Lots in store for school

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Kate Gains­ford cuts a con­tented fig­ure, but she knows there is plenty of work to do.

The Aotea Col­lege prin­ci­pal is in her sec­ond full school year in the hot seat and is ex­cited about de­vel­op­ments at the school.

‘‘Our roll is ris­ing [970] and the num­ber of in- zone stu­dents is ris­ing, which is really en­cour­ag­ing. Our fo­cus is to serve our en­rol­ment zone and I think we are do­ing that. I want the aca­demic side up fur­ther, we want more than 85 per cent of our stu­dents achiev­ing at least level 2 NCEA, but over­all, there’s a great feel around the place.’’

Although a strat­egy for the school’s fu­ture is re­quired by the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, Ms Gains­ford sees it as a chance to in­volve their com­mu­nity more and map out the phys­i­cal makeup of the grounds and build­ings. Events such as the up­com­ing Spor­tac­u­lar and pub­lic use of the school au­di­to­rium is fos­ter­ing buy- in from Porirua res­i­dents.

‘‘The con­sul­ta­tion we did came back with great ideas and clear think­ing about where peo­ple see Aotea Col­lege fit­ting in this com­mu­nity.’’

Ini­tia­tives such as Sport in Ed­u­ca­tion, launched last year, and hav­ing sci­ence stu­dents go­ing into Kenepuru Hospi­tal as part of their stud­ies show Aotea is search­ing for new ways to add to the cur­ricu­lum. There is a new web­site, which will have a por­tal where stu­dents’ par­ents can re­view NCEA re­sults and at­ten­dance.

Spor­tac­u­lar is cre­at­ing a strong sense of school spirit among stu­dents and alumni, and has proven an ef­fec­tive way to fundraise, Ms Gains­ford says.

Mean­while, the au­di­to­rium Te Manawa is still in the works for a ma­jor up­grade. Civic fund­ing for a fea­si­bil­ity study to look at op­tions for the age­ing venue, in­clud­ing mak­ing it a pub­lic fa­cil­ity, was turned down, how­ever.

Ms Gains­ford says work­ing with neigh­bours the Po­lice Col­lege, Car­rus, who are de­vel­op­ing Aotea, and Porirua City Coun­cil over the school’s fu­ture de­sign is cru­cial.

‘‘We are se­ri­ously look­ing at re- devel­op­ment and re­fur­bishe­ment and we need the com­mu­nity’s sup­port as we carry this out. Th­ese are ex­cit­ing times for Aotea Col­lege.’’

Sec­ond year: Kate Gains­ford.

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