Many parents are hesitant about moving their child from a school with NCEA to one with the Cambridge curriculum.
But that’s exactly what Jo and Mark Mayston did for their son Henry, now in Year 8. They knew a couple of families who had kids at the school who “couldn’t speak highly enough of it.”
Henry had been at the top of his class at his previous school and Jo is the first to admit that his first term at ACG Tauranga was an adjustment.
“Cambridge was a shock to him, it really showed the differentiation between the two curriculums. He’s had to work at it, but he’s caught up. He’s in love with science now. Having specialist science teachers teach him in a lab has been great – he’s really stepped up.”
She was conscious that boys can get lost in the education system and, while private school was always an option for the family, Henry wasn’t a boarding- school-type kid. ACG Tauranga was local and seemed a good option, so they attended an open day.
“We were captivated by the passion and enthusiasm of the teachers and immediately sold,” Jo said. “Henry wanted to sign up then and there. It was driven by him, he wanted it. That made the decision a lot easier.”
Although they had initial concerns about a smaller school not being able to provide enough extracurricular options, Jo says Henry is only limited by the fact he can’t do everything: robotics, chess group, badminton, rock climbing, Tough Girl and Guy challenge, Spanish, speech and drama, keyboard.
The teachers’ care and energy is remarkable, she says. When Henry, a reluctant artist, missed the deadline to hand in a project, his art teacher opened the classroom for him at lunchtime, giving up her lunchbreak to help him finish his work.
For Jo, it’s a story that sums up the ethos of the teachers at ACG Tauranga.
“They motivate these kids to want to do well, they support them and help them feel it’s a team effort. As parents, we want to ensure our kids have the best possible education available in the region. Two years down the track, we are still as delighted as when we first moved Henry to ACG. What more can we say.”
If you would like to learn more about ACG Tauranga, please join us for a Guided Tour of the school.