We build strong kids
strong families strong communities

Our philosophy on education

Korihi te manu The bird sings

Takiri mai i te ata The morning has dawned

Ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea The day has broken

Tihei Mauri Ora Behold there is life

Education is an important component of the YMCA mission. At YMCA South we hold to the fundamental purpose of the YMCA movement - founded in enabling young people to thrive and take their place in our community – our purpose is to ‘build strong kids, strong families, strong communities.

Put another way, we invest in the next generation. Education at the Y creates new opportunity. Our philosophy is based on the understanding that education is about developing the whole person. We believe learning is socially constructed and that we learn from old and new experiences. We also learn from each other recognising the unique talents in each person. We value qualifications as a statement of competence and the opportunities qualifications open up for us.

As a NZQA registered Private Training Establishment, we are specialist providers in Foundation and Vocational Pathway education. Our full-time programmes can lead to lead to NZQA level 1 and 2 qualifications. Unit standard and/or project-based assessments are features of our programmes and support the development of communication, problem solving, literacy, numeracy and interpersonal skills.

In accordance with section 234B of the Education Act 1989, The National Council of YMCAs of NZ has no known material conflicts of interest of any of the governing members of the establishment.

EER Report 2019: https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/providers/details.do?d-5425-o=1&providerId=938804001&d-5425-s=1

We approach learning through a framework that is founded on the process of connecting with people emotionally and building the trust and rapport that is the foundation for a positive working relationship. Without this work to connect emotionally with learners it is difficult to progress learning in a way that leads to success.

This is represented by a spiral-learning model, where learners are folded into our services through building a connection and trust before our programme work can be completed. As we work through our programme, people are folded out through a process of increased confidence and understanding of their next steps. To enhance this approach, all our programmes will have an integrated career development component.

This spiral approach allows us to embed programme components that provide the foundation for further learning - such as literacy skill enhancement or development of pro-social attitudes, behaviour and community engagement. It also allows us to draw on the broad range of unit standards we are accredited to deliver to develop programmes tailored to the needs of specific learners. In other words, YMCA Invercargill is able to tailor programme content to meet the needs of individual learners.

YMCA New Zealand is a Registered Private Training Establishment that delivers Tertiary Education Commission funded education programmes through its regional YMCA’s, including Invercargill.

TEC’s fees-free Youth Guarantee funding is about creating opportunities for 16 to 19 year olds (who are not currently engaged in education) to re-engage with education in a tertiary, rather than a school based setting. We seek to improve transitions between school, tertiary education and work. This is about increasing overall achievement and reducing the overall number of young people not in employment, education or training (NEET’s).

For learners funded through the fees-free Youth Guarantee, completion of foundation education provides an essential pathway to further education. Achieving Level 2 qualifications should be the starting point for the learner, with tertiary education organisations encouraging and supporting Youth Guarantee learners to progress to higher levels of education.

Students have this to say

“I was struggling at school with gaining credits and not attending. When I first started at the YMCA I had no credits, now I have 42 credits and I pretty much have perfect attendance.”

“I have achieved credits in Level 1. Before I came to the YMCA I didn’t have any credits. I was shy when I first came here, now I’m more open and honest. I love this course, the tutors encourage me to do more.”

“I see myself as a future farmer. At Y Rural I have a great opportunity to start getting the experience and skills to be a farmer. Learning great skills, lots of practical work, e.g. - maintaining farm vehicles, treating and handling livestock. I am currently working on fencing, mainly electric fencing. During this time, we are learning and experiencing farm health and safety. By doing this our community kids and farmers are happy and safe.”

“When I started the YMCA Connect course three months ago I was failing NCEA Level 1, but after a couple of months I gained Level 1 and I’m well on my way to get NCEA Level 2. I have made quite a few friends and it’s weird because I never had many friends my whole life. I am able to keep up my physical fitness and even gained an award for this.”

Education at YMCA South is proudly supported by