Special Academic Opportunities
Nelson College offers a range of efforts designed to support the special needs of students with abnormally advanced aptitudes. Many elements of this support also provide enrichment opportunities for highly motivated students. Students with abnormally advanced aptitudes can have exceptional ability in a range of areas: in the arts/music/theatre; in sports and physical abilities; in the cultural sphere; in crafts and trades; in leadership;, and other areas of human endeavor; and, the school’s GaTMo (Gifted and Talented, Highly Motivated) programme supports advanced and motivated students in all these areas.
A specific area of Nelson College’s GaTMo support is aimed at abnormally advanced academic students. This page is a resource for parents and students to better understand how the GaTMo programme works for those students; and it provides information about upcoming academic activities and opportunities directed at those students.
Auckland Writers’ Festival/U of Auckland – Auckland Trip
Linguistics Olympiad – Nelson
Model European Union/U of Canterbury – Christchurch Trip
Nelson-Marlborough Model United Nations Conference — Nelson
Philosophy Conference/Victoria U – Wellington Trip
Year 9 GaTMo students made a three day whirlwind visit to Wellington sites of historical, cultural and societal significance – all at the same time as the new prime minister was sworn in (We were on the balcony of the Beehive as she arrived at Parliament, exciting just for the sheer historical sense of the moment we could all feel.)
A bus and a ferry saw us alight in Wellington and it was straight into the first item of our very full itinerary: Government House, the place where the Governor General lives. Government house was like a small Buckingham palace. After our tour through the opulence of state, we walked to Pukeahu and went to the museum which gave us an insight into New Zealand’s involvement in the so-called ‘Great” War (1914-18). We then stood by ‘The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier’, taking part in the ‘Last Post’ ceremony. Representatives of our College laid wreaths at the Cenotaph to remember the sacrifice of previous generations.
As the evening came to an end, we had one final activity to accomplish: the Wright’s Hill Fortress. This innocent looking shed, which took refuge amongst the hill tops overlooking Wellington, in fact housed a number of intricate tunnel systems and artillery emplacements. It was not until we entered these spooky tunnels that we appreciated the sheer enormity of this Second World War subterranean network, designed to defend our country from sea-borne invasion.
The second day heralded another early morning wake up. Our first visit was to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. There we learnt much about inflation, the economy, how NZ money is printed (in Wales!), and how finely balanced the economy is . We then left the Reserve Bank and walked to the Supreme Court. After we learnt about the Court system in New Zealand, we walked to the High Court nearby. We learnt about Jury service, what happens to criminals and learned about how the highest legal matters in the country are debated and discussed. After we went to the High Court, we went to quite possibly the most important part of our Social Studies Wellington trip – Parliament.
One of our favorite activities was meeting two of the younger MPs from the Green Party, Chlöe. Swabrick and Golriz Ghahraman. The trip to Parliament was a great learning experience and it was very inspiring to see New Zealand’s youngest MP and first MP from a refugee background, both now having the responsibility to fight for the issues they are passionate about. These meetings changed our whole perception of the government and politics as it allowed us to feel connected to a person, not just a soundbite on the news. Labour’s Damien O’Connor and National’s Nick Smith also kindly took time out of their busy schedules to answer our questions, and to show their amazing mastery of many complex issues, which we greatly appreciated. It was only appropriate to follow the visit to Parliament with a trip to the National Library to learn more about Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Seeing the treaty itself and knowing that it is the basis of our country’s shared history was very special.
Our final encounter on the second day was with the Ambassador for the European Union delegation, Bernard Savage. We learned more about New Zealand’s role internationally in relation to one of our major trading partners.
On our final day we went to the Holocaust Centre and on to Matiu/Somes Island, and saw the sites where Chinese and German residents of New Zealand were held against their wills, and heard from a survivor of The Holocaust, absorbing sobering violations of human rights, which gave us pause to reflect on how nations can abuse their own citizens.
The trip overall was a mind-expanding and world-expanding experience for us all.
Student Academic Committee
The Student Academic Committee is composed of students from all facets of school life: International students, Boarding students, Day students, Maori/Pasifika students, and Refugee students, and is composed of students from all year groups. The purpose of the committee is to promote academic life and achievement at the school and to provide a student voice and role model for academics at the school.
The Peer Tutoring programme run by the Student Academic Committee gets underway late in Term 1 and runs through early Term 4 each year. It’s purpose is to have student-to-student support on academic issues or problems. Students may sign up to be either a tutor (to help other students with academics) or a tutee (to ask for help with academics) for either short term or long term duration by seeing a member of the Academic Committee.
Other Programmes & Activities
- Year 9 Academic Quiz – Term 1
- Brain Games – Throughout the year