Here we share individual stories of our students, why they chose Hagley College and what makes it so different with the opportunities that our unique programmes offer.
Our maturity and independence as young people is encouraged.
I’ve never been told that my dreams are too big at Hagley. Instead, I’ve been given opportunities to pursue any goal I’ve set for myself. Next year, I’ll head to Victoria University to begin a degree in Psychology- I want to achieve a master’s, or even PhD qualification. What motivates me is a wish to help people who are struggling with their mental health; I’m also hoping to encourage more inclusivity within the field, like widespread use of NZSL to help people who are hearing impaired like myself. I’ve loved being able to take the Level 3 Psychology course at Hagley and it’s confirmed that I’m heading in the right direction.
Life is full of commitments like whānau, work, sports, coaching, and study. My teachers have shown flexibility and understanding when I’ve needed it. I’ve been able to catch up with anything I’ve missed, as well as take up opportunities to extend my learning. Our maturity and independence as young people is encouraged here, and the teachers work with us to find solutions and new ways of doing things. I feel trusted to make decisions for myself, not just about my education, but my wellbeing too.
Hagley has encouraged my academic abilities as well as allowing me to express my full self as a Year 13 Māori student. We’re proud of our name, Te Puna Wai o Waipapa, and I can feel proud here of my Ngāi Tahu whakapapa.
I want to pay it forward
My teachers have shown me that failure isn’t failure; that making mistakes is how you learn. The culture here is inviting, comfortable and everyone learns better when they’re comfortable. They look for and acknowledge the good. Feedback is always constructive and about what you need as an individual learner. They changed me from someone who didn’t want to try – to someone who constantly pushes himself. They open the gym for me at 7am so I can train. They respect me as an individual, as a human being.
Now I want to give back. I want to give others what Hagley has given me.
They saw I had potential; they saw things in me I didn’t know I had.
Leading from behind
I wasn’t really into sport before I came here – I liked watching more than playing. Now my dream is to play basketball professionally or become a sports coach, and the PE teachers take my dream seriously. They keep me busy, help me train and have nominated me for leadership seminars, but they also care about my wellbeing and connect with me on a personal level. This makes me feel supported. It makes me feel respected.
They saw I had potential; they saw things in me I didn’t know I had. I’ve learnt from them that leadership isn’t about being bossy, it’s about standing behind your words.