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Wellington High School students favour an early start

Sep 1st, 2016 | By | Category: Latest News



School Entrance Splash

Despite being offered a later start, over half of the senior students at a Wellington school are choosing to start school just before nine.

Hanton Right 2

Wellington High School Principal Nigel Hanton.

In 2006 Wellington High School moved the start time for Year 12 and 13 students from 8.45am to 10.15 am.

The change came after the school took part in a Massey University sleep study that found later starts were better for students in the their mid-to-late teens.

But the school’s principal Nigel Hanton says over half of those students are now choosing to take classes at the earlier start time.

“To grow choice in the curriculum we have had to populate the first period of the day for senior students with courses that we would otherwise not be able to offer and that’s meant that many of the senior students are now choosing to come to school at the normal time.”

He says the open first period offered a chance to relieve the pressure of a growing roll, as well as fulfilling the goal of providing students extra responsibility.

“One of our philosophical drivers is that we want to develop self-managing learners so they are well equipped for tertiary education, or for vocational training, or the workforce.”

He is also impressed with the attitude of the students, many of whom he says are at school even earlier than their start time.

“When they’re making that choice to come that’s good. We see that as a very positive move,” he says.

However the principal says despite the number of students opting for the earlier start, the 10.15am start is not under threat.

“It’s an icon of the school, we’re not about to pull it apart.”

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is a Radio Journalist at, Whitireia Journalism School.
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