Trident High School has a strong history of students receiving Scholarships across many of our NCEA Level 3 subjects. Scholarship is the highest level of academic competition in NZ. It is a competition, not a qualification and it is run across most curriculum areas. The top approximately 3% of those who sit the exams gains Scholarship with the top .5 % gaining Outstanding Scholarship. Each year Trident has students gain Scholarship and Outstanding Performance Scholarship. Students who are awarded Scholarship in their subject demonstrate high-level critical thinking, abstraction and generalisation, and to integrate, synthesise and apply knowledge, skills, understanding and ideas to complex situations. The prestige of gaining Scholarship awards also comes with a monetary award to help during tertiary study and undoubtedly equips students for life beyond school.
Our teachers are busy working with our Level 3 students entering Scholarship in their chosen subjects, they put in time before school, during their break times and after school to ensure our students are as prepared as possible. The dedication of time and the high level of experience from these teachers means that Trident has an unsurpassed record of achievement at this top level in the Bay of Plenty for a school of our decile rating.
To build confidence and develop critical thinking skills for the students we also run a cross curricular programme of workshops which see the students problem solving and thinking both critically and creatively. These are team based challenges and develop thinking and learning relationships between the students and also between students and teachers. They might be centred around ethics – first introducing the concept of ethics and then presenting some dilemmas to solve. The benefits of teaching at this level, is that that the robust critical thinking generated in Scholarship classes help shape wider school academic and curriculum programmes that benefit all learners. In fact, the Scholarship programme is an open door opportunity for students to enter should they like a challenge. The door is never closed to students who like thinking, and year after year we find that often the ‘wild card thinker’ who is unafraid to take risks, gains Scholarship. Students enjoy the opportunity to extend and challenge their thinking, Courtney Wilson (Year 12) says "I love my English and Statistics Scholarship classes as they really open your eyes to just how much of the subject lies beyond the classroom”
Our principal Mr Gurney leads the way, along with a busy role as Principal he continues to be a hands on teacher, teaching a Level 3 Classics class as he has done for many years. Every Friday morning before school you will find Mr Gurney and his scholarship students working through various readings from different writers in university tutorial/seminar style where students lead the discussion and then argue various points. He also prepares students for examination papers by developing essay skills and wider thinking.
The PE and Health department has three students gunning for PE & Health Scholarship this year. All three students are required to write a report which focuses on a sporting topic of their choice which challenges assumptions and allows them to critically analyse the subject using media research as well as gathering their own evidence. They must also embed the Underlying Health Concepts as well as elements from the Physical Education Curriculum to have their best chance of being successful. All three students have been working hard on their reports since July and Mrs Emery and Mr Stanhope, who are acting as Mentors for the students are extremely excited to read their final pieces of work.
In English, Ms Bowe runs a Scholarship workshop every Wednesday where students explore how literature positions us to think about our human experience. Students learn to think critically about how texts reflect, reinforce and challenge social, political, psychological, philosophical, cultural and historical ideologies. Additionally, students are encouraged to read texts through an alternate lens such as: postcolonial, feminist, Marxist, structural in order to develop perspectives other than their own. Our aim is to create global citizens who want to be the change.
On Monday lunchtimes Ms Deeley can be found with her Spanish Language Scholarship students where they practice exams as well as have discussions about social and political issues affecting the Spanish Speaking world. In the group is a native spanish speaker so scholarship with her is not based on her acquisition of the language, but on the formulation of arguments and the discussion of topics.
Ms Nolan is busy running two scholarship sessions a week, Wednesday lunchtimes she meets with her Earth and Space Science students where students write essays for her to read and provide feedback on. Her week doesn’t stop on Friday afternoons, on Friday’s she runs an after school Chemistry Scholarship session where she looks at questions that will extend student knowledge of their current topics.
Ms Botha began Biology Scholarship sessions with her students in Term 1. Every Monday morning she takes a class from 7.30 - 8.30 where for the first two terms students completed an extra external assessment that is essential before tackling the Scholarship part.
In Music Mr Spence has five students working towards Scholarship this year, all majoring in Performance. They have been attending before school lessons since February with Mrs Chapman on Monday and lunch times on Wednesday to prepare for the exam in late November, now she has retired Mr Spence is taking these until the exams. Scholarship for these students involves a recorded 15 minute recital in early November and once that is completed they must complete a 3000 word reflection on their preparation and presentation of the recital.
Mrs Webster’s Statistics Scholarship group meet every Thursday morning at 7:30 am. The group work on different tasks that challenge them in analysis and critiquing studies and making conclusions based on statistical output. Year 13 Scholarship student Lachlan Spence says scholarship preparation “has really enhanced my understanding of level 3 curriculums. It has allowed me to have a more a comprehensive understanding of statistics as a whole and shown me how to draw connections between each of the different standards that we complete at level 3.”
Scholarship in the Visual Art’s differs from those in other subjects, students do not sit a separate exam, but submit work to accompany their folio board. The Art Department run lunchtime and after school classes to help Art students understand how to best support their folio submission through their workbook pages. Mr Lee supports 2 of his designers by finding them exemplars of past scholarship pages and brainstorming established artist models that fit well with what what is already completed for the folio and will also help inspire the next briefs.
In Calculus Mr Carroll meets with his scholarship students after school on a Wednesday where they solve difficult Math problems across and beyond the Mathematics Curriculum. Mr Carroll says the exam is extremely difficult as students are guaranteed to encounter mathematical contexts and problem types they've never seen before as it is what the whole exam is about: unfamiliar contexts. Year 13 student Christian Van Der Gulik describes Scholarship preparation as being very effective at linking up all the different areas that are touched on in class, and then extending upon this. He says that “above all it has definitely been very good for consolidating what we have learned in class."
Mrs Harison is running a scholarship programme for the first time this year in Japanese. Her student works with support from both Mrs Harison and our Japanese language assistant. The exam involves translating, comprehension and an oral section.
In Metal Technology Mr Dobbin works with his student whenever he gets spare time to do so and similar to Art there is no exam but a written assignment that accompanies the design portfolio.
We wish all our Scholarship students the best of luck and pay thanks to our hard working teachers who give so much to our students.