Invested in success together

Issue: Volume 96, Number 7

Posted: 1 May 2017
Reference #: 1H9d7f

Secretary for Education Iona Holsted and Director of Education for Waikato Paula Rawiri recently met with leaders from the Matamata Kāhui Ako to learn about their shared vision.

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako are now well and truly off the ground with 197 approved, covering more than 540,000 children and young people.

Secretary for Education Iona Holsted and Director of Education for Waikato Paula Rawiri had the opportunity recently to meet with leaders from the Matamata Kāhui Ako. The meeting was held at Matamata Intermediate with five principals and two board members attending.

Matamata Kāhui Ako comprises Matamata College, Matamata Christian School, Firth School, Hinuera School, Matamata Intermediate, Matamata Primary School, Kuranui Primary School, St Joseph’s Catholic School, Te Poi School, Walton School and Wairere School. Together they make up a strong pathway of learning for about 2,400 students.

This was an opportunity for the leaders in the Kāhui Ako to share the benefits they’re seeing from working together and from a shared focus on their achievement challenges around improving culturally responsive and relational pedagogy, especially for boys and Māori students, and teacher efficacy and transformation through spirals of inquiry.

On the day Iona visited, the Matamata Kāhui Ako was in the process of interviewing for their across community teacher roles. The principals and board members at the meeting commented on the quality of applicants for the roles and were excited about getting the roles filled so they could get into the ‘grunt work’ of tackling their achievement challenges.

Kāhui Ako leader and principal of Matamata College Alan Munro and Matamata Intermediate principal Daryl Gibbs led a presentation based around the Kāhui Ako’s mission statement, Ma te kaha, te mahitahi me te mana hei whaangai te ara o te matauranga – Strengthen, collaborate and empower to foster the pathway of learning.

Iona reported that she was delighted to have the opportunity to share in the Matamata Kāhui Ako’s journey.

“It was fantastic to see a group of people committed to a shared vision and it’s important that we showcase that,” she says.

“The most encouraging thing was to see a group of school leaders so invested in the learning and wellbeing of 2,400 kids. This work is integral to providing strong pathways of learning for our kids and achieving excellence and equitable outcomes across our system. This is at the centre of Kāhui Ako and I appreciate the efforts of school leaders in driving this change.”

The principals and board members at the meeting reported that working together in a Kāhui Ako had given them the opportunity to be innovative and brave in their approach to accelerating achievement, particularly for boys and Māori students.

The principals talked about a renewed sense of purpose and depth of thinking as they collaborate and develop their own practice frameworks. The collective focus on shared achievement challenges has broadened the principals’ thinking about the work that goes into tackling those challenges.

The principals were also noticing the effects in a more practical sense. Alan reported that he has felt empowered by the opportunity to attend three Cross Sector Forums, linking up the work of the Matamata Kāhui Ako with what’s going on at a national level. A ‘Lead Principals Group’ (four of the principals) is also meeting every two or three weeks while the ‘Lead Learners Group’ (all principals in the Kāhui Ako) is meeting twice per term.

The team all talked about the change needed to see real accelerated achievement in their Kāhui Ako. Alan summed up the meeting with a collective challenge, “We can’t simply just do more – we have to do it differently!”

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 7:35 PM, 1 May 2017

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