Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Distance Learning - Term 2

Today is Day 1 of Term 2 and our first experience of Distance Learning thanks to Covid-19. Our last day of the term was 26 March, since then staff have been working tirelessly preparing as best we can for the first day of term today.

At 9.30 this morning we started off with a schoolwide karakia and waiata. It was wonderful seeing so many smiling faces! After this classes broke off into various learning activities, guided by teachers and support staff. I participated in 3 senior Google Hangouts. We often talk about the importance of relationships and connections. I witnessed the power of both in our Hangouts this morning! Dorothy Burt reinforces the importance of teacher-led learning and seeing our staff's face is a 'gift' for learners, your are dead right Dorothy!

How did we get to today?
1. The Manaiakalani Programme (TMP). We are in our 6th year of TMP - Learn Create Share and the affordances of digital technology. I cannot think of a better time for visible teaching and learning, and rewindable learning to be available to us all. A massive thank you to Pat Snedden, Dorothy and Russell Burt for your relentless support and pursuit of equity in our education system! There are many other unnamed people and organisations who make TMP so successful ... you know who you are ... thank you!
2. Hornby Primary staff who have worked through their holidays to have sites up to speed, learning activities and devices in homes.
3. Kelsey Morgan our wonderful Education Programme Leader (EPL) who has been supporting our staff and principals within the Uru Mānuka Cluster - thanks Kelsey!

Hornby Primary School and Uru Mānuka are well-placed to confidently take on this unique challenge we find ourselves in. I thank all the above and feel very privileged and proud to be leading such a professional and committed team!

Kia kaha

An example of a class site with a Home Learning link for our learners, and a links to our Morning 
Karakia and Google Hangout.


  1. Wow Gary! You have every right to feel proud. Your learners and their whanau are so blessed to be part of this learning community that is so well prepared for this time. Thank you for the generous mention. I do believe that people who focus on a 'glass half empty' approach to technology have missed the power it has to enable connections in a way that our ancestors would have thought was science fiction. The eye contact, the beaming smiles, the energy that comes through on our hi res screens brings joy to our bubbles. It also gives us opportunity to sense body language where things may not be going so well. So many of our teachers are directly contributing to the wellbeing of our young people - and Hornby Primary is leading the way.

  2. Gary
    Ka mau te wehi e hoa.. well done. My sense is that we have had good uptake form HHS whānau and rangatahi too... interesting and exciting times...

    Kia tau te mauri

  3. I am pleased to hear that Robin ... plenty of our siblings at HHS!

  4. Hi Gary, I back you comments 100% , we at New Brighton Catholic feel very privileged that we are a Manaiakalani Outreach School. I was beaming with pride today as I popped into each of their google meets, which they had created to purposefully give each of their classes authentic teaching and learning.
    The children were excited to learn create and share their work, 2 years ago this was only a dream. Huge thanks to Mark and Sharon who are our leading lights, and also to the MKO team for their vision for learning, who would have thought this would come so to the forefront of education ten years + on from its beginnings. Kia Kaha

    1. Kia ora Deb, thanks for taking the time to comment. Pleased to hear the Manaiakalani 'medicine' is working well in Te Ara Tūhura! Keep up the great work!

  5. Hi Gary
    What a great post! You are an inspiration to us all. We too at Marshland had a fantastic day and I am just so proud of my team who although they gave up their holidays seemed to ease into it having belonged to MKO for 2 1/2 years!!
    Really feel so grateful. We need to make sure we keep this going once the lockdown is over. Distance learning done well is awesome!!
    Take care and keep well!

    1. Kia ora Jacqui, thanks for taking the time to comment. Really pleased to hear Marshlands had a great day also. Like you, we are incredibly grateful to be associated with MK and TMP. Hope to see you face-to-face soon!

  6. Kia ora e hoa
    We can look at what the learners are able to do and who they are able to connect with alot of collective pride. Hornby Primary are on a winner with smiling faces , motivated and empowered teachers alongside a local network and friends across the motu. The word choice springs to mind.

    1. Kia ora Dave, thanks for taking the time out of your busy life to comment! I am sure distance learning is keeping you very busy at present. You have 'hit the nail on the head' with ... "empowered teachers alongside a local network." Love your work buddy! Stay safe and well.

  7. Kia ora Gary,
    It is so exciting to see how your learners and staff have taken up this new challenge. Seeing them work as a team and connect with their learners is just awesome.
    Being a part of the Manaiakalani Outreach is such a gift, the outreach team are inspirational.
    Thank you for being 100% on the bus and for giving me this opportunity.
    I am looking forward to the next few weeks of teaching and learning.

  8. Kia ora Kelsey, thanks for taking the time to comment. Your contribution is a significant factor in our early successes. I am sure these will continue in the days ahead.

  9. Great post Gary, you are certainly well placed for this challenge as are we and I guess the next conversations might be around not how we go back to school but how we go forward to school from here.

    Mark shared your post and that is what inspired me to post - so thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks for commenting Jo, I hope you keep blogging, I thoroughly enjoyed reading what is happening at your place, we can all learn from each other! I shared your post with our staff today ... keep sharing your practice!

  10. Kia ora Gary
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It's certainly worth reflecting on, a decision made by Uru Manuka schools 6 years ago to partner with Manaiakalani, has allowed our children to continue their learning in a meaningful way during challenging times. The journey that our schools have been fortunate to be a part of has allowed our teachers to develop their knowledge and understanding of Learn Create Share pedagogy and utilise the affordances of digital technology to support learning. While the current classroom setting may have changed for our students, the learning has not. Now, more than ever, the decision to partner with Manaiakalani has proved to be an amazing opportunity for our children and schools!

  11. Kia ora Kris, thanks so much for taking the time to comment, great to hear from you! You are certainly correct about the decision to partner with Manaiakalani Outreach back in 2015, a very wise decison indeed! I trust things are going well for you at Belfast and your learners are also benefitting from Learn Creat Share and the affordances of digital technoloy.


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