New Zealand Education
We often get variable messages in the press about the quality of NZ education whether it be related to achievement, new initiatives or student behaviour.
After spending a number of days recently in Korea visiting the parents of international students and an Education Fair I have to say that on a global scale our education system is well respected and held up as one of the best in the world. These comments come not only from the parents I spoke to but also other educational providers I interacted with at the fair.
Why are we internationally recognised?
While a number of factors contribute to our success as a jurisdiction there are two key elements that I believe stand us apart from others:
- Our framework of inquiry based learning for both students and teachers which is based on strong systems and evidence informed data
- Our innovative learning environments that illustrate what student learning should look like in a future focused world
Inquiry – students
The theory behind inquiry based learning is to involve the learner in researching issues and asking questions to develop their knowledge, leading him/her to a deeper understanding.
In practice inquiry learning includes a systematic process of gathering data, asking questions and converting this useful information into knowledge. The ANI inquiry process can be found here. When undertaking an inquiry, students will move through the following phases:
Each stage is facilitated by the teacher and the learning strategies or skills are scaffolded which means one builds upon the other. As a method of learning it provides a more interactive way of generating information and making meaning of it compared to memorising facts and information ‘Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand’ is the essence of inquiry.
Inquiry – teachers
Teachers also conduct an inquiry into their teaching practice to see how effective it is and how it can be improved. This inquiry forms part of the teachers annual appraisal. The most powerful conversations that teachers can have are the ones where they ask ‘what did you do to get such good results from your kids’. Teachers learning from each other is the best form of professional development.
Last week we had cyber expert John Parsons speak to staff, students and parents about cyber safety and the specific challenges children face when using ICT. We hope this was helpful for parents and students in managing the ever growing demands and changing nature of social media.
In preparation for John’s visit we did some background reading and I thought this article from the Daily Telegraph UK was an interesting read.
SAME OLD BULLIES
Cyberbullying has largely affected children who were already being picked on rather than creating new victims, according to researchers. In recent years, helplines for children have reported huge increases in the number of online victims, who are often abused and taunted through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. But a study found that most children would have been bullied regardless of new technology, as the internet merely gave bullies another outlet to torment victims. Academics at the University of Warwick wanted to determine whether cyberbullying finds new victims and also to find out if online abuse was worse psychologically for victims than traditional playground bullying. Although nearly one in three of the children said they had been bullied, just 1% were bullied online only, the study found. Cyberbullying was found to lower self-esteem and increase depression as seriously as traditional bullying. When youngsters were bullied by multiple means, such as being beaten, socially excluded, or victimised online, the psychological impact was worse. Being able to target victims online allowed the reach of bullies to extend into their homes. These findings show that very few new victims are created. The same bullies that confront their victims in school and know them face to face also now use cyber tools to bully their victims and extend their reach to outside school. However, being directly victimised and relationally excluded are still the main forms of bullying.
– Daily Telegraph UK; the research was published in the journal European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
If you have any ongoing concerns about cyber safety please don’t hesitate to get hold of John (click here) or myself (click here). The notes from John’s presentation to students and parents can be found here.
Further on in the newsletter we have published the dates of our assessment schedule. Our results from these academic tests quite consistent. The only recent variable we experienced was when we went to online testing last year. Students were a little wary about this non pen and paper test which dipped our results slightly. An interesting article from Andreas Schleicher (Division Head of OECD Programme for International Student Assessment) about recent falls in the results of top ranked countries shows a similar pattern. However, the good news is that now our students are used to online testing our results have maintained a consistent level.
(OECD article in School News, TES March 2017)
|Monday 10 April|
|Tuesday 11 April||AIMS Netball Trials, 12:40pm (ANI courts)|
|Table Tennis Programme, Gillies Ave, 3:40pm|
|Wednesday 12 April||Opening Ceremony for ILES, 11:00am|
|AIMS Netball Trials (saver day)|
|Thursday 13 April||Year 7 Awards Assembly, 11:00am|
|Year 8 Awards Assembly, 1:30pm|
|End of Term One, 3:00pm|
|Monday 1 May||Term Two Begins, 8:40pm|
All school events are put on our school website and can be found by clicking here.
On our website we have introduced a new section. By clicking on the tab ‘Our School’ then ‘School Presentations’ you will be able to download information from recent parent evenings. Click here to view.
Assessment and Learning
At ANI we believe that students who understand and are involved in their learning will experience accelerated rates of progress and achievement. Students who know what they need to learn, where they are with their learning and what their next steps are will be successful learners.
To enable your child to lead their own learning and for teachers to make informed decisions we carry out a number of standardised school wide assessments.
So you are aware of when these school wide assessments take place, see the table below. Please note: sometimes these dates may need to change due to unexpected circumstances.
|Week 2||6 to 10 February||e-asTTle Writing|
|Week 3||13 to 17 February||e-asTTle Reading|
|Week 11||10 to 14 April||e-asTTle Number and Algebra|
|e-asTTle Geometry and Measurement|
|Week 1||1 to 5 May||PAT Reading Comprehension|
|Week 2||8 to 12 May||PAT Punctuation and Grammar|
|Week 8||19 to 23 June||PAT Maths|
|TBA||e-asTTle Geometry and Measurement|
|On going||GLOSS (Number strategy)|
|Week 1||24 to 28 July||e-asTTle Reading|
|Week 7||4 to 8 September||Writing|
|Week 6||28 August to 1 September||e-asTTle Number and Algebra|
|TBA||e-asTTle Geometry and Measurement|
|Week 1||9 to 13 October||PAT Reading Comprehension|
|Week 2||16 to 20 October||PAT Punctuation and Grammar|
Otago Problem Solving Challenge
Every year we offer students the opportunity to participate in the Otago Problem Challenge, this is a mathematics problem solving competition for intermediate aged students across New Zealand. It is organised by members of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Otago.
At ANI, Otago Problem Solving comes under the umbrella of Maths Extension. Interested student are invited to participate in a problem solving test. All students who answer three questions correctly are entered into the Otago Problem Solving competition. This means that they will complete 5 sets of problem solving on fixed dates between April and August. The test scores are sent to Otago University and entered into a national database, so that students at ANI compete against other students around New Zealand. At the end of the year high achieving students are awarded certificates and prizes for their achievements.
In addition, students who answered four or more questions correctly are given the opportunity to participate in a problem solving extension program to practice high level thinking. This will be run once a week starting in term two.
If you have any questions about Otago Problem Challenge please contact Andy Lawrence by clicking here.
At ANI learning supports runs differently than what you may have seen at other schools.
Traditionally students are withdrawn for learning support by an independent teacher, however we found children were reluctant to attend these one off lessons which was in turn hindering their academic progress.
At ANI Leaning support is carried out by the classroom teacher with the support of the Associate Principal (AP). Students are taught in small groups across the year group, depending on the needs of each group. Classroom teachers are responsible for planning and teaching the accelerated learning programme. The AP will go into the classroom and teach the class while the classroom teacher is teaching the small groups. Testing will be carried out regularly to determine who will be part of the group and what curriculum area needs to be taught.
Term 1 – Year 8
Term 2 – Year 7
Term 3 – Year 8
Term 4 – Year 7
We have found this form of learning support to be very effective as children have a connection with the teacher who is taking the group. Achievement and engagement levels have increased substantially as a result of this targeted teaching.
On Friday 17 March Year 7 and 8 students headed south for our annual trip to the Polyfest at the super bowl in Manukau. The ASB Polyfest features traditional music, dance, costume and is now recognised as an important showcase of New Zealand’s diverse cultures and a celebration of youth performance. This is a wonderful experience for our ANI students to witness performances and traditional items from the following cultures – Cook Islands, Maori, Niue, Samoan and Tongan. There was also a Diversity stage featuring performances from a range of cultural groups including Fijian, Tokelau, Chinese, Korean and Indian.
Below are some of the experiences from children who went to the Polyfest:
I rawe rawa te Ramere kua pahure, i te whakanui i nga ahurea poronihiana.
I reira e maha nga wahi hoko kai.
Ka taea te rongo atu ki nga pakiri me te kohauhau, kua ki te harikoa.
He reka te kai, he pai te kakara hoki. Kaua e wareware te tumahi wheako o Polyfest.
Ka whakanui i te ahurea me tona ahua ora.
He tino hikaka, na te hikaka me menemene koe i nga wa katoa.
I te whakatu matou nga tamariki i te ahua “open minded” ma nga ahurea katoa, i te whakaatu
Hoki i te ahua “Risk Takers”.
– Jaylen Murray, Room 4
“Last Friday was incredible, celebrating the Maori and Polynesian culture. There were heaps of stalls and fresh food to go around, and buy. You could hear the loud drums and the atmosphere around, Polyfest was just full of joy. The food was delicious and the aromas were great. The experience of Polyfest is one not to forget. It just shows the rich culture and the liveliness. It’s so exciting you get caught up and can’t help but smile. We were open minded about the cultures and were risk takers looking around the stadiums and we were open minded because we celebrated the performances.”
– Rosie Whyte, Room 4
Check out the ANI facebook page for photos.
New Sun Shades
With the completion of the final six classrooms into ILE’s the PTA have kindly funded two sun shades to offer some much needed shade over the new deck area outside room 21 and 22. The sun shades are currently being erected and will be a great asset to the quad area. A big thank you to the PTA for allocating a large proportion of their funds to provide the sun shades for the students. (These were funds from our recent chocolate sales).
Overseas Trip Updates
Thank you for the interest from students and parents in applying for the Japan and Cairns trips in 2017. We have had a great response to the trips and I would like to confirm we have 23 students heading to Japan and 27 students off to Cairns. We wish the students a safe and exciting trip to their destinations.
Health and Safety Student Group
A recent initiative developed by Mr Rathgen with the student body is a H&S group. This group provides a student’s perspective on any H&S hazards or issues around the school and students report to the property manager weekly on matters that they think need attention. This is another example of providing student agency and having a say in the operations of the school.
Safety of Students
This is a timely reminder for students and parents to continue to be safe on the way to school and when returning home. Please consider the following points:
- If students are walking to school please consider walking with a friend or group of friends
- Be aware of the public when walking on footpaths and cars coming out of driveways
- Parents drop of students at the main gates not inside the school grounds, especially on a wet day
- Students must get to school on time each day, and sign out at the office if they have appointments during the day
Japanese Homestays Needed
Could your family offer a Japanese student an opportunity to experience Kiwi culture in your home?
ANI is looking to provide homestays between 17 – 20 August for 20 Japanese students as part of a cultural exchange with Aoba School in Fukuoka.
The home stay will be for four nights and will involve a school experience at ANI as well as a kiwi experience with their homestays. The students do not need to have their own separate room and can share a room with your child. This will also be a good opportunity for those students going to Japan in September, from ANI, to reciprocate the offer of a homestay to experience what it will feel like being in a new home and environment.
At this stage I am asking for expressions of interest and once we have enough homestays I will be sending out more information. Please note that all homestays will need to complete a police vet.
Please email me if you are able to homestay a student and provide a kiwi experience for them. I can be contacted by clicking here.
Click here to view the sports news on our website. The sports page will be updated regularly after sports events with results and photos.
The annual chocolates raised $22,000 this year. Thanks to all the families who supported their children selling chocolates, and also to the parents who assisted in counting the incoming chocolate money. This money goes directly back to the kids in buying items that the school does not have Government funding for. Reminder: There is still $1,500 outstanding. Can all money please be returned to the school office urgently.
At the PTA meeting on Monday 6 March, the committee approved funding to go towards:
- A new BBQ
- Pasifika Costumes
- Shade sails for the new deck outside Room 22
- Bean bags for each class
- A robotic set
Last year we raised $37,500 to give back to the school. This went towards
- An honours board
- Staff jackets
- Recycling bins
- Tents for year 8 camp
- Enviro Group
- Mobile TVs
- Skeleton and torso for science room
- A/c unit for library
- Sports uniforms
As a very small group, we are very proud of our achievements. My sincere thanks go to the few dedicated mothers who wholeheartedly support ANI. My thanks also to Jill, the SLT and the office staff, without whose support we could not do what we do for our kids.
At the AGM I resigned from the PTA. My youngest child left ANI at the end of last year so it is time to hand over to the next lot of parents.
The next PTA meeting is on Monday 8 May at 7:00pm in the library, everyone is welcome.
Epsom Girls Grammar Open Morning
Tuesday 2 May
Auckland Normal Intermediate students are invited to the 10:45am session.
Wendy Smith from EGGS will be coming to talk to our Year 8 girls on Friday 7 April, 9:00am. If you require more information, please make contact with Wendy Smith by clicking here.
Click here to view more community news.