Disruptive excellence How Hamish Brewer’s unruly approach yields academic excellence
Cohort conundrums Under-five entrants get the red light
The impact new technologies have on our lives and education
Meeting the needs of priority learners
TOO STRESSED TO LEARN Two-thirds of NCEA students are severely affected by anxiety or stress
Debating the merits of learning a second language Genesis energy’s flagship initiative for schools
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“Stress levels in the office have reduced because staff can now complete their work without taking it home.” Jackie Corbett, Finance Manager, Raumati Beach School
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CONTENTS 6: Bringing Beeby’s vision to life
PPTA boss Jack Boyle says any educator’s role is too important to ignore
8: Out with the old?
7: Less stress, more donations with online payments
Smoothing out finances a win for all in any school office
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How Hamish Brewer’s unruly approach yields academic excellence
11: To be bilingual or not to be?
Debating the merits of learning a second language
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While the learning environment has become noticeably more interactive with advancements in technology, does lack of visual or ergonomic evolution have any impact on the academic prowess of generations to come?
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Two-thirds of NCEA students are severely affected by anxiety or stress
Teachers need more time to focus on doing their work well
The range of aids to help students with a disability has flourished
WORKING SPACE 18: Making a healthy menu
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20: Staying sun safe The NZ Cancer Society’s SunSmart Schools Accreditation programme
Genesis Energy’s flagship initiative for schools, School-gen, heats up
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The impact new technologies are having on our lives and education
21: Solar programme heats up
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Under-five entrants get the red light
11: Meeting the needs of priority learners
12: A brave new world of technology
14: Assistive technology makes a difference
10: Cohort conundrums
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It’s important we get education right – but how do we know that we are?
6: Sitting pretty
Prepared communities start with prepared kids
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News | Viewpoints
Jack Boyle PPTA president www.ppta.org.nz
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bringing beeby’s vision to life
the importance of learning and developing
Our education system is built on strong foundations.
In my experience, most organisations want to look after their staff well but, given the seemingly intangible nature of wellness, are unsure of the best way to spend their dollar.
The key elements of building a high performance culture.
Beeby’s pronouncement in 1939 that, “all persons, whatever their ability, rich or poor, whether they live in town or country, have a right as citizens to a free education of the kind for which they are best fitted and to the fullest extent of their powers,” is one of those foundations. Another is us. Hei tangata: the teachers and principals of Aotearoa who are tasked with bringing Beeby’s vision to life. And we do. The outcomes for young people who move through our education system are amongst the best in the world, and while there are always areas we can improve, particular groups whose needs we want to better meet - acknowledging that we must do better does not mean that our efforts on behalf of the many are somehow diminished. Instead, I believe we should be looking forward together. The opportunities presented by a 30year plan for education in Aotearoa, a review of Tomorrow’s Schools, Kahui Ako, the Education Council’s Leadership Strategy and changes to education funding, may well help us to harness our collective motivation to make our education system even better, so that every young person can realise their promise. Students, whānau and community know the vital contribution we make to Aotearoa New Zealand and look to us to bring to bear our mana, our professionalism and our shared commitment to ensure that our education system leads the world. I firmly believe that in partnership the principals and teachers of New Zealand can get there. PPTA will continue to demand greater government commitment to a salary that attracts top quality teachers and retains them, to the increased staffing needed to reduce class sizes, and to dramatically improve operational funding so that the needs of all our students can be met and principals have more freedom to lead. “Goodwill” should no longer be the price principals and teachers pay for the maintenance and improvement of secondary education in Aotearoa. On behalf of teachers and the PPTA, thank you for all you do.
After all, how do you know if your investment and commitment to the cause is going to be worth it? How do you measure if you really are getting a healthy return? My advice is to start with the basics. A challenge every workplace has, is that people come in all shapes and sizes. One size desk or chair does not suit all, and so the starting point of any programme within an office setting is the furniture selection. When buying a desk, it pays to buy those that are easily height adjustable so that individuals can set them at the right height for themselves, by themselves. And remember that just because a desk or chair is adjustable, not everyone will know how to adjust it. This is also true if you’re investing in sit stand desks; make sure people know how to adjust them up and down during the day. Adjustable desks may cost more at the outset but will benefit with less lost time off work and increased productivity, particularly for those people who have to sit for long periods of the day. Get advice on the right kind of desk for your people and the tasks they are doing before you buy. It can save money long term and ensure optimal use of this furniture. Set workstations up correctly. Screen height and position is another crucial area which, if not addressed correctly at time of set-up, can lead to eye and neck strain – two of the most common complaints from high computer users, but there are others. Take a moment to consider your workplace. Is there anyone– including you - who might be at risk of: Developing awkward postures, doing repetitive tasks for long periods of time, being stuck in static postures (having no reason to move), or building up muscle tension (having no opportunity to rest). Again, ensuring people are aware of the correct positioning will reduce the risk of injuries and, subsequent lost time off work.
When it comes to building a high performance culture, learning and development is a key discussion point and upon reflection, I’ve reaffirmed with myself the importance it plays with staff engagement. The reasons why an employee leaves an organisation, be it a poor relationship with their supervisor or manager, lack of career direction, inadequate challenge in their position or for higher pay - all have direct ties to learning and development. Why?, you might say… well here is my view. It is all about making staff feel valued. They will feel valued if you care; care about their professional development and career path. Ultimately, the more someone excels professionally, the better lives they will lead. We all want to live better lives, right? And don’t under-estimate the fulfilment you get as the leader in seeing your staff grow and develop. Fulfilment comes intrinsically by making a difference in someone else’s life. This can be done by engaging staff and having a better understanding of their real career drivers, their strengths and weaknesses, where they want to take their career and so forth. By simply turning this into a conversation and subsequently a formal career development plan, you can then partner with your employee to improve their skills. This can be done via a range of methods: Internal and external training, coaching, mentoring, leadership development, on the job experience, empowerment and delegation, and various other means to enable a staff member to grow their skills. What do you get in return? I would say definitely improved engagement; your employee sees you adding value to them by learning new skills and taking on new challenges (both building confidence), and they will see an improved career path. Secondly, you have staff who can then be promoted from within, allowing them to increase their earning potential/ pay. But most importantly, they simply value that you care.
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Less stress, more donations with online payments Raumati Beach School on Wellington’s Kapiti Coast has 688 students on the roll between Year 1 and Year 8. Up until last year, this generated large volumes of traffic through the office. Admin staff were working later and longer, becoming less satisfied with the amount they could achieve in a working day, according to finance manager, Jackie Corbett. At the time, the school accepted payments through EFTPOS, internet banking and cash. Some families also used automatic payments and credit on accounts which had to be journaled, producing a lot of manual reconciliation and double handling. In response to the demands on office staff, Jackie started to investigate the online payments system, Kindo. “I liked the fact that Kindo can handle small regular deposits, creating a fund for parents to allocate as needs arise. This gave our parents with APs an alternative that worked better for us,” Jackie says. “Kindo also offered credit card options at no cost to the school.” By week two of term one 2017, Kindo was in place. It immediately became easier for parents to manage their own payments. “Families could access their Kindo accounts and see exactly what they needed to pay and what they had already paid for.”
Jackie attributes an upturn in donation payments to the new system. “Last year we found that donations started to trickle in all the time – rather than once a term when we sent out statements. I think this is because parents are reminded about payments owed every time they login to Kindo. We’ve received more funds as a result.” To encourage parents to use Kindo, Raumati School took all forms and registrations online without offering a paper alternative (although parents could still pay outside the system). Less than 12 months later, over 80 percent of the school community was using Kindo. “There’s always some resistance to change,” commented Jackie. “But our staff and parents love the system now.” Jackie and her team are finding it easier to manage events requiring multiple small payments – like sausage sizzles. “Getting parents to pay online has made fundraisers so much easier. We don’t have to deal with $600-$700 in two-dollar coins. I just run off a list and hand it to the organiser.”
Raumati Beach School finance manager, Jackie Corbett with finance assistant, Shell Finderup
into excel. We just emailed her the spreadsheet and off she went.”
Kindo has also cut down admin time for teachers. Processing touch rugby registrations and creating teams each season used to take a teacher out of the classroom for two to three days.
Stress levels in the office have reduced because staff can now complete work without taking it home, said Jackie.
“This year our touch co-ordinator only needed a couple of half days to sort out teams because registrations were online; she didn’t need to type up information from paper forms
“Personally, Kindo saves me around an hour and a half every day during busy weeks. I knew Kindo had the potential to be good for us – and that’s become a reality. The system is easy to set up and it works for everyone.”
www.principalstoday.co.nz Term 1, 2018 | 7
News | Trends
Out with the old? By Lydia Truesdale
For as long as people have been living, they have been learning. Education is a fundamental human right; it creates civilisations that are more informed, contributing, healthy, prosperous, progressive and sustainable than their predeceasing. It’s important we get it right – but how do we know that we are?
A history of education in New Zealand New Zealand’s education system was formally established with the Education Act 1877. The Act outlined New Zealand’s first secular, compulsory and free national system of primary education and sought to establish standards or quality of education. Fast-forward a century and major reforms took place: the assimilation of state-integrated schools under the Private Schools Conditional Integration Act 1975; the leaving age raised from 15 to 16 years in 1989; the decile system introduced in the 1990s; and the deconstruction of the Department of Education into six new bodies: the Ministry of Education, the Education Review Office (ERO), the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), the Tertiary Commission, Careers NZ, and the New Zealand Teachers’ Council. Schools became autonomous entities, managed by boards of trustees. Conservative curriculum reforms took place in the 1990s and were followed by the shift from School Certificate and Bursaries to the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA). In December 2017, the government scrapped National Standards, meaning schools will no longer have to report on them from 2018. There has clearly been effort over the years to improve and update learning standards, but what about environmental standards? What a classroom looked like 100 years ago is not dissimilar to what it looks like today – generally a single, open-plan room that houses 10+ students for every teacher. Is this a case of ‘Don’t fix what isn’t broke’ or has improving the environments in which we learn fallen by the wayside? While the learning environment has become noticeably more
While the learning environment has become noticeably more interactive with advancements in technology, does lack of visual or ergonomic evolution have any impact on the academic prowess of generations to come?
interactive with advancements in technology, does lack of visual or ergonomic evolution have any impact on the academic prowess of generations to come? Comparing data for achievement in education with rates of income and employment from 1996 until 2017 Statistics retrieved from Census NZ data from 1996-2013 indicate people are becoming more qualified and employable: • In 2013, older people are less likely to have a formal qualification (those aged between 20 and 34 years old were the most educated age group)
• The proportion of people with no source of income remained stable from 2001 and 2006, at 6 percent • Study participation by work and labour force showed that people studying part time were more likely to be employed full time • The level of income an individual receives is closely related to their level of educational achievement – in 2013, the highest three areas of median personal income by qualification were, in order, those who held a doctorate degree, those who held a post-graduate, honours or master’s degree, and those who held a bachelor’s degree or level 7 qualification. Statistics NZ data shows a similarly positive picture: • In 2017, median weekly earnings were the highest they’ve been since 2008 ($959 in 2017 versus $729 in 2008) • The unemployment rate has remained relatively stable over the last decade, at 4.6 in September 2017 as compared with 4.4 in December 2008.
However, while these statistics indicate that, internally, things have been looking gradually more positive for the most part, other data from a 2016 report released by the OECD shows that internationally, New Zealand is actually slipping behind. While New Zealand improved its ranking across maths, reading and science on an international scale, our average scores across all three subjects have gone down since 2012. Labour education spokesperson at the time, Chris Hipkins, told Stuff the rise in rankings was largely because countries previously ranked above us had declined, and that the OECD figures “showed student performance was dropping across all three subjects [math, reading and science]”. How much better a position could New Zealand be in, nationally and internationally, if we gave real thought to updating the environments in which we learn; and is it time to action such thought?
• The median personal income has steadily increased over the past two decades, from $15,600 in 1996, to $18,500 in 2001, $24,400 in 2006 and $28,500 in 2013 • 79.1 percent of New Zealand adults aged 15 years and over held a formal qualification in 2013 as compared with 72.3 percent in 2001 • From 2001 – 2006, the number of people who received income from the unemployment benefit decreased 48 percent (from 178,377 people in 2001 to 92,169 people in 2006)
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News | Q&A
Disruptive excellence By Natalia Rietveld
Hamish Brewer is not your typical principal and his unruly approach is yielding academic excellence from the most unlikely places. Born and raised in Auckland, Hamish moved to America in 2003 as part of a teaching cultural exchange programme, after backpacking and rock climbing through South East Asia. Hamish is commonly known as the ‘education disrupter’ - his teaching style became well-known after turning Occoquan Elementary school into one of the best schools in the state of Virginia. The turnaround earned him the 2017 National Distinguished Principal Award by the Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals. He spoke to Principals Today about his unique style and what motivates him. Can you tell us a bit about your teaching career, so far, in America? I am currently the principal at Fred Lynn Middle School – 1,100 students, grades 6-8. I was at Occoquan Elementary as principal for five years where I earned the award as a Nationally Distinguished Principal and, as a school, we won the Nationally Distinguished Title 1 School Award. At Occoquan we became one of the best elementary schools in the country and state of Virginia. Our test scores, in all subject areas, were incredibly high and especially so for a Title One School (low socio-economic). It has become a model for other educators, receiving frequent visitors from all over the country. Can you describe that journey at Occoquan Elementary? Our journey to being one of the best schools in America was based on hard work, determination and grit – this became the vocabulary of our students and staff. We challenged our students and staff to define their legacy and describe how they wanted to be remembered.
We had a laser focus on each individual student. We had a standards-based approach, focusing on standards-based planning and assessment; driven by authentic, relevant learning experiences. I have become known as the relentless, tattooed, skateboarding principal who’s bringing fun back to education. I am known for innovative practices that are changing the face of education. Can you describe your teaching style for those who are unfamiliar with your story? My style and word association is relentless – focusing on an aggressive, no excuses, leadership style and I will do anything to ensure students are successful. We provided our students with authentic and relevant learning experiences – endless field trips, deskless classrooms, black light parties, audio-enhanced classrooms, daylight bulbs, raps and groundbreaking, project-based assessments. We implemented what became a signature program titled Tribal System (based on a house-system). We have innovative after-school STEM programmes and a Saturday school that provides additional remediation and extension opportunities for students. Instead of sending news and announcements through newsletters, we engaged our stakeholders through social media – our school has become a leader in the use of tools like Twitter and Facebook. We found our parents all had smart phones, so we leveraged this for engagement. Student-lead conferences, where the students would facilitate parent conferences and performance updates.
What has been one of the hardest things you have had to overcome in your teaching career? One of the hardest things that I have found over the years in education is archaic practices - education is all too often reactionary or too conservative – I believe that as educators we should be at the forefront of innovation and design. We should be leading the way and providing opportunities for our students that prepares them to be competitive, and have the ability to collaborate and communicate across cultures and continents. Did you struggle initially to be taken seriously? When you put people and family first, you build relationships and you start with love – people take you seriously. My community know that I am all in, I’m not opting out on my students, family and community. I want to be the difference! What has been your greatest achievement, if you could name just one? My greatest achievement is in seeing a child succeed because you believe in them; the opportunity to change the outcome for a student, school and a community – there is no greater feeling than laying it all out there for a child to be successful. You cannot serve someone you think you are better than!
My greatest achievement is in seeing a child succeed because you believe in them; the opportunity to change the outcome for a student, school and a community – there is no greater feeling than laying it all out there for a child to be successful. You cannot serve someone you think you are better than!
is moving more and more to testing – we have a national treasure in the education we provide to Kiwi kids, where students have the opportunity for authentic relevant and engaging learning experiences. Opportunities to explore, problem solve and to be critical thinkers. My advice for anyone reading this is to stay focused on that, do not get caught up in testing and believe in every child!
Do you think NZ schools would see similar results if they adopted this style? I think what makes my style so successful is my Kiwi attitude to it all. It’s the “No worries mate” and Kiwi cando kind of attitude.
You have made yourself quite well-known across America and back here in New Zealand – what is next for you? Right now, my focus is continuing to grow Fred Lynn Middle School, I want to make this the next Nationally Distinguished Title 1 School. In addition, I look forward to completing my Doctoral Studies at Virginia Tech and keynote speaking nationally and internationally.
Poverty is not a learning disability – all kids can learn when you believe in them. It worries me when I hear the New Zealand education system
For more on Hamish Brewer and his new journey at Fred Lynn Middle School you can follow him on Twitter @brewerhm.
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News | In the classroom
Cohort conundrums By Natalia Rietveld
Under National’s rule the introduction of the cohort entry policy for primary schools meant some children were able to start school up to eight weeks before their fifth birthdays. Like all changes, this came with a debate – is four too young to start school? The cohort entry policy came into force in July last year and some schools are indicating that they wish to adopt the policy in their school, so as not to have continuous disruptions/changes in the classroom throughout the year. Though under this policy children may begin school at the age of four, children are not legally obliged to begin school in New Zealand until their 6th birthday. Many people argue that starting school at four years of age is far too young and Labour tends to agree. When this policy was released, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said cohort entry wasn’t implicated for the good of the children, but more for the good of National’s pockets. He wrote “When asked to explain why the (then) Government had decided against allowing children to start school at the beginning of the closest term after their fifth birthday,
officials provided detailed advice as to the likely cost to the education system, including the cost of children remaining in early childhood education longer. “This is yet another example of the National Government cutting costs and cutting corners to the detriment of future generations.” Clearly against the idea, Minister Hipkins has now confirmed that he will draft an amendment that will restrict cohort entry to the age of five and above. Schools may still choose to adopt cohort entry with the new changes, or stay with the current approach of starting children on, or close to, their 5th birthday. Whether four is too young to begin school can only be determined by a number of factors. There are solid arguments both for and against it. Child Forum chief executive, Dr Sarah Alexander said in a Q&A segment, in regards to starting school early versus starting school at a later age, that either can work in the right environment.
“International reasearch suggests that, in later years, children who start school at age seven do just as well as children who start at a younger age - but the evidence is not conclusive (much seems to depend on whether the early childcare system is wellresourced and factors in the children’s own home-backgrounds).
four – more than 90 percent - and this seems to work for them, achieving very high OECD ranking in outcomes for children.
“Early educational intervention before age five has been shown by research to be very beneficial for children who are at-risk, including those living in poverty, to ensure they do not get left behind educationally – but again this when the [sic] early childcare/education system is not well resourced to support children at risk.”
There are many factors to take into account in regards to statements as broad as ‘four is too young to start school’ it very much depends on the school and the individual child and their circumstances.
In the Netherlands a majority of children begin school at the age of
However Sarah also said that in New Zealand our education is catered for children aged five years and older and is unsuitable for younger children.
However; with the way our education system is set up, as Sarah said ‘only catered for aged five years and older’ Labour might be onto something for now.
Too stressed to learn Two-thirds of NCEA students are severely affected by anxiety or stress Two-thirds of New Zealand secondary students identify stress and anxiety about assessments as a challenge to learning, and about half believe they are not taught how to study or deal with exams. This is the finding of a survey of nearly 6,000 students by free online NCEA study platform StudyTime. The survey also revealed students don’t feel they are taught skills to help them beyond school and they find “procrastination and lack of motivation” as one of the biggest barriers to their learning. The online survey of 5,761 New Zealand secondary school students aged between 15 and 18 was conducted between August and October. When asked to identify challenges to their learning, 70 percent identified procrastination/lack of motivation; 66 percent identified stress/anxiety about assessments; 53 percent identified learning how to consistently study; 49 percent identified dealing with exams/exam technique, and 48 percent identified knowing how to study.
When asked to narrow this down to the most challenging aspect, 24 percent of respondents identified procrastination and lack of motivation; 21 percent identified stress/anxiety about assessments; eight percent was knowing how to study; five percent was learning how to consistently study, and five percent was dealing with exams/exam technique. StudyTime founder William Guzzo says the survey aimed to understand students’ views on their education, the key issues they are facing, and their ideas to resolve them. “This survey suggests that students feel what they learn in the classroom doesn’t prepare them for their exams, and they feel ill-equipped with the skills and resources required to study effectively and prepare for their exams independently.” He says it was particularly concerning that a majority of students feel anxious about assessments and exams - and their education was not preparing them for their future. Comments and explanations given by students followed themes of: not feeling prepared for life after secondary school; not being well-advised about university options; being taught how to “earn credits, not taught how to learn,”
10 | Term 1, 2018 www.principalstoday.co.nz
and not feeling supported in issues of mental health or learning difficulties. “The data implies students feel their high school education is doing little to prepare them for their futures,” says Guzzo. “Specifically, students feel their learning experience fails to teach them ‘learning skills’ and ‘life-skills’ for after their secondary school education perhaps this partly explains students’ lack of motivation to engage in their learning, and procrastination.
Participants came from Auckland (29%), Christchurch (13%), Wellington (12%), Hamilton (6%) and Palmerston North (5%) and were a range of students in NCEA Level 1 (27%), NCEA Level 2 (36%) and NCEA Level 3 (34%). From the sample, 11 percent of students reported suffering from anxiety and 8 percent reported suffering from depression.
“Perhaps the most worrying of all is the fact that so many students feel under supported for issues with mental health.”
StudyTime is the NCEA branch of tutoring service Inspiration Education, which has more than 100 tutors who’ve helped hundreds of high school students throughout New Zealand understand course content and prepare for exams.
Participants were invited to the survey via Facebook targeted ads and of the students surveyed, 78 percent were female, 20 percent were male and 2 percent identified as “other”.
It was founded by Guzzo after his own experiences in the New Zealand education system inspired him to help other students achieve academically.
News | In the classroom
To be bilingual or not to be? By Lydia Truesdale
The debate over whether Te reo Maori should become a compulsory subject in the NZ curriculum has held a microscope to learning a second language. How prioritised is learning a second language in New Zealand; why and why not?
New Zealand has three official languages – English, Te reo Maori, and New Zealand Sign Language –of which English is the only language compulsory in the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). Research indicates cognitive benefits for people who speak more than one language, yet Ministry of Education figures showed that in 2015, the percentage of students learning a second language in New Zealand had dropped to its lowest since 1933 – just one in five, or 20.3 percent. If it’s advantageous to be bi- or multilingual, why not make second or foreign languages a compulsory part of students’ learning in New Zealand? Is learning another language a waste of time? There are scientifically-proven benefits to learning a second language. “Languages link people locally and globally. They are spoken in the community, used internationally, and play a role in shaping the world,” the Ministry of Education says. The Ministry also states that learning a new language extends students’ linguistic and cultural understanding and their ability to interact appropriately with other speakers. “Languages and cultures play a key role in developing our personal, group, national, and human identities.”
What do other countries think about learning foreign languages? In Europe, studying a foreign language is compulsory for students in all countries except Ireland and Scotland. Studying a second foreign language for at least one year is compulsory in more than 20 European countries. According to a 2012 report from Eurostat, the statistics arm of the European Commission, European students generally begin studying their first foreign language as a compulsory school subject between the ages of six and nine. Meanwhile, the United States does not have a nationwide foreign language mandate at any level of education. Do New Zealand schools lack the resources? It’s no secret that New Zealand schools are under staffed. The New Zealand Educational Institute recently revealed the findings of its 2017 survey of 622 primary and intermediate schools across the country. It found that nationwide, one in seven schools is at least one teacher short, and in Auckland one in five schools is one teacher short. The survey also found that 44 percent of regions were planning to cut teacher aides in 2018; and an alarming 11.8 percent (37) of those were looking to cut more than 40 percent of teacher aides.
Furthermore, 42 percent of respondents (264) disagreed it was easy to find suitable relieving staff last year; 31 percent (196) strongly disagreed; 23 percent (147) agreed; and only 3 percent strongly agreed. How does the teacher shortage affect learning a second language? Deputy secretary for early learning and student achievement, Ellen MacGregor, says Te reo Maori and New Zealand Sign Language can already be studied (optionally) as first or additional languages. “Both the NZC and TMOA (Te Marautanga o Aotearoa) requires each board of trustees with students in years seven to 10 to be working towards offering students opportunities for learning a second or subsequent language. “The Ministry provides a range of support for teaching languages, particularly at curriculum levels 1 and 2. We fund several curriculum support programmes for teachers, such as short immersion courses and an in-
depth second language pedagogy (teaching) programme. “We also provide guidance and resources to support teaching for NCEA in the Senior Secondary Teaching and Learning Guides, and guidance on the principles and actions needed for additional language learning.” Evidently the resources are there to support teaching Te reo or Sign Language as a second language, but perhaps not yet to support them being made compulsory subjects of the NZC and be benefited in full. In the wake of the NZEI survey, education minister Chris Hipkins announced in December an immediate $9.5 million teacher supply package to support more teachers into classrooms in 2018. Let us hope this enables increased learning opportunities around second or foreign languages, ideally to the point where they become compulsory for a certain period of students’ learning.
News | Professional development
Meeting the needs of priority learners Many teachers are getting useful blocks of time for professional learning within schools and are getting practical help for teaching priority learners. However, teachers want more time to focus on doing their work well. These are some of the findings from a new report from the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) National Survey of Primary and Intermediate Schools 2016. The survey asked teachers about their work, from their classrooms to their school culture. Teachers’ experiences of professional learning stood out as an area that showed distinct improvements from 2013. This was reflected in
teachers’ reports of their main achievements in the past three years, which showed gains in meeting the needs of priority learners. The Ministry of Education’s priority learners include those with additional learning needs, Māori students and Pasifika students. “In 2016 more teachers had professional learning that provided practical help with engaging priority learner groups and building positive relationships with parents and whānau,” senior researcher Linda Bonne says. Forty-four percent of teachers thought that one of their main achievements over the last three years had been that they were better at meeting the needs of students with additional learning needs (up from 28 percent in 2013).
More teachers ranked better meeting the needs of Māori students as a main achievement (36 percent, up from 25 percent in 2013). There was a small increase in the percentage of teachers who felt they had better met the needs of Pasifika students, from 12 to 17 percent.
The median timetabled noncontact hours per week for classroom teachers with no additional responsibilities were slightly lower in 2016 (1 hour, down from 1.2 hours in 2013, but the same median as in 2010).
At the same time, more teachers also identified the achievement of students with additional learning needs as a major issue facing their school, and wanted better provision for these students.
The NZCER survey got responses from a nationally-representative sample of 349 English-medium state and state-integrated primary and intermediate schools. The survey was conducted from August to September 2016.
Teachers wanted more time to do their work well. They wanted more noncontact time to prepare and work with other teachers, to work with individual students, and to reflect, plan, share ideas, or design relevant local learning activities.
The findings have been released in a series of reports, all of which are available on the NZCER website. The report ‘Teachers work and professional learning’ is available at: www.nzcer.org.nz/teachers_ national_survey_2016.
www.principalstoday.co.nz Term 1, 2018 | 11
Learning space | Technology
A brave new world of technology beckons New technologies like 3D printing and virtual reality are going to have a profound impact on our lives, our education, and the way we conduct business, says engineering academic and 3D expert Dr Don Clucas at the University of Canterbury. Where these technologies are now impacting noticeably is in health care. And into the future their significance for more areas of our lives, particularly in changing the way we manufacture custom goods, will become much more apparent.
crown. And hearing aids are being made by 3D printing after scanning the inside of the ear.
Next year Canterbury University is offering a new degree in product design that will train students in the use of these new technologies and to develop virtual reality software programmes and business skills.
3D printing is described as “additive manufacture” in that an object is built up from scratch, layer by layer, using various printing technologies and sophisticated software programmes. Our traditional manufacturing has been “subtractive manufacturing” where a product is made by cutting material into forms, creating a lot of waste.
“This School of Product Design degree will train our students for the future,” Don says. “We are not sitting back and waiting for the future to happen. “With all these technologies we are still only scratching the surface of what is possible.” Exciting developments in healthcare are seeing 3D printing being employed to manufacture implants and to produce the scaffold for making new organs and body parts. Dentistry has become a big user of the technology. An example is the 3D printing of a new
“What it means is we can do incredibly complex parts that were never possible to manufacture in the past,” Don says.
“3D printing poses some important questions for our future.” For instance, if products will be produced by 3D printing and other technologies by many people in their homes, then retail shops and packaging and transportation of goods are not needed as much. That will be beneficial for the environment but could put large parts
Photo courtesy of HIT Lab at the University of Canterbury
of industries out of business and take jobs from people up the supply chain. “It is definitely not the answer to everything,” Don says. He gives an example of how 3D printing and “virtual reality” would work together. A 3D scan of your body is taken and put into a virtual reality software programme. Then virtual clothes are tried on in virtual reality and adjusted for the right fit or appearance.
Via email, the clothes design and specifications are sent to the manufacturer who inputs them into machines for the making of perfectly fitting clothes. Easy personal customisation of goods will have a major impact. Canterbury University College of Engineering 69 Creyke Road Ilam, Christchurch www.canterbury.ac.nz
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12 | Term 1, 2018 www.principalstoday.co.nz
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www.alliedtelesis.com Terms and conditions: 1. Receive special discounted price on the advertised models when you Trade Up your old Core Switch to a 10 Gig Core Switch. The old Core Switch can be any model / any make. 2. Upgrade any Edge switch to a 10Gig capable AT-x510l series product and get a free 10Gig licence upgrade. AT-FL-x510L-10G must be purchased together with AT-x510l series: https://www.alliedtelesis.com/products/x510-series 3. The old switch must be sent to Allied Telesis Wellington Office after the purchase. 4. Promotion is valid for purchases invoiced between 01/02/2018 and 01/06/2018 *All pricing excludes GST. Authorised resellers only. Prices exclude GST & freight and are subject to change without notice. exeed makes the best effort to ensure that all pricing is up to date, but cannot be held liable for any errors and omissions.
Learning Space | Technology
Assistive technology makes a difference at Kapiti College The range of aids and technology now available to help students with a disability learn and boost their self-esteem has flourished, and is making a difference in schools nationwide.
“Their levels of usage vary widely from occasional to very regular. For many of our regular users, they are producing work and evidence of learning of a quality which is far beyond their pre-Dragon days,” Tony says. “Last year, we hosted the Education and Science Select Committee who were following up on a visit by our dyslexic kids.
Assistive technology lets students with a physical or learning difficulty complete tasks they could not normally do, or allows them to do tasks better, and to work in mainstream classes. Kapiti College is experiencing considerable success with assistive technology. The Year 9-13 school in Paraparaumu has about 150 students with dyslexia. Dyslexic students have difficulty with words and experience trouble with reading, spelling and writing. As the number of dyslexic students increased at the school, it looked closely at the various assistive technologies available to help make learning easier for students. “While we were exploring our options, I came across an online article about the success that Sacred Heart College in Auckland was having with speechto-text software, so we decided to take a closer look,” says Kapiti College Principal, Tony Kane.
“As part of the morning, we took them to see students working in the Dragon Dens. They were surprised both at the relatively low cost of this assistive technology and the work that the kids were producing,” he says. Tony found Nuance’s Dragon speech recognition software an ideal solution to assist the students. “It’s fast, has no problem adapting to accents, is highly accurate with technical language and is very easy to use.” Dragon allows students to simply talk to create content and command a computer. Rather than focus on typing and spelling, it lets students with dyslexia concentrate on content so that they can do their homework, complete assignments and essays, type up notes, and so forth. The College purchased 11.6-inch netbooks, loaded Dragon onto these,
and made the computers available in its Year 9, 10 and 11 dyslexic classes. The software is also accessible via what the College has dubbed ‘Dragon dens’ – colour-coded spaces or rooms where students can find additional Dragon computers. Teachers book these rooms when the students need to complete assessments or students can book themselves in. “Over 100 of our dyslexic students have now been trained on Dragon and we’ve found that while it doesn’t suit some, the vast majority have adapted fine.
“We also used Dragon in our mid-year trial in 2016 for Special Assessment Condition (SAC) students in the Digital Pilot of Level 1 English, Media and French. “Dragon worked perfectly in this, though we were not able to use it in the final exams. However, NZQA have since been working on this and a small number of SAC students will be able to use Dragon for some exams this year as part of a three-school trial. “At Kapiti, there’s no doubt that Dragon has greatly helped students with their learning, and along the way, boosted their confidence and self-esteem.”
Digital skills education for teachers
For Digital Technologies Teachers
Limited places available for 2018 Find out more: signal.ac.nz/educate
“In today’s world, any learner in school without access to comprehensive digital technologies education will not have the same opportunities as those who do.”
Are you looking to increase your Digital Technologies teaching skills, whilst continuing to teach?
- Manifesto (InternetNZ, ITP, and NZTech)
Commencing February 2018, Educate supports teachers who are introducing the new Digital Technologies curriculum into their teaching and learning programmes. Educate is designed for teachers at all levels; primary, intermediate and secondary, including NCEA Achievement Standards.
The changes to the Digital Technologies curriculum over the past few years have allowed greater opportunities for students to prepare to enter a workforce with an increasing reliance on digital skills and IT capability.
The programme consists of two University of Canterbury courses, designed to complement a full-time teaching load by integrating your learning with your current teaching over a two-year period. With Educate, you will build on your own experience as a teacher and develop practices in your own context with world leading expertise and resources.
14 | Term 1, 2018 www.principalstoday.co.nz
The 2017 Educate cohort, led by Professor Tim Bell, during their three-day April bootcamp in Christchurch
signal.ac.nz 0800 900 024 email@example.com
We know how difficult it can be for schools and teachers to find time and to fund the professional development required to support you in delivering the new standards, which is why SIGNAL ICT Graduate School has a programme tailored to help. The Educate programme is an at-work study programme, led by Professor Tim
Bell and Distinguished Professor Niki Davis, delivered over two years. Each of the two one-year courses is delivered as a short intensive workshop during the first term break, with ongoing self-study for the rest of the school year. The workshop includes hands-on activities, seminars and visits to local industry in the South Island. Patrick Baker, a teacher at Middleton Grange for 15 years, has been part of the Educate programme and says “Educate has enabled me to think about aspects of all my teaching, not limited to programming or computer science”. Patrick applauds this type of learning and the environments as “Invigorating, and the content delivery and support was second to none”. Contact us to enrol in Educate 2018 or find out more at http://signal.ac.nz/educate.
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Working Space | Healthy Schools
Managing allergies in schools Allergic diseases have become increasingly common in New Zealand, estimated to affect up to 40 percent of the population. While most will have some impact on daily life, food allergy in particular can cause significant hardship, stress and anxiety.
with food allergy and/or at risk of anaphylaxis. In its ‘Guidelines for prevention of anaphylaxis in schools, pre-schools and childcare: 2015 update’, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) defines six key principles in reducing the risk of anaphylaxis: 1. Obtain up to date medical information and develop a health-care plan.
Generally, food allergy management requires ingestion of the food concerned to be completely avoided as there is potential for a severe, life – threatening reaction – anaphylaxis - if accidental ingestion does occur.
2. Ensure staff have training in recognition and management of acute allergic reactions.
Food allergy is most common in young children, affecting one in 10 under two years of age. Allergies to some foods tend to resolve over time, and overall prevalence reduces to about one in 20 older children and adolescents.
4. Age-appropriate education of children with severe allergies and their peers.
Common triggers are egg, cow’s milk, peanut, tree nuts, shellfish, soy, fish and wheat. Peanut, tree nuts, seed (e.g. sesame) and seafood allergies are less likely to be outgrown and tend to be lifelong. Most allergic reactions to food cause mild to moderate symptoms however reactions in general are unpredictable. While the incidence of anaphylaxis has increased in recent years along with the increase in prevalence of food allergy, deaths from food-triggered anaphylaxis are rare. Most severe reactions can be prevented by careful allergen avoidance measures, and the risk of serious injury or death from anaphylaxis significantly reduces by following the appropriate emergency procedures including prompt administration of an adrenaline autoinjector (AAI) e.g. EpiPen. Food allergy can affect children’s ability to learn as well as their social and emotional development through the sense of social isolation, bullying and fear. A positive and inclusive environment is essential to their wellbeing. Communication both within the school and to the greater school community is crucial in promoting acceptance of children with food allergies, understanding of the challenges they face, and how they can be supported. It is incumbent on schools to develop and implement polices and procedures to minimise risk for students
3. Awareness that unexpected allergic reactions might occur for the ﬁrst time outside of home in those not previously identiﬁed as being at high risk.
5. Implementation of practical strategies to reduce the risk of accidental exposure to known allergic triggers. 6. Consider institutional provision of AAIs for general use. The paper can be accessed at: www.allergy.org. au/images/stories/pospapers/Vale_et_al-2015Journal_of_Paediatrics_and_Child_Health.pdf, or from the Allergy New Zealand or ASCIA websites as per Resources below.
Resources for schools Allergy New Zealand Guidelines for schools, along with links to papers, the Ministry of Education’s ‘Health Conditions in an Education Setting – Supporting Children and Young People’ and ASCIA Anaphylaxis Action Plans, e-training etc, are available on www.allergy.org.nz. Allergy New Zealand’s Information Service is available on 0800 34 0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Ministry of Education: ‘Health Conditions in an Education Setting – Supporting Children and Young People’: www.education.govt. nz/assets/Documents/School/Running-a-school/ Health-and-safety/HealthConditionsInEducation.pdf. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA): A wide range of resources including guidelines and training available on www.allergy.org.au. ASCIA guidelines for prevention of anaphylaxis in schools,
pre-schools and childcare: 2015 update: www.allergy.org.au/images/stories/pospapers/ Vale_et_al-2015-Journal_of_Paediatrics_and_Child_ Health.pdf. Starship Children’s Hospital www.starship.org.nz/media/455294/going-toschool-with-food-allergies.pdf. EpiClub Schools can register with https://epiclub.co.nz/ and receive a free EpiPen information resource pack.
Protecting children with food allergies Protecting children with food allergies from harm presents complex challenges for schools. While the banning of certain foods may seem the best approach to minimising risk, there is little evidence this is effective, and there may be difﬁculties in implementation. It is therefore not recommended as the primary risk-minimisation strategy. Food restrictions, however, particularly in relation to nuts, could be considered, along with other strategies, to help protect younger children with an allergy to peanuts or tree-nuts. Schools could request nut products not be sent in lunch boxes with children in new entrant classes, while providing information and suggestions to enlist the understanding and support of all the families involved. Regular communication will be needed to maintain this approach. It is more difficult to restrict other food allergens such as egg, cow’s milk, soy and wheat.
Article provided by Penny Jorgensen, allergy advisor for Allergy New Zealand Inc www.allergy.org.nz
Severe allergic reactions
CAN BE LIFE-THREATENING Food induced anaphylaxis has doubled in the last 10 years. This rise in food allergy has a significant impact on schools.1
Help keep your students protected with EpiClub®. EpiClub®GERWYTTSVX]SYVWXEǺXSFITVITEVIHJSVER EPPIVKMGIQIVKIRG]F]TVSZMHMRKEZEVMIX]SJIHYGEXMSREP material and a free EpiPen® Training Device.
To request a FREE EpiPen® Resource Kit for your school visit:
1. ASCIA AIDA Report 2013. EpiPen® is used for the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis (acute severe allergic reactions) due to insect stings or bites, foods, medications or other allergens. EpiPen® and EpiPen Jr® are Restricted Medicines. Always read the label carefully and use strictly as directed. Your doctor or pharmacist’s advice is required. EpiPen® is a registered trademark of Mylan Inc. Mylan NZ Ltd., Auckland. DA1726ET-60.
16 | Term 1, 2018 www.principalstoday.co.nz
THINKING ABOUT AN APP FOR YOUR SCHOOL? Not all school apps are created equal. WE believe we have the best functionality, and easiest to use app available in NZ.
How does MySchoolApps work? As soon as your school registers with MySchoolApps we will configure your school mobile app. This is a fast process, enabling your school to quickly start creating content categories and uploading notifications and/or documents.
WHAT DOES MYSCHOOLAPPS OFFER?
WHAT IS MySchoolApps? MySchoolApps is an easy to use app which immediately provides parents and caregivers with everything they need to know about what is happening at the school.
MySchoolApps’ flexibility means it can offer: • Unlimited free instant Push message notifications (Push anything instantly) • Unlimited Push message categories for parents to subscribe to: Alerts - Events - News - Newsletters - Timetables • Information pages (create unlimited content pages easily and quickly)
MySchoolApps is a convenient, reliable way to receive school notifications. Gone are the days of notices getting lost in children’s schoolbags!
• Permission notes
With MySchooApps school notices, newsletters, any alerts, or other important information will be communicated directly and immediately to the parents or caregiver’s smartphone.
• Links to website pages
MySchoolApps communicates directly with iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows Phone devices.
• Create your own unlimited custom eForms with payment and signatures if required
• Parent eForms for Sick Note/Absent and Change of Details • Embedded PDF documents • Embedded videos/maps and GPS directions
• Unlimited content categories (created easily and quickly)
SCHOOL SIGN UP Schools can sign up for a 30 day trial of MySchoolApps at our website www.myschoolapps.co.nz If you choose to trial MySchoolApps, you will receive the full functioning iPhone, iPad, and Windows Phone version to trial in your school for 30 days. If you choose to subscribe to MySchoolApps after the trial, we will then build the full functioning Android version. If you choose not to go ahead, we will simply remove the iPhone app from the Apple App Store.
• RSS Feed and Google Calendar integration • Social media integration with Twitter and Facebook • Social media sharing (option for parents/students to share app content on their own Facebook/Twitter feeds ) • Website integration (post content once and publish everywhere) Includes free MySchoolApps website which syncs seamlessly with the app • Reply by SMS and email (great for parent/student feedback) • Unlimited photo galleries (create a photo gallery on any content entry) • Password protected content.
MySchoolApps is easy to update PRICING
Teachers and staff can update the status of any event with the easy to use admin tools from their computer or their smartphone.
Ask if your school qualifies for a free app. We do this by placing tasteful advertising on some of the pages. Or set up is $1250+gst + $2 per student per year. We will also make a free website for your school that seamlessly integrates the app. However if you’re happy with your existing site we can integrate with that too.
We will also make a FREE website for your school that seamlessly integrates the app. However if you’re happy with your existing site we can integrate with that too. For any queries, phone Julianne Eady on (03) 961 5050 email: email@example.com
trusted since 1980
Working Space | Healthy schools
Making a healthy menu
HEALTHY SCHOOL CANTEEN CHECKLIST
The New Year is a great opportunity to give your school canteen or tuckshop a fresh and healthy makeover.
Vegetables and fruit • Is seasonal fruit offered? • Is colourful salad offered?
Many schools are already aware of the important links between food, health, learning and behaviour, and are taking steps to improve their nutrition environment.
Bread-based items • Do you use whole grain, wholemeal and/or multigrain bread, wraps or rolls? • Do your bread-based items contain colourful salads or vegetable fillings? • Do your bread-based items contain a good source of protein (e.g. cooked chicken, lean roast beef, eggs, hummus or canned tuna)?
The canteen or tuckshop is one of the best places to model healthy eating within a school. Providing foods and drinks that look and taste good, and are affordable, is a great way to encourage students to make healthier choices. When was the last time you looked closely at the quality of your school canteen menu? We understand that changing your menu or recipes can feel like a big risk. Knowing where to start can also be a challenge. Remember that simple changes can make a big difference. We’ve put together a checklist to help you offer more nutritious food and drinks to students and increase the sale of healthier options. This checklist will provide a starting point to initiate change by encouraging more whole foods, more vegetables, more fruit and foods lower in saturated fat, sugar and salt. If you answer ‘yes’ to the questions in the checklist, you’re off to a good start!
How can Fuelled4life help? Fuelled4life is based on the Ministry of Health’s Food and Beverage Classification System (FBCS). It’s a free practical tool which helps schools provide healthier options.
Hot meals • Do hot meals such as pasta, noodles, lasagne, pizza or burgers contain vegetables? • Is your menu free from deep-fried items?
It aims to increase access to healthier food and beverages for young people. It inspires food services to provide tasty and nutritious products.
Sweet items • If sweet items are offered, do they contain fruit, vegetables and/ or nuts? • Are sweet items a suitable portion size for your customers?
Sign up to Fuelled4life Sign up to Fuelled4life for many free resources to help you choose healthier options. You’ll also get free access to the Fuelled4life website and newsletter with tips, recipes, special deals and information on ways to improve nutrition in your school.
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N a m e:
• Are healthier options promoted in meal deals and specials? • Are healthier options priced competitively against the less healthy items? Ingredients and cooking methods • Is the use of added sugar (e.g. sugar, syrup, molasses, honey, fruit juice concentrates) limited in all freshly prepared items? • Where possible, are low-sodium ingredients used (i.e. those that are labelled ‘low salt’, ‘no added salt’ or ‘salt-reduced’)? • Are low or reduced-fat dairy products provided (e.g. milk, cheese, yoghurt, sour cream, cream cheese)?
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• Full colour school specific preliminary pages i.e. rules, regulations, map, uniform, NCEA tables • Public and school holiday dates • Peace of mind, we’ve produced more than 1.25 million diaries for students in secondary and tertiary education in New Zealand so we know what we’re doing and we’ve been in the education industry for close to 36 years!
18 | Term 1, 2018 www.principalstoday.co.nz
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There are many ways you can personalise your student diaries, such as by providing artwork for the cover and including rules and regulations specific to your school at the front of your diaries. Other ways to personalise your diaries are being able to choose the type of binding and also the layout of your internal January-December diary pages.
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2018 Studen t diary
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byEvely n Harrison Artwork : ‘Never Ending’
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Fuelled4life is a practical tool which makes it easier to provide healthier food at your school. Sign up today at fuelled4life.org.nz for our free resources.
Working Space | Sun safety
Staying sun safe The greatest risk factor for around 90 percent of skin cancers is over exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. Unfortunately New Zealand and Australia have the world’s highest rates of melanoma, the most serious skin cancer. Childhood is an important time to avoid over exposure to the sun. Our skin is like an elephant – it remembers all the sun exposure we’ve ever had. Teaching children SunSmart behaviours will help them develop lifelong sun safe practices.
The survey covered provision of shade, use of sun protective practices (hats, clothing, sunscreen) and whether schools had a written sun protection policy. Here are some key results:
The NZ Cancer Society’s SunSmart Schools Accreditation programme was launched in 2005. This programme is based on the World Health Organisation endorsed Australian model. It is designed to reduce children’s exposure to UV radiation that causes harm, through support and education in primary and intermediate schools.
During Terms 1 and 4, of surveyed schools:
It is important to regularly review sun protection policies and practices in both schools that are enrolled in the programme and those that are not. In 2017, researchers from the Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit at the University of Otago surveyed schools on behalf of the Cancer Society. In total, 1,243 schools participated.
• 74% have enough shade for passive activities (eg lunch) • 14% have enough shade for active activities (eg over playgrounds) • 72% only allowed sun protective hats – unfortunately some allowed caps, particularly in the senior school, which undermines best practice • 58% required staff to role model use of a sun protective hat outdoors • 91% have a formal written policy or procedure • 75% encouraged the use of at least SPF 30, broad spectrum sunscreen.
Survey results found that accredited schools performed better than non-accredited schools in 10/12 selfreported sun protection practices recommended in the programme.
children. Aoraki Trust supported new shade with our Mahitahi development. “Our students can wear a sun safe bucket hat of any colour and all staff wear a hat on duty. Pretty normal stuff, as the sun in Canterbury is severe and we treat it with respect.
The two exceptions were shade provision and re-scheduling events. Both of these are challenging for schools because of resourcing issues and because high levels of UV radiation can encompass the entire school day. Rakaia School principal, Mark Ellis, says funding is often a barrier to providing shade in New Zealand schools however, Rakaia School has “worked hard with our School Support Group to develop shade for the
“Working with Mandy from the Cancer Society has supported our development and the implementation of policy and reaching SunSmart Accreditation. This ensures our school and wider community are supportive of sun safe practice.” For more information, visit www.sunsmartschools.org.nz.
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SOLAR PROGRAMME HEATS UP School-gen is heating up, with a new website and other changes extending the reach and ambition of Genesis Energy’s flagship programme in schools. Since 2006 Genesis has gifted solar panels to more than 90 schools around New Zealand, helping students and teachers learn about harnessing and measuring solar energy, often as part of a school’s wider efforts around environmental and STEM-related education. Over this period Genesis has collected and analysed data from around 1,700 panels installed on school roofs. Using that trove of data, Genesis has maintained an energy education programme, teaching young New Zealanders the ins and outs of sustainable energy. School-gen’s education co-ordinator, Rob Duff visits schools to discuss the programme, and helps keep students engaged with hands-on activities that get them thinking creatively. “I do like to get out to schools with some equipment,” Rob explains. “I take photovoltaic circuit kits that can be built and powered by a little solar panel which we use to power a fan, a light bulb or a small speaker. “With this, the kids can learn about energy and how it can be transformed and how it can be converted into electricity, as well as a basic introduction to circuits. “We have solar cars they can race and glasses that allow students to view the sun directly, and it’s often a very mind-blowing experience for them.” The message is simple, says Rob: renewable energy is a viable source of energy production and you can become your own generator of electricity with solar.
CASE STUDY 1
CASE STUDY 2
West Rolleston Primary School
School-gen has created a new purpose for the children at Wesley Intermediate and the community is 100 percent onboard.
West Rolleston Primary School opened in 2015 and has been engaged with School-gen since the get go. This is their experience.
We had a group of children that were interested in sustainable energy, so, we had to find something that would be meaningful for them. We entered a competition online to get solar panels at our school, and to cut a long story short, we won the competition and School-gen has worked with us ever since.
Two years ago our BoT lead chair got in touch with Genesis Energy because we wanted to do something around sustainable energy and were interested in solar panels.
Genesis Energy installed the solar panels and our kids did all these great activities with Rob Duff about how to calculate energy and measuring peak energy generation, reducing heat loss and even how to measure lux. All of these are science concepts, that often you will teach, but hardly ever get the chance to put it into practice, in a way that means something to the kids. We are a low decile school, so when our students go home and are able to help save energy that is a quantifiable result for their families, because they are saving money. School-gen has been really catalytic, from it we have set up a plant nursery and a recycling group and a composting group. Our Environmental Council (a group of students who are passionate about the environment) even police the teachers. School-gen has worked with us, helped us change our practice, empowered our kids and has carried on supporting us to do bigger projects as well. Our roll has increased because we are seen as a sustainable, environmentally-friendly school. Families that wouldn’t normally send their children to a decile 1b school are enrolling their children here, I think that’s because our school is starting to be seen as innovative and that’s all a flow-on effect from School-gen. - Deputy principal, Lou Reddy
Students at Wesley Intermediate looking at a solar model
Being a new build we had the opportunity to do that and, as far as we were aware, Genesis were the only company to offer that service to schools. They helped us get a 20kw array of solar panels on our roofs which was a great way to start living our values. They were really helpful in setting it all up and we have a great partnership. In our first year, they supported us getting School-gen up and running. We got together a group of kids who were really passionate about sustainability and the environment and those kids were the ambassadors for School-gen. School-gen has a great website with really cool eBooks and activities for the kids, going through from five-year-old activities up to Year 8. We had a School-gen week at the start of term 4 in 2017 and Rob Duff personally flew down from Auckland, spent two days with us, and brought with him some great resources. He went around the classrooms to talk with the children, they got to use solar viewing glasses to look at the sun and see the white lights split up into different colours. He also brought some 3d prototypes as an example of what the kids will be able to print off from the new website. We really appreciated the effort he made to come down and spend time with us. We do a lot of problem-based learning at West Rolleston Primary and everything that School-gen does fits in well with that. The kids are always talking about how they can be more sustainable and coming up with initiatives around the school to reduce our footprint. They’re really enthusiastic about it. - Deputy principal, Ben Galletly
Rob adds that School-gen has been designed so its resources are easily accessible for teachers and are free to use by any school in New Zealand - you do not need solar panels to engage in the programme. “We have an infinite source of renewable energy that we can tap into. Engaging students in this idea is not only beneficial to their learning, but is beneficial to our environment and the future of NZ Inc.” And after ticking along nicely for 11 years, School-gen is being revamped. A new and improved website will be the programme’s shop window, brimming with free resources aimed at all schools. “We are coming up with more of an emphasis on other forms of renewable energy and having a stronger focus on making stuff,” Rob says. “Our revamped website launches in February and features short videos with kids showing how you can make a hydro or wind turbines and even a solar oven out of a pizza box.” The new website will be a great resource for teachers with 3D-printable tools relating to maths, science and technology. “It’s all aimed at energising young minds,” says Rob.
Students at West Rolleston School looking through rainbow glasses
“It’s an engaging concept so you can merge it into the national curriculum. There’s so much you can link it to.”
exciting competition where schools can win a share of $50k to boost their edu-tech budget.
At the same time, Rob says the School-gen revamp is about much more than a new website.
“The more energised young minds we have in New Zealand, and the more we can turn kids onto STEMbased learning, the better. That’s why we’re so excited with the direction we’re now taking School-gen.” www.schoolgen.co.nz
“Stay tuned for some other exciting developments and announcements over the next few months, including an
Working Space | Performing arts
Working Space | Preparing for disaster
Stages and seating designed for high performance
Prepared communities start with prepared kids Making sure kids are prepared for when emergencies strike was at the heart of Get Ready Week, which is held every year in recognition of the International Day for Natural Disaster (13 October). Last year’s theme for Get Ready Week was Prepared Kids, said emergency management officer Helen Flynn.
Stronglite Staging’s range of performance stages and staging equipment is made in New Zealand to the highest standards. The list of what’s on offer is impressive and includes: • Stage platforms • Choir, chorus, orchestra and audience seating risers • Portable grandstands • Ramps and bridges • Steps • Lecterns • Ballet barres • Trolleys • Drapes and frames • Group photographic stands • Wenger products USA. Stronglite Staging® supply safe, durable, versatile, simple and easy to use equipment to support your performance or presentation. All products are compliant with the latest health and safety standards and codes. Take your pick: a stage extension, catwalk, seating by the pool or field, dance, choir, orchestra practise or theatrical shows, kapa haka and more. Invest in quality by Stronglite Staging®. KEY FEATURES Strength: Stronglite Stage and Seating products are designed and
manufactured to be strong and durable and are tested to make sure they meet the company’s high standards of performance under live and static load conditions. Lightness: Innovative design and use of material creates equipment that is light and easy to handle, saving time and possible injury. Safety: Engineer’s design certification, documented test results, qualified tradespeople, monitoring of product in the workplace, established safe working loads, and their products conform to or exceed industry regulations and guidelines. Simplicity: Superior design ensures products are quick, simple and easy to transport and assemble, saving you time and effort. Versatility: Particular attention has been paid to designing stage/seating systems that are multi-use wherever possible, including indoor and outdoor use. Portability: Stronglite designs for easy handling, transporting and storage, choir risers fold up and wheel away, equipment quickly disassembles for easy transport and storage. Achieve your best with the Stronglite Staging® range of top quality products.
“We know that when kids are involved in preparing for emergencies and learning about natural hazards, they encourage their families to be more prepared and play a more active role in responding to and recovering from emergencies,” she says. GET READY TIPS: • Talk to kids in an honest, but not scary, way about what might happen in an emergency, what you can do to keep safe, and what your plan is
for if you can’t get home. The more involved they are, the less scared they will be if an emergency does happen • Make a list of the people who could help you and those who might need your help in an emergency. Write their numbers down in case • Ensure everyone knows what your school or daycare centre’s emergency plans are. Where will they go if they are evacuated? Who will look after the kids until you get there? Give the school or day care a list of three people who can pick the kids up if you can’t get there • Make a list of supplies you might need at home and in your car – have a getaway bag for everyone, with warm clothes, snack food, water, ID, radio, torch and batteries. To make a plan and find out more about getting prepared, visit, www.happens.nz.
Survey shows Kiwis better prepared for disasters New Zealanders have never been better prepared for disasters according to the latest annual disaster preparedness survey, but it’s important to stay prepared. The results are the findings of the Colmar Brunton Disaster Preparedness Survey for 2017, which has been released by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. The annual survey of 1,000 New Zealanders assesses disaster preparedness and the effectiveness of our public education programme.
While the results are encouraging, it is important to make sure that being prepared is an everyday part of life. The survey suggests the Ministry’s recent tsunami and earthquake safety campaign - which emphasises the messages “Long or Strong, Get Gone”, and “Drop Cover Hold” - has been effective in reinforcing the right actions to take in the event of an earthquake. The survey shows that 83 percent of respondents know that they needed to evacuate when a long or strong earthquake happens near the coast. Getting prepared is easier than you might think and the single most important thing is to make a plan.
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The new government plans to see a billion trees planted in the next ten years – double our present forest planting rate. There are dedicated facilities to supply this workforce: • The University of Canterbury’s School of Forestry – Degree through to PhD in forestry and forest engineering. • Toi Ohomai in Rotorua – NZ Certificates in forest management and operations, as well as a Diploma in forest management. • NorthTec in Whangarei – NZ Certificates in forest skills and harvesting. • EIT in Gisborne – NZ Certificates in forest harvesting and operations. Four of the entryways for the whole lot of people we urgently need to fill the ranks of foresters, engineers, scientists, drivers, processors and managers who keep our six-billion-dollar export industry growing.
Issue 117 of Principals Today magazine