Timetable gets prin­ci­pal’s nod

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By PET­RICE TAR­RANT

In­no­va­tion is at the fore­front of im­pend­ing changes tak­ing place at For­est View High School.

The trans­for­ma­tion, which in­cludes a timetable change, is a re­sult of want­ing to cre­ate cit­i­zens who are pre­pared for to­day’s world, prin­ci­pal Ian Fer­gu­son said.

He said they will be fol­low­ing a model sim­i­lar to that of Al­bany Se­nior High School which re­quires stu­dents to study less sub­jects over 100-minute pe­ri­ods.

Ev­ery Wed­nes­day stu­dents spend the day de­vel­op­ing and work­ing on a project of their choice. From next term, changes will be im­ple­mented. And al­though it’s rare, the timetable change will not be the big­gest shift, Fer­gu­son said.

‘‘The change in teach­ers’ prac­tices, that takes time. It also takes time for stu­dents to adapt to a new way of learn­ing and it’s a mat­ter of con­stantly re­view­ing and re­flect­ing.’’

Al­bany is a decile 10 school but Fer­gu­son said it should make no dif­fer­ence.

‘‘A decile has no im­pact on what a stu­dent can do.’’

Those lim­its will cer­tainly be tested when the school be­gins to im­ple­ment its se­ri­ous fo­cus on in­no­va­tion.

‘‘I’m re­ally ex­cited about the pos­si­bil­i­ties for stu­dents. ‘‘It’s all about stu­dent out­come.’’ He said there is a dan­ger in mov­ing too quickly. ‘‘It’s a risk to come away from the con­ven­tional model but the po­ten­tial out­come is they [the stu­dents] are more likely to get jobs and be suc­cess­ful if they’re in­no­va­tive and prob­lem solvers.’’

Change is good, he said. ‘‘If schools stay where they are they go back­wards.’’

For­est View has used its cur­rent timetable model for the past 14 years.

‘‘There is a risk in ev­ery­thing but I’d rather take risks that be­come stale. But in­no­va­tion doesn’t re­ally hold any fears in this school. We feel in­no­va­tion will turn kids on to learn­ing and achieve­ment.’’

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