With bigger classes, fewer teachers, and a push towards open plan style classrooms, Polly Strang was worried her son Gus (12) was falling through the cracks in the public school system.
“I felt there was slippage happening. Gus was neither a problem kid or at the top end, and even though we were at a great school, he was just getting lost in the middle,” said the mother of three.
After attending an Open Day at ACG Strathallan, Polly and her husband Matthew were confident they’d found a solution, enrolling Gus to start at the school in January for Year 7.
“I believe ACG Strathallan is really hitting its straps. The school is working hard to build the sporting aspect of the school, and the facilities are fantastic. Some of these other schools are huge, and I think that is a real advantage of Strathallan – it’s smaller and not so overwhelming for a child. They’re not going to get lost here.”
While popularity for some of the country’s other private schools seem to be driven in part by prestige, Polly appreciates the fact that Strathallan seems to fly under the radar.
“It’s more down to earth, and it seems to me that parents send their kids here because they believe in the school’s core values and the education they’re getting, not because of status. Education and values are super important to me. I was so impressed with the kids who showed us around at the Open Day, what a lovely calibre of student.”
Although Gus has only been at ACG Strathallan for a few months, Polly can already see the difference.
“He’s having such a great time. He has signed up for the school production and he loves science. He’s feeling comfortable and he’s doing well. He’s a really happy kid.”
What’s more, he is thriving under the Cambridge curriculum, which is designed to bring out the best in children across all academic levels.
“The Principal pointed out that there’s a perception in NZ that Cambridge is only for the brightest students, because when it was first introduced, as a result of dissatisfaction with NCEA, many schools only let their brightest students take it. But, elsewhere in the world it’s usually the only curriculum on offer and all students take it.”
The holistic nature of the school, the welcoming and supportive environment, and the wide range of extracurricular activities are other big drawcards.
“ACG Strathallan is a great school. I can’t fault it!”