Kaitiaki 2017

Blog post links to PTC:3 demonstrate commitment to bicultural partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand

PTC:10  work effectively within the bicultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand

Kaitiaki is a group of loyal group of Pasifika and Maori parent’s who meet once a month to discuss how they can support the school. I have been a member since I started working at St Joseph’s in 2014 and what the group has achieved each year has gone from strength to strength.

This year Kaitiaki’s main role will be about raising the achievement of our Pasifika and Maori children. The fundraising events that Kaitiaki have previously supported will be run by FOSS (Friend’s of St Joseph’s) a fundraising group of parents. I have joined FOSS this year as a teacher and parent and hope to build the links between Kaitiaki and FOSS.

Where to next:

In our next Kaitiaki meeting in March I will be sharing the PEP (Pasifika Education Plan) with the group, we will look at the school student voice survey, set goals for 2017 that sitting alongside our PEP.


St Joseph’s School sold 116 tickets to Moana at the end of December 2016. It was a wonderful way to end the year and get out whanau together and enjoy this awesome film.

Open Evening

Blog links to PTC1: establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of ākonga

PTC2: demonstrate commitment to promoting the well-being of all ākonga

PTC7:  promote a collaborative, inclusive and supportive learning environment


This past week (3) we had an opening evening inviting learners, parents and whanau to our school. My team brainstormed key points to share the week before the opening evening, we divided up the responsibilities and created a slide show to share on the night.  You are able to see the visual slide below.

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The parent turn out was less than we had hoped for the seniors part of the opening evening, from a syndicate of 96 learners we had about 15 families attend. A number of contributing factors may be due to our low attendance: lack of communicating leading up to the event, first time running the opening evening, time and returning families from year 6 make up 2/3 of the indicate.

What does this mean:

At the opening evening, we shared information with parents and whanau about how things work in the senior syndicate from learning walls, workshops, timetables, Inquiry, Sport, and Homework.  Then there was a chance to wander through the different classes and chat with the teachers. I had some great conversations with parents about the purpose of the workshops, the reasoning behind the change of learning approach and environment, how the learning walls work and timetabling. The evening was an informal way of meeting parents and opening up the class.

Where to next:

We need to continue to build relationships with our parent’s in our home classes and in our syndicate. I have 10 parents signed up for Seesaw and aim to have all my parents connected by the end of week 4. I will send another code home and email another code home as well. I have an email address for all my parents except one, I do need to confirm that parents are receiving my emails as I send newsletters, notices, and information via email. I will be encouraging the learners to upload daily so they are building their seesaw profile and engaging their parents.

Another way of communicating with our parent’s and whanau at the start of each term is emailing a syndicate newsletter.

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New Year new team: 2017

Blog post links to PTC7: promote a collaborative, inclusive and supportive learning environment.


New year, new team. This year I have a new team, Steve, Emma and myself. Anna has moved on to St Bernadette’s and Heather has moved to the Juniors, Steve has moved from the juniors and Emma has stuck around.

This year we didn’t start back so earlier because we lay a lot of groundwork last year. In January 2016 we started back three weeks before school started to hang wall displays, weed mat the ugly corridors walls and beginning our team teaching journey. I have noticed that it feels like we are a step ahead of last year and having worked with Emma last year we already have that teaching relationship established. Steve is going to be a positive role model for our boys and brings new ideas to the team.

We started the year establishing a team contact, ensuring we are all on the same page, aligning our values and expectations. We finished the team building off with a pedicure. We plan to meet once on Tuesday for Syndicate meeting, Friday afternoon to for the week ahead. We communicate through the day with face to face conversations, email’s and voxer.

What does this mean?

Building relationships is key to establishing a positive environment. It is vital to build relationships with your team, especially when you are working so closely with them. When you build meaningful relationships with your team you able to work productively on a joint collective. We are teachers because we want to make a difference in the lives of tamariki, we have different strengths, talents, and expertise, we need to be working together in order to ensure the success of our learners.

Where to next?

Continue to build relationships with my team, what are our individual strengths, areas to build on, what do we offer the team and what can the team offer us. I would like to build relationships across syndicate and start building up our staff morale.



Team Teaching End of year reflection

Blog posts link to PTC1: establish and maintain effective professional relationships focused on the learning and well-being of ākonga

PTC7: promote a collaborative, inclusive and supportive learning environment

What a year 2016 was, I was truly blessed to have a group of hard-working, dedicated teachers to explore with, make mistakes with, laugh with and work hard at being the best we could and offer our group of 100 learners all we had.  I wonder how I would ever go back to teaching a single classroom in a single cell and just hope that day never comes.


In regards to our Priority learners and our area of 100 learners my team put in the hard yards in 2016 ensuring we meet with our Priority Learners, giving them opportunities to learn their next step which specific workshops. The evidence fell short and once again national standards was not our friend. The many goals achieved and gains throughout the year was not enough the get our learners across the finish line.

Team teaching- We planned together, we had discussions together, we shared resources, we bounced ideas off each other, challenged each other and really have the learners best interest in everything we did. This year I have learned so much about myself as learner, teacher and leader. Teaching is about relationships, the relationships we build with the learners, the whanau, school community, staff and fellow teachers. I felt I built a strong relationship with my team and from this we wanted to give our best and be the best. It knowing that you don’t have all the answers and the knowledge but you can turn to three other teachers for support.

Team Concept

Put some PEP in our step

Post Links to PTC5– show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning


At the end of Term 4, 2016 I attended a Core Education Workshop on how implementing Pasifika Education Plan in your school. I meet some amazing teachers and principals for all sectors (Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary) all dedicated to making a difference at their school. I find that the most valuable thing when attending Professional Development workshops are the connects and networking that occurs. We often put our heads down and work hard that we forget that there are thousands of the teachers doing  the same thing and that have something rich to offer. We need to get better at collaborating.

Redirecting my thinking back to the PEP (Pasifika Education plan), the Core Eduction workshop jumped started me to return to school and start to create our own PEP within our school. I have continued to work on the PEP through this year by adding it to as the year has progress and getting input from our Kaitiaki- our Maori and Pasifika whanau group. One of our parents is a policy analyst and gave us some feedback to implement.

One really positive outcome what come to light while working on St Joseph’s PEP was were already doing some pretty awesome things already in our school and community to support and engage our Pasifika students. The past three years while working at St Joseph’s and being the teacher Kaitiaki have driven number events to student our engage our Pasifika and Maori students. A few of these have been:

  • Girls and Mum fun night at the pool (2014)
  • Maori Whanau Hui (2014)
  • Pasikifa Fono (204)
  • Fiafia night (2014)
  • Mum and son’s bowling afternoon (2015)
  • Numerous workshop evening (2015)
  • ICT/BYOD workshop evening (2015)
  • Fun Bingo afternoon (2015)
  • Dad’s and Daughters movie afternoon (2016)
  • Homework Club, once a week (2016)
  • Fiafia night (2016)
  • Numerous Language week celebrations
  • Mentoring programme


PEP GOAL 1: Pasifika students excel in literacy and numeracy and make effective study choices that lead to worthwhile qualifications

PEP GOAL 2: Pasifika parents, families and communities engage with school to champion and support their children’s learning.

Moving forward St Joseph’s PEP will sit along our School Cater, the PEP will a document we will be continual reflecting on.


uLearn2016- Keynote 4 Karen Spencer

Post Links to PTC4– demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of personal professional practice 

PTC5-show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning

Key note: Karen Spencer: Beyond the echo chamber: The extraordinary possibilities of a networked profession

Abstract: Karen will take you on a provocative journey to explore the rapid rise in innovative professional learning. From ‘done to’ staff meetings to collaborative, agile investigations into what’s happening for our learners, the way educators improve and grow has evolved rapidly in recent years. She’ll explore new insights into professional learning, best ways to embrace change, and invite you to think about how we can transform what we do for our learner.

KarenMS (1).jpg

BIO: Tēnā koutou, no Yorkshire o Ingarani ahau,  kō the Chevin te maunga, kō Wharfe te awa, kō Enid Langley tōku māmā, kō Bill Spencer tōku pāpā, Ngāti Pakeha tōku iwi, kō Karen toku ingoa.

Karen is the Director of Education for NetSafe and has worked in education for over 20 years, including with CORE Education as the Senior Advisor, Transformative Learning. With a background in secondary teaching and leadership, she is now internationally recognised for her leadership in networked professional development, and digitally-enhanced, inclusive learning design.  Karen is currently working across New Zealand, helping educators and leaders put the learner at the heart, aligning vision to action to create ambitious, transformed curricula. She has written for numerous publications and is an inspiring presenter, known for her energy, humour and research-led approach.

Karen is the lead advisor for the national Connected Learning Advisory-Te Ara Whītiki service, supporting all New Zealand schools and kura to use digital technologies. She spearheaded New Zealand’s inaugural Connected Educator Month in 2014 and has undertaken extensive work in curriculum and assessment projects for the Ministry of Education, NZQA, and for international agencies. She was central to the development of Enabling e-Learning, the VLN Groups social network and the e-Learning Planning Framework. With a Masters in Education, Karen received the inaugural ICET Asia-Pacific Senior e-Fellow award, and the John Avery Scholarship from the University of Waikato, in 2013.


Key themes:

  • Praxis
  • Professional learner: It isn’t an extra thing on the plate, it is on the plate. Be better as a teacher, better than the person you were yesterday, last week, last month, last year, be better.
  • Hold the phone: Find the urgency, see the story behind the data, embrace discomfort.
  • Hold your ideas lightly
  • My World. My View-Inclusion in New Zealand-Aotearoa
  • Pause before you leap
  • See the story behind the data
  • The ladder of inference
  • Ash experience/embracing discomfort
  • Keep the fear off the set (allow people to safely air their views)

1. Immediate Value

2. Potential Value

3. Applied Value

4.Realise Value

5. Reframing Value

5 Actions to take away

What does this mean for my own practice?

Hold the phone: Find the urgency, see the story behind the data, embrace discomfort. Work on something well before the next flash in the pan.


uLearn2016- Breakout 5: Mentoring others for leadership and change

Post Links to PTC4– demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of personal professional practice 

PTC5-show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning

Breakout 5: Mentoring others for leadership and change

Abstract:Change is hard, and change in schools is really hard. Sometimes it is difficult to see the wood for the trees. Mentoring leaders at all levels of the school is a powerful strategy to support school improvement. There is real benefit to being mentored and also to being a mentor. Learning from the VPLD programme and other mentoring contexts will be explored.

In this workshop we will examine some models and strategies for mentoring and how these can be applied to your setting. Participants will leave our workshop with frameworks and ideas of things they ‘can do tomorrow’.

Learning outcomes:
Delegates will:
– understand what mentoring is and the benefits to both mentors and mentees of the process
– understand mentoring frameworks and their application
– have ideas and strategies that have immediate application to participants settings
Presenter: Greg Carroll

Organisation: CORE Education


Bio: Greg mentors and facilitates leaders and teachers across the country in a range of different contexts. As an experienced principal Greg has a particular focus on school change and supporting leaders of all kinds to be the best they can be, and supporting other educators on their improvement journeys. Greg is part of the leadership of the Learning with Digital Technologies professional learning and development programme and in this role supports the 60+ facilitators across the country from Northland to Otago-Southland. This programme has a focus on supporting school development with a specific e-learning lens and in ensuring leaders, teachers and whole school communities take full advantage of the opportunities and potential of e-learning for improving outcomes for students and all learners. This has also involved him presenting workshops across the country on a wide variety of different topics and for audiences right across the schooling and early childhood sectors. He leads the team who developed the e-Learning Planning Framework as an online tool, which is now used extensively across the country. Greg has also presented workshops and worked with school leadership teams on both sides of the Tasman on everything from BYOD planning and roll-outs, Google and Apple ‘how-to’s’, to strategic planning and school transformation initiatives. As an experienced coach and mentor Greg is available through CORE’s UChoose mentoring programme, as well as other CORE Consultancy services.

Presenter: Rick Whalley

Organisation: CORE Education


Bio: Rick is an experienced educational leader and classroom teacher. He has a decade of experience as a Principal in NZ schools and joined the CORE Education team in 2013 as a Learning with Digital Technologies Facilitator. He has a lead role in the eLearning Planning Framework and is co-leader of the Virtual Professional Learning and Development programme. In addition to his work with CORE he is studying towards a Masters at Waikato University and continues to support the VLN (Virtual Learning Network) Primary Project. In his role as a Principal, Rick has led whole school change, staff development, strategic planning and review, developed collaborative networks with other schools and worked effectively with school communities. As an inaugural Council member, Rick collaborated to develop strategic goals and provide a governance role for the VLN Community. His vision and drive has been critical to the continued growth and development of the VLN Primary across NZ schools.

Key themes:

  • Why be a mentor:

-Sharing knowledge, sharing journey, practice, where to next, Skills, help to reflect on your own model, model, growing the other person into their potential

  • Why be mentored:

-Be accountable, pushing yourself, collaborative, direction, life-long learners, bounce ideas.

  • Knoster (1991) Frame workshop




What does this mean for my practice?

Riki and Colin shared the Virtual Mentoring Matrix which will be a starting point in building our own school mentoring/coaching programme.


uLearn2016- Breakout 4-Collaboration 101: warts and all

Post Links to PTC4– demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of personal professional practice 

PTC5-show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning

Breakout 4: Collaboration 101: warts and all

Abstract:The walls have gone! The teaching team has been established.  Now go forth – teach together, plan together, co–exist together, learn together, have fun together, cry together and don’t forget to raise student achievement … together.

In this informative session you will hear ‘frank’ and honest reflections from a team of teachers as they enter the 3rd year of their collaborative teaching and learning experience.   You will hear the ups and downs, and the successes and the frustrations of teaching and learning in a Year 1-2 Innovative, Flexible Learning Environment with 61 enthusiastic and exuberant young learners.

Some key points this session will aim to explore include:
• Why is open, honest and respectful communication important?
• How important is it to create a set of collaborative norms?
• How do we plan, teach, assess and survive with 61 students … together?
• Iugo Planning Tool
• Student tracking, data walls
• Reporting collaboratively
• What does learning and student agency look like with 3 teachers and 61 students?  Hear about Daily 5 and Daily 3 – (the nuts and bolts of our literacy and numeracy)
• What is easy and more importantly what’s hard about collaboration
• Our ePortfolio journey with See Saw
• How to keep parents informed in real time – See Saw and Class Dojo

Come along and listen, learn, ask questions and … hopefully get some helpful takeaway tips.

Learning outcomes:
Delegates will:
– develop an understanding of how to foster collaborative teaching and learning practices with your teaching teams
– learn how planning, teaching and assessment can ‘work’ within a flexible learning space with 61 students and three teachers
– learn how Year 1 and 2 students can have ownership over where, when and how they learn
– explore how teachers can keep parents informed about their children in ‘real time’
– discover the importance of developing a ‘shared understanding’ of what collaboration means

Presenter: Shirley Bailey

Organisation: Te Kowhai School

Bio: Collaborative teacher and Leader of Learning at Te Kowhai School. I am in my 7th Year at Te Kowhai School. 2016 is my third year working within a collaborative teaching and learning environment. I am privileged to work alongside 2 amazing teachers everyday. We teach a lively, exuberant bunch of 61 Year 1s and 2s. I am a passionate and reflective teacher who is always looking for innovative ways to improve the learning experiences and outcomes for students.

Presenter: Nicki Grey 

Organisation: Te Kowhai School

Bio: Collaborative teacher at Te Kowhai School. Nicki is an experienced teacher who has worked at a number of different schools (ranging from very low to very high decile). This is Nicki’s third year working in a collaborative teaching and learning environment at Te Kowhai School. She started her journey in two single cell rooms working alongside 2 other teachers. Nicki is now in a purpose built flexible learning space where she enjoys teaching and learning alongside others every day.

Presenter: Cherie Cutler

Organisation: Te Kowhai School

Bio: Cherie is an experienced teacher and reading recovery trained. She has recently returned to the classroom full-time and is enjoying working in a purpose built flexible learning environment with 61 Year 1 and 2 students.


Key themes:

  • Started with working in single-celled
  • When the walls come down, collaboration was another ball game
  • Teach together, plan together, co-exist together, raise achievement
  • Every journey is different
  • We may not have it all together, but together we have it ALL
  • Before we can collaborate need to be on the same page, don’t have to be the same, but have shared vision
  • Growth mindset- using Dojo
  • http://www.dots.co.nz/
  • Learning community names instead of Room numbers
  • Hold our ideas light: be prepared to change, reflect, being questioned and challenged
  • Small things from organising stationary list
  • Planning done on iugo- https://www.iugo.co.nz/Er




What does this mean for my practice?

Communication is key especially when collaborating, team teaching and working closer with colleagues. I would be interested into looking further into Dots and running a professional development day to start the year of next year during one of our teacher only days. I would like to share this with the staff and get them thinking about how they communicate with others.



uLearn2016- Breakout 3: Transforming learning and assessment- A facilitated panel

Post Links to PTC4– demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of personal professional practice 

PTC5-show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning

Breakout 3: Transforming learning and assessment- A facilitated panel

Abstract:As approaches to teaching and learning change to better reflect what it is to be an educated person in the mid 21st century, so too will our approaches to assessment. Questions around why we assess, what we assess and how we assess have framed assessment debates and processes for many years. New answers to these questions will be required if we are to see the transformation necessary to meet the goals of a future-orientated education system.

The interface between teaching, learning and assessment is a challenging one. It has been said that “What you test is what you get.” If we widen this idea to say, “What you assess is what you get” it poses an interesting conundrum for educators: If we want to ‘get’ complex outcomes such as those associated with creativity, knowledge generation, relating to others, cultural intelligence and so on, how might we re-design assessment practices and processes to contribute to this learning? How might we embrace new methods and approaches while responding to existing demands? Furthermore, as greater attention is given to the influence of agency on learning, what are the implications on the design of assessment practices and processes when student agency matters?

This sofa session will explore these questions as they relate to transforming learning and assessment across the sectors.

Learning outcomes:
Delegates will:
– develop a clearer understanding of some of the issues around assessing complex learning outcomes
– develop understandings of the influence of student agency on new assessment approaches
– have the opportunity to consider new approaches to assessment for learning
Presenter: Keryn Davis
Organisation: CORE Education
Panelist: Joyce Seitzinger, Rose Hipkins, Maria Tibble and Larry Rosenstock,
Key themes 
  • Not the what, start with the WHO: Who is the student, where are they are from, who are their iwi, hui.
  • Just because we could assess it, should we?
  • Standards are the death of innovation
  • Weave the front and back of the curriculum together
  • Key com- reframing the i
  • Dual outcomes- now and bigger picture. What is the smaller outcome going to fit into the bigger picture.
  • We are all different, we started from a different place and are going to end up in a different place.
  • Measure people it is subjective
  • International questions around measuring human beings, not the solution
  • How can we design assessment into the curriculum instead of having another add-on
  • Why is there a disconnected between school and real life context?
What does this mean for me?
There are still requirements (National Standards) in which we are bound to. We just need to be creative with what this looks like. Be innovative and be creative.

uLearn2016-Taster 3: Maths ‘apply hour with Matific

Post Links to PTC4– demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of personal professional practice 

Taster 3:  Maths ‘apply hour with Matific  

Abstract:Inba Subramoney gives an insight into the pedagogy behind Matific which is aligned to the New Zealand Standards and the New Zealand Curriculum. As the seasoned teacher educator for Matific, Inba also has great adaptations of Matific that he has seen in classes all around the world.

Matific takes a unique approach to teaching Y1 – 8 math using hands-on and interactive mini-games, called episodes which is ideal for tablets and personal computers are based on a inquiry and collaborative learning pedagogy. Progressing from fundamental math objectives to increasingly challenging activities, the Matific learning system encourages children to internalise mathematical insights and rules. A process of guided self-discovery deepens student cognitive understanding, as well as a sense of personal achievement.

Learning outcomes:
Delegates will get a chance to create your free teacher account and have a play with the most influential online resource I have ever seen – Matific.
Presenter: Ina Subramoney
Organisation: Matific
Bio: Inba has many years teaching in the primary school. With ICT being one of my passions, I will demonstrate on how to incorporate it effectively in your class to help improve the student outcomes in your class for numeracy.

Key themes:

  • Can change this into one of the 40 different languages
  • Can sync with google classroom

What does this mean in my practice?

I would like to explore this more, especial because it has the added feature of 40 languages would be good to cater for our ESOL students.