How Howick Coast Kāhui Ako is nurturing new teachers

Issue: Volume 103, Number 3

Posted: 13 March 2024
Reference #: 1HAfXW

For over three years, provisionally certified teachers in the East Auckland area have been embraced and empowered by a bespoke programme to support the best start to their careers.

Howick Coast Kāhui Ako learn by doing: STEM and culturally responsive pedagogy.

Howick Coast Kāhui Ako learn by doing: STEM and culturally responsive pedagogy.

Newly qualified teachers across the six primary and intermediate schools of Howick Coast Kāhui Ako are immersed in a supportive learning environment that strengthens and grows their capacity to deliver effective learning, as well as nurturing them as individuals and teachers.

Twice a term, provisionally certified teachers (PCTs) meet with across school leads (ASLs) as part of “a full and exciting programme that covers their needs”, says Liz Whittaker.

Liz, an across school lead, alongside Botany Downs School’s Rachel Ryan and Helen Henkin of Howick College, explains that taking time out from their individual schools means PCTs are coming together to make their journey collaborative, and helps remove silos.

“Collaboration really is the key. This programme is our local, special place for PCTs to forge strong connections with others who are at the same stage of their career journey in the local area.

“Such support not only benefits these new teachers, but it also flows on to ākonga and the success of the school, kāhui ako, and the communities.”

Howick Primary and Intermediate schools, and Brookby, Maraetai Beach, Clevedon, and Botany Downs schools are all involved in the two-year programme, which develops a sense of collegiality and responds to sector needs.

“Our kāhui ako has expertise that we draw on for content sessions, including art, music, physical education, and dance teachers, as well as ESOL and LSC/SENCO specialists,” says Liz.

“The majority of the programme is created and delivered by the ASLs, so we have a robust and comprehensive bank of presentations at hand to deliver to the wider schools’ staff if needed.”

Maraetai Beach School teacher Liz says highlights include the collaboration between teachers from different schools over the two-year period, which culminates in a graduation and gift presentation, and includes plenty of shared lunches and morning teas.

Clear focus points

Delivered in a series of eight days (two per term), the PCT Programme begins with a session on ‘Learning Focused Relationships’ and ‘Creating a Classroom Culture’. This first day also covers topics such as: pedagogical approaches to teaching reading, programme design, differentiation/groupings, behaviour management and living school values.

Learning-focused relationships: workshops about learning through research and best evidence.

Learning-focused relationships: workshops about learning through research and best evidence.

Themes covered on day two include culturally responsive practice, strategies for ESoL learners, developing learner agency in writing, practical ideas for integrating music, and more. A rich syllabus continues throughout the two-year course.

“We differentiate the programme for first year and second year PCTs, and sometimes for the year groups when it suits. We always gather feedback and develop the next sessions based on this,’’ explains Liz.

An additional benefit of the PCT programme is that it allows opportunities for kāhui ako to identify key levers to strengthen student achievement, augmenting effective teaching and learning practices.

“The feedback from the PCTs and from the leadership of the kura has been exceptionally positive, and we are very proud of our content and delivery. We share all our resources and presentations and utilise as much hands-on, practical learning as possible,” says Liz.

Depth of shared learning

Information from the programme is showcased in a termly newsletter to the kāhui ako, with PCT feedback consistently glowing. Feedback is constantly sought as to what topics kaiako want to learn more about.

One kaiako was keen to discover more about effective learning for ākonga with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and said the subsequent session on this was hugely valuable.

“This was one of the areas of learning that I requested in a previous survey so it was most valuable for me to be able to have ASD unpacked – how ASD ākonga can present in the class, the differences, and the strategies that can help with an understanding as to why we use them.”

New learnings shared by participants from a recent session included how to give students more agency in writing to increase motivation, and how to deliver oral language barrier activities.

Encouraging a breadth and depth of ongoing learning, increasing engagement, providing support and, importantly, enabling new teachers to enjoy the journey – the PCT Programme is powering the future of those carving out careers in education.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 12:25 pm, 13 March 2024

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