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New school and attitude to learning

Published: 8:16PM Tuesday February 03, 2009 Source: ONE News

  • Albany Senior School students
    Many secondary school students won't be taught today.

Tuesday was the first day back at school for many students but for one school in Auckland it was extra special.

Day one for Albany Senior School was exciting for everyone as it was the first day in a brand new school.

Albany Senior School is exclusively for Year 11 to 13 students. It has been built completely from scratch and has some very obvious differences.

The school has open plan learning areas and there are new names for old subjects.

But it is not just the physical differences, there are important philosophical differences in how students are treated.

There are no lunchtime or recess bells as students are thought to be old enough to know when lunchtime ends.

There is also a wide range of uniform choices, there is freedom of expression when it comes to footwear, students can wear their hair how they like and make-up is allowed.

"It makes you more responsible for the work place," says one student.

Albany Senior School has a very simple mantra.

"It's not if you are bright, it's how you are bright. Every student here has a gift and a talent that we want to develop," says Barbara Cavanagh, Albany Senior School principal.

The school says it wants to treat teens like young adults.

Old school theory would suggest giving teenagers such freedom is dangerous stuff, however Albany Senior School educators believe this new school solution is the way to go.