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Student Stories

Meet the Maystons – from NCEA to Cambridge

Many parents are hesitant about moving their child from a school with NCEA to one with the Cambridge curriculum.

But that’s exactly what Jo and Mark Mayston did for their son Henry, now in Year 7. They knew a couple of families who had kids at the school who “couldn’t speak highly enough of it.”

Henry had been at the top of his class at his previous school and Jo is the first to admit that his first term at ACG Tauranga was an adjustment.

“Cambridge was a shock to him, it really showed the differentiation between the two curriculums. He’s had to work at it, but he’s caught up and he’s in love with Science now. Having specialist science teachers teach him Science in a lab has been great – he’s really stepped up.”

Jo was conscious that boys can get lost in the education system and while private school was always an option for the family, Henry wasn’t a boarding- school-type kid. ACG Tauranga was local and seemed a good option, so they attended an open day and were immediately sold.

“We were captivated by the passion and enthusiasm of the teachers,” Jo said. “Henry wanted to sign up then and there. It was totally driven by him, he wanted it. That made the decision a lot easier.”

She says the care shown by teachers at the school is remarkable. When Henry, a reluctant artist, missed the deadline to hand in a project, his art teacher opened the classroom for him at lunchtime, giving up her lunchbreak to help him finish his work.

For Jo, it’s a story that sums up the ethos of the teachers at ACG Tauranga. “It’s the way they motivate these kids to want to do well, the way they support them and help them feel it’s a team effort. The little things like that – they’re well prepared to go beyond what you’d expect.”