Thursday, 5 March 2015

Boutique is beautiful

Woodhill is an awesome school. You are sure to have seen the Mega Mitre Ten ads that say, “Big is Good”. When it comes to their buying power, they are probably right.

We are not in the business of selling bulk products. We are supporting children to grow up to be fine young men and women - over an eight year period.

Research tells us the most important key to learning is the relationship between the learner and the teacher. Developing quality, meaningful and impactful relationships requires time, nurture, intimate knowledge of the person as an individual, consistency, patience, love, challenge, encouragement and constancy.

It is much, much harder to find these things in a big school.

We love Woodhill School because we are in effect a “boutique” school - and to borrow a phrase, “Boutique is beautiful”.
And it is. Every one of our staff knows every one of our children. Knows them inside out and upside down. Knows their quirks, qualities and foibles. Knows what interests them, and what inspires them. Each one of our staff has a quality relationship with each one of our children. We know them, we love them, we respect them, and we are totally focused on supporting them to become the best they can possibly be.

You won’t find this level of knowledge of the individual in a big school - it’s just physically not possible. That is why primary schools are smaller than secondary schools, because everyone knows the importance of quality relationships, and the challenge of developing and maintaining them in a big school.

There are some challenges that come from being a small school, but we are aware of them and always looking for ways to positively address them. One issue is leadership opportunities. We have been addressing this issue by appointing Student Leaders. Our Senior Student Leaders come from our senior class, their deputy leaders have come from our middle school students.

We worked with our children to identify the qualities of a good leader. Having done so, children then looked for peers from Woodhill School who embodied those qualities. This led to a nominations process, a candidacy campaign process, and voting to decide on our leaders.

It has been a very worthwhile and rewarding process. It has taught our children to reflect on the difference between making a campaign promise, and actually carrying it through in practise.
It has also resulted in the appointment of some very fine young boys and girls as leaders at Woodhill School for 2015.

Seth - Caitlin - Awhina - Tangimereana
Matire - Leo - Scarlet - Belana

Room 4 - Year 7-8 - 2015

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