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Thread: School Discipline in NZ how does it compare?

  1. #1
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    Default School Discipline in NZ how does it compare?

    Id like to know how, in your experience, how NZ school discipline compares to the schools in the UK, US, SA, or where ever you come from.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Hi Pearce

    Going from my/our own experience I have to say that EVERYTHING about schools over here is different to back in the UK. I'd like to stress the word different - NOT better or worse.

    As far as discipline goes we find that it's a lot more lenient/relaxed over here. The school our boys go to is extremely laid back and the teachers seem to operate a 'go with the flow' attitude. Again - this is not better or worse - just different. Back at home the boys went to a very small school which had set rules and regulations and the children knew where the line was and not to cross it. We were more than happy with that arrangement. Here discipline seems to be abit more of a 'wishy washy' area.

    I'm sure folks will suggest that this is because Kiwi kids are so well behaved they don't need the 'tonne of bricks' style of discipline. Again I can only go by my own experiences but I can assure you I've not come across any staggering differences in the levels of behaviour between NZ or UK kids.

    So to sum up - the discipline (and indeed the entire education) our sons are getting now is a million miles removed from what they were getting in UK. Part of me believes that the UK system was/is far superior but I am making a concerted effort to get use to things over here - and school is one of them.

    Can I park myself on the fence?

  3. #3
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    Hi Pearce,

    Although my kids aren't in NZ school yet I have friends whose children attend the school that my 2 will attend. It is a Catholic school and apparantly very strict. They send kids home if they don't wear their shoes. Now as Diny has experienced something a little different I think it is down to the school you choose. Like anywhere in the UK or the US the schools always differ with their discipline procedures.

    So depending on where you are going to live will depend on how much choice you have regarding schools. If it's rural you will not have much to choose from. The more urban areas have more to choose from.

    Not sure if you have this link

    http://www.tki.org.nz/e/schools/index.php

    Jo

  4. #4
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    I'm still in the states, but since I work in education on my scouting trip I made sure to visit a couple schools. I was mostly in departments serving children with disability but to get there I walk through the hallways. Several students gave me directions and I was impressed by their politeness. Later in the day I saw a large gorup of kids over at the local chips shop during lunch - that was a bit of a mad house!

    As for discipline in the special education class room I saw - it seemed to be to be based on respect for the student. The director called several kids over to show me what they were working on - normally this bothers me because the director just wants to show off and often doesn't know the kid well enough to do this without embarrasing them or asking them something way beyond their current learning - but this director clearly knew the students and had very high expectations but only asked the kids to show what they could actually do. They seemed to trust her, which made sense because she was setting the kids up for success and in the end I think the students were proud of what they showed me. I see some really strict "I'm in charge, you comply" teachers in the states, particularly when working with kids with autism (not everywhere, but these classrooms always leave a last impression on me) - and I was impressed with the approach I saw in the few classrooms in NZ.

    I'm curious to see what other people have observed...

  5. #5
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    we were so impressed by the way the kids themselves ran the crossing patrol.
    Can you imagine if a child in the UK tried to do that?
    In Gisborne they had a barrier and a flourescent jacket and they closed off the road like a train crossing to let the kids through.
    I don't know if there were any adults supervising but i didn't see any. So I guess they were self disciplining.

  6. #6
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    Kidz rule. that's the message we got from our kids school. Our eldest is due to go to college next (secondary - UK) and is looking forward to it as she is a social person and not academic, our youngest is academic and not that much into social stuff, he loves school and thinks its a laugh.

    Whilst the NZ way suits our (previously diagnosed ADHD) daughter our son has started lacking in the academic side of things.

    But there are little signs of bullying as there were in the UK.

    If there was ever a case to send someone to a private school that would be my son. But my daughter, it appears to be ideal.

    The teachers et al are really friendly and I think it is a case of help those who help themselves and the rest, well, they'll fall into line eventually.

    I must admit, they are very quiet when you walk round the schools (after no announcment of turning up). They welcome the chance to show you round the schools without prior notice - try doing that in the UK.

  7. #7
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    when visiting a few years ago, I noticed the school kids were doing the job of our lollypop ladies.

    I thought this was brilliant and probably gave the pupils a sense of responsibility and belonging to there school.

  8. #8
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    Plus saved the local council a bit of money too! Good idea though, gives the kids the chance to brave all those hoons burning up the roads.
    I just know that there is NO WAY that would happen in the UK. The roads are so overcrowded, and there isn't much courtesy in evidence.

    Back in the days when I went to a Catholic Grammar School in Liverpool (don't laugh you lot!), we used to have a prefect on duty outside the gate to stop us all turning right". This was considered beneficial to us from the boys school because the Catholic convent school next door had a sweet shop facing it and it was easier to get on the bus. But the head teachers didn't want that scenario, so if you really needed to turn right you had to get a pass from the deputy head. That would not happen nowadays, when even teachers outside the local "sports college" receive nothing but contempt and sometimes abuse from lazy, drug fuelled students.

    I like to think along the lines of what Diny is saying, that is the system is DIFFERENT. The UK education system is over-burdened with red tape, and is in need of fulfilling an exercise in government statistical propaganda, otherwise the funding mysteriously dries up. The children are worked far too hard in my opinion. And for what? My 7 and 10 year olds get no spare time whatsoever to play and be KIDS. They get an extraordinary amount of homework to do, compared to what I can remember as a child. I know homework is essential, but it seems that in the UK, in the big cities, the parents are being asked to do the job of surrogate teacher, and I do not mean shirking parental responsibilites, but augmenting the teacher because they aren't able to do the job due to class size/red tape. Anybody who knows us will tell you that we don't shirk on our parental responsibilities, far from it.
    I am not having a go at the educational establishment, I am understanding of the situation they find themselves in, because I experienced it myself when I was lecturing at a technical college. Not quite the same, but I understand. But I have not experienced the NZ system yet. If it places values on sportsmanship, honesty with yourself and self respect, and learning opportunity is there if you need it, then those students who want to will benefit from it. Opportunity is the word. I think too many children in UK now do not have that opportunity given to them. I haven't met any kiwi's who seem to be illiterate and they seem to get on in the world o.k.

    Time will tell. Sorry because this post went from 2 lines to this, bit longer than I expected but I have just woken up after a night shift

  9. #9
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    I think like all countries schools vary. Some are stricter than others. Some schools will suit your idea of what your child's education should consist of more than others. Everybody differs in what they feel is most important in their child's education. I want my children to be happy and in an environment where learning is a pleasure not a chore so they enjoy learning from early on. Hopefully we'll find a primary school that will help us to acheive this.

    we were so impressed by the way the kids themselves ran the crossing patrol.
    I used to do school patrol (as we called it) on a Monday afternoon at Whenuapai Primary School in Auckland. We'd get out of class five-ten minutes early (the main reason I volunteered), gather our flourescent clothing, cones and signs and head off to the crossing. Did it teach me responsibility, hmmm, not so sure . We did have a teacher supervising most afternoons.

    Debs

  10. #10
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    Every school IS different.
    I've worked in a school in NZ who had the most ridiculous rules I have ever heard of - also the most power crazy d.p.

    However - the one I am at now is much more relaxed - but oddly enough we still don't have a lot of behaviour problems.
    I think it's down to "self respect for others, themselves, their learning and their school"


    and I love teaching in an environment like that.


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