There are four dimensions to learning at PNINS;
Academic, Citizenship, Performing Arts and Sports.
Among the many principles, values and key competencies outlined in The New Zealand Curriculum, are 'Participating and Contributing', and 'Community and Participation'. At PNINS, our citizenship education is embedded in these two principles.
Citizenship is not taught as a separate subject, but is integrated into several curriculum areas - with social sciences being the key learning area. Our focus is on how people can participate in the world as critical, active, informed and responsible citizens.
Young people also develop understandings about their roles as citizens through a number of activities and experiences that take place in and outside the classroom or school.
At PNINS, citizenship is all of this and more. It’s about the ‘Intermediate Normal Way’. It's about having pride in yourself and your school. It's about doing what is right, and looking out for one another. It's about not bowing to peer pressure, and mastering the Five Keys to School Success. It's also about wearing the school uniform correctly, being a responsible citizen, and caring for the school and the local community.
The Citizenship Blue Badge/Star Incentive Awards recognise student achievements in citizenship at PNINS.
Student Voice is the individual and collective perspectives and actions of our young people, within the context of learning and education.
This includes active or passive participation, knowledge, voting, wisdom, beliefs, service, opinions, leadership, and ideas.
Student Voice reflects identity, and comes from a person's experiences, ideals, and knowledge.
Student Voice can be engaged in numerous ways within classrooms and schools. It allows students to share who they are, what they believe, and why they believe. They are enabled and encouraged to share this with their peers, parents, teachers, and their school.
Early in Term 1, each class elects a male and female class councillor. These elected students will represent their class on the school council.
School councillors, or class council reps, will then be invited to apply for the following leadership positions within the school council;
- Co-chairperson – one girl and one boy will be selected
- Secretary – one person will be selected
- Treasurer – one person will be selected
To apply for these positions, students must submit a written application to the principal. They must also attach a CV that highlights both their abilities, and their suitability for the position they are applying for.
Applicants for each position are asked to prepare and deliver a two minute speech. These speeches must discuss why they consider themselves the best person for this position, their perspective on future school council projects, and how we can improve across the school's four central dimensions; Academic, Citizenship, Performing Arts, and Sports.
Each applicant will then be interviewed by a panel, made up of our Principal, Deputy Principal and School Council Coordinator.
Class Council Meetings
Each class holds regular class meetings. These are lead by the class class councillors. At these meetings, students are able to identify areas for improvement, and propose implementation strategies. Developments arising from class ideas include ideas such as; lunchtime BBQ tables and additional lunch seating, Blue Badges, an inter–challenge playground, our 'Thinking of Others at Christmas' project, and the Year 8 graduation dance.
The councillors are also responsible for briefing their classes on upcoming school council organised events.
Blue Badge Awards
Blue Badge Awards are incentive achievement awards, designed to increase self motivation, commitment, participation and effort. Last year, students of all ability levels received Blue Badges in one or more of the above areas.
Each award has its own list of criteria, of which a certain number must be achieved before the Blue Badge is awarded. Students must fill in the nomination form to provide details supporting their application.
At regular intervals throughout the year, the Blue Badges are presented at nominated Friday assemblies, in front of teachers, peers, and parents. Students wear their Blue Badge Awards on their school jerseys, and are proud of the achievements that their badges represent.
The idea for our Blue Badge Awards surfaced during a school council meeting in 2004. The school councillor identified a school-wide need for positive acknowledge, and the concept of the badge was born.
After further consultation with students, staff, and the principal, the decision to implement the badges was made. A collective decision was reached regarding the award categories, and the following four dimensions were discussed and confirmed;
Academic, Citizenship, Sports, and Performing Arts.
In 2004, the School Council did not want this to be seen as an elite award, but rather as an incentive award aimed at all students. The idea was that any student could earn and receive a Blue Badge Award, if they worked hard and applied themselves. Today, our students view the ‘Five keys to School Success’ as a crucial starting point, offering guidance and support towards earning one - or many - Blue Badge Awards.
The star is only for the Year 8's who have a Blue Badge from the previous year,
Students who re-qualify for a Blue Badge Award in Year 8, will be presented with a Star Award to recognise and celebrate this achievement. Student achievements inside and outside of school is included in the Star Award criteria.
Throughout the school year, we hold five Blue Badge assemblies, led by members of the current School Council. The driving concept behind these assemblies is students acknowledging students; students celebrating the achievements of their peers.
Each assembly features a guest speaker - usually a former PNINS student - who excelled in one or more of the PNINS dimensions, before progressing to any one of Palmerston North's five secondary schools.
The assemblies also feature a performing arts segment. This is an opportunity for students to share their strengths and talents with their teachers, parents, and peers. The performance can originate from groups such as Kapa Haka, the school choir, the school rock band, dance groups, or the orchestra. Alternatively, students who have excelled in performing arts outside of school may be able to showcase an individual performance.