Tue Mar IX
Cricket – I made 4 runs (second top score) but 3A2 still beat us by 7 wkts – I took one of them. When I came home the others had gone to a barbeque at Karens school.
Karen attended Kowhai Intermediate School, which is still going strong to this day. The education system in New Zealand was already alien to us and they decided to make it even stranger (because, clearly, they did all of this to baffle us!) by having a system whereby you didn’t go straight from junior school to senior school, but went to a halfway house of a school for two years inbetween.
It didn’t, of course, matter to Karen, because she was only going to be there for a limited time, but I remember that it puzzled me. I just didn’t see the point of changing schools, making new friends, and then having to do it all over again two years later.
If I am honest, I still don’t see the point. I remember hearing it said that it made it easier for children when they got to secondary school. This doesn’t make sense. Kids going to secondary school find it hard because it is somewhere new and because they are the youngest and (usually) smallest in the school. That still applies whatever age you start the school intake at. In effect, what happened in New Zealand was that they tried to ease this process by making it happen an extra time, when you went to intermediate school.
In essence, what they were doing was creating a training centre for the bullied and bullies. For children like Karen, who were bright, sociable and popular, this was never going to be a problem, but at the extremes of the intake it must have been an extra circle of Hell.
And here endeth the unusually philosophical post!