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What is the best age for starting school?

With the Education (Update) Amendment Bill facing its final reading this week, the public is focused intently on the proposed cohort entry policy which would allow children to start school prior to their fifth birthday. Here, Dr JOHN BOEREBOOM evaluates the international research and experience and considers what this means for New Zealand’s youngest learners.

Play misunderstood: the divide between primary classroom

SARAH AIONO of Longworth Education suggests that a successful play-based learning environment requires a level of skill by teachers not easily understood by school management.

Is ‘mat time’ a waste of time?

ANITA MORTLOCK shares her research about the common practice of ‘mat time’ in New Zealand schools.

The Herald’s report: the trouble with NZ’s primary schools

Thousands of children begin secondary school each year without the reading, writing or maths skills needed to make it through. The Herald's 'The Primary Issue' is the first of a series that looks at what more can be done to raise achievement for all Kiwi kids.

The sector speaks up: the future of New Zealand education

Education Review’s outstanding ‘Sector Voices’ special e-edition was published at the end of 2015, bringing together the varied and considered opinions of leaders, principals and teachers to reveal the key issues New Zealand education faces going forward. Here is a taste of some of the topics and views that emerged.

Hitting the ground running: meeting the national standards at age 5

Massey University doctoral student SARAH AIONO discusses the impact of National Standards on students in their first year of schooling.

Play-based learning: producing critical, creative and innovative thinkers

STEPHANIE MENZIES enters a plea to bring play back into the classroom.

Beyond the decile system

Many in the education sector believe the decile system isn’t working. Even the Minister of Education calls it “a blunt instrument”, and says she’d like to ditch it. Exactly what’s wrong with deciles, and can they be fixed? asks ELIZABETH McLEOD.

The primary years – NZC, Cambridge or IB?

While the vast majority of New Zealand primary schools follow The New Zealand Curriculum, a small number favour the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme or the Cambridge International Primary Programme. Here, proponents of each system discuss the relative merits and weaknesses.

Is the board of trustees model working?

DR STUART MIDDLETON questions the effectiveness of New Zealand’s current system of school governance.
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