Category Archives: School

I’m back: Mum has gone away

It’s Saturday here. No hot water (not sure why, no-one has owned up to leaving a tap on) For some reason Mark decided to get up early this week, setting a computer alarm to play loud progressive rock at 6.20am each morning. This has been good for us all. Getting up early I mean, not the rock music.

School reports have been another problem wit Mark. So to NCEA. (One of the teachers from the school has described it as No Chance of Educational Achievement). And so has the piano.

Me: Mark, please do some piano practice. Your Mother is out getting you a Big Mac, and if you are practicing when she comes back you will make her heart glad and win some brownie points.

Mark: I’d rather make some brownie.

The only thing that has not been a problem is the coffee roaster project.

PS. I’m back. I think none of my friends read this blog. But my mother does, and she is now in Aussie, so I need to get back to writing.

Physics and NCEA

Interested in this news from Stuff.co.nz [Today’s Christchurch Press]

The number of students choosing not to do National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) in maths and physics reveals slips in the country’s education system, business leaders say.

The number of candidates sitting maths with calculus and sitting physics at Level 3 in this year’s NCEA exams has dropped by 24 per cent and 15% respectively, compared with the numbers taking the last Bursary exams in 2003.

Those taking calculus fell to 7766 this year from 10,280 in 2003, and those being examined in physics dropped from 7761 to 6611.

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said maths and physics were important subjects.

“I have a suspicion that the way NCEA is structured is encouraging people to get easy credits,” he said.

Interesting given my thoughts about Mark from last week. The cynic in me thinks this is a school grade average matter rather than ‘what’s best for the learner’. The very coarse “average grade and number of passes” statistic does nothing to evaluate value added or support for students. Oh well!!

NCEA again

markstudying.jpg Mark is studying. Level one, his first formal external exams. NCEA. One of the teachers from his school has told me this stands for “No Chance of Educational Achievement”.

As well as his Level one stuff, he’s sitting one Level 2 standard. Physics (Mechanics). Would have been two if we hadn’t gone to Italy. The school has communicated with me over this last week:

If you still wish Mark to sit L2 Mechanics, please be aware that should Mark gain the 6 credits for Mechanics and wishes to take Physics in 2007, he will enter the L2 course and be expected to participate fully in the course all year, including the Mechanics.

This is how they support students. If they pass something, they still need to sit in class when the rest of the class works on it. I’m also interested to see John Gourley in the news. We still remain very grateful to him for his help in January this year.