Learning hubs re-engage at Morrinsville College

Issue: Volume 94, Number 14

Posted: 10 August 2015
Reference #: 1H9cri

New learning communities set up at the Waikato school are having good results, in particular for one young student.

Morrinsville College student Maraea Hopa-Cribb admits she wasn’t interested in school last year.

“I was really bad, I was a bad girl - wagging, swearing at the teachers, just being naughty - all the things that you’re not meant to do at school,” she says.

This year, however, she loves school and is doing well in all her subjects.

When asked what helped her turn it all around, Maraea, 16, said one thing: “Mr Inger”.

“He helped me, because he’s the man,” she said.

“It was actually quite horrible, him always following me and asking me stupid questions.”

Principal John Inger was the learning coach for one of six learning hubs set up at the college for senior students as a trial last year.

Each hub included about 20 students, three who were at risk of not achieving along with other students the school had significant interest in, he said.

The purpose of the learning hubs is to build strong, caring and respectful relationships and discover what students’ passions and interests are.

Students receive help to set career and short-term academic goals, make sure that they are choosing the right subjects and they receive teaching support where there is a risk of under-achievement.

When Maraea first began in Inger’s group, she was not interested in school and was on track to fail NCEA Level 1.

Thanks to the support she found in the learning hub, Maraea went from student at risk of not achieving, to passing well and setting her sights on university study.

“I got a good boost for this year. I don’t want to miss a day - I love school, especially when Mr Inger’s here.”

And this year, Inger had kept the pressure on, she said.

“He still gets on my nerves a lot.”

Maraea’s success was an example of how well the learning hubs worked, Inger said.

“I think it’s fair to say there were some risk factors . . . but she’s come an enormous distance,” he said.

The six learning hubs last year were so successful that the college had decided to create 39 learning hubs this year, he said.

This article first appeared in the community newspaper Piako Post.

BY Teresa Ramsey
Piako Post,

Posted: 8:04 am, 10 August 2015

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