School aims to keep classes small

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By ADEN MILES

Pri­mary and sec­ondary schools are into the fi­nal term of the year and one of them is al­ready plan­ning for ma­jor changes next year.

Te Waotu School prin­ci­pal Bruce Dar­roch said in 2011 they would run seven class­rooms in­stead of the six they were en­ti­tled to.

‘‘ We are staffed to run six class­rooms, how­ever we have a tra­di­tion of en­deav­our­ing to keep our class sizes as low as pos­si­ble,’’ he said.

‘‘We strongly be­lieve that to op­ti­mise learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties then small class sizes are the best way to go.’’

Year seven and eight classes had 16 chil­dren in each and ju­nior classes were also small with up to 14 stu­dents.

‘‘ This ob­vi­ously makes for ex­cel­lent learn­ing con­di­tions and much more teacher time. Learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties are much eas­ier to iden­tify in each class as well.’’

Mr Dar­roch said op­er­at­ing more class­rooms than they were en­ti­tled to was an ex­pen­sive op­tion but the com­mu­nity was back­ing the idea.

The school also had an ICT devel­op­ment plan to lift the num­ber of mini-note­book com­put­ers. ‘‘ A lot of as­sess­ment these days is done on­line and we need a full class set of mininotes for this to hap­pen.’’

At the moment they had about 55 com­put­ers in the school and in­tended to in­crease this to 65 and re­place some of their older com­put­ers.

Mr Dar­roch ad­mit­ted that the ICT devel­op­ment plan for next year was an ex­pen­sive process.

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