Home' The Wellingtonian : April 12th 2012 Contents 12 THE WELLINGTONIAN, APRIL 12, 2012
Shopping at Johnsonville Shopping Centre certainly paid off for
10 lucky customers, with each winning a $1,000 gift voucher in the
recent March Magic promotion.
The winners were all surprised but delighted when advised of
their win. Many planned to share their prize with family members,
including one winner looking to buy something for her grandchildren,
another who booked a family holiday and a third who planned to treat
her sister and herself to some new clothes.
Over half the winners came from the greater Johnsonville area, with
others coming from Highbury, Titahi Bay and Hastings.
The promotion gave away a total of $10,000 in Johnsonville Shopping
Centre gift vouchers, and ran for ten days from 21st March to 30th
March. A Winner's Board displayed in the Centre drew regular
attention as the lucky names were added after each daily draw.
10 LUCKY WINNERS
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Prices and rates considerably
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Big changes at Scots College
Graeme Yule: ''NCEA
has worked pretty
well for our students,
but it has
Joseph Romanos talks to Scots College
headmaster Graeme Yule about the appeal of
private schools, his dealings with Weta Workshop
and why he loves Wellington.
Why do parents send their
children to private schools?
A variety of reasons. Primarily
parents want to give their kids the
best opportunity they can. People
are not looking to save money, but
to invest in the best opportunities
for their children, so they can get
the most out of their lives. The old
boys network is sometimes a fac-
tor, and the facilities and the
smaller class sizes.
There s a debate at the
moment about whether
smaller class size helps. What s
John Hattie s study shows that
the quality of the teacher is the
most important. If all we did was
sit kids in rows and hand out
notes, you could put 60 or 80 in a
room. But the more kids you have,
the bigger the workload for a
teacher. Marking and class behav-
iour come into it. At Scots, our
teachers make a point of talking
to each student in their class each
day. With smaller classes, the
kids know you and you get much
How big are your classes?
Our average class size is 16,
though in the NCEA classes it s
How big is Scots?
The total roll is 822. We ve split
the school in three -- preparatory,
which has a roll of 125, middle
with 400 and senior with about
300. We want the roll to grow to
Are you the principal of all
I m the head of the senior school
and the executive head of the
other two. There are 130 staff in
all and the school is an $18
Any thoughts of going co-ed?
No. There aren t many private
boys-only schools left. Just
Christ s College, Dilworth and us.
Being boys-only is one of the
appeals of our school to many
As soon as you came here in
2007, you introduced the
exams. What was your objec-
tion to NCEA?
The board wanted Baccalaur-
eate implemented, and so did I.
NCEA has worked pretty well for
our students, but it has
limitations. It delivers knowledge
in silos. Baccalaureate is a cross-
curricula approach, which is a
limitation to NCEA. Lifting the
tail is the key driver in New Zea-
land education and they ve done
that by bringing down the bar.
Bright students are not being
challenged enough. In addition,
NCEA favours girls.
Who in Scots does the Bacca-
Last year, 18 of our top 20, plus
three others did Baccalaureate.
It s an exam for hard-working
kids. We are going to do some
research to see how our Bacca-
laureate students progress
through university, but initial
studies show they are doing better
than their peers.
Perhaps you have a motivated,
driven clientele and can there-
fore afford to be a bit sniffy
We have kids who are here on
scholarships, and kids with learn-
ing difficulties. We have 38 eth-
nicities in the school. We don t cull
You have some amazing facili-
ties here, notably the indoor
cricket set-up and your arts
and drama block. How did
they come about?
The new indoor cricket facility
was a $3.2 million project, which
we ve funded through a building
levy, fundraising, a growing roll
and some debt-servicing. We took
expert advice when it was being
designed, and it s a truly world-
class facility. We d be happy for
first-class and international
teams to use it, and I m sure they
would be delighted with what it
And what about your $14
million arts and drama block?
That was an even bigger under-
taking, and we re very proud of it.
We ve been fortunate that Sir
Richard Taylor and Sir Peter
Jackson and other people from
Weta Workshop have become
involved, giving us advice about
design, sourcing equipment and so
on. Seeing as we ve gone down
this road, they want to make sure
it s successful. It s extremely
exciting, not just for our students,
but for our teachers, too.
A couple of other issues.
There s been some publicity
about them, but we haven t had a
problem, really. We have a no-
alcohol policy. We run a pre-ball,
provide a bus to the formal sit-
down dinner and, for year 13s, we
also ran an after-ball, with bus
transport. Some parents have
tried to run private pre-balls, but
I ve spoken to them and said that
wasn t our policy, and they ve
been good about it.
What about the McEvedy
Shield, for secon dary school
athletics? Will Scots College
I hope so. We wouldn t win, but
our keen athletes would like to be
The competition should expand
anyway. It currently involves just
four schools, but why not include
several other colleges from Wel-
lington, Porirua and the Hutt Val-
ley? I ve talked to the McEvedy
family and they would like it to
That s how it used to be.
What do you think of
I grew up in Oamaru and
taught in Palmerston North, New
Plymouth and Hamilton before
coming here. I d never really con-
sidered moving here. It always
seemed to be raining or blowing.
But having been here, I wouldn t
live anywhere else. There s a won-
derful community here and it s
such an accessible city. My wife
was more anti-Wellington than
me, and now she s even more of a
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