What was going on at Ficino School in Term 1 2017?

As we near the end of Term 2, it’s a good chance to reflect on what the Ficino School students got up to in Term 1 2017!

Academic performance

There has been much in the news earlier this year about declining PISA scores which rank our country in English, Maths and Science against others in the world.  Whilst these refer to tests undertaken at high school level, Ficino School believes they highlight a need to address basic principles in primary schools.

Our students follow an enriched programme that combines the Cambridge Primary Curriculum with lessons on Shakespeare, philosophy, Sanskrit, drama, music and singing.  The addition of these subjects ensures that the whole child is developed, providing a positive flow-on effect to their engagement in learning and in-turn, their performance in national PAT tests.

In 2017, median scores for Ficino School students were significantly higher than national norms.

Alumni Connections

2017 sees Ficino School’s 20th anniversary celebrations fast approaching.  We are all looking forward to reconnecting with past students.

Bevan Tucker and Joanna Li, two high-performing alumni, returned to share their experiences and their personal ‘take-away lessons’ from their time at Ficino with a group of prospective parents.

They have both gone on to enjoy success in their high school careers.  Joanna was in the news recently for achieving a perfect 100 per cent score in her scholarship History exam.  She also received scholarships in History and English.  Joanna credited “getting in the mindset of thinking”, rather than focusing on learning facts.” as key to her success.  Bevan was featured after he spent three years building a beach buggy from scratch which he now takes to motor shows around the city.

Even though they went on to separate schools in 2014, their camaraderie and their fondness for their time at Ficino School was evident to see.

We will remember them…

Ficino School in Mt Eden, like many schools in New Zealand, acknowledges ANZAC Day as an important part of the school curriculum.  This year their senior students explored what the ‘Spirit of ANZAC’ meant to them, with two students going on to represent the School at the Mt Eden Intermediate Schools Speech Competition.

Head Girl Pearl Tucker focused on the courage that our soldiers would have demonstrated during the campaign in her winning speech ‘The Courage of the ANZACS’.  She delivered this speech at the Mt Eden ANZAC Day Service on April 25.

Dramatic pursuits

Shakespeare remains a key part of Ficino School’s enriched curriculum.  Year 7 & 8 students were lucky enough to host a visit from Miles Gregory.  Miles is Founder and Artistic Director at the Pop-up Globe in Auckland, the hugely popular phenomenon that was started in 2016.

Students will be performing a full version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest in November this year.  We look forward to sharing pictures of their costumes, rehearsals and set production.  Tickets will be available shortly.

Athletic endeavors

Athletics Day saw students from across the whole school turn out to compete under cloudy skies.  It was great to see another big turnout of supporters for our athletes.  It was also good to see our students support each other in the events (the unofficial mention for teamwork goes to the Year 3 students in the two-legged races!).  The windless day produced over twenty new School records.

Device-free teaching

Modern educational research highlights the quality of the teacher as the most important factor in the classroom.  Our students learn from face-to-face interaction with their teacher and peers, as opposed to the computer screen.

The development of a positive relationship and regular contact with their teacher allows for a very full understanding of each students’ individual needs.  It is also paramount to a student’s enjoyment and engagement in their learning.  Our teacher-led learning also fosters the development of self-discipline and responsibility for their own learning in our students.  Students are encouraged to use computers and the internet for researching projects and producing presentations.

Intensive training in ICT (Information and Communications Technology) from Year 7 ensures our students are well prepared for the needs of secondary school.