Marlborough Boys College is a decile 6 school. In terms of family or community economics Blenheim is a very mixed region with a broad economic continuum. We have students that in larger urban areas would live in areas with low socioeconomic demographics. We have the opposite extreme and all other levels of income in between. An average decile rating in an area that contains all deciles from 1 to 10 would be 5.5. If we round that up you get MBC. Decile 6
Decile is purely an indicator of average income and is one of three factors that the American Psychological Association (APA) use to define the term ‘socioeconomic’. They state that the socioeconomic status of a family is “a combination of education, income and occupation” (APA, 2016).
The NZ Index of Multiple Deprivation was put together by Dr Daniel John Exeter, Dr Jinfeng Zhao, Dr Sue Crengle, Dr Arier Chi Lun Lee and Michael Browne and is based at the University of Auckland. http://nihiviewprd01.its.auckland.ac.nz/NZIMD_Double/atlas.html
Using 2013 census data and Geographic Visualisations/GIS we can gain a rough idea of the levels of education for our region and therefore the families our students come from.
The data shown on this choropleth map represents:
- School leavers <17 years old
- School leavers without NCEA level 2
- School leavers not enrolling in tertiary study
- Working age people without qualifications
- Youth not in training or employment
Urban Benheim shows up as having significant deprivation data. Meanwhile rural areas in the Wairau Valley show less deprivation. Further evidence of our diversity.
Using the StatsNZ 2013 census data set Marlborough’s we see further evidence of our bredth of student background.
Managers and Labourers make up roughly one third of the chart between them which typifies the wide spread that exists in our regional job market.
Overall MBC has a very wide range of student and community expectations, requirements and success trajectories.
In 2016 of our 251 senior students who left the college 60 went on to attend university or Polytech. 117 entered the workforce either in fulltime employment or an apprenticeship. We have no data on a further 48 leavers.
Those who entered employment took a wide range of roles. The pie chart below shows the numbers and the roles they took up.
In order to cater to this wide range of students the school must operate a very broad subject base. This is particularly true of our Level 2 courses which range from traditional subjects such as Geography and English to more wide ranging courses such as Viticulture and Furniture Making.
The result is a tight timetable that can be painful and inflexible to operate under with frequent clashes of student timetables. Over the years we have developed a wide range of courses that focus on differing contexts and content to meet the needs of our students. Stoll (1998) presents the importance of understanding school culture when moving towards school improvement. As we move closer to the building of our new school it is timely for us to reconnect with our community and spend more time thinking about who we teach, why we teach them and how we teach as opposed to what we teach.
“In order for integrated, constructivist education to evolve, we believe that educators must accept the challenge to remain open to emergent, validated approaches that can be integrated into an effective pedagogical repertoire” Harris, K. R., & Alexander, P. A. (1998). Integrated, constructivist education: Challenge and reality. Educational Psychology Review, 10(2), 115-127.
A less siloed stance with a focus on a mix of constructivist, constructionist and traditional approaches could, ultimately, meet the needs of all our diverse learners.
APA. (2016). Education and Socioeconomic Status.
Exeter, D. J., Zhao, J., Browne, M., & Lee, A. C. (2016). Towards a new Index of Multiple Area‐Level Deprivation for Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand Geographer, 72(2), 92-106.
Harris, K. R., & Alexander, P. A. (1998). Integrated, constructivist education: Challenge and reality. Educational Psychology Review, 10(2), 115-127.
Sinek, S. (2009). How great leaders inspire action. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talk at TEDxPuget Sound, WA.
Stoll. (1998). School Culture. School Improvement Network’s Bulletin 9. Institute of Education, University of London.