Future of Year 7 & 8 at Te Kura o Tawatawa Ridgway School

Tēnā koutou

The Board is considering the possibility of Te Kura o Tawatawa Ridgway School becoming a Contributing Primary School (Year 1-6) rather than a Full Primary School (Year 1-8).  

If Ridgway becomes a Contributing Primary School students will leave at the end of year 6 to attend a different school. We expect for most students this will be South Wellington Intermediate School (SWIS) as the Ridgway enrolment zone is within the SWIS enrolment zone. There would be a period of time (~2 years) before the change takes effect to give parents time to plan the future of their children’s schooling. The final intake of Year 7s would likely be in 2024 or 2025.

The Board has taken the time to consider how this change would support the school in meeting its strategic aims in each of our focus areas - Learning & Achievement, Hauora Wellbeing, Environment & Community and Languages & Culture. There is more detail on this below.

We are now consulting with the community to understand your views, before we make a decision on whether to propose this change to the Ministry of Education who will make the final decision. The consultation process has been designed in line with MoE guidelines.

We are keen to hear feedback from our community via this link to the survey by 1st December.

You are also welcome to email the Board on ridgwaybot@gmail.com and speak to a Board member. The Board will review all feedback received and make a decision on 8th December.

Noho Ora Mai

Ridgway School Board of Trustees

Case for change (linked to School Strategic Plan)

The Board has considered what we would and wouldn’t achieve by moving to a yr 1-6 school - overall we think it’s a positive proposal and below is our thinking. We invite you to think about what is best for the whole school community, as well as your whānau

  1. Learning and Achievement -> Our staff and students achieve success

  • The school works better when we can plan how to use our resources, and develop our capabilities through training and practice. By finishing at yr 6, we can better predict our numbers, and so focus our resources and our teacher skill-development on yr 1-6 learning.

  • We would prefer students to learn within smaller age ranges. One impact of year 7&8 is that we often run a year 6-8 whanau group - because of low/ fluctuating numbers of year 7&8s.

  1. Hauora Wellbeing -> Our staff and students lead happy and healthy lives

  • We can give certainty and support to parents and children of the education pathway for their children.

  • We would like to reduce the current stress for children in year 6 to make the “right” decision, and face splits in their friendship group at an age where positive friendships support their development and learning.

  • We would like to celebrate our children’s graduation, but this is not easy when some stay behind, some go and some aren’t sure what they will do.

  1. Environment and Community -> Our staff and students have strong connections

  • We are unable to promote SWIS or engage in their successful transition programme, meaning students who go to SWIS are less connected and can have a more difficult transition.

  • With a growing roll, finishing at yr 6 means our new building will be better able to accomodate our current capacity. There is unlikely to be any funding to expand our building for a number of years.

  • The school is now at capacity. In 2021 we introduced an enrolment zone. Previously we had out-of-zone pupils joining in year 7 or 8, but this would now be unlikely - making those years even smaller.

  1. Language and Culture -> Our staff and students experience belonging

  • All children transitioning together promotes a feeling of belonging for the wider community: moving from Ridgway to SWIS and then on to High School.

  • Ridgway can continue to support its link to the francophone community, as out of zone places can be available to Ruru students. We would like to continue to see a flourishing Ruru class.

Possible negative consequences of not having year 7&8s:

  • Reduces choice for Ridgway children at Year 7-8. (Note that while previously children from other schools in the area have been able to join Ridgway in Year 7 we now have an enrolment zone which will make it less likely for students from outside of our zone to be able to join)

  • Loss of year 7-8s providing leadership, support and as role models for younger children



November 2021

Consultation process

1 December 2021

Survey and consultation process close

8 December 2021

Board decision on whether to proceed

15 December 2021

Communicate decision to Ministry of Education and Ridgway Community

Term 1 and 2 2022

Ministry process of consultation and ministerial approval

Term 3 2022 (estimate)

MoE informs Ridgway Board of decision

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