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My transition to Cambridge: Sophie Mann, Year 9

"I think that most of all I am enjoying teachers that want to teach and students that want to learn and in that environment I am thriving."

- Sophie Mann, Year 9, started at ACG Tauranga in 2019


There’s a misconception that Cambridge International only suits the brightest learners. But at ACG Tauranga, we believe there’s nothing more satisfying for young people than rising to a challenge. We talk to our students about their transition from the NZ curriculum to Cambridge.

How has the transition to Cambridge been for you?

At my old school I do not feel I learned as much as I am at ACG Tauranga.

I left my last school in Year 8 and feel that I was nowhere near knowing all the things I need to succeed when it comes to learning, revising and exams. I did not know how to write essays in English, learn rules in Maths or how to write clear notes that I can revise from.

The teachers spent so much time marking constant tests that they had hardly any time to teach us. The classes were so big I got lost in the crowd.

The Cambridge system is a more effective learning style. In such a short period of time I feel confident I will be set for an amazing future. The learning is definitely hard, but in the end I feel confident that I am beginning to understand everything in all my subjects.

The teachers have identified areas of my learning that I need to focus on and they have provided me with the extra support that I need to catch up with my peers.

Science is definitely hugely different; I had never done such advanced science until now. Math was difficult because I had only done problem solving at my old school, and I could never understand and remember all of the rules. I was made to feel like I was no good at Maths and so in my head I gave up trying. Now I know that I can do it I feel like I have a better attitude towards my work.

What are you most enioying about the Cambridge curriculum?

I feel like I am learning the skills that I need to learn how to learn, retain the information and be tested on it. I feel like exams and midterm exams are very important and I like them, because it teaches me a lot of lessons. By testing me on my knowledge, I can find out what I do not know and I can ask for help. I am making sure I focus and ask questions so I remember and can confidently answer questions in my exams.

I think that most of all I am enjoying teachers that want to teach and students that want to learn and in that environment I am thriving.

What’s your favourite subject and why?

Science and Spanish.

I mainly enjoy these subjects because they are new to me; I enjoy learning new things.

Science is one of my favourites because I hadn’t done any science like this before. I learn a lot of new things, but have a lot of fun at the same time. I genuinely really enjoy learning science. I think that I learn best by doing.

Spanish is also very fun for me because it’s something new I have never tried before, and I love trying something new.

To find out more about the Cambridge curriculum, join us at our Open Day