#31 Weekly Update

Friday 18 October 2019

Rāmere, te 18 o Whiringa-ā-nuku 2019

In this week’s update:

  1. uLearn19 Rōpū
  2. Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori: Study te reo Māori in 2020
  3. Tuhituhi/ Writing: Writing prompt video and apps
  4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support: ADHD- A child’s perspective
  5. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading: Hands-on Learning
  6. Podcast: Power in the classroom


  • Kirirarautanga | Citizenship
  • Whakatōhenehene | Disruption
  • Auahatanga | Innovation

CORE Education’s uLearn19 Conference was held in Rotorua this year. What an awesome privilege to take 19 teachers from our six kura to the conference. As with previous years, the conference spans three days and is jam packed with keynote speakers, workshops and taster sessions. The Orewa Kāhui Ako team was well represented with Linda, Sandy and Leanne presenting a session called “Lessons from the Learning Pit.” Richard Wells from Orewa College also presented a session entitled “Integrating Subject Silos at Orewa College.”

A synopsis of our session would be that we looked back over the two years since the inception of our kāhui and we reflected on lessons learnt. We spoke about the pitfalls as well as the small triumphs along the way. Then we broke the session into the four focus areas and looked at the direction taken by each area. To shake it up we played a game and a Kahoot. We felt that it was a fantastic opportunity to discuss ideas and strategies with teachers from Whangarei to Wellington, each with a different story to tell.

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If you’d like to have a look through the slides, we have a short video here:


Richard Wells looked at the two-year messy journey of excitement and fear, success and error, that integrating silo subjects has taken. His presentation included big picture ideas as well as examples of success and failure at the college. His message, which was a common theme across the conference, was that we learn from reflecting on experiences.


Summary of Richard’s session

A valuable taster session ‘Why Universal Design for Learning is Important’ was presented by Chrissie Butler from Core Education. A fresh perspective on what the UDL process looks like which really focuses on the student being at the start of the process. This can be seen in the images below.

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Leanne was able to pick up some fantastic ‘quick reference’ resources from The Ministry of Education about specific areas of student need. A set has been ordered for each of our kura.

Karen Tui Boyes – Team Teaching

Sandy Blackburn and Linda Rubens attended a workshop on team teaching looking at practical ways to structure and organise it.

Team teaching can be both an incredible privilege and challenge all at the same time. However, with some simple structures and strategies team teaching can be the best teaching years of your career. Follow the link to Karen’s blogs on more detailed information here.


Genius Hour – Karen Tui Boyes


Linking to the uLearn theme of Auahatanga | Innovation Karen looked at the movement of ‘genius hour.’ Genius Hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students with a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school.


And finally, this link will take you to the presentation on research skills for the Google generation which was very worthwhile, presented by Juliet Revell.

2. Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori

Studying te reo Māori in 2020

If you are up for the challenge and want to improve your te reo Māori, now is the time to begin thinking about further study in 2020. There is a wide range of options available for teachers to join, including online/distance learning.

Feeling a little under qualified or apprehensive? As all kaiako know, this is a natural part of learning. Courses start at a very low level and will scaffold you from where you are currently at. Go on, dive in and give it a go!

You will come away with not only a better grasp of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori but build relationships with a great bunch of people. You will also be armed with new and relevant learning stories to share with your class about how you have had to push through and develop your growth mindset.

We have listed some popular courses below:

Online course options:

  • Toro mai – Massey University (Online, no costs involved, no assignments and no exams)

A guided journey of learning to deepen your understanding and awareness of Māori knowledge. Toro Mai offers two introductory online courses in Te Reo Māori and Tikanga Māori.

  • Te Wānanga o Raukawa has a 20-week online course that is free for citizens and residents. You’ll learn through audio lessons and activities.
  • Mahi Kāinga is an 8 week course for beginners that costs $45.
  • Education Perfect will generally offer free courses for teachers if you contact them. Many teachers at Orewa College have joined.

Night class options:

  • Te Herenga Waka o Orewa Marae.

Our local marae offers both 6-week termly courses and a full year certificate course. The courses are in full-immersion Māori which helps to advance your progress.

Contact: teherengawaka@xtra.co.nz

TWOA have a campus in west Auckland but they will also come out to you if you can find 25 people willing to commit to studying.

Online option: TWOA also offer great courses on Māori tikanga that you can do online.

AUT offers night courses for all levels. Held at the North Shore campus.

Kura pō/ Night classes 6-9pm in Mt Albert. A range of levels provided from beginner to advanced.

3. Rōpū Tuhituhi / Writing Group

Looking for a quick writing prompt? What about using this 1 minute video?

Stuart Hale from his uLearn presentation suggests the following 8 apps to support and motivate students in literacy:

Pic Collage, Lifecards, Strip Designer, Puppet Pals, Stop Motion, iMovie, Book Creator, Explain Everything – version 5 is excellent.

4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group

There is so much we can learn by listening to the voices of our students, especially those with learning and/or behavioural difficulties. Have a look at the box below. It portrays a student’s honest view of how they work.

5. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading

When is hands-on learning not really learning? In this article John Spencer looks at when hands-on learning has not really engaged the student’s mind.

6. Podcast

There’s an inherent tension when it comes to learning and power, namely how much power do you as a learner have in any learning interaction to choose not just what you learn but how and where and when. And one of the things that casts such a long shadow over this conversation is the fact that going to school is compulsory. Learners have no or very little choice but to attend a school which then decides almost everything about the what, where and when of learning. So right from the start, we take agency away from kids, and we rarely seem to think about the implications of that.”

Podcast link here

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


#30 Weekly Update

Friday 27 September 2019

Rāmere, te 27 o Mahuru, 2019

In this week’s update:

1.Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori: The 3Ps of Te Tiriti o Waitangi

2. Tuhituhi/ Writing: Resource Links

3. Ngaio Pukapuka Kōrero:

4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support: Mental Health Awareness in our Tamariki

5. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths: Digital Curriculum Survey

6. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading: Wellbeing

1. Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori

The 3p’s of Te Tiriti o Waitangi:

We were asked the question at a conference earlier in the year, “What are the 3Ps of Te Tiriti o Waitangi?” We looked around the room and saw a myriad of blank faces, education professionals looking to the floor hoping not to catch the eye of the presenter.

It made us realise that many of us may have forgotten. So here it is, “What are the 3Ps of the Tiriti o Waitangi?” Don’t feel bad if you have no idea, you are not alone.

Partnership, participation and protection are 3p’s of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. These principles are already seen throughout kura across our Orewa Kāhui Ako. You only had to attend the recent Tū Māia Festival to see all three in action.

          Te kura o Wainui at the Tū Māia Festival 2019

What do they mean for classroom teachers? The 3Ps are beneficial to all our students no matter who they are. You may have heard of the saying: What is good for Māori students is good for all of our students.

Partnership may simply be:

  • Talking with the parents, finding out what their aspirations are for their tamariki.

Protection may simply be:

  • Using te reo Māori in your classroom. What do people hear throughout the day in your room? (Normalisation)
  • Following tikanga Māori in your classroom e.g. karakia, not sitting on tables, tuakana/teina relationships

Participation may simply be:

  • Ensuring your classroom visibly reflects the bi-cultural nature of Aotearoa. What do people see when they enter your room?

So there you have it. If someone asks you in the future: “What are the 3Ps of Te Tiriti o Waitangi?” You can confidently answer with “Partnership, protection and participation.”

2. Rōpū Tuhituhi / Writing Group

Writing for impact: Teaching students how to write with a plan and spell well. Tom Nicholson and Sue Dymock analysed research on teaching writing to identify the skills students need to write for impact. Their approach is based on a simple view of writing: it is ideas presented well. The two volumes of this book work together to explain and show teachers how to teach students these essential writing skills. Nicholson and Dymock offer simple and effective strategies to improve both teaching and learning. The books include templates, plans, and links to videos that support these strategies.

Follow the link here to download a free guide on the 5 Habits of Effective Writing Teachers.

3. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group

This week is Mental Health Awareness week. Our tamariki are experiencing increasing mental health issues in Aotearoa.

From NZ Health First

Our Youth suicide rates are also increasing. The promotion of positive mental health recognition and the removal of the stigma surrounding mental illness has been encouraging in the New Zealand media. Advocates such as John Kerwan and Mike King are encouraging Kiwis to speak up and seek help.


For our tamariki however, they rely on the adults around them to build a positive, encouraging, nurturing and strengthening environment to thrive in. When a child is struggling, the adults are the ones who can notice and seek help.

A fantastic New Zealand written children’s book which can help children in times of fear, anxiety and apprehension is Aroha’s Way.

4. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths Group

We are currently looking more closely at the digital curriculum. As a Kāhui Ako we would like to develop a snapshot of where teachers feel they are at with regards to the implementation of the digital curriculum. To do this we ask that you please complete a short survey. The goal of this survey would be to be able to offer targeted PD and next steps. The purpose of the digital curriculum is about teaching pupils to be creative with technology, rather than simply consuming technology. This should prepare them for the modern workforce. How ready are we to implement this? Survey link here

5. Ngaio pukapuka kōrero/ Professional Development:

Meetups – Term 4 null

Fueling your fire as you take your next steps in Digital Technologies and Hangarau Matihiko (Pou Hihiko) – North Auckland Link here




6. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading

‘Shaping a Stronger Education System with New Zealanders’ is a blueprint for change based on the rich conversations we have had with almost 50,000 New Zealanders.

The discussion document released on the 17th September outlines the long-term vision, objectives and actions resulting from the Education Conversation | Kōrero Mātauranga. Follow the link Here to find out more and how you can have your say on this document.

Consultation on the draft NELP closes on 25 November 2019.

Consultation on the draft TES concludes on 25 October 2019.





#29 Weekly Update

Friday 20 September 2019

Rāmere, te 20 o Mahuru, 2019

In this week’s update:

1. Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori: Tū Māia Festival

2. Tuhituhi/ Writing: Moderation Results Term 3

3. Ngaio Pukapuka Kōrero: uLearn19

4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support: Success Story

5. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths: Progress update

6. Podcast number 11: The art of procrastination

A challenge for you!

1. Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori

Tū Māia Kapa Haka 2019

Last Rāmere/ Friday, te 13 o Mahuru/September, all of the Orewa Kāhui Ako kura took part in the Tū Māia Festival for the first time in years. We have included a video of the pōwhiri and photos of Orewa Primary School back at the Tū Māia festival this year, performing in their new uniforms with their kaiako Simon Koziarski.

Pōwhiri video (Watch from 1.08secs)

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2. Rōpū Tuhituhi / Writing Group

At our after school leaders’ meeting last Thursday we held our final moderation meeting for this year. Our results are encouraging and if we look back at our earlier moderation results from 2018, we can see a positive shift in our alignment with our assessment results. More schools are using our moderation process for staff professional learning and building teachers’ capacity in writing.

Discussion on challenges and questions encountered with our moderation process reminded us of the purpose of moderation across the Kāhui Ako.

  • To use a common reference tool (L.P.F.) to develop a shared understanding of NZC Levels 1-5 in writing.
  • To build trust in the evidence and data we collect to make robust decisions about next steps for our students.
  • The moderation process is for the teacher as a ‘check in ‘ in their alignment and understanding of the progressions.

A question was raised about needing more background information, not just the task given on the writing samples shared. For external moderation, assessment is based on only the finished sample and what the evidence (writing) shows. This allows teachers to assess with no bias which “can result, unconsciously, from prior dealings with students based on attitude, behaviour, gender, race or disability.” (Adie, 2008)

Assessment of students work should be based on both internal (classroom teacher) and external (across teams,school wide and across schools) moderation to see all perspectives of the learner. Classroom teachers offer a ‘holistic’ understanding of the learner which is important for them to make sound O.T.Js. Across school moderation supports teachers to compare their judgements and either confirm or adjust them.

A link to the full writing results for term 3 can be found here

3. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group

4. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths Group

Maths continuum

This is a continuum of the progress made by the maths focus group. We are currently working at stage 3 which is looking more closely at the digital curriculum. As a Kāhui Ako we would like to develop a snapshot of where teachers feel they are at with regards to the implementation of the digital curriculum. To do this we ask that you please complete a short survey. The goal of this survey would be to be able to offer targeted PD and next steps. The purpose of the digital curriculum is about teaching pupils to be creative with technology, rather than simply consuming technology. This should prepare them for the modern workforce. How ready are we to implement this? Survey link here

5. Professional Development/ Ngaio pukapuka kōrero:

The across school leaders are working on a workshop which they are presenting at uLearn19. If you have any ideas, or activities that you think would be worthwhile including, please email us. (l.rubens@orewacollege.nz)

6. Podcast/ Video number 11:

Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn’t make sense, but he’s never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window — and encourages us to think harder about what we’re really procrastinating on, before we run out of time.

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


#28 Weekly Update

Friday 13 September 2019

Rāmere, te 13 o Mahuru, 2019

In this week’s update:

  1. Combined BOT meeting
  2. Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori: Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2019
  3. Tuhituhi/ Writing: Moderation
  4. Ngaio Pukapuka Kōrero: Digital Readiness and Mindlab
  5. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support: Success Story
  6. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths: Digital Curriculum Survey
  7. Podcast number 10: The Learning Challenge

1. Combined BOT meeting

This week Kate and the four across school leaders met with the combined boards of the six schools to have a korero about our plans and progress. Kate gave an overview, and then each leader presented the progress made by the four focus areas. We also looked at shared PD opportunities, as well as improved communication across our communities.

2. Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori

TE WIKI O TE REO MĀORI 2019/Māori Language Week 2019

Kia ora e te whānau

It has been wonderful to see posters and fresh initiatives popping up all over our kura this week in celebration of Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2019.

A question worth considering as we come to the close of the week:


“What can you take out of the week and normalise into our professional practice?”

Don’t Forget Your Roots, Kia Mau Ki Tō Ūkaipō was released this week on an album called, Waiata/cAnthems. You can find a version with lyrics if you would like to have a sing along with your class.

Tomorrow our kura celebrate the week with our annual Tū Māia kapa haka festival for the first time in recent history. All of our kura are participating which is a great result for our Kāhui this year.

Photos: We would love to publish photos of your kura celebrating Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2019. Please send them to markralston@silverdaleprimary.school.nz

3. Rōpū Tuhituhi / Writing Group

We held our termly moderation meeting at this weeks after school leaders hui. Our writing focus goal of embedding the termly practice of across school moderation is a key opportunity for teachers to participate in powerful professional conversations.

The practice gives our teachers processes to look closely at evidence (student work samples) to establish:

  • what is to be learned?
  • how is learning progressing?
  • what will be learned next?
  • a technique that strengthens our assessment practices.
  • teachers learning from each other so curriculum and pedagogical content knowledge improves (L.P.F.)
  • classroom teaching and learning programmes can be adjusted to meet student learning needs
  • evidence of learning can be confidently shared and heard
  • dependable information can be discussed with parents, families and whānau
  • reliability, validity and fairness within the process are enhanced, so achievement decisions are defensible and trusted

Pre- and post results will be shared in next weeks update.

4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group

Another success story (name changed)

5. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths Group

This week we looked at a common survey to gauge the implementation of the 2020 digital curriculum. In a sense it feels like this has taken ages to develop. But it’s actually such a positive because the time has been constructively spent looking at the individual maths programmes. This has made the time of sharing and discussion both worthwhile and authentic. A link to the survey will be available in next week’s newsletter.

6. Professional Development/ Ngaio pukapuka kōrero




“August was big and the next few months will be busy, busy, busy! We had hundreds of teachers and kaiako attend our free meetups in their region or online in the past month; and the next month will be no different. Don’t miss out! Check out what meetups are coming up in your region in the next month here: link to PD here


And: Mindlab has a new format

Mindlab have changed the format of their Postgraduate Certificate in Digital Learning and Collaboration, making it much easier for teachers to do: More information here

7. Podcast/ Video number 10:

The Learning Challenge is one way to explain why more challenge leads to enhanced learning. It helps teachers structure lessons, and students challenge themselves. Created by James Nottingham (@JamesNottinghm), the Learning Challenge uses the idea of a “pit,” first used by Butler & Edwards. More background information, a full description, & lesson resources can be found in Challenging Learning (2010).

The Learning Challenge with James Nottingham from Challenging Learning on Vimeo.

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


#27 Weekly Update

Friday 6 September 2019

Rāmere, te 6 o Mahurui, 2019

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In this week’s update:

  1. Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori: Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2019
  2. Tuhituhi/ Writing: Myths and legend links
  3. Ngaio Pukapuka Kōrero: Emotional Coaching for Anxious Learners
  4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support: A Success Story
  5. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths: Digital Curriculum PD
  6. Podcast number 9: Cooperation versus collaboration

1. Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori

TE WIKI O TE REO MĀORI 2019/Māori Language Week 2019

Te Wiki o te reo Māori is next week so we have included a number of our favourite finds for your convenience.

Kia Kaha te Reo Māori Whānau!

Posters: Print these A3 posters to put up around your kura.

Social Media: Be on your social media game with these banners, profile pics and cover photos.

Te reo Māori version of ‘Old Town Road’If you do anything this year, make sure you learn this with your kids. They will love it!

Top Teaching Tasks Website: There are so many great online ideas for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.

Photos: We would love to publish photos of your kura celebrating Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori 2019. Please send them through to markralston@silverdaleprimary.school.nz

Tū Māia: All of our kura from the Orewa Kāhui Ako are participating in the Tū Māia Kapa Haka Festival held at Silverdale School on Rāmere/Friday, te 6 o Mahuru/September. This will be a great finale to the week. Talk to your Māori leaders about watching your group perform on video.

2. Rōpū Tuhituhi / Writing Group

A reminder that our termly moderation form has been sent out to all

within-school leaders to be shared across their kura for those interested in this across school assessment process. Please send your completed forms back by 9th September. We will share our preliminary results at our after school meeting on the 12th September, at Orewa College.

Literacy links for TE WIKI O TE REO: National Library search link – Myths and legends resources

Follow the link to TKI to view a collection of . Māori Myths, Legends and Contemporary Stories reflecting themes in today’s world.

Check out this great myths and legend link for a teaching resource.

Follow this link incorporating the digital curriculum for teaching resources Year 3 incorporating traditional Māori pūrākau/stories

 3. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some success stories using a variety of strategies. The names of our students will be changed in each example.

4. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths Group

Simon Bentham attended some professional development regarding the 2020 digital curriculum. It was held at Orewa Primary and he found it to be informative, with lots of lesson ideas for unplugged computational thinking. Here is a link to the slides that were shared. These slides are extensive with loads of very useful information.

5. Professional Development/ Ngaio pukapuka kōrero

Emotional Coaching for Anxious Learners: Seven teachers from the kāhui ako attended a professional development presentation by Ruth Lawson-McConnell, held at Whangaparaoa College. She offered valuable insight into dependency anxiety and the role teachers can play in supporting our students who struggle with anxiety.

Ruth referenced all three sectors of Early Childhood, Primary School and Secondary School. She challenged us to form attachments, recognise the anxiety situation (e.g. It must be hard for you right now), reassure with calm speak (e.g. we can take some calm breaths and get through this), and offer options which re-centralise the student, (e.g. by a useful action causing distraction and/or breathing techniques). Here is a selection of slides from Ruth’s presentation. If you would like to refer to the full presentation, please use this link.

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6. Podcast number 9: Cooperation versus collaboration

Creative collaboration is a critical component to project-based learning and design thinking. But it’s not as simple as assigning members to teams and then walking away. Collaboration is hard work because it’s deeply relational and all relationships have challenges. In other words, collaboration is hard because people are hard. However, as teachers, we can be proactive in the way we design creative collaboration to help mitigate some of the common pitfalls in student collaboration.”

Interested in learning more? Check out the entire article here, including specific pitfalls and corresponding ideas for how to prevent these pitfalls. Or Listen to the Podcast: Want to listen to this article on the go? You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts if you have an iPhone or iPad. If you have an Android device, check it out on Stitcher

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


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#26 Weekly Update

30 August 2019

Rāmere, te 30 o Hereturikōkā 2019

In this week’s update:

  1. Tuhituhi/ Writing: Focus areas
  2. Professional reading: Learned Helplessness
  3. Ngaio pukapuka kōrero: Various opportunities
  4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support: Shaping
  5. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths: DMaths programmes update
  6. Podcast number 8: Imperfect Eating

1. Rōpū Tuhituhi / Writing Group

Our writing group met to work on our two focus areas for a half day session at Orewa College last Friday. Thank you to all who attended, your enthusiasm on working through these tasks is greatly appreciated. Our focus goal is to produce resource material that will be beneficial for colleagues and students across all of our kura and will develop our ‘common language’, and trust in our assessment levels 1- 5, in writing. The development of resources will take time to achieve, but we will share our progress in our up-coming updates.

1. NZC Levels 1 – 5 . Developing scaffolded expectations in specific text types. Develop anchor charts that can be used to support instruction, across the curriculum.

2. Orewa Kāhui LPF matrix – Revisit our matrix to look at the content/ detail and modify where needed. Glossary of writing terms used across levels NZC 1- 5. Developing our LPF matrix into ‘student speak.’

Writing moderation for term 3 has been shared with our in-school leaders. Kura are welcome to use the writing samples/ form for their own professional learning to practice moderation across levels and curriculum areas. Please submit forms by Monday 9th September. Results will be shared at our after school meeting on Thursday 12 September.

Contact sblackburn@wainui.school.nz if you have any further questions.

2. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading

When Children Fail in School: Understanding Learned Helplessness

Link to full Blog Understanding Learned Helplessness

Learned helplessness is the belief that our own behaviour does not influence what happens next; that is, behaviour does not control outcomes or results. For example, when a student believes that she is in charge of the outcome, she may think, “If I study hard for this test, I’ll get a good grade.” On the contrary, a learned helpless student thinks, “No matter how hard I study for this test, I’ll always get a bad grade.” In school, learned helplessness relates to poor grades and underachievement, and to behaviour difficulties. Students who experience repeated school failure are particularly prone to develop a learned helpless response style. Because of repeated academic failure, these students begin to doubt their own abilities, leading them to doubt that they can do anything to overcome their school difficulties. Consequently, they decrease their achievement efforts, particularly when faced with difficult materials, which leads to more school failure. This pattern of giving up when facing difficult tasks reinforces the child’s belief that he or she cannot overcome his or her academic difficulties.

Characteristics of Learned Helpless Students

Some characteristics of learned helpless children are:

1. Low motivation to learn, and diminished aspirations to succeed in school.

2. Low outcome expectations; they believe that, no matter what they do in school, the outcome will always be negative (e.g. bad grades) and are powerless to prevent or overcome a negative outcome.

3. Lack of perceived control over their own behavior and the environmental events; one’s own actions cannot lead to success.

4. Lack of confidence in their skills and abilities (low self-efficacy expectations). These children believe that their school difficulties are caused by their own lack of ability and low intelligence. They are convinced that they are unable to perform the required actions to achieve a positive outcome.

5. They underestimate their performance when they do well in school, attributing success to luck or chance, e.g., “I was lucky that this test was easy.”

6. They generalize from one failure situation or experience to other situations where control is possible. Because they expect failure all the time, regardless of their real skills and abilities, they underperform all the time.

7. They focus on what they cannot do, rather than focusing on their strengths and skills.

8. Because they feel incapable of implementing the necessary courses of action, they develop passivity and their school performance deteriorates.

The Pessimistic Explanatory Style

Learned helpless students, perceive school failure as something that they will never overcome, and academic events, positive or negative, as something out of their control. This expectation of failure and perceived lack of control is central to learned helplessness. The way in which children perceive and interpret their experiences in the classroom helps us understand why some children develop a pessimistic explanatory style, believing that they are not capable of succeeding in school (Seligman, Reivich, Jaycox, and Gilham, 1995).

  • Children with a pessimistic explanatory style explain negative events as something stable (the cause of the negative event will always be present), global (the cause of the negative event affects all areas of their lives), and internal (they conclude that they are responsible for the outcome or consequence of the negative event).
  • A typical pessimistic explanatory style is, “I always fail no matter what I do.” On the contrary, when the outcome of the event is positive, a pessimistic child attributes the outcome to unstable (the cause of the event is transitory), specific (the cause of the event is situation specific), and external (other people or circumstances are responsible for the outcome) causes.

Learned Helpless Students Need Learning Strategies

Due to this perceived lack of control of the negative event, a learned helpless child is reluctant to seek assistance or help when he is having difficulty. These children are ineffective in using learning strategies, and they do not know how to engage in strategic task behavior to solve academic problems. For example, learned helpless children are unaware that if they create a plan, use a checklist, and/or make drawings, it will be easier for them to solve a multi-step math word problem. With learned helpless children, success alone is not going to ease the helpless perception or boost their self-confidence. The key in helping a learned helpless child overcome this dysfunctional explanatory pattern is to provide strategy retraining (teaching her strategies to use, and teaching explicitly when she can use those strategies), so that we give the child specific ways to remedy achievement problems; coupled with attribution retraining, or creating and maintaining a success expectation. When we teach a learned helpless child to use learning strategies, we are giving her the tools she needs to develop and maintain the perception that she has the resources to reverse failure. Ames (1990) recommends that, in combination with the learning strategies, we help the learned helpless child develop individualized short-term goals, e.g., “I will make drawings to accurately solve a two-steps math word problem.” When the child knows and implements learning strategies, she will be able to experience progress toward her individualized goals.

Learned Helpless Students Need to Believe that Effort Increases Skills

To accomplish this, we need to help learned helpless children recognize and take credit for the skills and abilities that they already have. In addition, we need to develop in children the belief that ability is incremental, not fixed; that is, effort increases ability and skills. Tollefson (2000) recommends that we help children see success as improvement, i.e. are successful when we acquire or refine knowledge and new skills, encouraging them to expend effort. We need to avoid communicating children that, to succeed in school, they need to perform at a particular level. We need to train them to focus on strategies and the process of learning, rather than outcomes and achievement.

Concluding Comments

To minimize the negative impact of learned helplessness in children, we need to train them to focus on strategies and processes to reach their academic goals, reinforcing the belief that, through effort, they are in control of their own behavior, and that they are in charge of developing their own academic skills. For example, to help a child focus on the learning process, after failure, we can tell the child, “Maybe you can think of another way of doing this.” This way, our feedback stays focused on the child’s effort and the learning strategies he or she is using -within both the child’s control and modifiable. When children themselves learn to focus on effort and strategies, they can start feeling responsible for positive outcomes, and responsible for their own successes in school and in life.

3. Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori

TE WIKI O TE REO MĀORI 2019/ Māori Language Week 2019

Something for every day: If you’re stuck for ideas in the classroom over Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2019, look nof urther. Below is an idea for everyday that can be easily added to your planning.

Rāhina/Monday, te 9 o Mahuru:

Te reo focus of the day: Classroom commands

Add at least 1 more Classroom Commands to the class list

Rātū/Tuesday, te 10 o Mahuru:

Te reo focus of the day: How are you really?

How else could you answer “Kei te pehea koe?”

Add a new response to your repertoire

Rāapa/Wednesday, te 11 o Mahuru:

Te reo focus of the day: How high can we go

How high can your class count in te reo Māori?

Rāpare/Thursday, te 12 o Mahuru:

Place names: What place names can we pronounce better?



Rāmere/Friday, te 13 o Mahuru:

Te reo focus of the day: Make some signs for your class

All students make a sign for a classroom object so you can learn them together.

4. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group

5. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths Group

This week Rhonda Beet from Orewa North Primary and Leanne Stevenson from Wainui Primary shared the maths programme that they follow. Both presentations were insightful, where one looked at ways to integrate maths into everyday life. The other presentation looked at where there might be gaps in their programme. This is a great way to generate discussions and ideas.

6. Professional Development/ Ngaio pukapuka kōrero

Professional development run by Marie Hirst and Jo Knox:

Term 3 Maths Made Easy Workshops: Please click here to register.

Spaces are filling up fast. See workshop descriptions below for more information

  • Northcross Intermediate: Monday 2nd September OR
  • Orewa Primary School: Wednesday 4th September

Digital Curriculum – Tuesday 3 September @ Orewa Primary School,

Workshop on Anxiety – Tuesday 3 September @ Whangaparaoa College, 3.30-5.30pm

Writing Moderation – Thursday 9 September @ Orewa College, 3.30pm

7. Podcast number 8: Imperfect Eating

And now for something completely different. Interested in listening to a nutritionist talk about diets for busy people? “If you’ve tried the no sugar/ no white bread/ no ice cream/ no pizza/ no anything that gives you pleasure approach to dieting and it’s failed you, give a listen to this episode to hear why eating imperfectly might be the key to getting the results you want.”

Link to podcast here

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


#25 Weekly Update

23 August 2019

Rāmere, te 23 o Hereturikōkā 2019

In this week’s update:

  1. An afternoon with Hana O’Regan
  2. Tuhituhi/ Writing: Moderation reminder
  3. Professional reading: Defining culture
  4. Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori
  5. Ngaio pukapuka kōrero: Play based learning PLD
  6. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support: Student behaviours
  7. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths: Links to Digital Curriculum
  8. Podcast number 6: Finding your passion

1. An afternoon with Hana

Thank you for your attendance at our combined Orewa Kāhui Ako after school hui on the 22nd August at Orewa College, with Hana O’Regan. It was very pleasing to have such a good turnout. Here is a sketchnote summarising the main points. We’ll provide a link to her presentation in next week’s newsletter.

Hana Sketchnote

2. Rōpū Tuhituhi / Writing Group

A reminder to send your writing samples to sblackburn@wainui.school.nz by Monday 26th August, week 6 for our across schools moderation in week 8 of Term 3.

Aspects for moderation: Text type – Information Report

  • Using writing to think and organise for learning
  • Creating texts to communicate current knowledge and understanding
  • Writing meaningful text: vocabulary knowledge

3. Pānui ngaio/ Professional Reading

How do we define culture? Who is responsible for developing one’s culture? What measure and importance is given to an individual’s culture? At what age do we develop a good understanding of who we are and where we are from? What role as educators do we have in acknowledging the culture of our learners? Link to full article here

4. Rōpū Te Reo Me Tikanga Māori

Top tip for normalising te reo Māori!: The more kemu/ games the better!

We’ve said it before but not enough can be said about the power of games to bring te reo Māori into your classroom in a positive way. Here’s one the kids will love.

Engagement tip: Tell tamariki that if they keep trying while sitting you might let them back in the game. Give a few the nod as you play to bring them back to life and you will keep everyone engaged, even if they get out (This works for all games)

Hei Tama Tū Tama (Link)

We introduced Hei Tama Tū Tama at the Kāhui ako in school leaders hui last week and it went down a treat. Introducing this game as a whole class first works well as a scaffold. Follow the link and learn to play it first.

Teacher: “Hei tama tū tama!

Everyone throws down a move and anyone who has the same move as the kaiako sits down.

Play this version and then model the actual game with a student so others can see it in action before giving it a go.

5. Rōpū Taunaki Ako/ Learning Support Group

Let’s look deeper into three main student behaviours. Remember from last week, these behaviours are trying to give us a message. Here are some more specific actions associated with each type of behaviour. As an educator, knowing more about these behaviours helps us to be proactive in the classroom to avoid the opportunity for such behaviours. We can assist in motivation, skill, interest and self belief.

6. Rōpū Pāngarau/ Maths Group

“Earlier this year while wandering through the toy aisle at a store an item caught my attention. The toy, reacted to its surroundings, hurtling itself across the floor with more gusto and louder than the noise from the excited tamariki nearby. It interested me, because I could see the link to Computational Thinking, which sits in the technology learning area within the New Zealand Curriculum. If I were to code it I would break it down. A sensor, reacting to noise. The more noise detected meant more speed moving forward. It seemed fairly accessible for learners, they would be able to grasp the concept behind it. A great metaphor for teaching in some ways – the more that was going on around us the faster we had to move and react.” Interested in reading more about how this links to the Digital Curriculum? Link to full article here

7. Professional Development/ Ngaio pukapuka kōrero

Are you an advocate for or interested in play based learning? Are you passionate about the maker movement or at least intrigued by it? Are you using mobile technologies in your space? Well, what happens when play based learning, hands on making and mobile technology are infused, while having rich literacy at its core? You have engaged and motivated learners who thrive! Come along to this workshop if you want to nurture student led, hands on learning that develops oral language, deep thinking and self efficacy. Register through this link

8. Podcast number 7: Finding your passion


Steve Magness coaches some of the world’s top distance runners and has propelled numerous athletes to Olympic trials, world championship teams, and the Olympics. He has been a featured expert in Runner’s World and the New York Times. When faced with the choice of what to do with our lives, we’re often told, “follow your passion.” Steve believes this advice can be overwhelming, incomplete, and, ultimately, defeating. To learn more, listen to this podcast: Podcast link here

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