My own professional philosophy around the structure of schools includes the importance of middle schools or junior highs as they are sometimes known. These are school catering for years 7 to 9 or 10. My experience and research indicates this is the best way to cater for the educational and social needs of this age group. Forming large year 7 to 13 high schools does not do justice to these needs on so many levels.
I think generally speaking we can teach the American's a thing or two about education and teaching. However I like this quote from a recent article published in The Press,
Although loath to admit it, she prefers the system of junior and senior high schools in the United States. There, pupils are in middle or junior high school, from the age of about 10 until 14 or 15, when they graduate to senior high
Unfortualtely we (NZ) don't have a coherent approach to the structure of our schools. You can travel to 5 different towns and see 5 different schooling arrangements. Which to me speaks about to no clear philosophy about what schooling should look like in NZ.
"The learning was good at primary and intermediate," a teenage tearaway says. "At secondary school, everything changed."