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Flaxmere teens heading out into the world

Teaching: Shakera Patuwai (above left)

Shakera Patuwai (17) is rapt with her choice; she is off to EIT to start on a three-year Bachelor of Teaching Primary. Best of all, she will be in the classroom from the very first week; rather than spending all of her time in lectures.

The EIT course places the teaching students into a school two days a week from the very start. Flaxmere College Administration Executive Kathryn Simmons, whose daughter is about to start her third year of the same degree, says that means the new graduates come out with “real classroom experience which is valued by principals”.

Shakira (Flaxmere deputy head girl 2019 and EIT scholarship recipient) has a passion for helping young children learn. “I want them to believe in themselves and be the best they can be.”

Computers: Rapata Ioane (above right)

The path to the future has been clear for a very long time for Rapata Ioane (also 17). He has also received an EIT scholarship. The Flaxmere College prefect has been keen on computers as far back as he can remember. “Probably from about age 4, I’ve always had a computer by me.”

But his plans go further than studying for the three-year Bachelor in computing Systems at EIT. His older brother Adam (Flaxmere head boy 2018) is just about to start studying engineering (mechatronics) at Canterbury University. The pair plan to team up at the end of their studies and start their own business building robots – the useful sort that help people with the tasks they can’t or don’t want to do.

Criminology: Amanda Philpott (below)

Amanda Philpott (18) is Flaxmere College Dux 2019 and has been awarded the McKibbon Scholarship. She will move to Wellington just after Christmas, to take on a double major at Victory University: criminology and psychology. Amanda has always been interested in crime; not the solving of it but the reasons behind why some people commit crime. “Understanding triggers, why some people commit crime and not others, and the whole debate around nature versus nurture.­ Human nature is so interesting; even as a child I would wonder why some people like some people, but not others.”

Flaxmere College a great springboard

All three speak very highly of the education and care they have received at Flaxmere College. For Shakira, it has been the whanau environment which means “you know everyone and we all get along, and the teachers are your friends. It’s a very comfortable space.”

Rapata, who has been at the college since Year 7, likes the small classes which means there is plenty of one-on-one teaching, “as well as the healthy positive lifestyle here”.

Amanda moved to Flaxmere College at the beginning of this year, after three years studying by correspondence.“It’s the best thing I ever did. Studying on my own did not have enough structure for getting University Entrance and I definitely wanted to go to university.”

She said the small class sizes, the strong focus on education as opposed to “rules for rules sake” and the environment meant she would recommend that other students consider the college. “What I really like is the teacher-students relationships that we have here; if they notice something is not quite right with you, they make the effort to find out what the problem is and help you with it.”


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