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New decade, fresh opportunities: what 2020 has in store

With the 2020 school year now in full swing, ACG Tauranga students have plenty to get excited about – from the new college block and fresh programmes of study, to an original school production and inspiring leadership opportunities. Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store …
ACG Tauranga

Breaking New Ground
With planning now in the final stages, construction will soon begin on ACG Tauranga’s state-of-the-art new college block, scheduled to open January 2021. Highlights include a dedicated art room and library, science lab, classrooms, reception and administration areas.

“We’re so excited about the new block,” says Principal Thea Kilian. “As our senior school continues to grow both in numbers and the range of curriculum areas on offer, it will be a welcome addition to our community.”

Building Leadership Capability
ACG Tauranga creates opportunities for students to grow their leadership skills through its four pillars - Learning, Arts, Sport, and Leadership & Community. This year, each pillar is represented by a team of leaders from Years 8 – 13, while the Sport and Community & Leadership pillars also include primary representatives.

Pillar leaders are in addition to the more established house leadership team who continue to develop, manage and promote house culture across all year levels. With the recent introduction of a student council, students can also now have their say on everything from teaching and learning to start-up procedures and lunchtime activities.

“We place significant value on our four pillars which we believe are fundamental in developing well-rounded young people. All students have leadership potential. It’s about creating opportunities within a wide range of contexts and giving them a voice around ideas which really matter to them.”

School Production
It’s the three little pigs, but not as we know them. Now revered rock stars, ‘The Three Little Pigs – World Tour’ sees these fairy-tale favourites navigate their rise to fame, learning a few truths along the way. This original high-energy musical is written by director Fletcher Oxford and premieres at ACG Tauranga from June 23 – 25. Students from preschool through to Year 13 will take part. Auditions have been held and opportunities are open for backstage, make up, lighting, set design, marketing, front-of-house and more.

Innovative Programmes
Dance – new this year – is proving popular, exposing students to different genres and focusing strongly on choreography. Taught from preschool up to Year 6, Dance is also an option for Years 7 – 10. Watch students showcase their talent at the DanceNZMade regional competition in August.

Musically-minded Year 5 and 6 students will love the new practical music programme enabling them to learn an instrument as part of their weekly music lessons. Meanwhile the school’s ‘Pathways to Primary’ preschool learning programme is undergoing development and students and staff alike are looking forward to supporting STEMFest 2020 (which focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Sporting Initiatives
Sports plays a starring role, with more options available this year than ever before. Hockey is offered in Years 1 – 13 and for the first time the school will enter intermediate and secondary teams into the Tauranga Hockey Summer League, and run a five-week programme preparing for Winter League. Passionate Year 7 – 13 netballers can learn skills from Magic players during a training session on March 11, and a new Archery programme for Years 7 – 13 springboards students to regional competitions and the Tauranga Archers.

Keen to encourage as many as possible into sport, a dynamic in-house sports programme has also been introduced into preschool and Years 1 – 10, enabling students to try their hand at various sports and physical activities, with a firm focus on fun.

Head of Sports, Franki Traini says, “Our long term aim is to initiate a Sport and Wellbeing Programme where all students have the opportunity to participate in a strand – Performance (for top athletes), Growth (yoga, meditation, social physical activity), and Explore (outdoor adventures like rock climbing and multisport).”

NASA 2021
Those with a fascination for all things ‘Space’ might find themselves winging their way to NASA next year. Currently in the provisional approval process, this looks set to be the school trip of a lifetime.