NORTHCOTE COLLEGE ADULT & COMMUNITY EDUCATION
Our mission is to offer a Community Education Programme
that enhances the economic, social and cultural development of the community
by providing affordable and accessible Life-Long Learning opportunities
SPECIAL CHARACTER OF ACE AT NORTHCOTE COLLEGE
We serve one of the most established communities in Auckland, let alone
New Zealand, but nevertheless a community which has seen recent change.
Northcote College commenced in 1877 on its present site as a primary
school and evolved into a college. Since 1949 we have offered a Community
Education programme. Together we have served our community for nearly
130 years. The community is diverse in that it has pockets of low socio-economic
housing and state housing alongside some high value housing. This means
that there is a refugee community, new immigrant community, middle class
and working families and also a significant retired population. The 2001
census showed our community’s ethnicities to be 9.9% Maori, 6.9%
Pacific Island, and 12.7% Asian with the balance mainly European. We
are situated just over the harbour bridge from Auckland City.
Our ACE programme, Education for Life, attracts
adults from across the North Shore as well as the inner city suburbs.
We offer a wide range of courses encouraging life-long learning for
all. These range from arts & crafts through computing and languages
to workshop technology and boating safety (particularly relevant in our
Our area has a large population of new immigrants and so we offer ESOL
courses at a variety of levels to help them improve their English language
skills. We also encourage our ESOL students to try other types of courses
so they can mix and meet with other New Zealanders and further improve
their communication skills.
Northcote College has excellent facilities, computer suites, art rooms,
kitchens, gymnasia, workshops etc, and our community education programme
makes good use of these.
ACE courses are held in the evenings and on Saturdays so that working
people, as well as parents who lack childcare during weekdays, can access
Non-intimidating, small classes operate in a friendly environment,
with tea and coffee provided at weekend courses to encourage social interaction
between students and tutors. The majority of our courses are available
only through community education, and our tutors are mainly enthusiastic
locals, who enjoy sharing their considerable knowledge with others in
Courses are short and affordable, and offer an opportunity to try something
new without committing to high tuition fees – good value for money!
Northcote College is easily accessible, being on the bus route from
Auckland city and several North Shore suburbs, and with good parking
CONTRIBUTION TO NEW ZEALAND’S IDENTITY
AND ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
ACE at Northcote College offers basic skills such as literacy, numeracy
and ESOL, as well as courses for people who wish to upskill or re-skill
so they can return to the workforce. Few courses have a pre-requisite – thus
they cater for all adults – promoting a positive use of spare time
with a holistic approach encouraging the development of the whole person.
In particular the various course areas provided contribute in the following
- Arts, Crafts & Photography – encourage people
to develop their skills and to foster their creativity. May also lead
to employment opportunities.
- Business & Career – help people to set up and
run their own small business, and to improve their management skills.
ie assists students’ employment opportunities.
- Computing – skills offered in a wide range
of commonly used software applications, as well as the Internet – facilitates
research, enhances work opportunities.
- Cooking – encourages students into a healthier
way of eating, away from the takeaway trap. Our tutors have found many
students lack basic cooking skills (eg poaching an egg) so these basics
are covered along with more advanced culinary skills.
- ESOL – assists new immigrants to cope with their
new surroundings and prepare for the workplace. Also useful for travellers
who wish to learn more about New Zealand’s language, customs
- Environment, Home and Garden – helps people to
value our natural environment and the importance of protecting it.
Encourages exercise and promotes a social conscience.
- Maritime Education – of particular importance in
our community where so many people own a boat. Students are encouraged
to complete the NZ Coastguard examinations at the end of relevant courses.
NZ Boatmaster ® is a qualification recognised by employers.
- Maori Language and Tikanga – encourage Tangata
Whenua to rediscover, and Tau iwi to achieve, a better understanding
of taha Maori. Promotes the development of a bicultural society. Enhances
- Music, Culture and the Arts – for those who
want to (re)discover the classics and meet with others with similar
interests. Encourages lifelong learning.
- Other Languages – important for those doing
business with companies overseas, and for those wishing to travel for
business or leisure. Furthers understanding between cultures. In particular
we offer Spanish, French, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean – all
languages spoken by our emerging trading partners on the Pacific rim.
- Personal Development – these courses improve
lifeskills, assertiveness, self esteem and self confidence.
- Health, Recreation, Exercise and dance classes
- our community along with the rest of the developed world, is beset
with problems of obesity. These courses promote the importance of physical
activity, and encourage people to build exercise into their routine.
Healthy bodies – healthy minds – healthy community.
- Workshop Technology – training for work opportunities,
increasing creativity, encourages constructive use of leisure time.
Learning practical skills such as welding, cabinet making and furniture
restoration are all intrinsically useful and can also open doors to
new fields of employment.
- Through passing on funding to local community groups we are able
to reach a different sector of our community who may not be comfortable
with the idea of returning to a “school.” Training
of Community Volunteers, Parent Education and Lifeskills such
as Anger Management are all supported by our programme.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE TERTIARY EDUCATION SYSTEM AS A WHOLE
TES Strategy 3
– Raise foundation skills so all people can participate in our knowledge
In particular our Literacy, Te Reo, Numeracy, ESOL and ICT courses
contribute to Strategy 3. Strategy 3 also mentions teamwork, technology,
learning to learn, communication skills and self-confidence as core skills.
We have a range of courses available, from Drama to Public Speaking,
Mind Games and Lateral Thinking to Self Coaching which improve these
- significantly improved adult foundation skills … in a range of learning
The Education for Life programme offers an
opportunity to those whose skills have become out-dated. Courses are
a stepping stone for those who want to get (back) in to the workforce
or advance their career.
TES Strategy 4
– develop the skills New Zealanders need for our knowledge society .
Our courses give students the confidence to return to
more formal learning, or to work. The nature of our courses (ie. short,
once or twice a week) means we can cater for a market not met by other
Tertiary organisations, and for students who may not have the time or
money to commit to more formal full-time education. We provide a positive
experience of ‘education’ which
may encourage students to try a more formal course in the future.
- Equity of access for all learners
– there are no pre-requisites for almost all of our courses apart from
some of the more advanced computing courses. All adults are welcome to attend
– High level generic skills
eg interpersonal skills, adaptability, critical thinking, creative & problem
solving skills are central to people’s participation in & contribution
to a knowledge society. … These skills are critical to the maintenance
of a healthy democracy and to the development of engaged and productive citizens.
Many of our courses could be shown to develop these skills. Working
in groups, participation in discussion etc is encouraged in many courses
improving interpersonal skills, while courses with a practical focus
(arts and crafts, cooking, workshop technologies, computing) encourage
problem solving & creative skills. People involved in life-long learning
are engaged and productive citizens.
Further we contribute to the
ACE priorities of raising foundation skills, encouraging life-long
learning and strengthening social cohesion.
Our ESOL courses are designed to help new migrants to adjust to their
new life in New Zealand. We encourage these students to join other courses
(such as cooking, dance, arts & crafts) to help them improve their
English language skills as well as to mix and meet with other New Zealanders.
Providing a venue where members of our community can come and make
new friends whilst learning new skills strengthens community cohesion.
While our courses are not exam based, they all encourage our community
to undertake further study throughout life, and promote the discovery
that learning can be fun! Continual up-skilling helps people in their
working lives, while those not in full-time employment, the retired or
those caring for others, are kept mentally active, decreasing the need
for government spending on health care.
APPROACH TO COLLABORATION & COOPERATION
WITH OTHER TERTIARY PROVIDERS
All North Shore Schools that deliver ACE, meet regularly,
and use a common newspaper format to advertise courses to all households
in our area. We contribute to a shared database listing all courses available
at all North Shore Schools, so clients can be assisted to find the course
they require at the most convenient time and venue. We also share resources
such as tutors with the other school-based ACE programmes.
We regularly attend meetings of the Birkenhead Northcote Community
Network, both to promote awareness of the lifelong learning
opportunities available at Northcote College and to help determine
community needs. A wider ACE network is being re-established to enable
better collaboration between all providers of adult and community education
on the North Shore.
We also regularly attend meetings of ASCEA, the Auckland-wide
Schools’ Community Education Association. We share information
about pupular courses, availability of tutors, etc. We are a member of CLASS,
the national association for community education through Schools, as
well as ACEA, the umbrella group for Adult and Community
Learning throughout Aotearoa.
Over the past few years we have distributed more than the required
15% of our funded tutor hours to local Community Groups,
to assist in delivery of ACE to adults in their fields.
- PTO’sFree B,
which runs Free Computer courses in our local shopping mall,
(funded through MIT) holds our brochures specifically for courses that we
provide and they don’t.
Extramile Training, a TEO based in Takapuna, provides training
for people returning to work in IT and Office Skills. They hold our brochures
and we reciprocate.
NZIE , a TEO based in Takapuna holds supplies of our brochures.
We reciprocate providing our students with information on their courses
which may be a stepping stone to further tertiary learning.
North Shore City Council
and ARC : We have developed links with their environmental
departments and share information on environmental awareness and education
WINZ offices across North Shore City are aware of
the Education for Life programme and pass on our brochure to
APPROACH TO FULFILLING TE TIRITI O WAITANGI OBLIGATIONS
See School ’s Charter.
We provide Te Reo and Tikanga Maori courses, as well as Harakeke (NZ
Maori make up around 3% of our total enrolments.
Funding is provided through tutor hours to the Onepoto Awhina, which
has a strong Maori base. We plan to consult with our local Marae as well
as having further discussion with the Northcote Community House – Onepoto
While enrolments from local Maori into courses of their choice is a
goal, so too is enrolment from non-Maori into courses on Tikanga and
Te Reo, as we believe this fosters a greater degree of understanding
APPROACH TO MEETING THE NEEDS OF PASIFIKA
Pacific people are under-represented at courses at Northcote.
Tutor hours are provided to de Paul House and Onepoto Awhina, both
of which cater to many Pacific Island peoples.
We plan to organise meetings with local Church people to try and determine
the needs of our Pacific Island Community and how we can help to meet
them. We will try to discover if there are other local community groups
who could be helped by the provision of tutor hours to fund courses for
this group of people who are often young and living in low income, multiple-family
APPROACH TO MEETING THE EDUCATIONAL NEEDS OF LEARNERS
- Education for Life classes are “Student
centred” – our tutors are flexible and respond to the needs
of the particular group of students in each class.
- Tutors complete a course outline stating desired learning outcomes
to be attained by the end of a course.
- Classes are visited regularly to check on tutor competence.
- Tutors are appraised by the ACE Coordinator.
- Evaluation forms are given out to all course attendees to provide
feedback on courses and tutors.
- Each year we survey both our students and the wider community to
determine the kind of courses they would like to attend. In our brochure
and newspaper advertisements we ask the public for their course requests.
- Further we consult with our Advisory Committee, as well as our local
community networks, to discover our community’s educational needs.
APPROACH TO ENSURING THAT THE ORGANISATION DEVELOPS AND SUPPORTS
A STAFF PROFILE THAT REFLECTS ITS MISSION AND SPECIAL CHARACTER, GOVERNANCE & MANAGEMENT
- The Education for Life programme offers
a range of courses to improve the economic, social and cultural development
of our community. Tutors with suitable skills and qualifications are
selected to deliver the courses.Our tuition fees are affordable. We offer 2 places at half-price in each
class to people on low incomes (eligibility is determined by their holding
a Community Services card.) Further we are happy to organise with students
so they can pay as their course progresses if their financial situation doesn’t
allow them to pay full tuition costs “up-front.” The times and
venues are such that our students can attend ie the courses are easily accessible.
We trial different nights of the week, times of the day, etc to see what
works for our community.
- ACE at Northcote has a coordinator and an administration/community
liaison person, each working 30 hours per week.
- Staff are committed to ACE, and knowledgeable and enthusiastic about
the benefits of lifelong learning. Professional but friendly, they
have good communication skills, and are culturally sensitive to the
needs of our multi-ethnic community. They are patient and approachable,
encouraging those people who may have negative past experiences to
take the first steps back into the education system.
- Annual appraisal of administration staff.
- Ongoing tutor appraisal, through Course Evaluation forms given to
all students at the end of every course and Coordinator appraisal.
- We encourage our staff to undergo appropriate professional development.
- The coordinator meets fortnightly with the College Principal who
reports monthly to the Board of Trustees.
- The Advisory Committee meets twice a year.
CONSULTATION UNDERTAKEN IN PREPARATION OF THIS CHARTER
A joint advertisement, with 5 other North Shore Schools which offer
Community Education courses, alerting stakeholders to the development
of our ACE Tertiary Charters, was placed in the North Shore Time Advertiser
on Thursday 1 July 2004.
This listed our stakeholders as:
Adults on the North Shore including parents and caregivers of school
School staff, ACE tutors, ACE students, North Shore Community Groups,
Local Iwi & Pasifika communities, WINZ, NZIS, NSCC, local businesses,
Charter has been made available to the wider public on our
website at www.learn4life.co.nz.
Our Advisory Board was asked for feedback.
Students and Tutors were informed, by e-mail and class notices, that
their input was welcomed.
We will continue to engage in ongoing consultation through participation
in the revitalised North Shore/Rodney ACE Network, and with our local
Birkenhead Northcote Community Network to ensure that the courses we
provide meet our community’s needs.