School roll surges with region’s growth

ACG Tauranga Principal Shawn Hutchison. Supplied photo.

ACG Tauranga has experienced a substantive surge in its roll, with numbers up to 113 in 2017, from just 18 students two years ago.

Principal Shawn Hutchinson says with no waiting lists, it has plenty of capacity to take more students.

He believes it's an ideal private school option for local parents who don't wish to send their children away to a boarding school.

“The region is booming, which is great,” says Shawn. “At ACG Tauranga, students are getting the best of both worlds - the lifestyle benefits of living in the Bay of Plenty, and an internationally-focused education.”

ACG Tauranga will be holding the first of this year's four Open Days on Saturday, March 25, giving prospective parents and students a chance to find out more about the school's learning opportunities, which are focused around teaching to the international Cambridge curriculum.

“We strive for excellence and we're finding our learning environment has a lot of appeal for parents wanting their children to be competitive locally and globally,” says Shawn, who was appointed principal in November 2015 after three years at Beijing City International School in China. He was previously Head of Secondary at ACG International School in Vietnam.

“Our international curriculum is preparing students for the future, with an emphasis on literacy, numeracy and science. And we deliver it within a nurturing family environment, with an excellent teacher-student ratio. Children benefit from our very focused and personalised teaching approach.”

Tauranga businessman Peter McSweeney and his wife Gill have all four of their children at ACG Tauranga.

“We never considered sending our children to a private school, so the decision was a total 180° for us,” says Peter. “I always thought we would try to support our children through university, but then realised that we actually need to invest in education now, at primary and secondary level. It is just so important.”

As well as increasing cultural and artistic opportunities, ACG Tauranga is continuing to develop its specialist facilities. In Term Two the school will open a state-of-the-art gymnasium and sports centre. The three-level gym will be located at the heart of the 14.8 hectare campus, overlooking the sports fields. Covered viewing areas will provide seating for up to 500 spectators. The gym will also provide space for assemblies and school productions, as well as lunch-time and after-school clubs and activities.

The Open Day will give parents an opportunity to meet and chat with ACG Tauranga students, have a student-led guided tour and learn more about ACG Tauranga's Student for a Day experience, which allows prospective students to spend one or two days at the school to see whether it suits their needs and interests.

The Open Day is on March 25, 10.30am-2.30pm at 6 Keenan Road, Pyes Pa, Tauranga.

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