Monday, July 6, 2009

Rotorua to Singapore

The NZQA workshop in Rotorua last Thursday was a little annoying. Some of my fears were allayed, but my concerns about the direction NCEA is moving have not been put to rest. All regular curriculum subjects will have any unit standards converted to achievement standards. There will be a greater weighting of internal standards (you will not be able to have more than three external standards in a subject). There will be 20 literacy and numeracy standards available below curriculum 6 level. Students wishing to take an alternative English or Maths pathway may be able to take a course made up of these standards, some US on Communication English and some L1 ASs. Gone are the opportunities to do USs at Level 2 or 3.

I believe the balance has gone too far towards credibility and away from accessibility. NCEA L1 is not the final qualification we are aiming for for our students and we are too angst ridden about it. We are much better served by ensuring as many students as possible gain L1 so that they are motivated to aim for L2 possibly over 2 years.

After that Leigh, Lucy and I drove to Hamilton and took Thomas out to the Curry Pot in Hamilton East for dinner. It was great to catch up with him. From there we drove to Auckland and crashed in our Airport Hotel.

Things went smoothly at the airport apart from the computer having difficulty recognising us which caused some consternation for the check-in people. The flight was straight forward, but struggled to sleep so was a bit long. Watched a couple of movies (Broken Flowers, Sunshine Cleaning and something else).

Lucy had her bag randomly xrayed at Singapore.

Our hotel is very flash (5 star I think) but they had fogotten Lucy was coming so we have had to get another bed squeezed in.

Yesterday was a very busy day. We bought a concession touring ticket which gave us 48 hours to do heaps. Yesterday we did the City Hop on Hop off bus tour, followed by the Duck tour in the bay, followed by the Heritage Hop on Hop off bus tour, followed by the River Boat tour, with time for a quick pint!

Our hotel is in the SunTec Towers area and borders the Fountain of Wealth (world's biggest fountain!) and we have never returned by the same route, often getting horribly lost in the crowds at Suntec.

We finally made it back and spent some time in and beside the pool.

At about 7.00pm we heasded off to the Singapore Flyer (35m taller than the London Eye!) where we had a great view of the dress rehearsal fireworks for National Day celebrations occuring next month.

All day soldiers in tanks, pilots in helicopters and jets, and sailors in boats have been charging around practicing for the celebrations. They do this every Saturday to make sure they get it right on the day.

After our Singapore Flyer ride we wandered over to Beach Rd and had a great feed at Maggie's Restaurant. We ate there twice last year and really enjoyed it. We had chicken and cashew, hot plate beef and ginger, spring rolls and bok choy. All washed down with a cold Tiger Beer.

Got home in time to see the last 30 minutes of the Lions South Africa test and crashed.


Ariadne aka Marilyn said...

Glad you got to the Singapore Flyer. I've since found out that the ride is about 30min - not 1 hour. Hugs for Lucy.

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