship obtained it.

Timaru Boys' High deputy rector Ross Stevenson said "We have a group of students who are going to Lincoln for extra tuition on chemistry. Other classes are being run before school, and at lunch times."

He believed the plan of pooling resources and students in the area for Scholarship was fantastic.

"As they say, success breeds success," he said.

The country schools have access to a programme through distance learning, where students are able to be mentored via video conference by teachers.

Waimate High School principal Janette Packman said participating in the Scholarship programme stretched the students' capabilities.

Twizel Area School principal Bill Feasy said it participated in the tutoring by distance programme, and students received individual tutoring from teachers at the school. He said a few students sat Scholarship last year.

"I know some came very close, one missing out by about one mark," Feasy said.

Mackenzie College usually has students sit the exam but did not last year, while Opihi College principal Mike Wright did not believe any of his students had sat Scholarship in 2013.

Mountainview High School did not return The Herald's calls.

The Timaru Herald