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18th of January 2018

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Old school reports: Education Minister Chris Hipkins v former minister Nikki Kaye

Then and now: Chris Hipkins, left, loved the arts at school, while Nikki Kaye favoured maths. SUPPLIED; STUFF

Then and now: Chris Hipkins, left, loved the arts at school, while Nikki Kaye favoured maths.

School is out for summer, which means report cards have been released across the country. Stuff looks back at the primary school careers of the new Education Minister, Labour's Chris Hipkins, and National's education spokeswoman, Nikki Kaye. 

Chris Hipkins said he felt "sorry" for some of his primary school teachers.

When Hipkins was 9, his teacher said even though he was "interested in what goes on in the world", he needed an attitude check. He enjoyed reading, but had "careless spelling".

Your thoughts on school reports Share your stories, photos and videos.

Nikki Kaye, on the other hand, was a star pupil. Teachers described her as "enthusiastic", and she was often awarded 'Student of the Week'.

READ MORE:* Must Do Better: New Zealand's Disappointing Report Card Results* School Report: What's hard about growing up in New Zealand?* Kiwi kids languishing compared to other developed nations 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said he was "probably not the easiest child to teach". He is pictured here at age 9. CHRIS HIPKINS/SUPPLIED

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said he was "probably not the easiest child to teach". He is pictured here at age 9.

What were you like at primary school?Hipkins: "I was quite creative, and independent from a fairly young age. I really enjoyed the arts."Kaye: "I asked my mum and she said I was average. We have agreed to disagree on this issue."

What did you want be when you grew up?Hipkins: "I wanted to be a vet, right up to secondary school. I've always loved animals. Still do, but I've changed tack a bit since then."Kaye: "Owner of a chocolate factory, then a doctor."

Did your teachers say positive things about your schoolwork and work ethic?Hipkins: "I was a bit of a square peg in a round hole; not as diligent and conscientious as I could have been."Kaye: "When I was 5 I got 'Student of the Week' quite often, and I believe the word 'enthusiastic' was consistently mentioned."

What was your least favourite subject? And your favourite?Hipkins: "Physical Education (PE). I was not the greatest at that. My favourite subjects were arts and music, I really got into that."Kaye: "When we had choir or anything musical – in part because my singing was severely average. My favourite subject was mathematics – because I liked to try and compete with my brother."

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What do you know now that you wish you knew then?Hipkins: "Your attitude is one of the most important things you can learn early on. If you have a positive, can-do attitude you can do anything."Kaye: "Not to sweat the small stuff."

How do you feel when you look back at your primary school report cards?Hipkins: "There are a few awkward moments. I was probably not the easiest child to teach. I feel sorry for some of the teachers now. You connect more with some than others."​Kaye: "My mum says they were a bit too kind to me."

Chris Hipkins' report when he was 9 said he enjoyed "browsing through books", but that he had "careless spelling". CHRIS HIPKINS/SUPPLIED

Chris Hipkins' report when he was 9 said he enjoyed "browsing through books", but that he had "careless spelling".

Nikki Kaye's Mum says she was an average primary school pupil. Kaye begs to differ.

Nikki Kaye's Mum says she was an average primary school pupil. Kaye begs to differ.

Chris Hipkins' report when he was 9 said he appeared "not to enjoy physical exercise". CHRIS HIPKINS/SUPPLIED

Chris Hipkins' report when he was 9 said he appeared "not to enjoy physical exercise".

 - Stuff

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