Saturday, April 16, 2011

CPS Year 8 graduation dinner, and an exciting summary of NZ secondary schooling

The school grade levels are a little bit different in New Zealand than what we deal with here in the States. Where Trey would have been starting 7th grade in August in Ohio, he instead found himself in the middle of Year 8 in July in Auckland. There, the school years start at the very beginning of February and go until the middle of December with two-week breaks in between terms (four terms/year) and about a six-week break after the year ends, which happens in the midst of the southern hemisphere's summer.

I liked their schedule very much actually. Made a lot of sense. Kids there start school when they turn five, by the way. As in -- the day they turn five they can begin. That would be Year 0 if I understood correctly.

Churchill Park School, where both of the kids attended class, is a primary school that goes up though Year 8. Most of the kids had been there since the day they turned five and so at the end of their time there, there's a big ceremony and a fun dinner and dance with funny awards given out by the teachers.

It's a big deal to the kids and the teachers and parents because from that point, a lot of them go their separate ways -- possibly to a school in a different zone or to a private school. Year 9 starts what they call college and the last three years of college are Years 11, 12, and 13, after which they go to university if they so choose.

OK not sure if any of you wanted to know all of that, but I have had a lot of Qs about these things, so hopefully you skimmed through or ignored if you don't care.

My main point here is the very fun graduation dinner that Trey got to take part in even though he'd missed the first 7.5 years of what they were celebrating!! :-) This wonderful group of moms and the Year 8 teachers put together such a cool night for the kids (between 30-40 total). It was so memorable for Trey as his last time with all of his Kiwi friends.

The dinner was held about a mile down the street from us at the Glendowie Tennis Club, where the kids and I actually took tennis classes and learned a bit while we were there. We all loved it! And it was a good place for a party.

Since they wear uniforms to school, it was weird to see them in regular clothes and they had a good time checking out each other's ties and shoes, etc.

That would be Alex on the far right. Funny kid. Here's Trey and a good friend, Matty C., and the fabled Miss Collins, a wise, wonderful woman and a teacher to the very bottom of her heart! Trey was so lucky to have been in her class.

While they had their fun, I joined the rest of my family and our fabulous friends, the Watsons again!, for some dinner down in St Heliers. Laurel had hair in her pasta. Not angel hair either. And I learned to say, "Is that grass??" from Finlay in a Kiwi accent. I'm very proud!

Not sure if I've mentioned the little gnome given to me by lovely Ohio friend, Samantha, just before we left. He went EVERYwhere with us and I sent Sam heaps of photos of him as he made his way through the beauty and restaurants of New Zealand.

I got a nice bottle of wine for my efforts in photography, which was lovely!! Fun memories...

xoxo to you all, K.


  1. where are all the comments? love the pic of the group of kids--so fun! what an eclectic group of kids!

  2. What a delightful selection of pics. to post. This year's Year 8 Levers' Dinner mums' committee will be interested to see the high standard, yet remaining informal, that we aim for. It really is a splendid event and a wonderful tribute to the students as they leave for their new and challenging secondary school life. Elizabeth-Esther