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Red Beach School vision

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In this MOE seminar, staff, students, and a parent from Red Beach School discuss the use of ePortfolios as a teaching and learning tool. In this first part of the series, principal Shirley Cope describes how she worked with staff, students, the Board of Trustees and the community to design the Red Beach School vision.

This seminar is presented in six clips:

  1. The Red Beach School vision
  2. How we have developed e-reflection in our school
  3. Students' perspectives
  4. A parent's perspective
  5. A teacher's perspective
  6. Where to next and questions

Professional learning conversations

These questions and suggested actions encourage you to reflect on your own school context.

Considering your school vision

When developing a vision statement think of ways in which the entire school community can be involved in discussions about the curriculum and pedagogy used in your school. Shared beliefs are more likely to emerge when the quality of the consultation process has been strong. The more that beliefs are held in common or shared, the greater the ongoing effort of people to sustain it and the more efficient the process will be (adapted from Fullan, 2006). 
Vision, principles and values (PDF 935KB)

  • In what ways have you carried out quality community consultation? What else could you try?
  • How does your school vision reflect the aspirations and identities of the different groups in your community? What would be the best way to find out?

Replicate Red Beach School's questioning of students. What are they saying about their learning? What needs to change as a result?

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Mother and children.

Community engagement
The resources on this site support school leaders, teachers, and professional learning facilitators as they engage with school communities.


Te Ropere

Tihei Mauri Ora
Te whare e tū nei tēna koe
Te marae e takoto nei tēna koe
E nga mate haere, haere, haere
Ki te hunga ora tēna koutou, tēna koutou, tēna koutou katoa


Hello, my name is Justin. We are from Red Beach School. This is Te Ropere, Sophie and Nadija, Lucy Finlayson, Shirley Cope, Chris Bradbeer and Turanita Tipene. Today we will be talking about the Red Beach School vision. How we have developed e-learning in our school. Students will share about how the learning journals work. A parent's perspective, a teacher's perspective, where to next and a questions and sharing time. Mrs Cope our associate principal will begin by sharing about the school vision and life long learning qualities.

Shirley Cope

As Ian said, five years ago we started with our vision and I think it is really important that we start this presentation with our vision. Our learning journals, we didn't wake up one day and think ‘oh that could be a good idea’, they are very much part of our journey that started five years ago. To create our vision we took our staff away and we asked two big questions. The first one was Why School? and the second one was Why Red Beach School? And after a lot of dialogue and consultation we came up with our Red Beach School vision. The overarching word you can see there is empowering or empowerment. And that word has come to encompass everyone. I think at the time when we set our vision or went through that process we were thinking of our students, but it certainly has become part of our whole community. Staff and students alike have come to have ownership over their learning rather than having it done to them. You can see there on the right another one of the five concepts we came up with was making a difference. We really want to make a difference to our students who come through our school but we also want them to know that they can make a difference to the world they are in. The word Achieve is not a word that our teachers came up with. I think we took that for granted. But it was our board of trustees that said in a vision you do not take anything for granted.

The school had always had a high achievement record and the board of trustees wanted to ensure that we didn't let that go with us taking on board the new things. Community, we believe that that was really important for our students in the world they were growing up in, that they learnt how to be a part of the community, but that they also learnt to be lifelong learners.

When we asked our students what makes a great learner, we were sure that they would know because learning is the core business of school. But we asked 80 students on video what is a good learner and they said, good learners sit up straight, good learners do as they are told, good learners don't call out, some of them said good learners pick up rubbish. And we were devastated as a school. Because our core business was learning, our teachers knew what was learning. When we asked our teachers the same question they filled a whiteboard with what learning was. And that was a big aha for us. If we wanted our students to be learners and have a language to talk about learning, that we had to intentionally teach it. So at Red Beach School we intentionally teach questioning, we talk about taking risks in our learning, we talk about setting goals and making plans. We talk about making connections with our previous learning for new learning as a strategy for learning. We talk about persevering and what it takes to persevere. What do you do when you get stuck in your learning. if you're not stuck do you let your teacher know so you do have that stretch in your learning. And we talk about reflection.

And that reflection I suppose, the work we've done around reflection comes to the point we are today with sharing about our learning journals. As you listen to Chris and Lucy, our students, and our parent, I hope that you will hear those concepts, how those concepts have become part of our school culture. We don't pretend that we have arrived. But we are certainly excited about the journey that we are on.

Published on: 15 Jul 2010