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Towards enriched and responsible citizenship at Orewa College

Duration:
5:28
Views:
2051

Updates - July 2009

Edtalk - Leading change

Mark Quigley is the Deputy Principal at Orewa College. He discusses leading change in teaching and learning through a school-wide approach - Ako Orewa. Mark explains the school's learning environment created over 5 years, and based on proven pedagogy and practice.

Edtalk - Supporting change in an evolving school

Tony Zaloum is a specialist classroom teacher at Orewa College. His role is to encourage new approaches to teaching and learning across the school through professional development and supporting teachers on a one to one basis.

Background

Orewa College was established in 1956 as a district high school. In 2005, Orewa College transformed into a year 7-13 full secondary school with a roll of 1800 students and a staff of 145.

The transition to a year 7-13 school meant some fundamental changes in the district schooling philosophy. Up until then, the district consisted of seven primary schools, one intermediate school, and one secondary school.

After extensive consultation, the intermediate school was disestablished and replaced with a new full secondary college incorporating the existing Orewa Primary School site. Although there were many benefits of having an intermediate school, the community, staff and leadership all favoured the middle school philosophy for Orewa College.

This spearheaded a period of change for Orewa College in more ways than one. Alongside this new model of education at Orewa College, manaaki, ako and the middle school all came to the fore. These three elements would form the foundation of teaching and learning at Orewa College. Manaaki underpins the discipline system throughout the school, ako is the philosophy behind teaching and learning, and the middle school served as the pilot area for implementing and expanding the school's philosophy.

With the emergence of the new curriculum and key competencies, we are well on our way to merging the school's existing programmes and philosophy with the key competencies.

Orewa middle school forms the solid foundations on which to build the philosophies of manaaki and ako Orewa. These, along with the key competencies, will contribute collaboratively to the development of confident, connected, lifelong learners who will be actively involved in the social, economic, and environmental well-being of the wider community.

Manaaki

The behaviour management system at Orewa College is based on manaaki. Its primary focus is respect. Students are encouraged to respect themselves by being the best that they can be, respect others by being caring and considerate, and respect the environment. This is encouraged through the manaaki card system through which students aspire to be the best that they can be by achieving their bronze, silver, or gold manaaki awards.

Self-management credits are achieved through obeying the school rules, wearing uniform correctly, punctuality, and classroom behaviour and attendance. The manner in which they relate to staff and other students, and their participation in and contribution to school life, earns them recognition.

The target to achieve bronze is a full card of 20 stickers, a silver award is achieved by completing two silver cards of 40 stickers in total, and a gold award is achieved by completing three cards totalling 60 stickers. Students also earn manaaki credits in their quarterly reports.

Ako

Ako is the teaching and learning programme that incorporates common language and practice into all classroom programmes.

Managing self: Students set goals, are encouraged to set and aim for high standards, and are aware of requirements for each level of achievement.
Relating to others: Students have regular interactions with other students and staff through a variety of activities which encourage participation and cooperation, some examples of these are: house, co-curricular, and sporting activities; special interest groups; and assemblies run by students.
Participating and contributing: Common language and practice throughout the school instils confidence in students to participate in and contribute to learning experiences.
Thinking: Students are encouraged to think creatively and expand their thinking using graphic organisers and the language of ako. They also participate in an evaluation of teaching and learning each year, a process which gives them the opportunity to reflect on the effectiveness of teaching and learning at Orewa College. Enquiry learning is also integrated into most curriculum areas to encourage and enhance cognitive skills.
Using language, symbols, and text: Through ako, Orewa College has developed a common language that is used in classrooms from year 7-13. This common language also incorporates the use of graphic organisers for the presentation of ideas and is used to expand on common topics of discussion.

With manaaki, ako, and a sound teaching practice, Orewa College is well on its way to creating a learning environment for students to strive towards becoming enriched and responsible citizens.

Review questions image.

The Orewa College philosophy grew out of extensive consultation with the staff and community after the transition to a year 7-13 school in 2005.

The two guiding principles, Manaaki and Ako, are a feature of the philosophy of Orewa College and help to identify the school. The behaviour management system at Orewa College is based on manaaki. Its primary focus is respect.

Ako is the teaching and learning programme, which incorporates common language and practice into all classroom programmes.

Orewa middle school forms the foundations on which to build the philosophies of manaaki and ako, Orewa. These, along with the key competencies, contribute to the development of confident, connected, lifelong learners who will be actively involved in the social, economic, and environmental well-being of the wider community.

The process of creating a school philosophy that has a central theme can help to create a school identity that is owned by the school community. The language of the theme becomes the focus; the principles become the guidelines for success.

Discuss the possibilities for a central theme for your school.

Tags:
curriculum design and review
key competencies
middle
secondary

Published on: 19 Dec 2007


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