Summer school gives students a second shot

Issue: Volume 98, Number 21

Posted: 16 December 2019
Reference #: 1HA42i

Summer school can make all the difference for some students.

Students just a few credits short of achieving an NCEA qualification are increasingly turning to studying over summer to get over the line.

For many young people, it can be the difference between the frustrations of just missing out on a qualification or being able to move on to further training, study or employment.

Tyler Dayan was one student who took advantage of summer school last January after coming up short.

There are several summer school options on offer to students around New Zealand. Among them is the summer school at Te Kura (The Correspondence School), which is where Tyler enrolled, seeking seven credits he needed to gain for NCEA Level 3 to gain University Entrance in order to do an engineering degree at a Sydney university.

His teacher, Kathryn Argyle, says Tyler’s story showed how summer school could “literally turn a student’s life around”.

 “In October, as he was preparing for university, it looked like his dream career and chance to continue his educational path alongside his peers were both out of reach. He hadn’t realised the work he had completed in another education pathway outside the NZQA framework could not just be credited to his NCEA record,” Kathryn says.

“Fortunately, they contacted Te Kura and a way was found by staff from four different teams, working together, to support Tyler to compete UE over the summer months.

“It definitely wasn’t a walk in the park! Tyler not only had to work hard to brush up on his English skills to maintain the Merit/Excellence grades he had gained so far in NCEA Level, but he had to do so while all his friends were playing hard!”

Te Kura’s summer school is now in its fifth year and has seen an exponential increase in students.  Last year 1500 students enrolled.

This year, the summer school is offering 33 subjects in a range of internal standards at NCEA Levels 1,2 and 3, with the most popular subjects being English (NCEA Level 2 and 3) Level 3 Calculus and Statistics, and Level 3 Biology.

Courses are delivered online, so with access to a computer and the internet, students are able to learn anywhere and anytime.

Because students have a single Record of Achievement in an academic year, credits achieved by the NZQA deadline, usually mid-February, go to the student’s previous school of enrolment.

In Tyler’s case the hard work over last summer paid off. He gained the missing credits – with Excellence – and in March, enrolled at Sydney’s University of Technology.  In July he received the Dean’s Merit Award in Engineering.

His mother, Victoria, says she is so happy Tyler’s story has had a happy ending, “thanks to the opportunity summer school provided”.

She hopes Tyler’s story will provide encouragement for other students considering summer study.

Tyler agrees.  He says he’s very grateful that Summer School was an option, and his success in his university studies is the outcome of the hard work his teachers put into him over the summer when he needed it most.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 1:00 pm, 16 December 2019

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