Education in NZ - information for parents and teachers - Page 2

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Education in NZ - information for parents and teachers - Page 2


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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 13th November 2010, 05:51 AM
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Jen,
hello
Myself and my family are moving over next year. My daughter will be 16 and completed her GCSE's where will she slot into the education system out there and will her GCSE's be recognized.
Rgds
Neil
Hey Neil

Congrats on making the move! Hmmm....this is a really tricky one, to be honest.

Most schools and principals have heard of the GCSE examinations, but not many actually offer them. It tends to be high-end schools (high "decile" schools) that cater towards these. Schools that offer such choices are in the wealthier areas of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, especially where there is a high number of expats in the community. They would often offer A and AS levels too, so it would be easier to continue on the UK pathway.

If you are NOT in an area where the schools offer GCSE and A-levels, it is pretty tough to place her. Students work towards a combination of GCSE and A-levels, called NCEA. They progress each year based on credits. Age-wise, she would fit in to Y12, but in terms of subjects and content, its hard to say. In some subjects, the content can be pretty low-level, but in others, they can be pretty high. Whatever she went into, there would be elements that she may find difficult, but other things that may be hard. Having said that, students can pick up credits from lower (or upper) levels In other words, whilst going through Level 2 at NCEA (Y12) she could also work towards up to 20 credits of Level 1 (Y11) or even Level 3 (Y13). Again, this varies from school to school, as well as the units and credits on offer.

The best thing you can do is contact a school in the area that you will be moving to, speak to the Principal, and explain the situation. They will be able to make a timetable specific to her. It may also help to obtain the syllabi for each examination board and subject that she sat, so that they can look more clearly into the topics covered. Each school, principal, area and child is different, and the best way to figure it out is to get there and meet. My advice is, remember that there will be clashes with things that have already been covered (and therefore beneath her), as well as things that are very difficult (and therefore above her).

Hope that this helps???

Jen

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 22nd November 2010, 06:22 AM
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Default More information for teachers

Hi Expatters

So, I have completed 3 terms of "relief teaching" in Tauranga, and wanted to update the info that I have for all those potential teachers coming out to work, especially in Tauranga.

I came out here as a PE teacher, with 8 years experience, including having just finished a role as a senior lecturer in PE Pedagogy in a university. I honestly thought I would get my hand bitten off by schools to fill a permanent role. NOT TRUE!!!!!!!!! Lesson learned, and arrogance curbed!! In my time here in Tauranga, I have applied for a total of 11 jobs in PE, both temporary (LTR or maternity positions) and permanent. I didn't get an interview for a single one. I even applied for a job in a more rural school, but no interview. This was when I really struggled to accept it, as not many people apply for roles in the rural schools. As I thought I had issues in applying for jobs (maybe a UK-NZ difference), I called the principal to enquire about why I hadn't been shortlisted for an interview (well, how can you ever get a job in PE if you never actually secure an interview?!?!?). He told me that I had one of the most impressive CV's he had seen in ages, and there was no issue with my application. The problem was (as it transpires with many schools)...they just don't know me!!!!

You see, the Bay of Plenty (especially Tauranga) is one of the most popular places to live right now. There are a lot of teachers wanting to move back here who moved out of the area to get promotions, expats moving in to the area, and plenty of graduates who also are looking for jobs. A lot of roles actually go to the graduates who have done teaching practice/practicum in the schools, as the staff feel they have a better understanding of the schools ethos and values and inner workings. They have also seen them teach (yeah, not many schools actually have all-day interviews that include tours and taking a lesson out here)!!! So it really is a case of "who you know" and NOT "what you know".

I have managed to secure a permanent job, and it is in the school I have done the majority of work in during my time here. I am lucky; the Principal decided I was someone worth keeping around. He ensured I was given copious amounts of relief work to ensure that I stayed loyal to them. I have even found myself teaching the Sexuality units (sex ed) to the entire school!!!!! This is a HUGE task, but something I found strangely fun!!! I have been given freedom to write my own curriculum and timetable it anyway I see fit. This has carried me through the dry period of relief teaching that exists from November onwards. But it is work, so I took it!!

This attitude to taking anything on and having a go has secured me a role. But not in PE!!! Sadly there were no jobs available this year. Instead, the principal has asked me to be the food technology teacher!!!! I find this very bizarre, as I have limited knowledge (see "wtf" in the dictionary)!!! However, like I said, it is WHO you know, not what you know. I nearly didn't accept the job, as it is NOT my idea of a good time! However, after realising that I was turing down the ONLY job I had been offered, and the only one I had secured an interview for, I grabbed it with both hands. The school KNOWS I don't want to do this forever, and they KNOW I want to return to PE. If anything, they actually are wanting to keep me around until a job DOES come up in PE. So this is a compromise. I am lucky...so many people NEVER secure permanent work in the first few years of living in Tauranga, especially in the over-populated world of PE teaching. But a sideways move is still a good move.

So...if you are coming out here with no work secured, be prepared to take ANY work offered, and in ANY role, no matter how ridiculous it seems!!! Doors open for you, and people reward your eagerness!!!

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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 22nd November 2010, 10:07 AM
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Thanks for that Jen

Carole (PE Teacher) is at school in the UK at the moment so I am browsing the Forum for
any snippets of info.

Looks like Carole will have to diversify in order to get a job. Lol

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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 22nd November 2010, 05:10 PM
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Thanks for that Jen

Carole (PE Teacher) is at school in the UK at the moment so I am browsing the Forum for
any snippets of info.

Looks like Carole will have to diversify in order to get a job. Lol
Yeah, and quickly!!!!!

Honestly, my recommendations are that, if currently based in a school in the UK (out here, 'school' means university too), she should see the Boss about picking up an extra class in a 2nd r even 3rd subject, even if for only a term. NZ Education is very much moving away from the separate subject areas that we are so used to in secondary schools. Instead, schools are increasingly looking for multi-faceted teachers, who can deliver 2, 3 or even 4 subjects. I recommend that she try and get some experience in delivering even a term in at least 2 different subjects, in high-demand subjects such as maths or MFL. Schools always have gaps in subject areas...at the moment, they are over-subscribed in PE in my school, so all the PE teachers have been told they HAVE to take a class of science each, or take a cut in salary!! The other option is to move to the areas where you have a high staff turnover (lower decile areas in Auckland etc), although this does kind of defeat the purpose of moving to NZ!!

Good luck, and feel free to ask me any more questions or advice.

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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 22nd November 2010, 06:18 PM
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She has a few more stings in her bow as she has taught in Primary, First and Secondary
Schools. Before returning to teaching she trained new Police Officers in PE: Self Defence:
Public Order Training and is a First Aid Trainer of Trainers.

Whether these will stand her in stead who knows, at least your posts are honest and
realistic not like the pessimistic one sent in by Pic. Carole will try any job and give 100%
what more could an employer ask for.

New Zealand is not Utopia and we do not view it as such, but the UK is steadily going
down the pan, I saw it first hand doing over 30 yrs in the Police Force now called Service. rofl

Thanks again for the excellent posts.


Last edited by Higgy; 22nd November 2010 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Tweaking here and there
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 18th December 2010, 04:07 PM
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I'm new to this forum and my wife and I are just now starting to think about moving to New Zealand or Australia from the USA. Our daughter's education is, of course, extremely important to us, so I'm trying to learn everything I can about the different education systems, and this discussion has been very helpful. One thing that isn't clear to me about the documents I've read elsewhere is the meaning of the "decile" rating -- I mean, I think I understand that it's a measure of the economic status of the school's catchment area, but what is unclear to me is its relevance to the quality of education.

My fear is that it's something like the (completely insane) way they do it here in the USA, where the majority of school funding typically comes from local property taxes and is set by local voters. Here, wealthy suburbs usually have tremendously better schools than urban neighborhoods or rural districts simply because they have far more resources due to the higher property values, which causes families to want to move there, which increases the property values, which increases the funding, and so on.

I'm hoping you'll tell me that it's nothing like that in NZ, and the decile rating is just to give an indication of socioeconomic challenges that the student body may be facing. Thank you for any help you can provide!

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 18th December 2010, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Ohio Steve View Post
I'm new to this forum and my wife and I are just now starting to think about moving to New Zealand or Australia from the USA. Our daughter's education is, of course, extremely important to us, so I'm trying to learn everything I can about the different education systems, and this discussion has been very helpful. One thing that isn't clear to me about the documents I've read elsewhere is the meaning of the "decile" rating -- I mean, I think I understand that it's a measure of the economic status of the school's catchment area, but what is unclear to me is its relevance to the quality of education.

My fear is that it's something like the (completely insane) way they do it here in the USA, where the majority of school funding typically comes from local property taxes and is set by local voters. Here, wealthy suburbs usually have tremendously better schools than urban neighborhoods or rural districts simply because they have far more resources due to the higher property values, which causes families to want to move there, which increases the property values, which increases the funding, and so on.

I'm hoping you'll tell me that it's nothing like that in NZ, and the decile rating is just to give an indication of socioeconomic challenges that the student body may be facing. Thank you for any help you can provide!
Hi Steve

I think it's fair to say that the decile rating is likely to have some influence on the quality of the school - but hopefully not as much as you're describing in the States. However, schools can ask parents for 'donations' - these tend to be higher in higher decile schools (stands to reason - more parents can afford them!)

Having said that, in the UK I found that some of the better run schools were in poorer areas; education's not just about academic qualifications but in producing happy, balanced individuals who know where they want to head in life. I think some of the 'higher decile' schools (like the one near us) don't always do that.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 31st December 2010, 08:38 AM
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Hi,

I'm looking at moving over with my family in the next eighteen months. I have a degree in English Literature and IT and have worked in an IT role for the last twelve years. However, for the last eighteen months I have been (on a Wednesday) been teaching in a further education college, literacy and IT, and in April I will be qualified Certificate in Education, Qualified Teacher in the Life Long learning sector. This means I will be qualified to teach Post 16 students.

My wife has a degree Geography and is currently taking her Post Grad Early Years Professional qualifications to allow her to work with Under 5's.

Now I notice in NZ children under 5 don't go to school so could my wife bring this qualification to NZ to work in nurseries/pre-schools? Will NZ recognise her Post Grad status?

I've been told that the further education sector in NZ is limited and I would find it hard to get any work, so would be better off sticking to my field of IT in the commercial sector, is this true?
Or should I try and get myself into Uni out there on a 1 year teaching qualification course?

I've been out for a few weeks as a 'scouting' party and loved it. I spent some time chatting to a teacher from the UK in Napier who loves the place and said I should come out and if I can afford it, offer my services for free for a few months to 'get myself known' in schools so I can then get myself employed.

I think my main point is, is there work in the Early Years Professional field? Will I be able to get work in the Further Education area or should I re-train to become a secondary school teacher, then find work through a placement?

Will have more questions about my children’s education but will wait for replies to this first.

8-)

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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 3rd January 2011, 09:45 PM
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Hi,

I'm looking at moving over with my family in the next eighteen months. I have a degree in English Literature and IT and have worked in an IT role for the last twelve years. However, for the last eighteen months I have been (on a Wednesday) been teaching in a further education college, literacy and IT, and in April I will be qualified Certificate in Education, Qualified Teacher in the Life Long learning sector. This means I will be qualified to teach Post 16 students.

My wife has a degree Geography and is currently taking her Post Grad Early Years Professional qualifications to allow her to work with Under 5's.

Now I notice in NZ children under 5 don't go to school so could my wife bring this qualification to NZ to work in nurseries/pre-schools? Will NZ recognise her Post Grad status?

I've been told that the further education sector in NZ is limited and I would find it hard to get any work, so would be better off sticking to my field of IT in the commercial sector, is this true?
Or should I try and get myself into Uni out there on a 1 year teaching qualification course?

I've been out for a few weeks as a 'scouting' party and loved it. I spent some time chatting to a teacher from the UK in Napier who loves the place and said I should come out and if I can afford it, offer my services for free for a few months to 'get myself known' in schools so I can then get myself employed.

I think my main point is, is there work in the Early Years Professional field? Will I be able to get work in the Further Education area or should I re-train to become a secondary school teacher, then find work through a placement?

Will have more questions about my children’s education but will wait for replies to this first.

8-)
Hi Bretty

Sorry for the delayed response...been a bit busy.

Right, to try and answer your questions...

Firstly, there is a LOT of work in ECE care (early childhood education). It is still pretty high on the Long Term Skills Shortage list, so I would say that this would be a good choice for work.

Regarding getting work...it is pretty rare for people to secure jobs in school education prior to moving out here (although it does happen). It is good advice to come out and expect to do "relief" teaching for a while, and quite often this leads into permanent work. It is VERY much a case of "who" you know, not "what" you know here, so until they know you, your face and your skills, chances of permanent work are pretty slim, especially in popular areas of the country, like Wellington, Tauranga and Christchurch.

Regarding post 16...mmmm tricky. We don't have separate A-level equivalent schools in the main public sector (although there are some specialist private colleges that focus on this). Your better bet would be a Polytech establishment, but again, chances are pretty slim I'm afraid. Try contacting some of the polytechs in your favourite areas and asking for their advice. It would be worth trying to do the 1-year teaching qualification. If you did that out here, you would have to pay "overseas student" rates, which are HIGH!!!! If you can do it whilst in the UK, I would. If you want to get out earlier, it may be worth considering IT fields, although I am not so hot on these areas!! A message to Topcat may help you.

Whatever you decide, you MUST get your qualifications assessed by NZQA, and I recommend doing this before lodging your EOI. They judge what NZ-equivalent your qualifications are, and therefore what points you can claim. A lot of people think that their teaching qualification is a level 8, but is actually only a level 7, and therefore less points for your EOI.

Hope this helps???

Jen

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Old 3rd March 2011, 04:43 PM
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What an EXCELLENT post!! Thank you! Found it to be very informative and helpful whilst planning our future move!! Thanks!

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