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16 February 2018

posted 15 Feb 2018, 17:18 by Carolyn Brett   [ updated 15 Feb 2018, 18:19 by Stephanie Williams ]
We have made it to the end of the first full week of school in 2018. It's been full of action in every which way - whether it's been inside, outside, alongside the classroom. This notion of 'classrooms without walls' isn't new. As you will witness at home with your children, so much learning happens that is not within the confines of classroom walls. 

One thing that always stands out for me, as I observe and listen to children working together outside of the confines of 168 Seatoun Heights Rd, is literally the space this allows for children to be viewed from a different perspective, for strengths to be identified that otherwise may be lying low or undiscovered. It may also be that it is this opportunity which provides impetus for building greater self efficacy in areas of learning that don't come so easily. 

Additionally, we have never known so much about learning as we do now as we have never known how much about what happens in the brain when learning occurs. Technology has advanced so much! So what's important?

Extensive studies have identified the following elements:
  • Personalised learning: no two individuals learn in the same way, nor do they bring the same prior knowledge to a learning experience. The way we learn is as unique as our fingerprint. 
  • Socially constructed learning (Johnson, 1981): the collaboration, peer-tutoring and reciprocal teaching that occurs when students work together results in a deeper understanding of the material being covered. 
  • Differentiated learning (Bloom, 1974): the prior knowledge we all bring to a task means individuals require different levels of challenge, pace, content and context. 
  • Learning that is initiated by students themselves (Ramey & Ramey, 2004): typically when a student initiates a learning experience or exploration, they learn more. 
  • Learning that is connected to the physical world and authentic contexts: children learn through interaction with others and the physical world (Malone & Tranter, 2003).
(From Mark Osborne, Core Education, 2013)

The current focus for Inquiry Learning across the school is Kaitiaki o te Ngahere, Guardians of the Forest! This provides stunning opportunities to get outside and connect learning to the physical, real and authentic world and across many different learning areas. It will definitely provide opportunities for unrealised strengths to be tapped.

The Newsletter, Blogs, Seesaw, and upcoming Goal Setting Meetings, plus the Open Morning, will provide plenty of scope for you to support learning outside the four walls too. For those of you at the Wrap 2017 you will have heard me talk about the strength of the triangle - the strongest shape of all. Our triangle being the children, teachers/staff and yourselves. Let's have an extra strong 2018.