Wānaka Sun       

Parents say: let our children stay

Posted at 1:28pm Thursday 26 Aug, 2021 | By Daisy Watford newsdeask@thewanakasun.co.nz


Wānaka Primary School parents are pushing to keep 11 to 13 year olds at

the school.


A newly formed “Parents for Recapitation” group has launched a petition.


Principal Wendy Bamford told The Wānaka Sun parents have chosen to

take a stand after the Ministry declined to engage with the Board on the



A recapitation occurs when a year 1 - 6 school becomes a year 1 - 8 school.  Students now leave Wānaka Primary after year six.


Bamford supports recapitation at the school and praised the parents for being proactive.


“The school staff and Board are all aware that the later the transition to secondary school the better as the 11 - 13 year olds are at a vulnerable time, emotionally and socially. Year 8 is the better springboard for students to move into a secondary environment,” Bamford said. Retaining the students at primary school for longer would make them feel “more secure, safe, and less anxious.”


Holy Family Catholic School is the only primary school in Wānaka open to Year 1 - 8 students. There are also a number of full primary schools in Alexandra and Queenstown.


On the lobby group's petition page, WPS parent Amy Brown said Year 7 and 8 students should remain with their primary school peers.


“They play more if they stay with the primary, they don't get exposed to as much as soon.”


Andrew Howard, chair of the WPS board of trustees also signed the petition.


“I believe this is the right course of action for the wellbeing of our children and coping with network growth,” he said.


A recent survey at the school indicated 85% of parents favoured recapitation. It is understood Wānaka Primary School board of trustees held two information sessions on the matter in June, but that the issue came to a halt after the Ministry of Education said it would not consider recapitation at the school.


“The board has been actively pursuing this over the last year or so. So far there has been no move by the Ministry to engage in consultation about recapitation, despite parents, and the Board approaching them,” Bamford said. “Year 8 is the better springboard for students to move into a secondary environment. They are positioned, in a full primary, to be leaders and role models for younger students rather than try and compete with older age groups,” Bamford said.


“They have the freedom to play, on play equipment, in sandpits in the playground and to interact with younger peers, and not feel judged by their elder peers.”


The Wānaka Sun has asked the Ministry of Education for comment.


To view this week's Editon, please click here.




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