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The NZFlag.com Trust - Media Statement

The NZFlag.com Trust

Media Statement

For immediate release 26 May 2004

Avondale College leads the way in NZflag debate Year nine and ten students nationwide will have the opportunity to take part in the current debate to change New Zealand's flag with an innovative new teaching unit being launched at Avondale College today. New Zealand's biggest secondary school will become the first school in the country to teach "Let's Flag it", as part of its social studies curriculum.

Launched by the www.NZflag.com Trust, the lessons fit with the current curriculum and are designed to engage students on the issue of whether New Zealand should change its flag. Students and teachers can explore a range of questions and issues such as "How well do you know the New Zealand flag?"; "Why do we have a national flag?"; "Let's fly a new flag with pride"; "Our flag needs to be unique"; "A new flag or not?" Students are asked to undertake online research and survey public opinion as well as submit an essay or design a flag for a national competition.

"The sequence of nine lessons has been written by an experienced Social Studies teacher to help teachers focus on the current debate about the flag and the social action that can be planned as part of it," said John Pipe, TEAM Solutions the teacher advisory service of the Auckland College of Education.

"If a Social Studies department wanted their students to engage with a real social issue, www.NZflag.com can support an interactive investigation into the desirability of changing this icon of identity." Avondale College Principal Brent Lewis supports the school teaching "Let's Flag it" as he believes New Zealanders simply take the current flag for granted.

"Every New Zealander should have a sense of pride in our flag. It's a tragedy that many young New Zealanders do not recognize our flag and even worse they confuse it with Australia's. "School is the ideal place to be discussing an issue of such importance to our nation. Our young people are our future - they deserve the opportunity to be informed about and heard in this debate." Teachers can access the lessons, including full classroom activities by simply downloading the document from the www.nzflag.com website.


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