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2003 Summary Tables

We have provided some summary tables to give you the responses from a variety of questions on the CensusAtSchool NZ survey conducted in August-September 2003. We have not summarised every variable in the data base because we want to encourage students to pose statistical questions and investigate the data for themselves.

Total students taking part by year level:

Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10
Number 2244 2834 1945 2131 4573 3932
% 13 16 11 12 26 22

Total students taking part by gender:

Boys Girls
Number 8108 9551
% 46 54

Technology – Are you connected?

Technology access % Year 5-6 % Year 7-8 % Year 9-10
Cellphone 13 32 57
Computer 83 88 90
Internet 70 79 84
Calculator 58 78 92

Skipping – Are boys or girls the quickest at skipping? Here are the mean number of skips:

Gender Year 5 Year 6 Year 7 Year 8
Boys 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7
Girls 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.8
All students 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.7

Breakfast – Breakfast food choices by year groups

Item % Year 5-6 % Year 7-8 % Year 9-10
Milk 34 32 30
Coffee/Tea/Milo 29 29 26
Juice 21 20 19
Toast/Bread 43 44 41
Cereal 54 49 42
Fruit 17 18 16
Other 8 7 10
Nothing 5 8 13

Note: Percentages will not add to 100 as students could pick as many items as they had.

Region – total students taking part by region

Region Count %
Auckland 7825 44
Bay of Plenty 478 3
Canterbury 2025 11
Gisbourne 114 1
Hawkes Bay 455 3
Manawatu-Wanganui 1065 6
Nelson-Marlborough 737 4
Northland 545 3
Otago 685 4
Southland 293 2
Taranaki 520 3
Waikato 1457 8
Wellington 1716 10
West Coast 131 1

Favourite subject at school

Secondary Students (Year 9, 10)
Favourite Subject % Boys % Girls
Art 8 18
Computer/Information technology 8 3
Dance or Drama 4 13
Ecomonics 1 1
English 4 7
Graphics 5 2
Foreign Languages 3 5
Maori 2 3
Mathematics 6 5
Music 5 4
Physical Education/Health 33 18
Science 6 5
Social Studies 3 5
Technology – food & textiles 3 5
Technology – design & materials 9 5

 

Intermediate Students (Year 7 and 8)
Favourite Subject % Boys % Girls
Art 15 24
Computer/Information technology 11 2
Dance or Drama 4 21
Ecomonics 0 0
English 2 6
Graphics 1 0
Foreign Languages 1 2
Maori 1 2
Mathematics 8 5
Music 4 4
Physical Education/Health 31 16
Science 4 3
Social Studies 1 2
Technology – food & textiles 7 8
Technology – design & materials 10 5

 

Primary Students (Year 5, 6)
Favourite Subject % Boys % Girls
Art 29 41
Computing/Information Technology 12 4
Dance or Drama 4 20
English 4 7
Maori 1 2
Maths 19 10
Music 3 4
Physical Education/Health 13 6
Science 6 3
Social Studies 1 1
Technology/Design 7 2

Mean Reaction time (in seconds) by dominant hand and gender

Dominant hand Boys Girls
Left 1.18 1.23
Right 0.77 0.92

Travel time to school in minutes by region (% of students)

Region 0-10 11-20 21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 >60
Auckland 8 59 8 0 25 0 0
Bay of Plenty 23 47 4 0 26 0 0
Canterbury 66 21 13 0 0 0 0
Gisbourne 85 15 0 0 0 0 0
Hawkes Bay 12 79 9 0 0 0 0
Manawatu-Wanganui 61 39 0 0 0 0 0
Nelson-Marlborough 18 82 0 0 0 0 0
Northland 27 46 27 0 0 0 0
Otago 64 10 26 0 0 0 0
Southland 61 20 18 0 0 0 0
Taranaki 32 54 14 0 0 0 0
Waikato 18 60 23 0 0 0 0
Wellington 60 13 27 0 0 0 0
West Coast 41 0 6 6 0 0 48

• Do boys react faster than girls?
• Do girls skip quicker than boys?
• Are girls more likely to own a cell phone than boys?
• How many children go to school without having breakfast?
• Do Auckland children spend longer than other NZers travelling to school?
• What is the favourite school subject for boys?
• Do girls sit around more than boys at lunchtime?
• What percentage of NZ children can have an everyday conversation in Maori?
• How many NZ children were born in another country?

The results of a children’s census of 18,000 school children, released this week by the CensusAtSchool project team at The University of Auckland, will help build a unique picture of the lives of New Zealand children.

Megan Jowsey, CensusAtSchool New Zealand Coordinator, says the web-based initiative joins partner projects in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia and will allow New Zealand school children to answer questions about themselves and their international
counterparts.

The project, supported by Statistics NZ, the Ministry of Education, and the Department of Statistics at The University of Auckland, aims to enhance statistical enquiry in the classroom by providing a rich database for students to investigate.

“By taking part in the survey and then ‘playing detective’ with the data, just like statisticians do, students will discover interesting patterns and comparisons, that will bring their maths lessons alive.

“This will also raise awareness of the importance to society of data collection, as occurs with the national Census,” Ms Jowsey says.

Professor Chris Wild, Head of the Department of Statistics at The University of Auckland, says children in the 21st century need to acquire the skills that will enable them to use information technology and data to learn about their world and make informed decisions.

“And there is no better way for them to start learning these skills than by asking and answering questions about their own lives and those of their peers, both here in New Zealand and around the world.”

Children from 400 self-selected schools throughout New Zealand, took part in the recent online survey which included questions on height, foot length, eye colour, country of birth, languages spoken, technology access, breakfast foods, favourite subjects at school, travel to school, physical activities, role models, dominant hand and an electronic reaction timer.

A student randomly chosen from the 18,000 taking part is most likely to be female, to have brown eyes, to be in Year 9 (age 13), to attend a school in the Auckland region, to live in a household of four people, to have her own cell phone, to have access to a computer and the
internet, to travel to school by car, and to have art as her favourite subject.

Twenty percent of children surveyed were not born in New Zealand, with their countries of origin ranging across a huge list topped by Australia, Korea, England, South Africa, China and India. Almost one-third of students said they could hold an everyday conversation in more
than one language.

Family members are the most popular role models chosen overall. When asked to think of someone they look up to, 42% of students chose ‘family member’. This response was highest for the younger children, and by Year 10 (14 year olds) ‘actor/celebrity/singer’ was the choice
of 21% and ‘sportsperson’ was chosen by another 21%.

Art is the favourite subject overall for those surveyed, with physical education/health a close second. Physical education is the favourite subject for one-third of boys at Year 9 and 10, while girls of the same age favour art and physical education equally. Mathematics is the second favourite subject for boys in the primary school Years 5 and 6, while girls at this age prefer art then dance/drama.

One question asked what the child had had for breakfast that morning, with, 10% of those surveyed replied ‘nothing’. The traditional toast and/or cereal breakfast foods remain the most common choices, with some interesting additions reflecting ethnic diversity.

The question on technology ownership showed that more than half of those surveyed owned a cell phone. At Years 9 and 10, the first two years at secondary school, 90% of students had access to a computer at home and 84% had internet use.

Rachel Cunliffe, who developed both the website and online survey, says that many overseas countries are now looking at on-line voting and census collection processes.

“With almost 350,000 hits on our website to date, and encouraging feedback, it augers well for future use of such technology.”

The project was made possible by the award of a New Zealand Science, Mathematics and Technology Teacher fellowship from the Royal Society of New Zealand to coordinator Ms Jowsey. She is the Head of Department of Maths at Birkenhead College, but has spent a year at the University.

“I have had a really stimulating year organising this project, working alongside the statistics experts here at the university. The feedback has been positive from throughout the country, and the uptake by teachers and students has been fantastic.

“We hope to run the project again in two years time to produce some longitudinal data. Meanwhile the data is now available to schools to download and investigate.”

See www.censusatschool.org.nz

For more information contact
Megan Jowsey
CensusAtSchool New Zealand Coordinator
Royal Society of New Zealand Teacher Fellow
Department of Statistics
The University of Auckland
Ph: (09) 373 7599 ext 88586
Mobile: 021 0437491

Schools which took part in 2003

In 2003, 682 schools participated in CensusAtSchool:

Abbotsford School, ACG Junior College, ACG Strathallan, Akitio School, Al-Madinah School, Albury School, Alfriston School, Allandale School, Allenton School, Aorangi School (Christchurch), Apanui School, Appleby School, Aquinas College, Arataki School, Argyll East School, Arrowtown School, Arthur Burns School, Ashhurst School, Auckland Girls’ Grammar School, Auckland Normal Intermediate, Auroa School, Avondale College, Avonside Girls’ High School, Awatapu College, Awhitu District School.

Baradene College, Bayswater School, Beach Haven School, Bellevue School (Newlands), Belmont Intermediate, Bethel Christian School, Birchville School, Birkdale Intermediate, Birkdale North School, Birkdale Primary School, Birkenhead College, Birkenhead School, Blockhouse Bay Intermediate, Bohally Intermediate, Bombay School, Breens Intermediate, Broadgreen Intermediate, Broadwood Area School, Brockville School, Brooklyn School (Wellington), Browns Bay School, Bunnythorpe School.

Calton Hill School, Cambridge High School, Cambridge Street School, Cannons Creek School, Canterbury Christian College, Canvastown School, Carlton School, Carmel College, Carncot School, Casebrook Intermediate, Cashmere Avenue School, Cashmere Primary School, Catholic Cathedral College, Caversham School, Central Takaka School, Chanel College, Christ’s College, Christchurch Adventist School, Christchurch Boys’ High School, Christchurch Girls’ High School, Christchurch South Intermediate, Clevedon School, Clifton School (Invercargill), Clifton Terrace Model School, Clyde School, Coley Street School, College Street Normal School, Collingwood Intermediate, Columba College, Concord School, Corinna School, Cornwall Park School, Corran School, Cosgrove School, Cromwell Primary School, Cullinane College.

Dairy Flat School, Darfield High School, David Henry School, Devon Intermediate, Diamond Harbour School, Dingwall Trust School, Diocesan School For Girls, Dunedin North Intermediate, Dunsandel School, Duntroon School.

East Taieri School, Edendale School (Auckland), Edgecumbe College, Edgewater College, Elim Christian College, Elm Park School, Elmwood Normal School, Evans Bay Intermediate, Everglade School.

Fairfield Intermediate, Fairfield School (Levin), Fairton School, Fairview School, Farm Cove Intermediate, Favona School, Feilding High School, Fenwick School, Fiordland College, Flaxmere College, Fordell School, Foxton Beach School, Francis Douglas Memorial College, Frasertown School, Freyberg High School.

Gate Pa School, George Street Normal School, Geraldine High School, Gisborne Central School, Gisborne Girls’ High School, Gisborne Intermediate, Gladstone School (Masterton), Glen Eden Intermediate, Glen Massey School, Glen Oroua School, Glenavy School, Glendowie College, Glenelg Health Camp School, Glenfield College, Glenfield Intermediate, Glenham School, Glenview School (Hamilton), Grants Braes School, Greenmeadows School, Greenpark School (Tauranga), Greta Valley School, Greymouth High School, Greymouth Main School, Greytown School, Grovetown School.

Hagley Community College, Hamilton Girls’ High School, Hamilton West School, Hammersley Park School, Hampden Street School, Hampton Hill School, Harewood School, Hastings Boys’ High School, Hastings Christian School, Hastings Girls’ High School, Hautapu School, Hauturu School, Havelock North High School, Hawera High School, Hawera Intermediate, Hebron Christian College (Auckland), Hedgehope School, Henderson School, Henderson Valley School, Henry Hill School, Hereworth School, Heriot School, Hikurangi School, Hikutaia School, Hillcrest Normal School, Hillmorton High School, Hinds School, Holy Cross School (Henderson), Holy Cross School (Miramar), Holy Family School (Porirua), Hope School, Hornby High School, Horowhenua College, Howick College, Howick Primary School, Huiakama School, Hukerenui School Years 1-8, Huntly West School, Hurupaki School, Hutt International Boys’ School.

Immanuel Christian School, Inangahua College, Isleworth School.

James Hargest High School, John McGlashan College, Johnsonville School.

Kadimah College, Kaeo School, Kaharoa School, Kaihere School, Kaikorai School, Kaikorai Valley College, Kaimata School, Kaitaia College, Kaitaia Intermediate, Kaitangata School, Kaitieke School, Kakanui School, Kamo Christian College, Kamo High School, Kamo Intermediate, Kapanui School, Kapiti School, Karamea Area School, Karamu High School, Karori Normal School, Karoro School, Kauri Park School, Kaurilands School, Kavanagh College, Kedgley Intermediate, Kelson School, Kelston School, Kerikeri High School, Kingsway School, Kinohaku School, Kirikau School, Kiwitahi School, Kohia Terrace School, Kohimarama School, Kohinui School, Kohukohu School, Kokopu School, Koputaroa School, Korokoro School, Kowhai Intermediate, Kristin School, Kuratau School, Kurow Area School.

Lawrence Area School, Le Bons Bay School, Levin East School, Lichfield School, Limehills School, Lincoln High School, Liston College, Loburn School, Lochiel School, Long Bay College, Long Bay School, Longburn School, Lumsden School, Lyall Bay School, Lyttelton West School, Lytton High School.

Macleans College, Maheno School, Mahoe School, Mahurangi College, Makara Model School, Makaraka School, Makarewa School, Maketu School, Makikihi School, Makoura College, Makuri School, Mana College, Mangakahia Area School, Mangamahu Primary School, Mangatainoka School, Mangatangi School, Mangatoki School, Mangawhai Beach School, Mangere Bridge School, Mangere College, Mangonui School, Manunui School, Manurewa Central School, Manurewa High School, Manurewa South School, Maraekakaho School, Maranatha Christian School, Marcellin College, Marian Catholic School (Hamilton), Marina View School, Marist College, Marist School (Herne Bay), Marlborough Boys’ College, Marlborough School, Marton School, Massey High School, Massey Primary School, Masterton Central School, Matahui Road School, Matau School, Mataura School, Matauri Bay School, Maungaraki School, Maungatautari School, Maunu School, Mauriceville School, Medbury Preparatory School, Mellons Bay School, Melville Intermediate, Menzies College, Mercer School, Mercury Bay Area School, Merrin School, Middleton Grange School, Midhirst School, Miki Miki School, Miller Avenue School, Milton School, Miramar Central School, Mosgiel West School, Motu School, Motueka High School, Motueka South School, Moturoa School, Mountain Valley School, Mountview School, Mt Albert Grammar School, Mt Aspiring College, Mt Eden Normal School, Mt Maunganui College, Mt Roskill Grammar, Murrays Bay Intermediate, Murrays Bay School, Musselburgh School.

Naenae College, Napier Central School, Napier Intermediate, Nayland College, Nelson Central School, Nelson College For Girls, Nelson Park School, Netherton School, New Brighton Catholic School (Chch), New Plymouth Boys’ High School, New Plymouth Girls’ High School, New Plymouth S D A School, Newall School, Nga Iwi School, Ngakonui Valley School, Ngamatea School, Ngataki School, Norfolk School, North New Brighton School, Northcote College, Northcote School (Christchurch), Northcross Intermediate, Northland Health Camp School, Nuhaka School.

Ohariu Model School, Ohoka School, Ohope Beach School, Okaihau College, Okains Bay School, Okato College, Okiwi School, Omanu School, Omihi School, Onepoto School, Onerahi School, Onewhero Area School, Opaki School, Opawa School, Opotiki College, Opunake High School, Oranga School, Orautoha School, Orewa College, Oromahoe School, Otago Girls’ High School, Otahuhu Intermediate, Otahuhu School, Otaki School, Otari School, Owairoa School, Oxford Area School, Oxford Crescent School.

Paengaroa School, Paeroa College, Paihia School, Pakaraka School, Palmerston North Intermediate, Panama Road School, Paparoa School, Paparoa Street School, Papatoetoe High School, Paraparaumu College, Parawai School, Parklands School, Parnell School, Parua Bay School, Pasadena Intermediate, Peachgrove Intermediate, Pembroke School (Oamaru), Peterhead School, Picton School, Pigeon Mountain School, Pillans Point School, Pinehurst School, Piopio Primary School, Pleasant Point High School, Plimmerton School, Pollok School, Pongakawa School, Ponsonby Primary School, Porritt School, Port Chalmers School, Postgate School, Prebbleton School, Prospect School, Pt Chevalier School, Pt England School, Puahue School, Pukehamoamoa School, Pukekawa School, Pukekohe Hill School, Pukekohe Intermediate, Pukekohe North School, Pukenui School (Te Kuiti), Puketapu School (Hawkes Bay), Purakanui School.

Queen Charlotte College, Queen Elizabeth College, Queen Margaret College, Queens High School.

Rahotu School, Rai Valley Area School, Rakaia School, Ramarama School, Rangikura School, Rangitaiki Independent School, Rangitoto College, Rangitoto School, Ranzau School, Rawhitiroa School, Red Beach School, Remuera Intermediate, Renwick School, Reporoa School, Richmond School (Napier), Ridgway School, Riversdale School, Riverview School, Riwaka School, Rockdale Park School, Rodney College, Rolleston School, Romahapa School, Rongomai School, Rongotea School, Rosehill College, Roseneath School, Rosmini College, Rotorua Girls’ High School, Roxburgh Area School, Royal Oak School, Royal Road School, Roydvale School, Ruawai College, Rudolf Steiner School (Chch), Runanga School, Russell School (Porirua East), Rutherford College.

Sacred Heart College (Auckland), Sacred Heart College (Lower Hutt), Sacred Heart Girls’ College (N Plymouth), Sacred Heart School (Waikiwi), Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, Scots College, Selwyn College, Selwyn House School, Shelly Park School, Sherwood School (Hawkes Bay), Somerville Intermediate School, South New Brighton School, South Wellington Intermediate, South Westland Area School, Southbrook School, Southland Boys’ High School, Southland Girls’ High School, Spotswood College, Springfield School, St Andrew’s School (Timaru), St Anne’s School (Manurewa), St Annes School (Newtown), St Anthony’s School (Pahiatua), St Anthony’s School (Seatoun), St Bernadette’s School (Forbury), St Bernard’s College, St Bernard’s School (Brooklyn), St Brigids School (Tainui), St Cuthbert’s College (Epsom), St George Public School, St James School (P North), St John Bosco School (New Plymouth), St John’s Hill School, St John’s School (Ranfurly), St Joseph’s Maori Girls’ College, St Joseph’s School (Ashburton), St Joseph’s School (Dannevirke), St Joseph’s School (Fairlie), St Joseph’s School (Levin), St Joseph’s School (Nelson), St Joseph’s School (Oamaru), St Joseph’s School (Port Chalmers), St Joseph’s School (Pukekohe), St Joseph’s School (Queenstown), St Joseph’s School (Takapuna), St Joseph’s School (Temuka), St Joseph’s School (Upper Hutt), St Joseph’s School (Wairoa), St Margaret’s College, St Mark’s Church School (Mt Victoria), St Mark’s School (Christchurch), St Mark’s School (Pakuranga), St Mary’s Catholic School (Gisborne), St Mary’s College (Ponsonby), St Mary’s School (Carterton), St Mary’s School (Dunedin), St Mary’s School (Northcote), St Matthew’s School (Marton), St Patrick’s College (Kilbirnie), St Patrick’s School (Greymouth), St Paul’s School (Massey), St Paul’s School (Richmond), St Peter’s Catholic School (Cambridge), St Peter’s College (Palmerston North), St Peter’s School (Cambridge), St Pius X School (New Plymouth), St Teresa’s School (Karori), Stanmore Bay School, Star of the Sea School (Christchurch), Star of the Sea School (Howick), Stoke School, Stokes Valley School, Stratford High School, Stratford School, Strath Taieri School, Sunnybrae Normal School, Sunnynook School, Sutton Park School.

Tahatai Coast School, Tainui Full Primary School, Taita Central School, Takapuna Grammar School, Takapuna School, Tamahere Model Country School, Tamaki College, Tapawera Area School, Taradale Intermediate, Target Road School, Tarrangower School, Tauhara College, Taumarunui Christian Academy, Taupiri School, Taupo Nui-A-Tia College, Tawa College, Tawa School, Te Akau ki Papamoa Primary School, Te Awamutu Intermediate, Te Haroto School, Te Hihi School, Te Huruhi School, Te Kao School, Te Kauwhata Primary School, Te Kohanga School, Te Kopuru School, Te Kuiti High School, Te Kuiti Primary School, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Manurewa, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Ruamata, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Tamaki Nui A Rua, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Taumarere, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Wairarapa, Te Kura Kaupapa Motuhake O Tawhiuau, Te Kura Taumata O Panguru, Te Mahia School, Te Mata School (Havelock North), Te Miro School, Te Papapa School, Te Poi School, Te Puke High School, Te Puke Intermediate, Te Tipua School, Te Waotu School, Temuka High School, Temuka Primary School, Terrace End School, Thames High School, The Catlins Area School, The Gardens School, The Taieri High School, The Terrace School (Alexandra), Thomas Kennedy Junior Academy, Thorndon School, Thorrington School, Tikipunga High School, Timaru West School, Timatanga Community School, Tinopai School, Tinwald School, Tiraumea School, Tiritea School, Tokanui School, Tokirima School, Toko School, Tokoroa Intermediate, Tomahawk School, Tongariro High School, Totara Drive School, Totara School, Trident High School, Tuai School, Tuakau College, Turaki School, Turakina School, Turuturu School, Tutira School, Tuturumuri School, Twizel Area School.

Upokongaro School, Upper Atiamuri School, Upper Hutt College, Upper Moutere School.

Valley School, View Hill School, Villa Maria College.

Waianiwa School, Waiheke High School, Waihi College, Waihi East School, Waihopai School, Waikanae School, Waikare School, Waikari School, Waikato Diocesan School For Girls, Waikawa Bay School, Waikino School, Waikiwi School, Waimairi School, Waimata School, Waimata Valley School, Waimate Centennial School, Waimate High School, Waimauku School, Waimea College, Waimea Intermediate, Waimiha School, Wainuiomata High School, Wainuiomata School, Waipahihi School, Wairakei School, Wairakei School (Christchurch), Wairau Valley School, Wairoa Primary School, Waitakere School, Waitaki Boys’ High School, Waitaki Girls’ High School, Waldronville School, Walton School, Wanganui City College, Watlington Intermediate, Waverley Park School, Weber School, Weedons School, Welbourn School, Wellington College, Wellington Diocesan School For Girls, Wellington Girls’ College, Wentworth College, West End School (New Plymouth), West End School (P North), West Melton School, Westbrook School, Western Springs College, Westmere School (Auckland), Westown School, Westport South School, Westshore School, Whakaki School, Whangamata Area School, Whangaparaoa School (Auckland), Whangarei Boys’ High School, Whangaroa College, Whatawhata School, Whau Valley School, Whenuapai School, Whitiora School, Willowbank School, Willowpark School, Windwhistle School, Woodford House.

Zayed College for Girls.

This month saw the nationwide launch of CensusAtSchool NZ, an online survey for children to do at school as part of their Maths lessons. The project is educationally motivated and joins an international initiative which is based in the UK but has also happened in South Africa, Queensland, South Australia and is planned for Canada.

The New Zealand project is hosted by the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland, coordinated by Megan Jowsey, HOD
Maths at Birkenhead College, who has a one year NZ Science, Maths and Technology teacher fellowship awarded by the Royal Society of NZ. The publicity and web design is the work of Rachel Cunliffe of the Department of Statistics, with webserver technical work by James McGrail. The project has been supported by academic staff within the Department of Statistics, while Statistics NZ and the Ministry of Education have provided advice and guidance.

The project aims to involve children in the collection of real data that is relevant to their lives, so that hopefully their Statistics lessons will be more meaningful and interesting. The data will form part of the multivariate international data base and provide opportunities for children to compare themselves with their peers from within NZ and the other countries involved. Teaching resources, results and samples of
raw data will be available to teachers and students once the census is complete.

In the first 4 weeks over 15,000 students from 350 schools have completed the survey and with one more week to go the projection is for over 20,000 children to be involved. The response from schools so far is very positive!! TVNZ have helped boost the participation rate with coverage on “Holmes”. You can visit the CensusAtSchool web page at http://www.censusatschool.org.nz/.

Megan Jowsey

Source: http://nzsa.rsnz.org/newsletter/News58.pdf

Students throughout the country are taking part in the first census of primary and secondary schools.

More than 400 schools have signed on for the voluntary project, Census at School, which started on Monday as part of Maths Week and will run until September 12.

The on-line census is part of an international effort to boost statistical awareness among young people and has already been done in South Africa, Queensland, South Australia and Canada.

The New Zealand project is being conducted by Megan Jowsey, head of maths at Birkenhead College, with help from Auckland University and Statistics New Zealand.

Questionnaires have been designed for each class from years five to 10.

They ask for details ranging from age and hair colour to the length of the student’s right foot, what the students had for breakfast and their physical activities.

Data collected from the census will be compiled over the next three months and will be included in the international database.

Source: NZ Herald

She’s anything but average

By SUE ALLEN and MICHELLE QUIRKE

Have you ever wondered what the average New Zealand child might be like? Well, wonder no more.

According to a census of 18,000 eight to 15-year-olds, Wellington Girls College pupil Sara Connor, fits the bill almost exactly.

Sara, like most respondents to the survey, is 13 years old, travels to school by car, lives with three other family members — her mum and two sisters — and eats toast or cereals for breakfast. But her favourite breakfast is French toast.

She owns a mobile phone, has access to a computer, likes using the Internet — for listening to music and messaging her friends — and one of her favourite school subjects is art. The only box Sara does not tick — she lives in Wellington, not Auckland, where most respondents came from.

CensusAtSchool coordinator Megan Jowsey said the survey had asked 23 questions ranging from eye colour and height to whether boys skip faster than girls and how long it took to travel to school.

The results, on the New Zealand CensusatSchool website, can be accessed by teachers and will provide a rich and relevant database for students to explore.

One of the most interesting results was how many children were born outside New Zealand. The results show that 20 per cent of children who answered the on-line survey were born overseas in countries ranging from Australia, Korea, England, South Africa, China and India. Almost one-third could hold a conversation in more than one language.

Though most respondents liked art best, physical education was almost as popular. Younger boys rated maths as their second favourite subject, but younger girls liked drama and dance.

Census at School was developed at Nottingham Trent University three years ago, and 60,000 children from Britain, 3.5 million from South Africa and thousands from Australia have taken part.

New Zealand is the fourth country to take up the project, while Italy, Norway, Canada and United States have expressed interest.

So, what does the average New Zealand kid like doing in her spare time? “Hanging with her friends” and “listening to music”. And Sara said she felt far from average.

Source: The Dominion Post

Pupils jump into action for census article in Dominion Post today.

CensusAtSchool will feature tonight on the Paul Holmes current affairs show.