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Govt Not Going Far Enough To Encourage Innovation

Government Not Going Far Enough To Encourage Innovation In Students

Proposed changes in tertiary education to build an innovative nation do not go far enough, according to the principal of a Christchurch primary school.

Selwyn House School head, Jane Lapthorn, says the foundation of learning is started in pre-school and strengthened in primary school. She says making changes in tertiary education to encourage a more innovative New Zealand may be leaving things too late.

“Learning is a journey and an educators’ role in that journey usually starts in pre-school,” says Mrs Lapthorn. “The foundation is the key here; with the foundation in place early, supporting the education before the tertiary stage our children possess the tools they need to be innovative and to achieve at a tertiary level.”

Mrs Lapthorn agrees with the Prime Minister that New Zealand is “bursting with talent and good ideas” but she says learning at an early age how to be inquiring and how to take risks, provides children with the essential skills needed to make the most of their talent and good ideas.

For the last three years, Selwyn House School has successfully developed and put in place 7 Principles of Learning, which are consistent across the co-educational pre-school and school curriculum. Jane Lapthorn says these principles enable the children to explore their abilities and take risks in a safe environment, supported by their peers and teachers.

This innovative way of teaching continues to be exceptionally successful for the Selwyn House pre-schoolers and students, something that was backed up by an ERO visit in February. The ERO team praised the way in which the students feel valued and secure, how student success is celebrated, and the very positive classroom atmosphere. ERO also said they were impressed by the excellent quality of the teaching and learning programmes at Selwyn House, the establishment of an unique curriculum with a big picture in mind, and that the teachers are committed to life long learning themselves.

“Making sure these students have the skills they need for the journey ahead is a key part of every day life for us at Selwyn House. From the pre-school level, the children understand why they are learning something, where it fits in to the bigger picture and how they can apply it right across their studies and in their daily lives. We must possess these skills early in our education to have the best chance of success in academic and personal development.”


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