By NZAIMS inc | Posted: Tuesday May 1, 2018
Ilminster still believes in ‘student choice and voice’ and learning that builds on students’ strengths, talents and interests.
On a recent visit to Ilminster Intermediate, Sharon Keen (NZAIMS president) noticed, with some envy, the interesting and effective cycle track that existed around the school grounds. Drilling down further into this school you find themes like "student voice and student choice," bucket filling activities, BoT and community engagement in the school. Read the Principal's welcome, a broad, full and rich curriculum that evolves in response to the learners is apparent. Interestingly you delve into the evaluations of the school and you find the students of Illminster are among the more than 36% of intermediate students who attend ERO described "high achieving schools."
Enough of the background details lets find out about this amazing cycle area and its impact on the learners and their learning. Peter Ferris advises that the concept migrated from the Hawkes Bay and in collaboration with the neighbouring primary school and the assistance of Gisborne district council and community trusts the 1.3-kilometre track was constructed. Initially uncertain of the value of the investment Peter Ferris now confesses to being a fan of the resource and the school activity and programme that has evolved within the last year
With the track and riding it built into the Physed and Fitness programme the use is frequent during school time and outside school time families come in and teach little children to ride in safety. "Although the caretaker is not fond of it because he has to clean up stones and the odd broken window the kids love the track and using it." Both Peter and the caretaker have a vision to permanent surface the track. In the interim, this highly successful and valued resource offers both schools a lot of fun activity for the $5000 outlay in maintenance.
This example of quality middle schooling, child responsive, can do attitude is key to success in this engaging and enabling environment where kids have a voice and choice.