Ash­bur­ton col­lege

PRIN­CI­PAL – ROSS PREECE

Latitude Magazine - - FEATURE -

There is much ex­cite­ment both within our Col­lege and the en­tire Mid Can­ter­bury com­mu­nity, with plan­ning for our ma­jor re­build well in progress. The de­ci­sion to re­build was made be­cause of our cur­rent and ex­pected roll growth over the next 10 years, and the age and de­sign of our build­ings. Cur­rently Ash­bur­ton Col­lege’s roll is 1200-plus but the plan­ning is for an ex­pected peak of 1600 stu­dents. An ar­chi­tec­tural firm, which spe­cialises in school builds, has been awarded the con­tract to con­struct the Mas­ter Plan with this due to be com­pleted by mid-year. As a Col­lege we are able to have sig­nif­i­cant in­put into the plan­ning process and we are very con­scious of pro­vid­ing an ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­ity to pre­pare our grad­u­ates for very dif­fer­ent fu­ture em­ploy­ment op­tions.

The key to fu­ture suc­cess will not be around the ac­qui­si­tion and re­ten­tion of knowl­edge, be­cause the sum of the world’s knowl­edge is avail­able to all of us on any dig­i­tal device. There are a set of skills and dis­po­si­tions that are es­sen­tial for the fu­ture. These in­clude: cre­ative prob­lem-solv­ing, cu­rios­ity, re­siliency, col­lab­o­ra­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and think­ing. Much of this col­lab­o­ra­tion will in­volve dig­i­tal con­nec­tions, how­ever great peo­ple skills will still be es­sen­tial. As a Col­lege we have be­gun the process of trans­form­ing our cur­ricu­lum to foster these fu­ture skills and dis­po­si­tions. The in­tro­duc­tion of an ‘In­no­va­tion’ stream in both Years 9 and 10 is a sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment to­wards pre­par­ing our stu­dents for a dif­fer­ent fu­ture. Be­cause of our roll size we are able to of­fer in­no­va­tion or tra­di­tional streams for our stu­dents to choose from. We are also well-po­si­tioned to take ad­van­tage of the fu­ture changes to NCEA that are pend­ing for 2022 and be­yond.

Over the last six months there has been a to­tal restora­tion of the carv­ings which adorn our Whare. We take much pride in the fact that we have the best carv­ings of any school in the South Is­land. The ini­tial carv­ings were crafted by Mas­ter Carver Vince Leonard and were in place by 1997. Be­ing ex­posed to the el­e­ments for 20-plus years had ob­vi­ously taken its toll on these taonga. This year, we were ex­tremely for­tu­nate to se­cure the ser­vices of Damian Peeti who led the restora­tion pro­gramme.

The carv­ings have now been re­in­stated and are look­ing mag­nif­i­cent. Damian had been an as­sis­tant of Vince on the orig­i­nal project and his restora­tion work has been metic­u­lous.

Whilst there has been plenty of con­sid­er­a­tion given to our fu­ture, we con­tinue to em­pha­sise our three core Val­ues of Qual­ity, Pride and Re­spect, which will al­ways re­main as a val­ued com­mod­ity for all com­mu­ni­ties.

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