Purposeful education pathway

Published: 04 Sep 2017
Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua


“When I leave McAuley I want to be a civil engineer.”

The setting of academic goals that build toward purposeful educational pathways and career options begins early at McAuley High School and supports student choices throughout their schooling.

Key messages:

  • Career research and goal setting is associated with subject choice from year 9
  • Family and whānau are encouraged to participate in the development of educational pathways and software
  • are provides them with visibility of how the learners are progressing
  • Goals are back mapped to identify what steps must be achieved at each  stage of the pathway
  • The school Career Expo supports students in developing purposeful education pathways and ensures that parents and whanau can also access the information they need.

Things to think about:

  • How do you draw on community resources to inform student choices about learning pathways and transitions?
  • How do you engage parents and whānau in those activities and decisions?

The evaluation indicators this video illustrates

  • Domain 3: Educationally powerful connections and relationships 
    • Evaluation indicator 
      • Community collaborations enrich opportunities for students to become confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners
  • Domain 4: Responsive curriculum, effective teaching and opportunity to learn 
    • Evaluation indicator 
      • Assessment for learning develops students’ assessment and learning-to-learn capabilities

This video is part of a series

This video is part of the series Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua. We created this series to inspire schools with examples of success in action. These examples highlight the benefits of fulfilling the evaluation indicators we use to review schools.

Remote video URL

STUDENT 1: At the end of year nine, when I had to choose my subjects for year ten, that's when I first was introduced to dream-catcher. And there's this test online, and the first thing I did was, you basically write down all your interest, and it comes up with suitable jobs for you in the future. So what you need to study.

STUDENT 2: It's a really big help to students, from juniors to seniors, especially when they're struggling to know what they need to work on.

RACHEL WILLIAMS: For them in terms of their career research, it's about finding out information. It's not about committing to, I'm going to go down this path, and this is what I'm going to do.

ANNE MILES: We also encourage the families because they can get on to dream-catcher as well. So this discussion between students and families about which way they want to go and what career they want to focus on, which is important.

STUDENT 3: It is very important to have a destination, because it helps us to choose our subjects for next year.

STUDENT 4: I was making sure that the subject that I chose is getting me into Uni, having University entrance.

RACHEL WILLIAMS: We don't just let them set goals of, when I leave school. I want to be a doctor. If that is the ultimate goal, that is perfectly fine but we expect you then have to go through and break it down, I want to be a doctor. Therefore I need to get into Med school. To get into Med school I must. And so it's constantly working back through the process to go, OK, what is it that I need to do in year nine. What is that I need to do in year ten, and so on.

STUDENT 5: Back in year nine I wasn't sure, but I think the environment here and being inspired by other teachers, I would like to be a primary school teacher.

STUDENT 6: When I leave school, I want to become a Civil Engineer.

RACHEL WILLIAMS: We've made some very conscious decisions over the last few years to make sure that we minimize how much time the students are out and about. So one of the things that we've done is, we organize our own careers expo, and we run that at school. The providers come to us.

The parents can go through it at the same time as the students, or they can go in later in the day. But it gives the students an opportunity to talk to those particular providers. And it obviously, minimizes how much time we have to have the students out of class and offsite.

STUDENT 1: After I graduated from high school, I plan to go to the University of Auckland and study law.

STUDENT 3: When I graduate from McAuley I would like to go to University of Auckland and study performing arts.

STUDENT 7: I plan to study at Otago University, and first year BioMed.