Firstly we would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who supported their child’s life and learning at school by attending a learning catch up last week. It is such a privilege to be able to partner with families and support our students to fly in their lives and learning. We also know that the closer we work together to support students, they more positive will be their achievement and well being. If you were unable to make a Learning Catch Up please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher/s and make a time before or after school to touch base.
I was fortunate to spend last week in Christchurch with the Western Bay of Plenty Principal’s Association looking at schools and seeing some of the innovations that are resulting from the challenges the earth quakes have wrought on communities. One positive is the building of new schools that are focussed on teaching practice that is at the cutting edge. It was heartening to see that Welcome Bay is being innovative and challenging our practice to ensure that we are maximising our impact. There were also so great ideas to support our direction in terms of making links with the Te Whariki (early childhood Curriculum) and the NZ Curriculum, discovery learning, and ways to enhance collaborative practice to benefit children’s learning. These opportunities are extremely valuable for school leaders to keep our gaze on the future so that our school’s vision and development can be at the cutting edge.
Last week we held our annual Book Fair based in Room Tawa. We would like to acknowledge the hard work Sharon Williams invests every year in setting this up for us and coordinating all of the support that it takes to make it a success. This year has proven to be our most successful one yet with the most money being raised. This benefits our school and allows us to be able to continue to invest in quality, high interest books for our library.
KIDS CAN Mufti and Whacky Hair day!
Kidscan is an amazing organisation that supports our school in a range of ways from providing shoes to those in need to food. We absolutely appreciate their support of kids around NZ and would love to take the opportunity to support them.
On Friday 2nd September (week 6) we will be having a Mufti Day/Whacky hair day to raise funds for this amazing organisation.
The money we raise will help KidsCan continue their work supporting Kiwi kids in need. For more information on KidsCan National Mufti Day: www.kidscan.org.nz/muftiday
Please bring along a gold coin donation to support this.
Community of Schools
In January 2014 “Communities of Learning” was established to raise learning and achievement levels for all our children and young people, particularly for akonga (students) most at risk of underachieving. It is an exciting chance to be part of a new
initiative, where collaboration between schools is the key component to enable. The structure decided was for “Communities of Learning” to be formed across the country. These communities are made up of Primary and Secondary Schools in geographic regions that group together for the purpose of strengthening collaboration between schools to raise student achievement.
In total, there are 96 communities established throughout the country and together they have more than 250,000 students. As of April 2016, there are twelve communities fully up and running. This means the majority are in their initial phases forming a proposal, key appointments and strategy.
A community of learning model aims to:
○ Encourage and strengthen collaboration across the schooling system
○ Share professional expertise where it is needed in teaching and learning
○ Enhance opportunities for teacher–led innovation on new and good practice
○ Allow the schools to work together so a child’s journey through the education system is more seamless (their learning pathway)
Staffing resourcing is provided to enable the collective capacity to achieve identified goals.
Our story – the Tauranga Community of Learning
“To collaboratively enable innovation and rich learning opportunities as the basis for raising student engagement, accelerating student progress and achievement, effectively transitioning students, and to foster the growth of the whole individual.”
Establishing the community will enhance and provide a way to extend collaborative opportunities, with the ultimate goal of enabling innovation and a seamlessness of progression in learning across the sector from early childhood through to year thirteen. This will be achieved through empowering and nurturing the expertise and resources from within the community of learning.
We formed in November 2015 and are made up of the following schools:
○ Tauranga Girls’ and Boys’ Colleges (Year 9 – 13)
○ Tauranga Intermediate (Year 7 & 8)
○ Tauranga Primary (Year 1 – 6)
○ Gate Pa School (Year 1 – 6)
○ Greenpark School (Year 1 – 6)
○ Welcome Bay School (Year 1 – 6)
○ Oropi School (Year 1 – 8)
From February 2016, the Community started putting together a proposal for submission to the Ministry of Education. This has been handed in and we have established a Memorandum of Agreement between all the schools involved. The total number of students represented in the Tauranga Community of Learning is approximately 6500. There is a natural flow of students from the primary schools through to the boys’ and girls’ secondary schools. The schools within the Community of Learning offer a diversity of contexts that includes socio-economic backgrounds of students, semi-rural/urban, ethnic mix, and school size. Tauranga Peninsula CoL affiliates to nga iwi o Tauranga Moana: Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui and Ngati Pukenga. Working closely with iwi to align our mutual educational goals, aspirations, and to jointly address challenges is an essential element of the Community.
The schools within the Tauranga Peninsula Community of Learning have a track record of collaboration through initiatives such as EHSAS (Extending Higher Standards Across Schools) and moderation practices for National Standards. The Principals, Senior Leaders and Boards have already displayed the values of mutual respect in developing this proposal. A sense of excitement has been generated throughout the COL regarding the potential innovation that can emerge to address Achievement Challenges.
○ Raising learner engagement in schooling.
○ Accelerating learner progress and achievement, with an emphasis on priority learners.
○ Effectively transitioning learners both between year levels and schooling contexts.
○ Fostering the growth of all learners, with equal importance placed on social, physical and academic outcomes through:
a. Collective responsibility and accountability for the outcomes of all learners in our COL
b. Development of shared understandings and congruence of practice between settings.
c. Working collaboratively to enable contextualised, innovative and rich learning opportunities.
d. Growing and utilising expertise from within the CoL
The process used to engage with schools and stakeholders
The Principals, Senior Leaders, and members of Boards of Trustees have engaged in collaborative professional discussions, presented data regarding their individual schools (including student achievement data, strengths, and challenges), engaged with the Ministry of Education, considered a presentation from Special Education, and identified other stakeholders to engage with such as Ngai Te Rangi, Ngati Ranginui, Ngati Pukenga, and Early Childhood.
Schools have highlighted their wish to explore innovation and rich learning opportunities as the basis with which to bring about positive outcomes for students. It was widely expressed by schools that previous attempts to address aspects of underachievement (for example, Maori students) had a minimal effect. For example, focussing on professional learning for teachers in writing did not necessarily improve the engagement of boys in writing, or improvements gained have been difficult to sustain due to the withdrawal of intensive support. We need to have the ability to commit to longer term and shared intervention strategies that can be measured and developed over time. Support programmes and interventions up to this point have been sporadic and different in each school. There is a common understanding that we need to look beyond specific interventions and address the ‘whole picture’. Teaching and learning innovation, along with providing rich learning opportunities was at the heart of where schools believed real progress can be made. It is also about schools across the sector having a seamless, consistent and shared understanding of progression, assessment practices and pedagogical beliefs from Year 0 – 13.
Schools registered their interest in strengthening connections between early childhood-primary-secondary. It was recognised that each level of the education sector had an opportunity to learn from each other, and gain perspectives that they may not have considered in the past. Recognition of the importance, and giving effect to the positive transitioning for students (and their whanau) between early childhood-primary-secondary was considered as an i nnovative focus for impacting on student achievement outcomes.
The Achievement Challenges put forward by the CoL
Achievement Challenge 1: Addressing needs for identified priority groups in Literacy from Years 1-11 (Reading and Writing)
Achievement Challenge 2: Addressing needs for identified priority groups in Numeracy from years 1-11
Achievement Challenge 3: Addressing the retention of priority students in school education beyond their 16th birthday to raise achievement at NCEA L2
Achievement Challenge 4: Engagement and support of students with additional learning needs
Note: Key focus areas and methods to achieve our challenges are yet to be established. We aim to do this through consultation with each school’s community groups and communicate this as a Strategic Plan.
Resourcing and Staffing
Lead Principal Appointment
As of July 1 st , we have appointed Andrew King as the Lead Principal for the Tauranga Community of Learning. He is the Principal of Oropi School. Andrew is released for two days per week to complete CoL related work.
CoL Lead Principal Appointment Summary
After a considerable establishment process the Tauranga Peninsula CoL has recently appointed a Lead Principal. At the time of appointment, the schools engaged in the CoL include Welcome Bay, Gate Pa, Greenpark, Tauranga Primary, Tauranga Intermediate, Tauranga Boys College, Tauranga Girls College, and Oropi. The process for appointing the lead principal initially required a response from within the CoL for an expression of interest, which had to be supported by the Principal’s Board of Trustees as it involves a 0.4 release component. At this time one principal expressed an interest, being Andrew King from Oropi School.
A robust process accompanied the appointment, even though we only had one applicant. This is to ensure that this important role has a quality principal leading whom has the capacity to support the CoL to achieve the aspirational goals that have been established. The process required Mr King to submit an appropriate CV supported by references, including an endorsement from his Board of Trustees. A formal interview was held, including the participation of an external advisor contracted through the Ministry of Education. Their role was to ensure that the applicant met the requirements and was able to demonstrate the capacity to fulfill the complex role. After what was a very positive interview, the appointments panel formally offered Mr King the position, which has been confirmed and officiated by his Board of Trustees. This is a new role that will require a wide set of leadership skills and the Tauranga Peninsula CoL are committed to supporting Mr King in his endeavours to lead and develop a strong Community of Schools that can provide cohesive and highly successful educational experience and outcomes for our learners.
Other Community of Learning Leadership roles to be established
Later in 2016 we will be appointing across school lead teachers and within school lead teachers once we have a clearer understanding of leadership requirements. The allocations provided by the Ministry are based on the 2016 provisional roll figures for all our schools combined.
Across-School Lead Teachers
We will have eight of these positions to appoint. These teachers will lead in areas as identified in the strategy. Each of these roles will generate two days release time per week. They will have initiatives to lead across the whole community and this is why they will have a two day per week release component.
Within-School Lead Teachers
Our CoL has generated 41 of these positions to appoint. Each of these roles will generate four days equivalent release time per term. These teachers will support the implementation of initiatives within their own schools that link with the work of the across-school lead teachers. Each school receives an allocation of within-school lead roles based on the size of the school.
○ Each school receives $1,000 annually to assist with any costs associated with maintaining the CoL. The Tauranga Community of Learning has decided to put each school’s money together as one fund and over the coming weeks we will determine priorities for these funds.
○ The Community receives $23,000 of funding to support professional development needs for the leadership roles along with funding to support travel related costs.
○ Collectively, we receive a staffing allocation to enable teachers to work together in building a strong culture of inquiry and collaboration.
Timeline for the remainder of 2016
Action Timeframes (guide)
Jul / Aug – Inform school communities, school associated groups, and nga iwi o TaurangaMoana about the Tauranga Peninsula CoL Lead Principal Appointment. Inform school communities and school associated groups about the Tauranga Peninsula CoL process to date.
Aug /Sep – Hui with Manawhenua from each school
Aug /Sep – Iwi meeting to hear and discuss Iwi strategies and priorities
Informing Iwi of the CoL process and details to date
Sep /Oct – Consult school communities, school associated groups, and nga iwi o Tauranga Moana about the Tauranga Peninsula CoL Strategy (including gathering input on method, context and details for/requiring consultation)
Jul /Oct – Collate strengths and ideas each school in the CoL has to contribute to the Strategy and put together with feedback from consultation with each group
Oct /Nov – Draft Strategy, Action Plan and Lead Teacher requirements to be finalised
Nov -Appointments process for Lead Teachers
Nov – Feb 2017 -Lead Teachers and Principal to work on details of Strategy – Action Plan requirements for each role
PTA News –
Ice Skating coming to Welcome Bay!!!
New Website and newsletter format
Remember to share with everyone you know about the newsletter format, we had a 50% open rate last week from 149 families and it would be great to grow this each week. Remember you can access the newsletter via an email link or directly through our website via the “Our school information” drop down menu.
Have a great week.
Nik House – Principal