With an Excellence endorsement for Level 2 at the end of Year 11, Andre Castaing may have the opportunity to attend university at the end of 2016, earlier than most students his age.
The high achieving Year 12 student said that the key to his success is about enjoying learning and being enthusiastic about it too. “It’s about just maintaining a positive mindset and being prepared to do the stuff that needs to be done,” he said.
“It’s interesting seeing my class from when I started at Nayland, and the ones who just haven’t cared, have struggled,” he said when he spoke about the learning attitude of some students.
While most of the other students in his year group intend to sit for Level 2 credits, half of Andre’s six subjects are at Level 3. “I should get University Entrance this year and fingers crossed, Level 3 with Excellence,” he said.
The keen learner gave credit to his Year 9 accelerate English teacher, Ms. Forder, for enforcing the quote, ‘Self determination is the most important factor for the outcome of your life’ on her students, right from the beginning of the first term.
“I think that’s become self fullfilling overtime,” he referred to the quote from one of his first teachers at Nayland and the impact that it has had.
Andre said that the accelerate classes at Nayland are beneficial and cater for the students who need them. “A lot of that is about pushing students to where they want to be, but the students need to have some enthusiasm nurtured in them first,” he said.
As for New Zealand’s education system, Andre said that there are definitely some aspects that could be improved, although he said that lot of learning that takes place depends on the teacher.
He said that having an enthusiastic teacher, “Makes you enthusiastic about learning, so it means that you are engaged, you’re enfranchised, you’re enjoying it,” then added that Mr. McLellan helped him to enjoy his learning.
“Learning is progressive. You could say that the first time that you learned to write was the first time you learned to hold a pen and scribble, or the first time you did maths was the first time you counted, ‘one, two, three four,” said Andre, when he commented on the learning capability of students.
Andre said that his perseverance is what allowed him to do well in school. “You have to, have to, have to ask the questions when you don’t understand things,” he said.
For Nayland College’s pupil, Andre is yet to know what career he wants to pursue for the rest of his working life, or if he will even attend university. “Perhaps something sciencey, something commercey, maybe engineering, maybe air traffic control,” said Andre.
The decision to attend Nayland College came down to the location of where his family bought a house, that ended up being close to the school.
“I prefer co-ed school because I think it has a better atmosphere about it,” said Andre, although the decision ultimately came down to location. “We moved just down the road, it would make no sense to go anywhere else.”