Last Monday evening we held a community evening to explain what learning would look like at Rolleston College next year and how what we are doing prepares our learners for NCEA and beyond.
The main idea that I was wanting to convey was the fact that we have unacceptable levels of stress being experienced by senior school students in New Zealand as a result of how we deliver NCEA.
I wanted to express my total support of NCEA as an assessment system but express the need to address the manner in which we deliver it. It has, in many cases, become a relentless assessment grind that wears students and teachers down.
I also wanted to explain how our skills, project based, integrated and personalised curriculum delivery will enable us to deliver NCEA in a way that emphasises learning over continual assessment. This in no way denigrates the importance of assessment but rather sees it as part of the learning process rather than the sole purpose of learning.
I need to say that currently Rolleston College is still planning to deliver all three levels of NCEA as that is what is currently being offered in the vast majority of schools in the country. We will however, continue to monitor the trend away from delivering Level One that is taking place and future decisions will depend on those trends. We will make every attempt to cap the total number of credits on offer though as we emphasise quality over quantity.
In light of this I read the article that appeared in Saturday’s New Zealand Hearld with interest. I have posted the link to the article and the video below as I believe that it gives another important perspective on what is going to be a very important national debate that is going to gather pace over the next year or so.
I am not saying that I agree with everything in the article and video but I must say I do agree with the general thrust of most of the ideas presented in both.