More than 260 teachers from all seven schools of our Takapuna-Devonport Community of Learning met in Te Poho at TGS, in mid-June, for a day of collegiality and collaboration to build a thriving kahui ako, aiming to bring about the best learning outcomes for every child in our schools.
Mary Nixon’s opening address talked about us being “ferociously optimistic” and about what a wonderful educational and pedagogical opportunity it was to work across schools.
With so much expertise on site, teachers chose workshops to attend and learn from colleagues in primary, intermediate and secondary contexts. From play-based journeys for younger students to developing mentoring relationships through to Year 13. Breaking the Boy Code was an extremely popular session, run by TGS Deputy Principal, Mr Will Scovell.
Presentations on wellbeing, writing with impact, and the strategies for assisting students who display aspects of anxiety, taken by TGS Counsellor, Heidi Rimmington, was also timely, enlightening and well attended. University of Auckland educational researcher, Claire Sinnema, provided an insight into work being done in teaching as inquiry and relationship based learning.
To have a whole day for professional learning, discussion, networking, collegiality and conversation, was a real treat for many of the teachers present. Our peninsula is a unique educational environment, with so many staff living in the community, and having connections with all the schools over time. Providing links and sharing expertise and experience is the best form of professional development and the structure of the CoL allows this to happen in a cohesive way.
The organising group of cross-school leaders (Katie Dobson (TGS), Debz Dickinson (BIS), Matt Cade (TGS), and Lindsey Mackrill (Stanley Bay)), worked with Grafton’s Megan Tomkies to run an excellent day.
The opening key note was Laurayne Tafa - who passionately encouraged all teachers to focus on Relationship based Learning: with specific pedagogies because learning is relational. The closing keynote was by Dr. Michelle Dickinson – aka Nanogirl - and was great fun as well as being very informative; ending the day on a high note.
Photos: Breaking the Boy Code, and Nano Girl
Conservation in action
A group of 20 students from Takapuna Grammar decided not to sleep in one Sunday in April, but instead met up at 8:15am for a 45-minute ferry ride to Motuihe Island. Upon arrival, these students (accompanied by Ms. Smith-Tohu, Mr. Wynn, and Mr. Park) were given young indigenous trees along with instructions on where and how to plant them.
The four-hour long expedition was undertaken in an effort to restore the forests and increase biodiversity on the conservation island which is home to many rare and endangered species.
It was a beautiful and sunny day and while hard work it was an immensely enjoyable day and for such a satisfying cause.
Great outdoor adventures
Although it happens every year, there is always huge excitement for geography students to visit Tarawera and this year is no exception. A total of 87 level 1 geography students made the trip to Rotorua and climbed to the Ruawahia summit of Mt Tarawera, 1111m above sea level. This was most definitely the highlight, as they walked along the 5km long crater edge before sliding down the mountain crater, which made the strenuous climb all worth it!