“The main purpose of my journey in New Zealand was to learn English and, of course, to have a challenging experience…I can say without a doubt that my experience at Macleans has been totally positive. I wish I could have stayed longer!” – Paolo Bima, Italy
Macleans College first made its mark on the global education stage back in 1980, hosting an intimate student community of just 199 students. Since then, this co-educational Auckland-based school has expanded to a beautiful 32-acre campus setting, home to a student body of more than 2,500.
“Macleans is relatively new, but since its founding in 1980 it has established a deserved reputation for high performance in the core business area of academic success,” says B. J. Bentley, Principal of Macleans.
The primary aim of Macleans’ curriculum is to provide a quality education in a stimulating learning environment, alongside the inclusion of well-researched education opportunities. Learning covers a broad base of subjects, including all seven essential academic areas and skills incorporated into the New Zealand Curriculum Framework.
The school accommodates students of all levels and abilities, with unique opportunities like the Extension Studies Programme for Exceptional Students; various levels of ESOL opportunities – an invaluable provision in today’s globalised society; and an inclusive health and life-skills programme, to name just a few. All this is delivered to an incredibly high standard by teachers who genuinely care for each individual student – and that’s how Macleans College has managed to maintain a glowing record for outstanding student achievement.
Macleans is New Zealand’s first ever Whānau school, with ‘Whānau’ meaning ‘extended family’ in the traditional Māori language. Each Whānau house encompasses a large, state-of-the-art building with spaces dedicated to a diverse range of social and academic activities. The Whānau promotes a warm, extensive family of more than 300 students, each serving as a sort of ‘mini-school’ within the overarching Macleans institution.
Every student is assigned a class upon arrival, with each class belonging to a designated Whānau house and being assigned its own specific charity. This house is where students remain throughout their entire Macleans experience, forming lifelong bonds with students from all four corners of the globe.
“As soon as I arrived at my Whānau or House I was warmly welcomed into a very close, family-like community that I have not seen at any other school before,” says Max Schaefer, a Macleans international student, originally from Germany.
“I was encouraged in every way to take part in a number of the many co-curricular activities presented to me. I became a member of various football teams with the highlight being captain of the second XI squad and my inclusion in the tournament team that went to China earlier this year. Moreover, I took up coaching football teams to try and give something back to the school that has offered me such an array of opportunities.”
Macleans has welcomed students from every continent since its humble beginnings. As part of its unique International Student Programme, all global members of the community are offered intensive assistance with English language tuition and the chance to experience New Zealand culture in a friendly homestay environment. On top of this, a team of eight qualified staff are on hand to help international students with their day-to-day needs, including tuition, organising accommodation and pastoral care.
“I would also like to express my gratitude to the International Department at Macleans, who managed to find the best homestay family for me that you could possibly think of,” says Max.
“I have become like a second son to my homestay parents and we have become very close friends. They supported me a lot, not only with my academic pursuits but also with co-curricular activities. My homestay Dad, for example, did not miss a single soccer match that I played during the last two years.”
Macleans recognises and rewards student achievement, encouraging excellence in the caring and supportive environment that constitutes the Whānau house system. Guided by the three cornerstones of high-quality academic delivery, outstanding pastoral care and the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities outside of the classroom – more than 100, to be exact – Macleans is able to focus on the development of students, delivering stellar education and leadership opportunities to ensure all students leave as well-rounded members of society, ready to work – and succeed – in a diverse international environment.
“Initially I was planning to stay here for a year only,” adds Max, “but after having experienced Macleans I decided to pursue my studies here. A major factor in making this decision was, of course, that the school offers the Cambridge International Examinations that will allow me to go to university almost anywhere in the world.
“Now, after two and a half years I am about to pack my bags and return to Europe after sitting the A Level examinations. To me, the last two years have been a very exciting time and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Macleans College in New Zealand.”
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