Learners today, leaders tomorrow

SEPTEMBER 12, 2016 / Articles

At Westmount School our goals are to create and deliver learning programmes that meet the educational needs of each student, and to nurture the attitudes and skills necessary for continual learning and personal growth throughout life. We achieve this with a focus on values and ethos.

Recently we spoke with two of our 2015 leavers, who provide great examples of the success of our approach.

Ernie Wearmouth and Timothy Etchell were among a group of 14 students to be successful in their scholarship applications through Massey University. A maximum of 150 scholarships are awarded by the university each year so to gain almost 10% of them demonstrates a very high level of academic achievement by our students.

Both students are working full-time, and integrating part-time study into their demanding schedules. Both acknowledge the importance of the tertiary qualification to the achievement of their career goals. While hard work and high achievement is a common theme in their journey, it is clear that resilience is too.

Ernie is studying for a Diploma in Business, and says the first semester was challenging, in coping with full-time work in Sales and Marketing and study. He says he didn’t do as well as he would have liked, mostly due to being very busy at work. However, he is committed because he appreciates the benefit of blending work and study in that the learnings can be applied.

“I find the real life experience is the best, and the theory helps to understand why some things work and others don’t.”

Ernie says Westmount’s Learning to Learn approach helped him to cope with the demands of distance learning. “The focus on time management, and producing assignments, has definitely helped in the transition to work and study.”

Timothy is studying for an Accounting degree part-time, and works in an accountancy firm. The degree is essential to his success in his role. Life is demanding, but he is well prepared.

“The instruction and guidance of Westmount School has been a key component in preparing me for post-graduate studies while holding down a full-time job.

“Firstly, right throughout school I was taught to be self-directed in my learning, thus I was used to not having to be guided in every step of my study pathway. I had developed my own initiative to plan my time to get assignments in on time.

“Secondly, I had the privilege to participate in the CAP programme in the last year of school. It was in this year that I began my degree-level study. This also prepared me very well for what post-graduate study was truly like, so I was ready for what the future was to bring.”