The new Ignite junior curriculum at Kuranui College is already having a significant impact on the school, with many of the 2018 year 9 intake highlighting it as one of the main reasons they chose to study there.
The college has a wide catchment area, stretching from the southernmost tip of the Wairarapa region through to Carterton, encompassing many primary and full primary schools offering education up to year 8. Despite other college options in Masterton, Kuranui remains the school of choice for most within the area, with students highlighting the range of subjects on offer, as well as its small, friendly culture.
Meg Hunter came to Kuranui from the Montessori stream at South End School in Carterton, where she thoroughly enjoyed her primary education. She’s very excited about the new Ignite curriculum and spent three afternoons going through all the options and shaping her first two years at Kuranui.
“I am enjoying the range of subjects and teachers,” she explains. “One of the main reasons I came here is that the drama department is so good.”
Oliver Penman took a different route to Kuranui, having spent two years at MIS following his time at St Teresa’s School in Featherston. “I went to MIS for the dance and drama, as they are some of my strengths, and that’s why I’m now here at Kuranui,” he says. Although he is unsure whether acting will be his eventual career path, he has one clear goal at Kuranui. “My ambition is to be head boy.”
Former Greytown School student Will Isaacs had the choice of following his siblings Rosie and Henry to Kuranui or attending another college, but it was a simple decision for him. “The Ignite programme looked really interesting and I’m enjoying DVC, which stands for Design Visual Communications,” he says. “It’s like technical drawing and designing and we are designing our logos for our own design company.”
Keen rugby player Keanu Paul from Martinborough highlights the sporting opportunities available at the college, and is enjoying the chance to learn different subjects as part of the Ignite curriculum.
“There’s more Te Reo here than most other schools and I’ve taken on all of the Maori classes which are fun,” he says.
Despite the name Kuranui meaning large school, many students say they’re attracted to study there because of its relatively small size. Thomas Moore, who previously attended South Featherston School explains: “You get to know everyone a bit more than a bigger school. You can go into another class and know people.”
Jayde Rikiti from Carterton agrees. “All the teachers know you by your name and they talk to you more than people in a bigger school would. The form groups of year 9 and 10s are cool because you get to know everybody.”
Congratulations to Amelia O’Connell, Manish Narayan, Arapeta Kingi and Trinity Southey who have been selected to represent Kuranui College at the Wellington Regional Athletics Championships in Wellington.
South Wairarapa residents without access to a computer were offered assistance filling in their census forms from a team of 15 Kuranui College student volunteers. An open invitation was made to the local community inviting people to go along to Featherston, Greytown and Martinborough libraries.
The idea is the brainchild of South Wairarapa Mayor Viv Napier, who heard about a new Greytown Community Board voluntary initiative where young people from Kuranui would assist the elderly with issues they were experiencing using devices such as their cell phones and computers.
“I was talking to Kuranui Acting Principal Maree Patten and Greytown Community Board Deputy Chair Ann Rainford about Kuranui kids helping Seniors with computers, when I thought it might be possible to help with the census as I’ve had some calls asking how to get help,” she explains.
“Within 24 hours we’d each done our bit to make it happen in all three South Wairarapa libraries. Hopefully people will make use of the opportunity. I think it’s great to see that youth can help people who don’t have the necessary computer skills to fill in the census forms. It is essential we get as many people to fill in their forms as possible, because we need to know the most up to date information regarding our population, especially in regards to planning for the future and provision of health and education services.”
Maree Patten says the wider scheme is due to begin later this term. “Greytown Community Board applied for and received $800 from the Greytown Trust Lands Trust for this initiative, and we have a team of five young people ready to do this. We are looking at this happening on a Wednesday at lunchtime in our library, beginning shortly. When Viv heard that Ann and I were working on this, she approached us and asked if we could help with the census. There have been plenty of volunteers who are looking forward to helping with this important piece of research.”
Kuranui College’s Zoe Edwards has been rewarded for her service and dedication throughout her eight years with St John New Zealand by being appointed as District Cadet of the Year.
The year 12 student was presented with her ropes and certificate in a special ceremony and will now take on a key coordination, leadership and management role, while at the same time providing mentorship and ambassadorship to other cadets.
Following in the footsteps of her mother, who was involved with St John as a youngester along with her siblings, Zoe is delighted with her achievement. “It means a lot to me,” she explained. “It’s an amazing opportunity for me to better myself as well as my district. I’m looking forward to communicating with the other cadets of the year, while trying to meet the people in my district and getting them to meet each other.
“As a cadet I work my hardest on earning badges while hopefully being a role model to the younger cadets. To get this appointment I first applied, then I was emailed and asked to create and deliver a presentation. I then had to do an activity with some cadets to show how well I worked with them, before going through an interview process.”
Zoe has yet to decide on her future career path, which she is currently working through. “I’m not completely sure on what I want to do when I leave school,” she says. “I still have time to decide, which is why I’m keeping my options open. I do hope to work with animals as it is something I enjoy.”