Ross Preece3Ashburton College principal Ross Preece. Photo supplied.When a Year 13 student leaves school part way through the year for a job, Ashburton College principal Ross Preece counts that as success; the Ministry of Education counts it as a failure.

In his drive to ensure every Year 13 student is engaged in study that is meaningful for them and that qualifies for NCEA level three credits, the college is introducing a range of new vocational subjects for senior students.

“This means we’ll be catering for the significant number of Year 13s who are returning to school for various reasons but who’re not planning to go to university.

If those students leave part way through the year for work then we see that as a success, but to the ministry it’s a fail for us,” Preece said.

The fail mark comes because the student does not achieve NCEA level three.

For the college, it was a priority to keep students at school rather than disengage with education and leave without a job or a career path, he said.

“This gives them time to make up their minds about what they want to do and gives them a chance to get level three.

We want our students to be engaged and have a meaningful timetable.”

The college currently offers some vocational subjects such as agriculture, trades and hair and beauty but will add furniture manufacturing, hospitality, construction and possibly more to next year’s Year 13 subject list.

In broadening what it offers the college, and many other secondary schools, faced some opposition from polytechnics as the subjects they were including were often a cross-over with polytech subjects, Preece said.

“Understandably they want the students to do that study and qualify with them and all schools are finding it a bit difficult to work through this.”

The college starts its expanded year 13 subject range next year and Preece says the move is long overdue.

Expanding the curriculum does not come with a cash injection from the Ministry of Education, and schools electing to do this have to staff those classes within set budgets.

By Sue Newman © The Ashburton Guardian - 1 July 2017

Basketball Sophie Adams Ashlee StrawbridgeMid Canterbury basketballers Sophie Adams and Ashlee Strawbridge are ready to take on Australia’s best. Photo Jaime Pitt-MacKayTwo Mid Canterbury basketballers are ready to take on the best of Australia next week.

Sophie Adams and Ashlee Strawbridge will be part of the New Zealand U16 team that will be competing at the Australian U16 State Championships, which begins on July 8.

The tournament consists of 14 teams split in to two pools of seven, with teams from all around Australia such as Queensland South and New South Wales Metro taking part.

The pair will first travel to join the New Zealand squad on the fourth, before travelling to Perth and playing a practice game before the tournament starts.

Both said they were excited to be heading away, but that they had not set any goals heading in to the tournament.

“We just want to go to play hard and play well,” said Adams.

“It is hard to say going in to it cause we don’t really know much about the teams we are going up against,” said Strawbridge.

On top of being provided homework from their coaches such as fitness and skill programmes, the pair have travelled to Auckland for seven training camps this year, varying in length from two to four days.

Ashburton College basketball coach Andrew Sheppard said it had been a full-on year for the girls, and that it was great to see their hard work pay off.

“Now we are just looking forward to seeing them go,” he said.

By Jaime Pitt-MacKay © The Ashburton Guardian - 30 June 2017

College Girls RugbyCollege Girls Rugby. Photo suppliedThe AshHutt 1st XV girls have continued their impressive run of form in the Aoraki School Girls’ Competition with a win against Timaru Girls’ High School on Wednesday evening.

The combined side picked up five tries on their way to a 29-17 win.

Coach Grant Elvines said he was pleased with his side’s performance in a tough game on what was a challenging pitch to play on.

“It was quite heavy underfoot which made it difficult to play running rugby, but the girls did well,” he said.

Elvines said apart from struggling with Timaru Girls’ “Richie McCaw-like” No.7 and protecting the ball at the breakdown, the side had played very well.

“It was the first time with contested scrums and that went well.

“The lineouts were good and there was a lot of good catch and pass rugby,” he said.

The Te Moananui triplets were a main attacking outlet for the combined side, with Erana picking up a double, while Jaimee scored one.

Fullback Kate Donald accounted for nine of the team’s points, scoring a try as well as notching up two conversions.

The side has played six matches so far this season, winning all six along with a default victory.

Elvines said that he expects it will be Timaru Girls’ they will be facing this year in the final.

“Based off who we have played I can’t really see anyone getting past them,” he said.

By Jaime Pitt-MacKay © The Ashburton Guardian - 30 June 2017