Kaikorai Valley Junior College pupils (from left) Harley Foster (11), Phoebe Fraser-Grant (12), Hanna Ingram (12) and Tearne Pearson (12) make themselves at home outside the junior college home-rooms. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Kaikorai Valley College has been split in two. In a bid to
attract more year 7 and 8 pupils to the college, the school
had been changed to a junior college (year 7 and 8 pupils)
and a senior college (year 9-13) this year, deputy principal
John Downes said.
He said the ''rebranding'' concept had been promoted because
the school had received feedback from the parents of
prospective pupils, who were concerned their
intermediate-aged children would get lost in what was
perceived as a larger secondary school with older pupils.
''And to a certain extent, there is still a perception out
there that Kaikorai Valley College is still essentially a
large secondary school with year 7 and 8 classes added on.''
Mr Downes believed the college offered all the advantages of
an intermediate, with year 7 and 8 home-room classes, as well
as the added advantages of ready access to specialist
facilities and specialist teachers in a number of areas.
''By promoting the junior college concept, we are saying to
prospective students (and their parents) that they will have
the best of both worlds, but with an emphasis on being with
their 11- and 12-year-old peers, and not being treated as
The junior college was being promoted as ''a stepping stone
to secondary education''.
At one stage, the college investigated reopening nearby
Kenmure Intermediate, which was closed in 1996, and using it
as a facility to accommodate the junior college's 120 year 7
and 8 pupils, Mr Downes said.
However, it was deemed too expensive and too far away from
the main buildings.
It was decided to keep the junior college ''on site'' and
rebrand it by renaming the home-room block as Kaikorai Valley
College Junior College, appointing Damian Burden as the new
head of junior college, introducing a junior college council,
establishing a separate badge system for junior college
pupils, revamping the junior college curriculum, and holding
junior college assemblies, among other initiatives.
The school was also working towards creating a dedicated
jacket for junior college pupils, he said.
''What this is essentially saying is that we recognise that
some students are destined to leave for other schools at the
end of year 8, especially single-sex schools, for family and
personal preference reasons.
''But this shouldn't be a barrier for them attending our
junior college in years 7 and 8.''
Mr Downes said while the school was delighted when pupils
stayed on through to years 9-13, it was certainly not a
requirement or expectation, and the school did not put
pressure on pupils to do so.
''We have had excellent buy-in and feedback from our current
year 7 and 8 students who enjoy having their own identity
within the wider Kaikorai Valley College and are feeling