Spotswood College celebrates a busy and successful year

At the recent Senior Prizegiving expectant senior students along with their parents and families packed the school’s hall to celebrate a great night of awards for a busy and eventful year. 

Staff wore their black formal gowns with a blaze of colour showcasing their individual academic achievements, as they were welcomed to the stage by a rousing karanga.

Principal Mark Bowden opened the ceremony by summarizing 2013 in a formal speech with some of his comments in italics below.

Spotswood College began the year encouraged by the NCEA results our students gained in 2012.  Average Level 1, 2 and 3 results for our school all increased representing a significant improvement on 2011 outcomes. 

 However, in the list of things that make me proud to be the Principal of Spotswood College, academic achievement is but a part of the interrelated attributes that contribute to developing good people, or as our vision statement says “Developing young people of good character with the skills and knowledge to contribute to our 21st Century Global Village.”

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Youth Guarantee Network at Spotswood College

Spotswood College is taking a leadership role in the development of the Taranaki Youth Guarantee Network.  Principal Mark Bowden gives an introduction to the programme and Kim Leathem explains the Gateway programme.

Youth Guarantee is an innovative educational and training initiative to ensure young people in our region have access to foundational skills that enable them to move into further education, training and employment within Taranaki.

A number of schools are working closely with Jonathon Young (MP) and key local employers in engineering to create Taranaki as a centre of excellence for engineering particularly the dairying, oil and gas industries.

Spotswood College has been reviewing their curriculum to ensure all students have learning pathways that link “learning with earning”.

The vision is to work with other schools to build really effective partnerships between schools, employers, tertiary providers, iwi and the wider community so that we have a collaborative and community approach to employment opportunities for young people.

Recently, the chair of the Mayor’s task force for jobs, Dale Williams of Otorohonga District Council, quoted demographic research that showed that within 9 years half of Taranaki’s population is going to be 60+.  This means that we must work hard to ensure all young people are well trained to take over from retiring workers.

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Spotswood College International Focus

Spotswood College is fortunate to celebrate New Zealand’s diverse culture by welcoming international touring parties to their school as well as their own students visiting other countries.

This year is particularly busy as students and staff have been involved in various international visits with more planned for later in the year.

Principal Mark Bowden and staff involved give a brief report of some of these visits.

Spotswood College is a very diverse school and we celebrate our diversity. We believe in our vision of developing young people with good character and teaching them the skills and knowledge to contribute to the 21st century global village.

We believe that the opportunity young people have to mix and mingle with people of other cultures, languages and other world views is hugely important in developing positive and contributing 21st century citizens.

I guess I would say that one of the reasons that kiwis do so well overseas is because they are able to cope with diversity.  They are able to relate to people who are different from themselves.

We can deal with people as people which is a huge strength in having a vibrant International student department within our school.  The opportunity for our students to travel abroad contributes significantly to that set of skills required to be successful in the 21st century global village.

Mark Bowden, Spotswood College Principal

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