Cambridge – A Guide for Parents 2017-04-21T22:38:48+12:00

Cambridge – A guide for parents


A bit of background

Our senior school (Year 7 and 8) has a long standing reputation for excellence. Available data has indicated that our students have consistently achieved the highest average entry scores in secondary placement tests, achieve outstanding placements in their respective secondary schools, and continue to achieve well in these schools. By all reasonable measures, and across a range of fields, our seniors have been well served by a rich curriculum, dedicated teachers, and by the many benefits that go with being in a full primary school.

In 2016, for the first time, Matarau School offered the Cambridge Secondary 1 Programme in our senior school.

This enabled us to make the world renowned Cambridge English and Mathematics Programmes an option for our senior students (and possibly the science programme from 2017).   This was especially good news for parents contemplating Cambridge as an option at secondary school, for those considering private schools for their child (at some stage), and for those keen to give their child a very thorough academic preparation for year 9. Our Secondary 1 programme will take students to within one year of the international Secondary 1 checkpoint exam.


And the cost?


Our seniors have the opportunity to undertake this programme of study (in full or in part) without private school fees.


Curriculum implications


One of the many advantages of the Cambridge programme is its flexibility. It readily aligns with many of the programmes currently offered at Matarau School, and within the Personalised Learning Framework we are currently unfolding school wide. Children, parents and previous teachers are invited to have input into placement decisions, so that we all agree on the most appropriate pathway for each child. Currently the Cambridge options only affect the provision of the core areas of Mathematics and English, (and later possibly science). All other learning is delivered within the broader curriculum framework mentioned above. Where a child is not considered likely to benefit from the full Cambridge Programme, their programme is modified accordingly.


And the wider curriculum?


The NZ Curriculum and the Cambridge Programme have been carefully mapped onto each other to ensure there are no gaps. Social Studies, Technology, Physical Education, Art, Music, ICT and Outdoor Education are integrated within the Cambridge Programme where possible ,or taught as they are traditionally taught.



Determination of Learning Pathway

Children learn in different ways, and have unique talents and needs. It is crucial to match learners to the optimal pathway for them.

When making these decisions consideration is given to the following …

… past achievement (and potential) in the

subject(s) concerned

… commitment to academic learning including application to homework

… personal learning style

… extra-curricular demands on time

… familial circumstances and commitment

Personalised Learning

Where possible, students are given authentic opportunities to develop their potential as self-directed learners. They set goals, develop plans, think critically and make their own choices along the way.

 Final Word

We are excited at the potential of the Cambridge Secondary 1 Programme to even better prepare our students for success at secondary school and beyond … irrespective of whether or not they enter a Cambridge Programme at Year 9.     We researched thoroughly before making this decision, and we are determined to implement Cambridge in ways which enhance the learning of every child, irrespective of their ability or learning style. Our commitment is to create a solid base in English and Mathematics, as a foundation for success in the other learning areas, and to create learners who are able to manage their time, set goals and make good learning and personal choices.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you wish to discuss what this exciting programme has to offer your child during these critical years of their schooling.

Kind Regards      

Kevin Trewhella   (Principal)

This prospectus should be read in conjunction with (all available, or soon to be available, through school or on /via our website) …

.. Our “General Year 7 and 8 Prospectus “

… “The Benefits of the Full Primary School”

… Cambridge – “Frequently Asked Questions”

… Cambridge Prospectus and associated curriculum material