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09/08/2019

The new school I’m moving to is bad?

QUESTION
The new school I’m moving to is bad?
I’m 16 and I have two more years left of high school.

My parents recently bought a house in another city, so we are moving at the start of next year. The zoning system for schools (in New Zealand) means there’s only one high school in my area I can automatically enroll into, but it’s very bad. What I mean by that is that it doesn’t offer two of my Year 12 subject choices which are Classical Studies and Art History (not to mention, the percentage of students who gain university entrance is 15%, compared to my current school which is 33%). I’d like to pursue Art History in university, but how can I even study it at uni if my new school can’t offer the qualifications?

It’s too late to apply for “out of zone” enrollment at better, larger schools— what should I do? Should I convince my parents to rent a house in a suburb which has a better school (so I can automatically enter) or pray that the world will end on the 21st of December???

BTW, even if I went to the “bad” school for a year without taking A.H., and then transferred to a better school the next year, which offered A.H., I wouldn’t be able to take it because I missed it in Year 12.

ANSWER
I agree, this does seem like a tough situation. However, I can provide some insight. You definitely do not need to take AH at Level 2 to be able to take it at Level 3, I know plenty of people, who pick it up for Level 3, and did just fine. That’s because subjects like History and Art History do not actually build on knowledge from previous years in general. At Level 2, they study a particular era or movement, or whatever, and then at Level 3 it’s a completely different topic, so you wouldn’t be disadvantaged in that sense. Really the only advantage to taking it at Level 2 is getting used to what’s required of you — how to write essays specific to what the marker wants, and good research techniques, etc. This applies to universities as well. AH is definitely not a pre-requisite at Uni, as long as you get Uni Entrance then you will be able to pick it up. If your school has a low Uni Entrance rate, then make sure you’re one of the 15%, that’s something that is achievable if you put your mind to it and have the motivation 🙂

If you’re really passionate about AH, you could also study it in your own time if you think you’re going to be behind, just as a hobby, reading about eras, personalities of artists, etc. Then that way you could potentially go into Level 3/uni prepared, though honestly, I know about 60 new people picked AH up from my old school from Level 2 to Level 3.

I say that getting your parents to rent a house for out of zone is a bit extreme. You will do fine I’m sure at your new school, and you can definitely apply for the next year. Year 13’s the important one, so even if you don’t do as well as you possibly could have at Level 2, you might be able to make up for it if you move to a better school for Level 3.

Additionally, maybe you should call up the admissions office for some of the out of zone schools. There’s no harm in trying and asking if there’s any way they could fit you in.

Just some thoughts to ponder, hope this helps.