Global perspectives is a Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) course. There are ten schools in New Zealand that offer this course to Year 10 students, including St Paul’s. The programme is headed by the Head of Department (History).
Students are asked to consider knowledge in a more holistic and philosophical way. The course is very futuristic in its thinking and design. Students are asked to develop big questions on issues they face from a range of topics including global warming, poverty, the technology divide, demographic change, conflict and peace, education for all and culture and heritage. Students produce two research portfolios of 1,500 words, which are marked internally. They also produce a group portfolio in groups.
CIE have approved a group project theme, sustainability, which is taught at Tihoi Venture School, where Year 10 boys spend six months of the year taking part in outdoor pursuits. A course requirement is that the boys carry out global collaboration and contact students overseas on their topic. This is where the development of ideas, exploring values and genuine problem-solving, comes into its own.
Communication via iPads and the internet opens new worlds of information. St Paul’s initiated a global forum with the advice and support of Professor David Seedhouse. Students can post issues and survey students within the school and around the world on issues such as, school pride, cheating in sport or the nature of respect.
Junior scholarship programme
The junior scholarship programme is for Year 9 and 10 students who have shown exceptional academic promise. Meeting fortnightly, the programme looks to enhance certain key areas that are deemed essential for scholarship acceptance and top academic success in the senior school. While most state schools have a Gifted and Talented (GATE) programme that focuses on a student’s one skill of giftedness and extending that particular skill, this programme develops a holistic range of skills such as, group work, research, self-awareness, problem-solving and leadership. The students don’t simply do what they are comfortable with, but are encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and push themselves to expand their skill sets.
Included in the programme are inspirational guest speakers and a field trip to places of academic interest where the students will have the opportunity to speak with world leaders in various fields.