Monday, April 22, 2019

Term 1 Happenings

This is a brief summary of our teaching and learning journey this term. 

Manaiakalani Outreach Convenors' Meetings
February 28th Outreach Convenors met at the beautiful Paihia School for the day. We were joined by
Damian Edwards: Associate Deputy Secretary, Education Systems Policy

Rose Carpenter: Change and Implementation, Early Learning and Student Achievement

The Manaiakalani Clusters have a history of the convenors meeting together in each-other’s places.
This is something we’ve found extremely valuable as it enabled us to:
  • Support one another
  • Connect with Public Good Partners & Trusts
  • Jointly problem solve
  • Share the wins and the losses
  • Enjoy one another’s company and have fun learning
  • It’s also helping us greatly to be an effective “network of networks”
I acknowledge Russell Burt for the Manaiakalani history above.

As usual, the day was stimulating and informative, we shared our wins and losses, and left feeling positive about our next steps and knowing that we had someone to call on for support! Pat Snedden provided his usual rousing speech which was inspirational as usual!

Professional Learning Groups (PLGs)
We held our first cluster meeting at Wigram School. All 7 schools attended and teachers choose one of the 4 emerging findings from Woolf Fisher research that has a positive impact on student learning outcomes and were grouped accordingly.
1. Activating prior knowledge
2. Extended conversations
3. Critical literacy/thinking
4. Feedback

It was wonderful to observe the deep discussions around teaching and learning practice and the connections being developed across schools and primary/secondary. A big thank you to our Education Programme Leader (EPL) Kelsey for organising the groups, resources and structures for the meeting.

Media Team Day
Thursday 4 April we hosted Media Day at Hornby. All 7 cluster schools were represented and the focus was on videoing and commenting.
After morning tea we were joined by Kerry Du Pont from Whitebait Media who shared his digital and production experiences. It was a great day of connecting and collaborating.

Student Toolkits
Friday 5 April South Hornby hosted the Uru Mānuka Tookits. Our senior children presented workshops on particular Google apps, for example, coding and videoing. All 7 schools participated and it was great to see the collaboration and sharing of ideas.

A pleasing aspect was the confidence our children displayed and the growing agency/empowerment they are developing. Agency refers to the power to act and taking responsibility for one's learning and and therefore viewing yourself as a learner. Having agency is crucial if our children are going to be successful learners and lead successful lives after schooling.

Feedback from the day from Michaela and Draved
  • I enjoyed meeting different people
  • I enjoyed presenting Toolkits and seeing othr people learning from us
  • I enjoyed learning from the Toolkits and how people did it step by step to make it easier
  • I felt nervous to begin with but it got easier and I became more confident

And lastly but not least, a big thank you to Kelsey our Education Programme Leader. On top of supporting our digital teachers, Kelsey organised and facilitated the Media and Summit Days, along with her mother Sue who provided valuable support. Thank you Kelsey for providing valuable learning experiences for our students.

A great start to the year and a wonderful foundation to build on for the next 3 terms!


  1. What a strong start to the year you have made in Uru Manuka. It was great to catch up with you in Paihia, and to read here of the innovation and implementation happening in your schools. Thanks for sharing it here. We have much to learn from you and your team there.


  2. Gary
    There is something deep/profound going on within Uru Mānuka, and your post identifies some of the stuff that reflects that. We are (IMO) entering a period of change in education for our tamariki that is so significant, in later years people will say 'that was the turning point'. And you can reflect back and say I was one of the architects and the drivers of this.

    Nice work!!
    Kia tau te mauri

  3. Very informative blog Gary, well done Michaela and Dravid and all the other students from the cluster involved with the media workshop, what an awesome experience for you all!


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