Papanui High School Visiting Speakers
We were delighted to host Lynette Archer (DP/ Acting Principal) and Kerren Langdon (Career Education Specialist) to share with us what’s happening at Papanui High School.
Lynette & Kerren with retired PHS teacher Denis
Lynette started off by sharing that the school uses a collaborative process called “Academic Counselling” which targets improved outcomes for students.  It involves a data based mentoring approach that builds personalised pathways for all students.
Every student has their own Academic Counsellor throughout their entire time at the school who supports them in setting goals for success.  Specific days are set aside to help students review progress and work towards their personalised goals.
Underpinning this approach is the expectation that all students will achieve academic success.
“There are 176 courses in the Senior School which include full year, semester and pathway options which give students a high degree of flexibility in what areas they are keen to focus on” explained Lynette. 
Kerren, a key member of the Careers Team, shared that their main role is to support students as they transition through and out of the school system.  This includes working closely with CATE, a professional organisation for people working in the fields of career and transition education, which help staff upskill and stay abreast of changes in the careers field.
 “A key part of our job is to give students a sense of direction and help them feel prepared and ready for what the future might hold for them” explained Kerren.
Some of the interesting patterns students will face in the future include the increasing number of our aging population who will be retiring which will be larger than the numbers coming into the workforce. 
In addition, approximately a third of students are likely to be in careers and / or jobs that don’t exist yet.  “This means we need to focus on equipping them with employability skills” suggested Kerren.
The school has a comprehensive careers website to help provide information and support.  They also provide a range of additional support which includes gaining their drivers licence, attending key careers related events, and visits to a range of employers which is especially useful for students nearing the end of their time at the school.
“We also hold a Year 13 conference at the Papanui Club which includes guest speakers, employers and past students” shared Kerren. 
Two specific programmes that also assist students are STAR, which develops and / or offers training experiences in a trade or vocational area of interest, and Gateway, that gives students the opportunity to spend one day a week with an employer.
Both programmes can also result in credits for the students. 
In summing up, Kerren noted that the school offers students opportunities that ensure they get to know what they don’t know in order to help them make more informed decisions.
We thanked Lynette and Kerren for their insights into the quite different opportunities the school offers compared to what many of our members would have experienced during their time in secondary education.