Paraparaumu College's annual Conferencing Day has been turned up a notch.

In recent years the day has simply been about students having a 15-minute academic performance chat with their form teacher.

While the important discussions have remained, the day has now included students having the option of participating in various activities, exploring trade career options, and meeting people specialising in wellbeing.

"Trying something new was kind of the focus of the day," said Kim Kelly, the college's head of careers and transition.


"We've tried to focus the day on trades, wellbeing, careers and academic tracking.

"It's all about the whole person, their future and their health."

"We've had really positive feedback from the students about the event and good take-up for the activities.

"We're just trying to do something a bit different to meet needs and make it a bit more exciting as well as trying to open their eyes to a wide variety of things."

Students, who were allowed to wear mufti clothes, could sign up for one to three activities which was very wide ranging from being a volunteer, rocking climbing, jazz/lyrical dance workshop, mental health panel, dodge ball, making a CV, university life panel, getting to grips with NCEA, graphic design, running a live show, photography, wearable arts workshop, ball makeup, flat cooking, barista training and a bus tour with Goodmans to see what the earthmoving company does.

The day also included the arrival of two of the Army's light armoured vehicles (LAV).

The college had been trying to get the New Zealand Defence Force to come to the college for the last three years.

But they were lucky this year as one of the Army's personnel, Lance Corporal Jake Low, who is a LAV crew commander, is the brother of Shelley Marshall, who is the college's careers administrator.


Discussions led to the arrival of various Army personnel, including a group from the Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles Regiment, based at Linton Military Camp, who brought the two LAVs to the college.

The day was supported by the Ministry of Education who helped with expenses.