#19 Weekly Update

Friday, 28 June 2019

Rāmere, te 28 o Pipiri, 2019


Ngā mihi o te tau hou Māori 

Happy Māori new year

In this week’s update:

  • Introduction to our new strategy for te ao Māori across Kāhui Ako Orewa, putting forward the case of using “matua” and “whaea” in the classroom
  • Summary of Monday’s Learner Support hui
  • Professional development opportunities on teaching Māori
  • Podcast titled “Too much noise?” Does a barrage of noise distract students from deep work?

Matariki at Dairy Flat School

To kick us off, a big, KIA ORA to Fran Earwaker for the photos of her akonga/ students and their kites along with this beautiful image of a Matariki Starry Nightshowing. It’s great to see Matariki alive and well in our kura.


Strategy document for te ao Māori across Kāhui Ako Orewa, Ko Te Rautaki Reo 2019 a Te Kāhui Ako ki Orewa.

We are excited to announce our strategy document for developing te ao Māori across Kāhui Ako Orewa, Ko Te Rautaki Reo 2019 a Te Kāhui Ako ki Orewa. The strategy was created by our tumuaki/ principals and Māori leaders at our community marae, Te Herenga Waka o Orewa.

This document provides clear achievable steps for leaders and kaiako to implement in order to make transformative change over time.

Link to the document

Top tip o te wiki for normalising te reo Māori:

Consider being called by a different title? In parts of Tāmaki Makaurau, being called “Matua” or “Whaea”, meaning uncle and auntie respectively, would be the norm. Over Te WIki o te reo Māori 2018 we trialled it in our team and personally, we found an increase in respect shown as a result as well as a genuine warmness from students who chose to use it. Hearing, “Matua Mark” or “Whaea Margaret” warmed our hearts so much that we kept it going. Over Matariki, how about trialling swapping Mr. or Mrs. to Matua or Whaea and see how it goes.

Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group

We had another very productive Learner Support Team hui on Monday. It is always such a fantastic opportunity for our Learner Support Coordinators (SENCO), RTLB, in school leaders and across school leader to gather, discuss, set directions and collaborate. At this hui we were able to test our own school’s new Learner Support Register. We also examined and discussed the Ministry of Education’s action plan for the Learner Support Model.

Let’s take a closer look at what we can do in our classroom to support our learners.

Remember UDL (Universal Design for Learning) = whichever strategies we use for one could benefit all in some way

Adapt the text size – this can be simply:

  • the size of a font,
  • the size of work on the date projector/board
  • the enlarged size of a printed page (A3 rather than A4)

Or adapt:

  • the length/amount of the material
  • The detail/reading level of the material (e.g. shorten text)
  • The level of vocabulary (replace difficult words with simpler alternatives so students still gain meaning)
  • The content maturity or level
  • The task might need to be done a different way or with a peer helper
  • The time it takes a student to complete an activity or task might be longer

The learning environment to suit the student(s)

  • more space between groups of desks,
  • Use peer learning or cooperative learning
  • Provide a quiet space
  • Permission to move around at times
  • An environment where taking risks and making mistakes is ok because we can learn from them

Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths Focus Group

The maths group are still currently looking at the maths progressions. It is worthwhile to go slow and steady so that everyone has a say, and we all gain a greater understanding along the way. In addition, we are looking at the Digital Curriculum for 2020 and we are looking at mapping how far along the continuum teachers seem to be with the implementation of the digital curriculum.

Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading

Core Education have some fantastic professional development opportunities. A great ‘beginners’ guide to te reo Māori – not just speaking and writing, but how to teach it to others and use it authentically in your setting. This programme explores the basics and you will have the opportunity to engage and discuss content with facilitators and other students in online forums and attend face-to-face hui. See link here

Pakihere rokiroki/ Podcast number 2

Too much noise?

“Lately, researchers have pushed back against cluttered classrooms with too many colours and a barrage of visual stimulus. These classrooms are “too noisy,” making it challenging to focus. But what about actual noise? What about the barrage of sound that can distract students from deep work? If anything, there’s often an emphasis on embracing “noisy learning.” We see it in pithy tweets portraying noisy spaces as more innovative and maker-centered. I recently talked to a principal who said, “If I see a quiet classroom, I’m alarmed. I look for loud classrooms. That’s where the learning is happening.” We often hear that “those who are doing the talking are doing the learning,” and thus classrooms shouldn’t be silent spaces.”

John Spencer looks at the impact of noise on students’ learning. Find the podcast link here.

To keep up to date, follow us on our Kāhui Ako website: https://orewakahuiako.com/


Combined board of trustees meeting: 3 July

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