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School exams are coming up for our seniors – Year 11, 12 and 13.  Ours are in Week 8, and the first day of Week 9 – September 10th to 17th.  It seems that all high schools in Auckland are pitching their exams at about this time, so I thought it appropriate to explain their importance.

First and foremost, it is these exams that NZQA will use for ‘derived grades’ if this proves necessary later in the year.  For me, this underlines how very important these exams are for our students, because we can never predict situations further down the track that may necessitate a derived grade application.

Secondly, these exams act as a valuable check on areas of strength and areas requiring further work for our students.  Our exams are based on best practice NCEA feedback and will provide a reliable indicator of expected performance in the external exam season beginning in early November.

Thirdly, if you are a Year 12 student your performance in externals at the end of the year will be critically important for you in Year 13 in relation to applying for University Scholarships.  These awards are based on your performance in Year 12.

This really is the “business end” of the year and I want to acknowledge the outstanding work of so many of our students so far this year and the continued dedication of our teachers for the extra learning support that they give which inspires our students to give of their best.

We hear in the press regularly about the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.  We acknowledge this at Springs but do state, emphatically, that so too are the arts.  In answer to a parent query I was able to state these facts from the national statistics about WSC’s performance:

“In 2017, the percentage of Level 3 students enrolled at WSC who gained one or more STEM subjects was:

NZ European, Asian    72.4%

Pasifika                        71.4%

NZ Maori                     70.7%

These are outstanding figures, we as a school, can be very proud of!

Ivan Davis

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