Two Dunedin schools, Kaikorai Valley College and Queen's High
School, have been included in a pilot project that will use
sport as the catalyst to improve academic performance in the
Eight secondary schools have been chosen for the project.
The other schools in the Sport New Zealand initiative are
Aotea College (Wellington), Hillmorton High School
(Christchurch), Howick College (Auckland), Papakura High
School (Auckland), Tauranga Boys' College and Te Kuiti High
The three-year project aims to increase the number of pupils
involved in school sport and better connect secondary schools
to neighbouring primary schools and sports clubs.
"We are a decile 5 school and deal with pupils from all walks
of life and we see the enthusiasm our pupils bring to their
sport," Kaikorai Valley College principal Rick Geerlofs said
"We saw this project as a wonderful initiative that could see
the transference of that passion and enthusiasm come across
to their studies.
"The aim of the project is to bring about improved academic
and social outcomes for pupils and increase participation in
Kaikorai Valley College has a sports participation rate of
52% "and we are keen to see it increase during the three
years of the project", Geerlofs said.
"We are using sport as a context for their learning and
believe it will work."
The eight schools were selected from 41 that expressed an
interest. Working groups are being set up to look into
curriculum development, student leadership and sporting
Queen's High School has a 60% participation rate in school
sport and also expects that to increase.
"We are delighted to be part of the project because we see
the qualities and skills that are developed by sport as
valuable life skills and valuable in the classroom," Queen's
principal Julie Anderson said.
"We hope that the project will engage and motivate our pupils
for sport and take some of that into the classroom. We will
use a sporting context when teaching subjects like
mathematics and English."
Queen's also wants the project to help develop leadership
skills in its pupils by helping local primary schools with
Queen's has had a sports council since 2009. It is led by Roy
Shanks, father of former pupil and Olympic cyclist Alison
The Sport in Education project, which starts in the first
term next year, will draw upon the success and knowledge
gained from a similar project in the United Kingdom that now
includes more than 550 schools.