Curriculum a big focus at Teacher-Only Day

Issue: Volume 102, Number 6

Posted: 11 May 2023
Reference #: 1HA_nx

Resilience was a leading theme of a Teacher-Only Day that attracted more than 600 teachers from primary, intermediate and secondary schools across the Franklin district.

Glenbrook Primary School principal Lysandra Stuart ran a session highlighting the mahi of the Waiuku Kāhui Ako, including work alongside mana whenua Ngāti Te Ata.

Glenbrook Primary School principal Lysandra Stuart ran a session highlighting the mahi of the Waiuku Kāhui Ako, including work alongside mana whenua Ngāti Te Ata.

'Bounce, flow, connect and grow’ was one of the take-home phrases for participants of the hugely popular Franklin Teacher-Only Day event held in late April at Pukekohe Park Racecourse.

Insights into how educators choose to spend moments outside of school prompted much reflection, and some raucous laughter, from audiences of Dr Sven Hansen’s sharing on ‘Rhythm and Resilience’ as a factor in wellbeing.

Eye-opening statistics, such as a study that found adults, on average, check their phone 220 times per day, were cause for real reflection and review of how we extract ourselves from our devices and ensure we rest while away from work.

Sleep and its role in maintaining healthy mental and physical states was discussed, with much interest being derived from the concept of routine in relation to our own unique circadian rhythms.

Nicole Kennedy-Smith and Julie Lawson.

Nicole Kennedy-Smith and Julie Lawson.

Educators were asked to probe their own sleep patterns and decide if they were owls or larks. Advice from The Resilience Institute about the benefits of a 15-minute powernap after lunch was received with much agreement and amusement.

Curriculum change

Dr Deborah Lomax unpacked the kaupapa of Te Mātaiaho and the importance of inclusion as a cornerstone of change. She invited educators to assess their level of readiness around The New Zealand Curriculum refresh and pointed to some of these upcoming changes.

Comparing these to the 2007 curriculum, Deborah noted the refreshed framework’s importance as a whakapapa based around seven components, which call on schools to enact three curriculum principles to ensure equity and inclusion for all ākonga. She explained the five phases of learning will contain 40 progress outcomes across eight learning areas, all with Mātauranga Māori at the heart of learning.

Dr Shaun Hawthorne dived into the Progressions Framework and the Understand, Know, Do model of the curriculum refresh, providing an overview and evidencing research that backs these models.

His presentation shared the integrated and impactful approaches embedded in its design and allowed educators to review and reflect on many facets of the new-look curriculum by presenting progress outcome examples, prompting discussion and requesting feedback on the refresh.

Kāhui ako sessions

Each of Franklin’s lead principals’ group led kāhui ako sessions, with co-organiser of the event, Glenbrook Primary School principal Lysandra Stuart, running a session highlighting the mahi of the Waiuku Kāhui Ako, including work alongside mana whenua Ngāti Te Ata.

Lysandra emphasised some of the practicalities of this work and celebrated achievements of local schools, such as work with wahi tapu (sacred places) and other taonga or treasures in the local communities.

She issued important reminders to kaiako regarding the curriculum refresh, saying, “We are not throwing the baby out with the bath water. We are already doing amazing things in our classes, which we will continue to do.”

Throughout each session there was a big focus on the new curriculum refresh. The across-school teachers talked about each of their workstreams (Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories and Literacy), what they have focused on and their next steps.

Alongside Pukekohe Kāhui Ako, the Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum (ANZHC) team unpacked mahi undertaken in the last 12 months, providing an explanation of the model in terms of the spread and scale of the work across the kāhui ako.

Understand, know, do

Hayden Brill, lead principal of Pukekohe Kāhui Ako, says the event provided the opportunity for valuable review and reflection.

“Throughout each kāhui ako session there was a big focus on the new curriculum refresh and unpacking the Understand, Know and Do areas within the refresh.”

Vision Education’s Leitia Preston.

Vision Education’s Leitia Preston.

Vision Education’s Leitia Preston also delved into links to Understand, Know and Do, and discussed the local history of the area.

Leitia gave clear explanations around the authority within iwi and mana whenua to speak around local curriculum and history.

Throughout her discussion, Leitia identified how to be culturally responsive, particularly when asking tamariki to prepare and present a pepeha, ensuring the appropriate use of the pepeha for Māori and Pacific learners.

Tikanga is often used in schools and Leitia discussed how, while schools are competently addressing the ‘Do’ aspect of the curriculum, they do not always focus on the ‘Understand’ and ‘Know’ aspects. 

“They [schools] ‘Do’ aspects of tikanga. This is now what all schools are tasked with: to identify what ‘Understand’ and ‘Know’ are really all about. This is the focus for each of the workstream representatives to learn about then share within their own schools.”

Sense of unity

A newly written waiata, Puketapu, was shared with attendees by the local kaipurakau team, and tells the story of how Ngāti Te Ata descended.

Whaea Ngaatipikiao (Piki) Jakeman and Lysandra outlined the opportunities kapa haka and waiata bring to the classroom and how they link to Te Mātaiaho, marau ā-kura | local curriculum, Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories and their kāhui ako education plan for Māori.

Lysandra celebrated the achievements of local schools.

Lysandra celebrated the achievements of local schools.

“For our teachers, students and whānau, learning waiata about the rohe and whakapapa of our tupuna written by our local iwi is not only brilliant history recall, but engaging and uplifting,” says Lysandra.

“This is a wonderful way to reinforce te reo me nga tikanga. The Waiuku Kāhui Ako Māori media project allows us to gift our teachers the stories correctly in a way that is utilised daily in the classroom across all our schools.”

Jonathan Salisbury, lead principal of Tuakau Kāhui Ako, welcomed the chance to unite local teaching professionals in person for a day of learning and sharing.

“It was a valuable opportunity for all Franklin educators to come together and receive a unified message,” he says.

“As educators, we understand that our work is never truly finished, and we are always looking for ways to better support the growth and development of our students.

“This event emphasised the importance of working together as a community, sharing our knowledge and resources, and learning from one another.”

Lunchtime kōrero overlooking the racecourse.

Lunchtime kōrero overlooking the racecourse.

Valuable discussion

Te Kāhui Ako o te Puuaha o Waikato presented their shared focus and the resources available to educators in the areas of learning, learning support, transitions, and assessment.

The information presented by the across-school leaders was both informative and practical, providing educators with valuable insights and tools that can be applied to their daily work.

Event co-lead Lysandra was buoyed by the level of engagement in terms of numbers of attendees and praised the quality of content, related discussion and learning.

“A special thanks to the Ministry of Education for resourcing this day. Every curriculum needs to be resourced correctly and the most valuable resource for schools is time.

“It is so important that we can have all our schools and teachers together to hear, unpack and engage in the same message.

“It’s easy to itemise all the things we get annoyed about or hoha, but national Teacher-Only Days to tautoko the work we do in our districts is valuable.”

There was a big focus on the curriculum refresh, particularly the 'Understand, Know, Do' model.

There was a big focus on the curriculum refresh, particularly the 'Understand, Know, Do' model.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 11:00 am, 11 May 2023

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