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As part of our self review in preparation for our ERO visit we collected student voice data as they responded to several questions that the review team were interested in. It was delightful watching the senior pupils take charge of this process and interview a range of children from all classes. Only a small amount of the total video footage has been used to create this short film however similar messages come through loud and clear from all of the children interviewed.

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At our recent Teacher Only Days during the April holidays teachers reflected on how our local curriculum is developing. With the introduction of National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics there is the risk that schools narrow their curriculum to focus on these areas at the expense of other areas such as the Arts, Health and PE, Social Sciences and Technology. We discussed this and confirmed that we are determined to ensure that our children experience a rich, authentic and balanced curriculum through which they can achieve the National Standards. We watched a fantastic presentation from Professor Ken Robinson about whether schools kill creativity - full of humor and very thought provoking. After watching this we were left in no doubt of the value of ensuring that the arts have a place in our curriculum. Enjoy.

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We have been continuing to focus on the development of the key competencies. As part of this work we have reached a shared understanding that the KC's need to be made explicit, visible and continually surfaced by teachers. One of the ways to make them visual is the development of classroom posters detailing our understandings of the KC's. See below...

Managing Self poster created in Comic Life
Relating to Othe

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This clip gives us some statistics about our changing global environment, when we reflect on this it does not take long to realise that our tamariki need to be prepared for future where the ability to adapt/respond to, and embrace change will be vital to their success. As a school it is our responsibility to develop a curriculum that will not only prioritise the aspirations of whanau but will also help to prepare our tamariki for global citizenship.

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The school vision has been revised and re-positioned in 2009. We have resurfaced a whakatauki that has long been associated with the school and used this for our vision statement...

"Iti te kopara e kaitakirikiri ana i runga i te kahikatea... Striving for personal excellence."

This statement is wonderful in it's use of poetical metaphor and imagery. A "kopara" is a small bellbird and in this case it represents a child in their primary school aged years. The kahikatea is the tallest tree that is found in the East Coast region, this is the image used for education. Literally translated the proverb speaks of a small bellbird struggling to feed at the top of the kahikatea tree as this is where the sweetest berries are found. The metaphor is that of a child working hard to achieve to their fullest potential. Hence our interpretation of "Striving for excellence". When unpacked further our vision statement means we want our children to be...

  • Achievers who realise their inherent potential and gifts through a love of, and commitment to lifelong learning.
  • Bicultural citizens who are secure in their unique identity thus enabling them to take their place in a diverse and changing world.
  • Kind, confident and courageous people of character who make a positive contribution to society.

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In T1 2009 staff spent two days exploring the Key Competencies, these sit at the heart of the NZC. The KC's are...
  • Thinking
  • Realting to Others
  • Using Language, Symbols and Texts
  • Managing Self
  • Participation and Contribution
During this time extensive work was carried our clarifying the KC's, determining what we would expect from our children an developing a rubric for "Relating to Others"
Relating to Others Rubric.doc

UPDATE - July 2009...

Since creating this rubric the staff have reflected on whether taking this approach is appropriate. When developing the Managing Self rubric we
we again collaboratively identified key criteria but rather than populate each part of the rubric with teacher created descriptors we have been using student voice to populate what would be expected in the junior, middle and senior areas of the school.
Koka Sue has been doing some further reflecting and is considering using the framework of the rubrics as a monitoring tool. Each child is to have a
copy of the 5 rubrics, these are populated collaboratively by the child/teacher/whanau with evidence of how the child is developing each of the key
competencies. This would be part of the child's learning portfolio and could include links to photos, video clips, wikis, blogs etc. Food for thought.

During our work on the development of KC rubrics we made the decision to explicitly link the imagery of the kahikatea tree in our vision statement to that in the levels of our rubric.

  • Kakano = Seed
  • Tipu = Seedling
  • Kohuri = Sapling
  • Kahikatea = Mature Tree

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