Poppy Johnston-Coates

My family moved to Christchurch from the West Coast. We were looking at schools and I wanted to go to somewhere that could fulfil my academic needs and enable me to meet amazing people. I remember being in the interview and just looking at Mum going, “This is it – I want to go here.”

The teachers here are super helpful and so approachable. They really focus on building inclusive, respectful relationships with us and ensuring that our learning needs are being met. I’ve got a broad mix of subjects from outdoor education to philosophy – which has been outstanding! Hagley recognises that everyone has different goals and priorities; they do listen to you and help you create your individual learning plan.

I think they’ve found this good balance between the traditional and the alternative educational paths – you can truly talk and work with the staff here to get what you need. The respect goes both ways – as a student you know that your voice is listened to. I’m passionate about the Predator Free 2050 goal so I spoke to management about creating a trap line around the school. The immediate response was ‘great – we’d love to help with that’. We’re just in the planning and fundraising stage at the moment but it’s wonderful that it’s so positive.

Hagley for me is a place where I can express myself, feel safe, and explore the many opportunities available here.