A well-rounded education provides much more than reading, writing and arithmetic skills – it empowers young students to grow personally, socially and emotionally, encouraging them to maximise their potential both in the classroom and beyond the school door.
For Sherree and Richard Lee, a globally recognised curriculum and holistic approach to learning were at the top of their educational wish list for sons Henry (8) and Freddie (5). After emigrating from the UK late last year, they were looking for a school which offered a seamless transition for their boys, and ACG Tauranga provided the perfect solution.
"We decided to send the boys to ACG Tauranga as it uses the Cambridge International curriculum, the same as their old school in London," explains Sherree.
"We were surprised and a little concerned about the NCEA style of schooling when we first arrived. We wanted the more traditional, formal technique that we were used to. However, we are not sure how long we will stay in New Zealand, so it's very appealing if we need to transfer schooling back to the UK."
Both boys started at ACG Tauranga in February this year – Henry joining the Year 4 cohort and Freddie in Year 1 – and they've settled in like a dream.
Says Freddie, "I love playing football on the field and reading books in the library at lunchtime with my friend Quinn. I like the work Mrs Stevens makes us do because I like writing."
"Once I made new friends, I felt more confident,” agrees Henry. “I like playing on the field, and I really like Mr Hanna; he's probably the nicest teacher I've ever had. Once I dropped my rock melon, and he gave me his apple."
Sherree and Richard believe the school has played a pivotal role in helping the family adjust to their new lives Down Under. And highlights such as Freddie cutting the ribbon at the library's opening ceremony have served as the icing on the cake.
"The transition has been very straightforward. The enrolments manager, Rachel Baldwin, metaphorically held our hand the whole way through the process of joining the school. From the first phone call to the boys' first day, she made what could have been a stressful process very comfortable for us. She is a credit to the school! The children and teachers were also very welcoming, and they put a buddy system in place. If the boys needed anything, they could just ask."
Plus, when a little additional support was required, it was close at hand.
"The UK has had many lockdowns and school closures over the last two years, which meant Henry had done a lot of homeschooling. This, coupled with the move, meant that some catching up was required. We felt that by halfway through the year, we were back on track. The teachers' commitment and interest in the students are impressive. They're accessible and very willing to help whenever needed."
Accordingly, enrolling at ACG was "definitely the right decision" for the Lee family.
Adds Sherree, "ACG Tauranga is absolutely worth considering if you want an academically focused, broad, and internationally minded education."