Year 7 to 13 Catholic Boys School, Auckland New Zealand

  1. Staffing – Perhaps the strongest single point in favour of Year 7 - 13 schools is the fact that senior staff are able to teach at all levels of the curriculum.  Even in subjects where senior staff may not teach at junior levels, the close contact between staff, ensures a common purpose and commonly accepted standards.  Given that these standards start of Bursary and Scholarship level in secondary schools, then there is a real strength in having this approach extended down to the Year 7 and 8 level.
  2. Within the Year 7 - 13 environment junior pupils are significantly advantaged by the facilities and equipment at their disposal.  Fully equipped science laboratories, art rooms, technology suites computer rooms etc are examples of the very economic use of equipment and existing facilities that junior pupils are able to lock into and gain advantage from.
  3. There are considerable economies of scale in the Year 7 - 13  structure.  Obviously the vision of specialist facilities for senior pupils prevents doubling up as juniors can use the same facilities.
  4. Socialising pupils into the secondary system at the age of eleven (Year 7) brings distinct advantages.  The establishment of clear expectations and long term goals that are achievable within that institution, establishment of examination procedures in terms of general academic requirements, school procedures and teacher expectations and establishment of a high secondary qualifications and career oriented philosophy and school tone are strengths within the Year 7 - 13  system.
  5. Year 7 - 13  schools invariably integrate primary approaches in terms of staff, home room procedures and pastoral care within the overall secondary gauntlet.  This ensures that the strengths of primary generalist education is maintained and integrated with the subject and staffing specialisation strengths of secondary schools.
  6. The operation of a Year 7 - 13  area within the larger secondary school provides the Year 7 and 8 area with a huge range of diverse experiences and skills to draw on.  A more diverse subject structure is available as well as access to a diverse and enriching range of experiences and extra-curricular activities.

Conclusion

Any decision that is made in relation to the structure of student education in New Zealand must be made with the educational needs of the students being paramount. For this to occur an understanding of the current strengths of the present institutional structure is a sound basis on which discussion can then proceed.