16 October 2014 at 9:00 am

Rosehill College and Te Hihi primary school partnership thrives

Rosehill College is a large co-ed secondary school in Papakura with just over 1800 students and 160 staff.

Just ten minutes down the road, Te Hihi School is a full primary school in rural Karaka with around 200 students and 17 staff. Rosehill College has a well-established international student programme and Te Hihi is just starting out.

“In the past we have had the odd Korean student come to our school, but with Anne’s help we have developed an international student business plan, I’ve been to an ENZ fair in Guangzhou and we’ve hosted a study group from Taiwan,” says Kevin Bush, principal at Te Hihi School.

Anne Henwood is the Director of International Students at Rosehill College and she takes Te Hihi’s marketing material with her whenever she goes overseas.

“Our relationship with Te Hihi school is a real pleasure – and it makes good sense,” says Anne.

“As well as offering families a pathway for their child from primary to secondary education, our relationship shows we have strong connection with the local community and a serious commitment to our children.”

With a pathway through to Rosehill College, a Te Hihi School student can stay within the area and possibly with the same homestay family for the full course of their schooling in New Zealand.

Kevin has also noticed the benefit of having international students in the school on his Kiwi students.

“In August we had a year 8 short term study group come from Taiwan for five weeks – our children had their eyes opened as they got to know children from another culture. Asia is an area that they don’t get a lot of exposure to but going forward as a country, Asia is going to be important to them as adults,” says Kevin.

“The children that come to New Zealand on their own show remarkable resilience. The friendships that they make while they are here, especially if they stay on for secondary school, are likely to last a lifetime – providing valuable global connections for our children.”

In June, Anne hosted a visit by an agent from Guangzhou who spent the morning at Rosehill and the afternoon at Te Hihi.

“The agent really enjoyed her visit and it was great to show her both schools in one day, to demonstrate the strength of our working relationship and what we have to offer as a package,” says Anne.

“Back in her office in China she will have a much better understanding of our education system and everything we have to offer when she is talking to parents about sending their child to New Zealand.”

Marketing as a team is a long term proposition that will only bear fruit over time. As principal of a small rural school, Kevin is realistic about their capacity for international students.

“I’m planning for around six international students to come to Te Hihi over the next couple of years which seems like a low target but I am excited by the diversity even a small number of students will bring to our school,” says Kevin.

Anne agrees saying: “International students bring culture and diversity, as well as a willingness to learn, to be part of the whole English environment.”

“Some Rosehill students may never get the opportunity to travel so the experience they get at school with other cultures becomes very important.”

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