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Issue #86 Term 2 2010

Facing the music

There’s more to NZ Music Month than making sweet sounds

The preparation game St Margaret’s College principal Gillian Simpson on the art of providing a first class education

Bucking the system Navigating the new national standard

The core of learning Maximising online opportunities

A dollop of enthusiasm Learning on the job

Finding the right formula

Principal Property Manager Outdoor Education

Administration Board of Trustees Careers Advisor


ISSN 1170-4071


A case study in student engagement


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Dear Kiwifundraising Team “Thank you for the diaries and the $100 donation. We are using the money to hire a bouncy castle for the children as an end year treat. Thank you� Anne Jakeman


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SECONDARY & TERTIARY DIARIES 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. More ways to personalise your diaries are by being able to choose the type of binding and also the layout of your internal January-December diary pages. UÊ1«Ê̜ʣäääÊ, IÊVÕÃ̜“ˆÃi`Ê`ˆ>Àˆià UÊ, Ê`iˆÛiÀÞÊ«ÀˆœÀÊ̜Ê/iÀ“Ê£ÊÓ䣣 UÊ*iÀܘ>ˆÃi`ÊvÀœ˜ÌÊVœÛiÀ

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Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 3

Learning’s core


maximising online opportunities


Utilising technology to raise standards in literacy and numeracy

a case study in student engagement

09 TOUGH LOVE how hard tasks turn lives around


13 KEEPING TRACK monitoring children’s mobile phone usage


Bucking the system

keeping kids electrocution free

navigating the new national standard

14 DESTINATION EDUCATION education-based trips that align with

Has the Government leapt

your curriculum

before it looked?



an age-old tradition under threat

16 SUPER STUDENTS a bid to help save our Hector’s dolphins and a bona fide virtuoso

A dollop of enthusiasm

24 BOOK CLUB a collection of Kiwi author offerings

learning on the job


Teacher turned author William Taylor, talks about his early days in the confines of a classroom



how changing the scenery can work wonders

25 ICT placing online power in your hands


The preparation game

education in review


educating more than just minds

tools, tactics and tales to take note from

St Margaret’s College principal Gillian Simpson discusses the art of providing a first class education

34 SUN SAFETY winter sun can still sting


35 SPECIAL EDUCATION gifts for the gifted


Cover story

meeting unique needs


facing the music The ins and outs of NZ music month with tools and organisations to help aid your accoustic curriculum


getting made to measure

42 CHRISTIAN CAMPING There are times when kids just need an escape

Principals Today congratulates Jonathon

This publication is printed on

Bishop of Christchurch, the winner a Dell

papers supplied by All wood originates from sustainably

Latitude 2100 personalised laptop

managed forests or waste sources. All mills utilise the Chain of Custody system to verify fibre source

Stock up your school library by winning books in our ‘School is cool’ writing competition – details on PAGE 24

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4 | Principals Today | Term 1 2010


Check out what’s up for grabs in our annual Super Student, Cover Photography and Teacher of the Year competitions on PAGE 9 Win a laptop for one of your students and a PC for your school with Academy Diaries. See page 3 for more details. Win a camera for your school. See page 36 for more details


Finding the right formula By Kate Pierson

Aside from the physical foundations which are required to build a school, an educational institution is also made up of fundamental values and principles. A holistic education is the product of these principles and values if they are honoured by teachers who support these philosophies. Academic Colleges Group (ACG) Strathallan preschool, school and college in South Auckland is no exception to this constitutional structure. But while the school integrates the key ingredients for a systematically sound and nurturing environment, it pursues a refreshingly unique and pragmatic approach to educating pupils as a leading independent provider of educational services.

Photo of Clarence van der Wel above and below is the AGG Strath A & T Building

ACG Strathallan is part of the ACG family. With 10 schools in total – seven in New Zealand and three overseas in Indonesia, Vietnam and Australia - ACG embraces multiculturalism and diversity. Located on a 14 hectare site on the Hingaia Peninsula in Karaka near Papakura, ACG Strathallan opened its doors to 180 students in 2001. Eighty of the original pupils had attended Amworth private school which was absorbed by ACG at this time and 100 students were enrolled prior to the school opening. Today the school role stands at 1200 and ACG Strathallan provides educational programmes ranging from pre-school through to primary school and college. ACG Strahallan, like a worldwide network of schools, is connected to the University of Cambridge through an international examination programme. Principal, Clarence van der Wel, says the school works to cater for individual needs. “I’ve always believed students have a tremendous capacity for learning and at ACG Stathallan, we work to unleash student potential and really engage them in learning. We help them to excel and give them the opportunity to achieve and succeed.” Aside from its integration of an independent examination system, the school also favours longer lessons. “The main benefit of 80 to 85 minute lessons is that you can explore topics or concepts in depth and not just scratch the surface, meaning students understand these ideas more fully and deeply,” van der Wel explains.

“Also, the quality of time that teachers can dedicate to students is an advantage. At ACG Stathallan, our education is all about these relationships. Teacher and student relationships, school and family relationships – we place a real emphasis on this. As the principal, I have always personally met each family before the student is enrolled. “We also have one tutor for every twenty students in the school and this tutor will attend regular meetings with parents and liaise via email contact.” ACG Stathallan also offers a school intranet, MyACG, which grants parents offsite access to information regarding their child’s progress, assessment data, course outlines and academic programmes. Having served the education sector in a principal capacity for the past 15 years, van der Wel says he has accumulated a first hand knowledge of student

needs which he has channeled into all elements of his employment. He worked as principal of Tuakau College and as the associate deputy principal at Hillcrest High before dedicating his services to ACG. Van der Wel is now looking forward to the opportunity to influence a wider group of schools when he assumes his role as deputy chief executive for ACG. He says he will draw on his past experience to assist and support these schools – something he has been doing in a part time capacity for three years. “I will be working closely with these schools and supporting them in their practise of our core philosophies and ethos.” For more information on ACG Strathallan or ACG visit

Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 5


core of learning The

By Sandy Gallard

National standards are a reality, and could be great; but as we all know, insanity is about doing more of the same and expecting a different result. CORE Education is active across New Zealand bringing a variety of tailor made e-learning approaches to learners of all ages. A component of its work is the provision of teacher development, tools, strategies and training. Core national facilitator in ICT PD, curriculum and achievement, Jill Hammonds believes ICT opens a plethora of opportunities for students to utilise technology to be better learners and for teachers to make a positive move towards raising standards in literacy and numeracy. The controversial National Standards requires numerous things from schools – levels need to be met and according to Hammonds, simply spending more time trying to get students to write better or read better is not going to do it. “Nor is spending more time measuring where kids are at, unless we then do something creative and interesting that will move our diverse learners forward. We need to get creative and find ways to engage our struggling and achieving students.” Hammonds believes it is important we gather classroom based evidence and have effective reporting, but also advocates that it is programme delivery in the classroom which will begin to turn around student achievements. “If a child is having problems with literacy and you spend more time with that child doing more of what they are failing at; it’s not good for their self esteem or their progress. You have to stop and look at those students and figure out how they learn, what is their learning style in their natural environment? Then we need to bring that into the classroom.” All children develop differently and each child responds to different stimuli in different ways, she says. “Contemporary children are often engaged by highly visual stimulus, for example, television, games consoles, and mobile phones, which give them instant gratification. How can we address this for teaching literacy in the 21st century classroom?” Learning should be for the students future, not the teachers past, Hammonds declares. 6 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010

The disparity between traditional teaching approaches and the learning patterns of today's students means more teachers are facing higher proportions of challenging students on a daily basis. The current situation is not working for many children, and teachers need to take a new approach to ensure children are gaining the knowledge and skills that they need for a successful educational career. “Teachers need to consider the standards in relation to students who are high achievers as well as students who are struggling and to provide intrinsic incentives, authentic feedback, and opportunities for the children to read and express themselves on topics that interest them,” Hammonds says. Intrinsic incentives ensure children experience success through taking responsibility to improve their own work and skills by completing tasks that are clearly purposeful and achieve a result. The children are able to see and measure their own progress and take responsibility for reflecting upon their work. Intrinsic incentives need to be: • Clearly purposeful • For an audience • Achieving a result • Ones where students experience success • Where students take responsibility, but get the support they need to get better

something creative and interesting that will help diverse learners to progress. She cites word processing as a valid example of getting children motivated about writing. “With pen and paper a child who is struggling with writing is probably very untidy and the finished product gives them no pleasure.” If this same child sits down and writes a document, they can then, via tracked changes, go back and edit the work, add in words, move sentences. The tracking shows they have put thought into the work. “Trying hard is different from succeeding, and on paper a student might try hard but the end result might not reflect this and any editing makes the work messier.” The next step is the student taking the finished written work and being able to place it on a blog, wiki or email and send it out to the appropriate audience. This audience can then respond. So now instead of the student dreading writing, they are doing something with a purpose – they are blogging (for example) and in their mind that is entirely different from writing. Neatness is no longer an issue, they get to spend time doing quality editing and they get something back from their efforts – something which has engaged them. Hammonds says she sees a degree of resistance from teachers to fully utilise computers in classrooms.

• Where students can see and measure their own progress and take responsibility for reflecting on that and reporting to parents.

“Many are not confident with the process and feel they are going to need to learn ‘all the tricks’ before opening up the technology for the students. In fact, many just need to allow students to use the technology currently in their classrooms.

Authentic feedback can come from a wide variety of people and gives children genuine reader-reaction which can create a continued interaction of critique and comment from a diverse group of readers.

“We need to be more open to change and I think teachers need help with this part of implementing the standards. Over the next five years or so I think this is going to be a vital area of professional development.”

Authentic feedback involves:

She adds the previous round of curriculum changes has seen many teachers tossed to sea with the sheer volume of issues which needed to be addressed and implemented. Going forwards she advocates ICT as a limitless tool in which to lift the learning achievements of all children.

• Response • Genuine reader reaction • Critique and comment from a wide variety of readers • Continued interaction. Hammonds says simply spending more time trying to improve reading or writing, or spending more time measuring children’s achievement is not going to advance children’s literacy skills. Instead, teachers need to do

“ICT is not just doing things with computers. It can be geared to raising specific student achievements and we need to help teachers see these opportunities.” For further information visit or email


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Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 7


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Kiwi Park School 20.0 Income Expenses


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Income & Expenditure

Is your school ready for over a 2% drop in cash if the expected GST increase goes through? Speculations are GST will increase by 20% this October and if that is confirmed in the May Budget your school will sustain a decrease in available cash unless your funding is increased. With newspapers reporting teachers buying their own classroom supplies all principals need to be aware of the potential liquidity impact this change in GST will have on their school.

BE PREPARED As reported on the Computer Society president Paul Matthews says updating systems will be a costly exercise, as many software programs have not been designed to allow for changes to GST. Each situation is different, but the costs for businesses could be anywhere between $100 to hire a software developer for an hour and the cost of purchasing a new accounting system. Expecting all businesses to update their systems by October is a “tall order”, he says. “Announcing it in May and having it apply from April the following year would be a lot more plausible. But if you’ve got five months between announcing it to full implementation throughout the country, then you would have to look at subsidising the cost of doing these changes.” Any system that creates an invoice or manages accounting functions is going to need to be modified, he says. Most small businesses would be using systems designed for them and would have the GST rate hard-coded into the software. “That’s very difficult to change. You’d have to go back to the developer.”

simple, easy to use accounting that adds real value not unnecessary costs, freeing resources to concentrate on more important educational issues. Simplicity is the key – Accounts Online’s software captures all bank statements over the internet, and presents them for easy coding and GST preparation. You can be confident about the accuracy as the data comes straight from the schools bank accounts! Most transactions only need coding once, as the system intuitively remembers and automatically codes repetitive transactions, virtually eliminating data entry. What used to take days is now done in minutes. Accounts Online provide a full suite of solutions to manage accounting, payroll and accounts payable. They also provide ongoing support and empower their clients to have more hands on control, including filing your GST returns directly with the Inland Revenue, making it easier for the auditors to complete their tasks more easily.

DON’T DELAY With recent news of teachers paying for classroom supplies out of their own pockets, it certainly highlights the responsibility principals have in maintaining control over their schools finances. Accounts Online provides a no obligation consultation to see if they can assist your school. Now is the perfect time to speak to them. For a limited time, they are offering a 2 months free subscription. They look forward to showing you how your accounts and GST could be completed in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee.

Be prepared for these changes and have your school accounts ready to cope with these potential changes.

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8 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010

“It is a brilliantly sim ple package that ha s saved me well over 15 ho urs a month in comp arison to our previous acco unts package. Acco unts Online gives us a weekly automated return tha t I and our committee can unde rstand. One click of the button and 99% of the wo rk is done for you. Instantly you can see your finan cial position, where it fits in comparison to budg et and previous ye ars. We saved a fortune on our au dit costs at the end of the year, and our accountan t was impressed wit h what we had achieved. I str ess it is a painless, sim ple system and I cannot unde rstand why more org anisations are not using it.” Pat Newman Treas urer Hikurangi Rugb y


ith p to date w d to stay u te an lar w u e p o av Ih the most p “For years have tried g my d in an h g ac n ti re ad no joy my accoun h t u b s e”. m g progra ounts Onlin accountin ced to Acc u d o tr in I was goal until on th Educati Kip McGra

“I am only of aver age Accounting ability, but this very simple to us e and time efficie nt system has been a breakthro ugh for me. Accounts Online provides me with an excellent programme that considerably redu ces the hours spent on accoun ts. I now spend mo re time on the bu siness I actually run – educating students”. Robyn Purdie, Ku mon Education


a review of your List” includes ed If your “To Do s and associat stems, resource your in e accounting sy lin On unts to include Acco costs, be sure review process.

fer to schools: Our special of NSFORFREE THSSUBSCRIPTIO s&IRSTTWOMON TION ATIONCONSULTA s&2%%NOOBLIG of tment with one book an appoin e th on ol Call today and ur scho . It could put yo our associates te accounting. ra cu ac d an easy path to simple, ffee. Enjoy your co

Toughlove In a bid to change the direction of their lives, a group of teenage boys complete the famous Coast to Coast route. During April the boys crossed the mainland, testing their strength of character, in the same way as the 700 athletes who race the course each February. In addition to the physical challenge, many of the boys have to battle against the drug and alcohol cravings that are destroying their own and their family’s lives. The coast to coast journey is their first commitment to changing themselves. The venture is organised by the 180 Degrees Trust, involving a two-week, high country training programme culminating in the coast to coast as the basis of a rehabilitation package for 12-17 year old boys. Boys selected are based on recommendations made by the police, CYF (mainly Youth Justice), high schools and their families. About 40 each year who commit to changing their lives are taken on to 180 Degree’s three part programme. Director Jeremy Nurse says “The Coast to Coast experience for our boys is all about taking them away from the city, getting

to know the environment, preparing for their expeditions and overcoming the problems”. They have to plan their meals, cook for themselves, use their map and take ownership of their experience. They also build up a trust with the other boys and the instructors who become their mentors for the next year. From the West Coast, the boys, working together, collect a bottle of water from the ocean and return it back to the ocean on the east coast near their homes. It is a small metaphor that they are working together and it has become a ritual that they all appreciate. “At the end of the high country course, the boys are literally jumping out of their skin with vigour and enthusiasm,” Jeremy says. The toxins of those who have been on drugs are well down and those with drinking problems comment on how “switched on” they feel. They have learnt during the course to overcome crises that can arise through tiredness, a short fuse or character clashes. Their instructors teach them to analyse, repair and move ahead.

By this stage the boys feel ready to take on the next step, which is to apply the lessons they learn in the high country to every aspect of life. For the third part of the programme the instructors strive to maintain the boys’ high level of motivation with an action plan of achievable goals. The 180 Degree staff work with the boys weekly focusing on their potential and guiding them back into education and obtaining work experience.

Principals Today is again running a year-long Super Student competition. In the 2010 Term 4 edition an overall Super Student will be selected and awarded the overall prize – a laptop computer. So, if your school has a student or students who are excelling in any field; be it studies, sports, arts or hobbies, then we’re interested!

2010 Teacher of the Year With this competition Principals Today wants to recognise the hard work teachers do in and out of the classroom around New Zealand. So we want you to nominate your favourite teacher and tell us why they are the top teacher in the country. The winner will receive travel vouchers for a well deserved holiday and be announced in our Term 4 issue.

“Never lose your temper,” was Jeremy’s answer when asked the trick of managing the boys. “To set an example for them in the physical challenges.” He says the dedication and skill of the staff can earn their respect, which helps maintain authority and help the boys persist during moments of self-doubt. Sixty percent of the boys who have completed the course are either back to school, in alternative education, in work experience programmes or have a job following the 12 months with 180 Degrees Trust. The Trust intends to carry out four high country programs a year and is planning a similar programme for girls in the coming months.

“The rest is like falling off a log,” assures Jeremy with reference to gaining qualifications. He has the knack of conviction. The greatest challenge, he says, is maintaining the momentum once the boys have been returned to their own culture. Persistence is needed to complete the two-week high country program and more still to succeed in the following twelve month of mentoring.

Competitions 2010 Super Students



raph 2010 Cover Photog ion tit pe m co Principals Today is again running its Cover Photography competition and as before, the winning photograph, judged by the staff at Principals Today, will be used as the cover shot on our 2010, Term 4 edition.

Unlock Your UK Pension When you transfer with Britannia, there’s no tax penalty to pay. We transfer: · Personal Pension Plans · Occupational Schemes · Unsecured Pensions in draw-down

Entry details You can send entries for the 2010 Cover Photograph competition, 2010 Teacher of the Year competition or information about possible Super Students to, or by post to Principals Today, PO Box 1879, 8140 Christchurch.

Find out more at or call

0800 857 367 A Disclosure Statement is available upon request and free of charge. BR013PrT3

Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 9

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10 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010

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Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 11


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By Sandy Galland

The Government, in its determination to give every child the opportunity to succeed in school, continues to ignore increasing pressure to trial national standards, before forcing schools into a position which could potentially damage young learners.

Christchurch’s Somerfield School Principal Denise Torrey

Education minister, Anne Tolley said recently any necessary changes “will be made” to the policy. “It’s vital that we get national standards right to benefit all young New Zealanders,” she says. This leaves many education leaders asking the question, ‘if the Government is so determined to get it right, why did it rush the un-tested and largely un-consulted standards into schools at the beginning of 2010?’ Christchurch’s Somerfield School principal Denise Torrey has openly led the charge in delaying implementation of the standards until such time as she and the Board of Trustees have confidence the many questions regarding them have been adequately answered. “We have not said we won’t implement them, but we won’t do so until teachers are fully trained and the nitty gritty of implementation has been sorted out.” While this defies the Government’s directive that schools were to bring in the standards at the start of this school year, Torrey says neither she, nor the board, has had anyone contact them about their stance. “We know the Prime Minister has said he wants to work with boards like ours, but we certainly haven’t been contacted directly by anyone in the Ministry.” Torrey adds that in her role as president of the Canterbury Primary Principals’ Association, she works closely with the Ministry and knows it is well aware of the stance the school has taken. “To be perfectly honest, if we are supposedly best to have an evidence based education system, then these standards are not evidence based. Based on the huge amount of evidence which exists around professional development, Torrey she can support her board’s stance with valid arguments based on the weaknesses of the approach adopted by the Ministry. She stands firmly behind her board’s decision, believing it to be a reasonable one. 12 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010

“We are not saying we won’t implement the standards, just not until our staff are fully trained. And that is up to them (the Ministry) to solve the problems. It’s up to them to find the answers to the many questions out there and to provide decent professional development. “We will wait to see what this professional development looks like and if it is going to solve the questions, then we will invest time into it. We don’t want to have to re-invest into this again in 2011 because they didn’t have it right the first time; because they didn’t trial it. “The minister says she is putting $26 million into professional development and we will look forward to seeing the result of this. Personally I would rather see this money go to special needs programmes which already identify those students, (or) programmes which are already having a positive impact on learning.” Tolley vigorously defends the standards and in a parliament question and answer session in February said it is not a new test, or a new assessment tool, but a common standard across them. She further added there are a large number of assessment tools used by schools, and no one standard applies across them. “That is what national standards are. So the existing assessment tools will remain in place, and the national standards will go right across all those tools, so that it will not matter which school a child goes to, or which assessment tool a particular school uses, because there will be a standard that is national”

Government tinkering Late in March Tolley announced the Terms of Reference for the newly formed Advisory Group on National Standards. She says it’s vital that the standards right to benefit all young New Zealanders and the group will provide advice on any changes to be made to the design of the standards.

Education sector union NZEI says that simply underlines the fact the standards are untried and untested and that they are being steamrolled into schools without being trialled. “You can’t take a fix-it-as-we-go approach to children’s learning,” president Frances Nelson says. “The more the government tinkers around the greater the risk of damage to our education system. The overwhelming message is that New Zealanders – parents, principals, teachers, boards and the public have serious concerns about what is untried and untested policy with no evidence it will raise student achievement.” The Government has also recently announced an OECD review of evaluation and assessment in New Zealand schools because of our innovative approach. “Unfortunately, because of the rushed implementation the standards, what the OECD team is likely to see is a confused and muddled picture. Some schools will be ignoring them, while others will still be struggling to get to grips with them and make them fit with what they’re already doing. “It is curious the government is prepared to listen to an OECD analysis of what is happening in New Zealand schools, when it won’t listen to the views of parents, educators and the academic community,” Nelson adds. Back in Canterbury, Torrey as a spokesperson in both her roles, also advocates that the standards have to be trialed. “How can this be a national standard if it is not trialed? “Teachers need clear guidelines on how to use and understand the standards. If there is no consistency and teachers are using their own judgment, and interrupting them in their own way; how does that become a national standard?”

News The Somerfield School concerns: • The standards are not based on evidence. “In fact academics had warned against setting one target level of achievement for each age level or year of schooling,” Torrey adds. • Timing of the implementation of the standards can take school’s focus off the implementation of New Zealand Curriculum. • This is the “bedding” in year. “Does this mean that changes would be made and our reporting compromised because of that – a trial would have sorted this.” • Teachers need significant professional development and opportunities to work with the standards to ensure they understand them and consistently implement them. • Teachers need clear guidance on how nationally available tests can be used to help them interpret the standards so they are applied more consistently and inform their overall teacher judgement. “The stakes are high for teachers and schools and we want to get it right.” • The first round of professional development for Boards and school leaders left participants with many unanswered questions, “so why would we put time and effort into professional development when even the experts don’t know.” • Some of the samples the Ministry has given for reporting are not realistic or desirable. Another compelling factor in the decision not to implement immediately was the processes Somerfield School has in place to deal with the ‘tail of underachievers’ the Government has identified.

“We have robust process to identify these children early and we throw huge resources that way. Even our ERO report identified how well we are already addressing this. In reading recovery alone, we put over three times as much funding into it as is allocated by the Government.” Recognition of progress The biggest concern however, in this whole debacle is around the preservation of data. Torrey like many others believes the standards will not recognise progress made. “In a school like Somerfield School, which is decile six, we can show huge resources of input and huge progress, but putting us on a national table, many of our kids won’t meet those standards, but they have made progress. “The Government has to understand that different kids come in to school with different skills, attitudes and prior learning. Just because you stick some results on a table – it doesn’t show the value which has been added. There is a sense of worry about that.

The presentation is an interactive experience with puzzles and games that’s both fun and educational. There is a wealth of resources available online for teachers, parents and children to learn and enjoy. More than 60,000 school children have now seen Tracey’s

Torrey and many others undoubtedly agree with a recent NZEI statement. "The implementation of national standards is a shambles. We urge the Government to stop, take a deep breath and listen to the concerns being voiced. “It must put children's learning first and make a sensible decision to trial and

Torrey says the big message in all this is that it really is not about national standards, rather

Vector’s StaySafe around electricity community schools programme is now in its sixth year.

Safety co-ordinator, Tracey Rayner has been running the programme since it started, visiting schools to deliver a lively and engaging presentation for the 7-11 year old kids.

"This has the potential to be the worst thing that’s ever happened to the New Zealand education system. The standards have been plucked out of the sky and no one knows if they’re accurate or not."

The big message

shockfree The programme is available free of charge to schools within the greater Auckland region, while the resources used in the presentation and teaching aids are available to all schools by contacting Vector.

Hora Hora Primary School principal Pat Newman is another taking the same stand as Torrey – his school has not implemented the standards either.

“It will definitely have an impact on schools like ours. The table just does not show what we have added. So schools have to make sure they educate their parents about what they are adding value to and that they are making progress over time. We need to report these things back to parents and remind them that the progress is about a partnership between them and their school.”

Keeping kids

StaySafe is a community programme developed to educate children in years 3-6 about the dangers of playing on or around electricity equipment, not only in their home, but also in their community.

“It’s about quality teaching and learning for our kids. Yes schools can strengthen reporting and some do need to up their game, but it is about quality teaching and learning and you don’t get that by putting in national standards.”

presentation, who has studied a Maori language course to help generate the most impact in some of the schools she visits. For more information visit the Electricity Safety World at

Keeping track

Children will be better protected from cyber bullies and strangers following the New Zealand launch of a new service that enables parents to monitor their child’s mobile phone usage.

Introduced in the United States in 2007, My Mobile Watchdog provides parents the ability to monitor their children’s mobile phone usage and alerts them to instances of unsafe or unwanted mobile phone activity. This allows parents’ access to call logs and complete text and picture messages as well as the content of all videos sent and received via their child’s mobile phone. Geoff Sondergeld, director of My Mobile Watchdog distributor Device Connections, says despite children being the fastest growing market for mobile phones in New Zealand, until now parents had no way to monitor their children’s mobile phone usage. “Mobile phones are no longer used for just text message and phone calls, but most also have internet capabilities so many children currently have unmonitored internet access which is a major concern. “Additionally, cyber bullying has become a major problem in New Zealand, with harassment via mobile phones, the internet, SMS, chat rooms and social media websites like MySpace and Facebook on the rise,” he says. Media reports have drawn a link between cyber bullying and youth violence, with half of all girls aged 12 to 15 said to have been victims of cyber

bullies. Mr Sondergeld says the My Mobile Watchdog service sends regular alerts to the user that their parents are monitoring their phone. “My Mobile Watchdog is innovative software and is about increasing children’s safety and fostering better communication between parents and their children in a society where mobile phones are becoming an essential social tool for our children. “In much the same way that desktop monitoring software protects children, My Mobile Watchdog enables parents to monitor their children’s mobile phone usage, including internet activities, therefore allowing parents to better safeguard their children.” Parents in the US have utilised My Mobile Watchdog to monitor their children’s mobile phone usage, with feedback revealing it has improved relationships between parents and their children. “I would encourage parents to become better aware of their child’s mobile phone usage as mobile phones are here to stay as are a new generation of safety concerns,” he said. For more information about My Mobile Watchdog or to purchase this important monitoring technology visit Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 13


n o i t a n i t s e D education

Education has come a long way since the days of the three Rs - reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic. It's obvious in the emphasis placed on our curriculum and noticeable in the changes to our Ministry of Education requirements. But it is no more evident than in customdesigned international school trips.

"Children learn about the economy, how the schools operate, look at migration patterns, geographical features and all about the indigenous people," Robyn says.

Organising hundreds of students every year to international destinations from Fiji to Samoa is no easy feat, but Hamilton based travel company Edventuretours specialises in education-based tours, custom designed to align with your curriculum.

"They eat traditional foods, are taken fishing, around villages and schools, they're taught traditional dances, greetings and customs. The learning which takes place within these international tours is astounding.

Established 12 years ago by Chris and Robyn Hamilton, Edventuretours is able to customise your international school trip to meet the specific learning needs of your class. In February a six-strong group of New Zealand school respresentatives visited Fiji for a preliminary tour inspection of accommodation and activities. Edventuretours, coupled with the governing tourism body, Tourism Fiji, showed the group a vast range of proposed activities.

14 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010

The six-strong group consisted of principals, heads of departments and teachers representing schools in Auckland, Christchurch, Northland and Tauranga. Four of the six schools represented have since signed up for a series of Fiji-based school children's sporting, social and educational programmes in 2010. The Correspondence School teacher Steve Connor says the learning students acquire on such trips is immense. "The vision is to take a group of students to a foreign country and culture and thereby gain an understanding of the world around us, the

diversity of people and the broadening of minds and horizons. A secondary benefit of the trip is to experience the fun of travel and adventure." Tourism Fiji regional director New Zealand Sala Toganivalu says the programme proved an outstanding success. "This was a key group for us with all those participating responsible for making the final decisions as to which overseas destinations students from their respective schools will visit in the coming business year," she says.

Members of te Tourism Fiji / Edventuretours teachers’ group visiting Fiji. Back row (L-R): Kate Richardson (Heaton International School - Christchurch), Royston Scholes (Mt Maunganui Intermediate School - Tauranga), Ragigia Dawai (Tourism Fiji Auckland), Andrew Epskamp (Kamo Intermediate School - Northland), Robyn Hamilton (Edventuretours - Hamilton), Christopher Hamilton (Edventuretours - Hamilton), Karen Tamehana (Kawakawa Primary School - Northland). Front row (L-R): Cara Ashby (Heaton International School - Christchurch), and Marguerite Hegan (Wairau Intermediate School - Auckland).


The value of Homework, or tasks which teachers assign to students to be completed outside of school hours, persists as a controversial aspect of our education system. Whether homework aids students and how much homework is appropriate, has been debated for many years. While some educators support homework for its value in reinforcing daily learning and fostering the development of study skills, backlash against the practice has been developing since the 1990s. Those who condemn homework point to the fact that research on the topic has produced inconsistent findings and argue that its impact on achieving is, at best, unclear. But until research is able to give a quantifiable answer as to whether homework is beneficial to students, it is a decision schools are having to take into their own hands. The debate has again reached the media with a number of Wellington schools scrapping traditional homework methods. This year Karori Normal School stopped providing homework sheets for pupils, instead urging parents to be more involved in their child’s learning. Principal Diane Leggett suggests pupils read comics and model aeroplane instructions, anything the child is interested in will provide more benefit than homework ever will, she says in a letter to parents. The move was followed by Ngaio and Seatoun schools and backed by Auckland University Professor


By Melinda Collins

John Hattie. His study into what works in schools to improve learning concludes the part homework plays in a child’s learning is minimal, to say the least.

One of New Zealand’s most prolific authors, William Taylor, spent 26 years teaching New Zealand’s students and maintains homework is of no benefit.

Published in 2008 and titled Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement, it is believed to be the largest evidence-based study in the world into what works for students and was the result of 15 years of research into the influences on achievement in school-aged students.

“I have always thought most homework set for kids is a waste of time. All I ever required from kids was they have a book they could read a little from in their own time or immerse themselves in fully, they browse a page of a daily newspaper or magazine and listen to or view a news broadcast - things that simply opened up their minds to the world around them.

Hattie suggests homework makes little difference to student achievement, so little that in fact any learning taken from the practice “would happen anyway,” the impact being so slight.

“I never minded what they were reading, providing they were reading.”

That is not to say homework is harmful to learning, simply it is of no benefit, he says. What is harmful, he notes, is watching television more than 10 hours a week, which regresses learning. Hattie suggests that home factors like parental involvement and the availability of computers and books at home make a measureable difference. But what makes the biggest overall difference to a student’s learning, he says, is when the students set their own goals and targets.

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Some courses are available with part-time or distance learning options.

For a complete list of programmes or for more information contact:

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Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 15

Super Students

Aescleah Hawkins They say every journey starts with the first step. But for 15 year old

Aescleah Hawkins, the first steps of her biggest journey to date began with a memorable send off from 265 cheering school students, community well wishers, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker and even a dancing supporter wearing a dolphin costume. It all began with a very unusual resolution for 2010. This year the Avonside Girls’ High School student pledged to help stop the extinction of New Zealand’s Hector’s dolphins. So, on March 4, 5 and 6, along with a group of supporters, she made the 42 kilometre walk from Lyttleton to Akaroa to raise vital funds for the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Stop Their Extinction campaign. Image courtesy of Jim Lilley

Hector’s dolphins need significant change if they are to survive. The species, which lives only in New Zealand’s coastal waters, has lost nearly three quarters of its numbers since the 1970s, from an estimated 29,000 in 1970 to little more than 7000 estimated as surviving today. Hector’s dolphins are classified as one of the rarest marine dolphins in the world and ranked as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of threatened species. When Aescleah found out about the plight of the dolphins, she immediately wanted to help. “I’d done a walk for wildlife in the UK for WWF and really enjoyed it, so I wanted to do something here in

ebsite w r u o y n r u t o t d e e Do you n mers? o t s u c g in y a p o t in visitors We have the answer. be in to o t y a d o t w a r d e h t Enter valued ( L A U N A M E E R F win a ge your n a h c l il w t a h t ) 7 4 at $2 forever! ) s s e in s u b d n a ( e websit To go in the draw to win a copy of this revolutionary manual (see pages 10 and 11 for more details), simply email your contact details to by Thursday 27th May. Please include in the subject line “Living Words” and the name “Principals Today Issue #86”.

16 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010

New Zealand for local wildlife. I contacted WWF New Zealand, found out about Hector’s dolphins being endangered and it was like, this is something I have to get involved in. “I hope we can raise people’s awareness that the dolphins are now endangered and we need to save them,” explains Aescleah. “Hector’s dolphins are just amazing, wonderful animals and we can’t let them go extinct. I want to see change come about from our walks,” she concludes. Together Aescleah and her team raised more than $15,620 for the cause.

Super Students

Hilary Hayes Col legno, con sodino and bariolage are words designed for an esoteric audience of violinists. But for Hillcrest High student Hilary Hayes, it is a language she is literate in.

The 15 year old has been playing the stringed instrument since she was little more than six years old and with training for a few hours every single day, it is little wonder she has an amazing talent under her bow.

While Hilary’s accomplishments are leading her down the path of an international solo career, she says it’s an amazing dream, but she doesn’t think about it because it is almost “too big to hope for”.

Last year Hilary won the 2009 KBB Music National Performers’ Competition and the 2009 Performing Arts Competition Association of New Zealand (PACANZ) National Performer of the Year Award.

“Ultimately I would love to do a mixture of solo, chamber and orchestral performing. That would be an amazing, well-rounded career to be able to achieve.”

But not stopping there, she was also an integral member of the Leonari Trio who won the prestigious Pettman/ROSL Arts International Chamber Music Scholarship and, as part of the prize, she will be travelling to the UK with the other ensemble members for a month of masterclasses and performances later this year.

Hilary has been involved in the University of Waikato Chamber Music programme for the past two years. Within the university’s Bachelor of Music degree, exceptional young musicians, like Hilary can receive the intensive performance-focused study at tertiary level.

“I’m really excited,” Hilary says. “I really can’t wait. I’m still quite amazed to have won the PACANZ award, it’s such a big individual award. “I’ve wanted to play the violin since I was three years old,” the talented performer says of the music she was surrounded by in her childhood. “I love the sound of it.”

Celebrating 50 years of teacher education at the University of Waikato The first student intake for the School of Education, formerly the Hamilton Teachers’ College was in 1960. It is now the No1* education school in the country according to government rankings. Since its formation, the school has educated thousands of pre-service teachers in early childhood, primary and secondary teaching. Being a leading innovator is a focus of the School. During the last decade several new teacher education programmes have been introduced. These include three and four year teaching degrees, online and Maori medium programmes and a one-year Graduate Diploma of Teaching for graduates. At postgraduate level, students can now study to doctorate level and choose from a diverse range of subjects, such as counsellor education, education, Maori education, educational leadership, human development, special education and sport and leisure studies.

As a research student you will receive support from staff with expertise in their field. The school is strongly focused on research through the likes of the Wilf Malcolm Institute of Educational Research (WMIER). WMIER undertakes, supports and disseminates research relating to the broad field of education. Reaching 50 years of teacher education in the Waikato is a milestone. The half-century celebrations will involve a series of events in mid to late 2010, culminating in a celebratory gathering on Saturday, November 13 for past and present staff and students. To register for more information, phone (07) 838 4500, email, or visit *Colleges of education and university scores combined.

Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 17

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Audio Visual


TV and radio easier than ever Want to download the latest drama, documentaries, news and current affairs? Recent changes to copyright laws allow schools with a Screenrights licence to copy more than ever – with teachers now able to download certain programs from the Internet, as well as copy from TV and radio. The changes allow for the copying of AV material legally made available online and would include going to a television station’s website and downloading a podcast of your favourite programmes for teaching. “Teachers, like many viewers, are increasingly searching for their favourite programmes on the Internet,” Screenrights Licensing Executive James Dickinson said. “The changes mean they can take advantage of content that has been put online by the copyright owners, helping them to build up their library of resources.” This expands the scope of the Screenrights licence, which has always allowed licensed schools to copy whatever they like from TV and radio. This includes pay and free to air television, and covers all types of programmes.

The Outsiders, Greenstone Pictures

The licence also allows schools to make the most of new technologies, such as Clickview, moodle and Digital Video Commander systems to store, access and play copied programmes.

“Increasingly we are finding that schools are wanting to use digital systems to maintain their audiovisual collections,” Mr Dickinson said. “The licence enables this, letting teachers record a vast amount of material and make it available to students at the touch of a button.” It is also possible to now obtain copies of programmes that you forgot to record through Clickview’s licensed resource centre: Clickview Exchange. “Teachers can now share copies with other licensed schools through the Exchange, and if you’ve missed copying something, you can download it from the Exchange,” Mr Dickinson said. “This, combined with the possibility of obtaining legal copies from the Internet, means you’ll never again miss out on that perfect programme for your class.” The licence can be purchased through the STA. Each May, an invoice for all copyright licences is sent to New Zealand schools. “You simply need to tick the Screenrights box and pay a fee of $3.95 per student,” Mr Dickinson said. “Once you’ve done this, you can start recording.” To find out more visit

Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 19


A dollop of

enthusiasm By Melinda Collins

Teachers can, and do, change lives. It’s a complex and demanding position requiring a great deal from its demonstrators. A teacher dons the mantle of communicator, evaluator, manager, disciplinarian, therapist and team leader. But it is passion that makes a good teacher great. While William Taylor, one of New Zealand’s most prolific writers, began his literary journey in the confines of the classroom, he disputes being “passionate” about teaching.

at Build upon wh o, the child can d ver rather than fore what t a y a w a g in rp ha Yes, they can’t do. OK, but competition is tion. so is co-opera

Although, it is more the usage of the word he takes issue to than the concept itself. “You’ll never catch me using the word ‘passion’ the way it is used today. I don’t ever think I ever had a passion for teaching any more than I later had a passion for writing. Great enthusiasm, boundless enthusiasm - sure. Passion? I don’t think so.” So, what did he bring to the teaching arena? “An open mind, an acceptance of all kids and the ability to develop approaches, particularly in the reading and language field, that were of benefit to kids of all abilities. “While enthusiasm itself is not really enough, a dollop of it sure helps. I was certainly an enthusiastic young teacher.”

“One thing I’ll never be caught saying is ‘things were better in my day’. Those far off, golden olden days may have been different, they may have been great, but they certainly weren’t better. I live in the here and now.”

But as our conversation develops, delivered eloquently on his part, it is not hard to see why the teacher turned author chose to play out his early career in the classroom - that aforementioned passion is worn on his sleeve.

However, he does have a stance on the new standards. “I take a rather acid view of the new standards, I just don’t think they meet the needs of children as I would like to see the needs served.

Trained as a primary teacher at Christchurch Teacher’s College, Taylor taught from 1959 to 1985, finishing his teaching career as Principal of Ohakune School, before his foray into the writing arena. His delve into the world of teaching happened very much by chance. Taylor left school at 16 and while working in a bank, discovered a poster advertising for teachers. The mid 1950s were desperate times for schools as Baby Boomers flooded in. “Virtually anyone who walked through the door, particularly the few wearing trousers and who were morally, medically and moderately educationally fit would fill the bill.” He was in and just two years later, qualified. “These days it appears to take the best part of a half century to certificate and register as a teacher. In 1957 it took just two years. Whether or not we were sufficiently or suitably trained to be plonked in front of a class of thirty, forty or fifty kids is a moot point. “In no time at all I had fallen in love with the job.” But it was his autonomous nature which ensured success. “No one could have taught me how to teach - I had to find out by myself. Later on, no one could have taught me how to write. Whatever skills I have in that respect I have developed by trial and error and by getting on with the job.

20 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010

“I have always maintained that the more you write, the better you write. Well, so it was back in the days of my teaching. The longer I taught, the better I taught.” But it was his first few years which developed the principles which would guide his teaching career. “You learn something when you see a need to learn it. You learn even better through actually doing it rather than being told about it. “Build upon what the child can do, rather than forever harping away at what they can’t do. Yes, competition is OK, but so is co-operation.” Between 1968 and 1973 Taylor wrote half a dozen novels for adults. “Why? Well, quite simply I seemed to have run out of anything else better to do, and it seemed like a reasonable idea at the time.” And later came his foray into children’s writing. Taylor retains a close association with education, coupling his writing with extensive travel, speaking at schools, libraries and festivals. So one would think he would have strong convictions on how things have changed since his teaching days.

“One thing I took from my years of teacher training was an old adage, that testing isn’t teaching. And I believe that as much today as when I first heard it.” Strong conviction is in his nature. “I have always felt that I had an obligation to ‘tell it how it is’. I may be a weaver of stories and tales and a re-teller of old fables, but for all that, I am honest.” While much has changed since Taylor’s venture into the world of education, one thing remains true and that is his commitment to the profession. “Of enormous importance in making me ‘who I am’ are the children I have taught and the children for whom I have written a respectable pile of books. I have done what I can to do my best for them. “One thing I hoped for when I taught my first class in 1959 and continue to hope for, is that we (teachers) equip our children to the best of our abilities to face the world in which we grow and will continue to grow.” In his warm and witty memoir Telling Tales, Taylor writes engagingly about life as a writer, teacher and solo father, Principal of Ohakune School and Mayor of Ohakune, published by Harper Collins released in May.




preparation By Kate Pierson

It has been quite a while since I have been in the company of a principal, but any pre-jitters are quickly abandoned as I sit down with a forthcoming Gillian Simpson, executive principal at Christchurch’s St Margaret's College, to discuss her role at the school.

Upon meeting Simpson, it takes me no time at all to see why she was offered the role in early 2008. While there is no generic stereotype attached to the disposition of principals, Simpson is every bit the part. Perhaps what intrigues and inspires the most about Simpson is her ability to see the bigger picture. It may come down to personal belief, her experiences in other first class educational institutions, her exposure to international cultures, or a combination of all three, but Simpson instinctively resists what is often a natural inclination to become inwardly focused on one's immediate surroundings or vocation. She understands that the art of providing a first class education is preparation; of the girls and of the school system itself. And in this process of preparation, Simpson is aware that external influences need consideration and the application of relative educational methodologies are essential, to ensure pupils are educated not only in mind, but in body and spirit, for their journey through life. We start our conversation in the most logical place; the beginning, as I ask Simpson how her tenure as principal of the college began. “I have known former principal, Claudia Wysocki, for a long time. She was always a mentor for me as I was coming through the system,”she says. “I attended teachers college in Christchurch and having been overseas for a long time, Christchurch represented everything that my husband and I love. It's a small city, the arts are fabulous and we ski, fish and walk. To find a school with a culture that I love, in that place - it just all came together at once.”

Modest in temperament, Simpson is humble in regalements of her professional achievements. But, as we chat, more details of her impressive career are revealed. Beyond her New Zealand career in teaching, Simpson has worked in Switzerland and London and has studied French at a tertiary level. She has taken the knowledge derived from these experiences with her to St Margaret's, where she strives to create a “workplace of choice” for her staff and promote the feeling of a “big family” within the school grounds. “It is the modelling influence that you get within a family between the little sister and big sister, which is quite unique and then you underpin that with Christian values - it's a good example of faith in action. Because only through serving others, do you learn about yourself,” she says of the relationships formed between the pupils. When I ask Simpson what she loves most about her job at St Margaret's, she responds intently to my question and her appreciation of what she does is never more evident.

“It's about making a difference in people's lives – I just love that. I love empowering staff and watching them grow and often the disappointment Simpson relished her time as the sole women on the of that, is you have to lose them if they move on. leadership team when she was deputy principal of Kings It is the same with young people, boys, or girls in College in Auckland – an Anglican school for boys. my case now; just watching them prepared to “That was a huge experience for me. It gave me a feeling take risks and then grow. And what is really surprising and so exciting is, they all keep in touch. of yes, I can actually do this and that I would love to be I still keep in touch with students I taught able to have the privilege of running a school myself. 15 years ago, ”she says. From there, I was given an opportunity at Waikato Diocesan in Hamilton. That was my first role as principal Simpson is clearly a loyal supporter of the youth and the training I'd had at Kings for the 10 years before of today and tomorrow and her realistic that really set me up for it. acknowledgement of modern issues affecting women is refreshing. “It was a huge transformational change I had to go through at Waikato, because it was really about taking “Young women will be business providers and leaders, a school that was just sitting and comfortable to the but they also have to be really good mothers. I'm really next level. happy talking about both, because of course women can do everything but they don't have to do it all at once. “This opportunity came up at St Margaret's and it was yet another step up. I couldn't turn it down, but I did feel At St Margaret's we do talk about establishing balance in a woman's life and in a girl's school you can do that sad because you get to love a community; you love the students and their families, the town and community and well,” she says. you feel a bit guilty leaving. Aside from her pragmatic approach to addressing key youth issues and formulating ideas for her school, I “Then you embrace a whole new community and in the first month you are meeting past pupils, past parents, am particularly inspired by one of the many insightful comments Simpson makes during our meeting. “As current pupils and current parents and then suddenly the principal you have to be everything to everybody you are interviewing future pupils and future parents, and I don't know if there is any job like it,” she says. I so you actually meet several thousand people all in reflect on this statement and she's quite right, there is one hit and on top of that are supporting 130 staff. It no job like it. And as for being everything to everybody, really is a big business.”

Simpson is right again. With her ability to create a nurturing and academically and professionally inspiring environment for pupils, parents and staff, it is evident Simpson is the perfect woman for the job as she fulfils and exceeds this expectation. As the St Margaret's principal leads the school in its 100 year anniversary and into the next 100 years of operation, needless to say, Simpson will be contributing to a more secure global future, through the empowerment and enrichment of every girl that passes through her gates. Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 21

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Book Club

Beyond The Classroom

Book Club

Venturing ond beycorridors

By Melinda Collins

He’s loud, brazen and witty, but most of all he’s politically incorrect. Respected clinical psychologist, best selling author and father of two, Nigel Latta specialises in children – and he’s got the stats to prove it. The Politically Incorrect Parenting series was the highest rating programme on TV One for the night – every week it screened. By episode three, it was the most watched programme on New Zealand television for the week, across all channels. TVNZ received an avalanche of mail and phone calls from viewers – all of it positive. The network hadn’t received this sort of response to a programme for years.

Politically Incorrect Parenting Author: Nigel Latta Release date: May 2010 RRP: $29.99 Publisher: Harper Collins

Practical commonsense answers and examples from actual cases, logical and realistic strategies and innovative behaviour Politically Incorrect Parenting is modification tools that work in for harassed parents struggling the real world – all from a to understand why they end up screaming at their kids and tearing parent and family therapist their hair out trying to make them who’s seen almost everything there is to see and offers some understand that bad behaviour hard-won battlefield wisdom. has consequences.

Fathers Raising Daughters Author: Nigel Latta Release date: March 2010 RRP: $29.99 Publisher: Harper Collins Why do girls giggle so much? Why does everything have to be pink? Why are they so scary when they hit puberty? How can I stop her from marrying an idiot?

Jellybean Author: Tessa Duder Release date: February 2010 RRP: $16.99 Publisher: Harper Collins In all of rooms nine and ten at school, Geraldine told her mother, there wasn’t one single other mother who played the cello in a pub. There wasn’t even a mother

Brave Bess and the ANZAC horses Author: Susan Brocker Release date: March 2010 RRP: $19.99 Publisher: Harper Collins “The jet black mare galloped wildly across the scorching white sands, the guns and shells exploding around her with a deafening roar. Her master spurred her on, his legs tightly gripping her heaving sides. With foam-flecked lips and ears laid back, she thundered on through the flying bullets and choking dust.”

In Fathers Raising Daughters all this and more is revealed, with some surprising conclusions about what we think we know about the differences between boys and girls and taking a few bulls by the horns along the way. With practical examples and case studies to help all fathers raising girls. who played the cello fullstop. Geraldine’s mother plays in the orchestra – and in pubs to earn extra money. Daughter Geraldine is tired of having to fit in with her mother’s busy schedule – and lonely, until she meets a friend - a musician. As she talks to him she discovers a new ambition, to be a conductor.

Because for those who walked the earth in primordial time, learning was anything but institutional. It was a circumstantial process and a mode of survival; the result of classical conditioning. As catalyst for, and product of, evolution, the process of learning has since been formalised through our education systems. The value of learning is advocated in our schools, promoted by our media and articulated by our predecessors in all the great literature. And while the art of teaching to aid learning has been advanced with the acquisition and implementation of technological teaching tools, learning still has roots in the most humble surroundings. This is not to suggest we abandon the classroom, as it is the environment in which the most valuable knowledge is consumed. The intention behind making mention of the past is to highlight how learning for thousands of years took place in natural surroundings. And although our intellectual curiousity has been stimulated within the four walls of a classroom, education beyond this realm is also of the utmost importance. Because while traditional education is dressed in a uniform; physical, spiritual and intellectual education also has a recreational personality and the natural environment is an effective pedagogical medium. Children will be stimulated and develop new skills and appreciation of their

Every ANZAC Day we celebrate our heroes, with many books written and stories told about the brave soldiers who fought and died in World War One. Until now the story of the loyal horses who carried our troops in the desert war has remained untold. This is their story – and the story of Bess, the only horse to return to New Zealand.

n School is cool writing competitio

Most students don’t consider school to be cool. When they leave and the benefit of hindsight kicks in, things often change.


So, to win a selection of books for your school, tell us in 200 words or less what is so cool about your school. Simply email your entries to The winning entry will be published in the next issue of Principals Today and we will send your cool school a selection of the latest books courtesy of Harper Collins and Gecko Press. 24 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010

While the pivotal role that institutional education plays in our society makes it difficult to imagine a world without school, fact is, once upon a time the classroom did not exist.

world through kinesthetic and aesthetic interaction with an organic environment. Outdoor adventure and education will provide them with challenges which require lateral thinking and the application of self-conceptualised solutions. Education outside the classroom (EOTC) can take place at the zoo, or the beach, in an art gallery or on a field trip. There are also certified EOTC camps that children can attend to broaden their intellectual, spiritual and physical horizons. The Ministry of Education has developed a comprehensive EOTC division on its website. It offers extensive information and tips on how parents, teachers and children can engage in EOTC. Research studies and surveys on outdoor education and its merits are also available for consideration. For more information on EOTC or to review these tips and articles, visit


Placing the power in your


The Internet is an important learning tool in the classrooms of today. SchoolWeb provides websites for schools and puts the power into their hands to present themselves to the community and the world. This year, SchoolWeb is taking new initiatives in helping schools to get the most out of their websites. Seminars are available to SchoolWeb users to equip all teachers with the ability to contribute to their school's website. They will be enabled to involve students and help them showcase their work online in a safe and interactive way to their community. SchoolWeb offers coaching for the school’s key website contributors to coach them as they achieve an exciting, polished website with impact, that is achieving maximum effectiveness. SchoolWeb has also launched new features enabling a new level of integration with new generation web services like YouTube, Twitter, Google Documents and Maps, Slideshare and Schooltube. SchoolWeb is always on the move, with schools as the driving force.

As well as being a general website media, SchoolWeb features ways for staff to collaborate, parents to participate, children to communicate and the whole community to share in the activities of schools in a safe, moderated way. Newsletters, calendars, homework downloads, classroom projects with visitor and parent comments, videos, rosters, resource bookings, calendars, blogs and surveys are among the many abilities of the SchoolWeb system. The SchoolWeb system is priced from $2,395 +GST and includes customised graphic design, free staff training and 12 months of website hosting and support. Free training is provided nationwide to get you started and there are no expensive yearly licensing fees. Schools can obtain more information from either or by calling 0800 48 48

review Education in

The ERO’s Framework for School Reviews has been revised and is currently a work in progress. Comments on the draft are welcome – both from principals and boards that have had a review this year and from interested others. The Evaluation Indicators for School Reviews has also been updated. Both of these documents are on ERO’s website under Review Process/Schools.

Resources The emphasis of the Education Review Office’s (ERO), reviews in 2010 will be on what boards and principals tell ERO about what is happening in their school, how they are addressing the strengths and needs of the students that are enrolled in their school and what they know about the learning and achievement of their students.

The ERO’s evaluation will look at the school’s curriculum through different lenses. Has it been designed for all students? How will it advance the achievement of Maori and Pacific students? How does the school use its assessment information? How well (where applicable) does the school manage its international students?

You’ll also find a feedback form there.

The ERO’s overarching evaluation question in reviews is: How effectively does your school’s curriculum promote student learning – engagement, progress and achievement?

Focus on the school’s curriculum

External evaluation and self review

The New Zealand Curriculum gives school boards of trustees the scope, flexibility and authority to design and shape a curriculum that suits their own school.

ERO reviews use the notion of complementary evaluation. The ERO considers each school’s context and takes the most useful aspects from self review (internal evaluation)

Information provided by Jenny Clark, ERO

and external evaluation to build a comprehensive picture of the quality of the education provided in the school. Review officers will also continue to collect information on national evaluation topics. The findings will form an integrated part of a school’s report and may contribute to a national report. There will continue to be a section related to compliance. This information is also on ERO’s website – – under Review Process/Schools. If you have been notified by ERO that a review has been scheduled for your school and have any questions, please call the review coordinator at the nearest ERO office or email Information provided by Jenny Clark, ERO

Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 25

Music Month 2010

Our month of musical celebration University of Waikato Music Department violinist Lara Hall has been prominent in the New Zealand classical music scene from an early age. With a Masters and Doctorate in violin performance from the University of Michigan and experience teaching at the world-famous Interlochen Academy for Arts Michigan, Lara returned to this country to take up a position as a lecturer in violin at the University of Waikato. Along with her colleagues, she has been at the forefront of musical excellence in the region ever since.

With the likes of Hilary Hayes coming through the ranks and the successes she is enjoying, along with Accelerando taught music groups scoring many successes in Chamber Music New Zealand's secondary school music competition last year, the programme is certainly having the desired effect in nurturing and expanding the talent of its participants. One of the major players in launching the University of Waikato Accelerando Junior Music Academy, Lara is now the artistic coordinator of Accelerando, an exciting initiative for talented, enthusiastic and motivated students who see music as important in their future careers. Accelerando gives secondary school students from the greater Waikato area access to university tutors and facilities through extension teaching and performance opportunities, as well as access to the award-winning facilities of the WEL Academy of Performing Arts. Now entering its fourth year, the programme has attracted students from Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Taupo and Tauranga.

Similarly the University of Waikato Music Department’s new brainchild, intensive soloists performance programme aims to take the raw talent of exceptional performers and develop the potential for an international solo performance career. Two gifted cellists are currently part of the programme - Colombian cello prodigy Santiago Canon Valencia and the 2010 National Concerto Competition winner Edward King. The Soloist Programme welcomes inquiries from ambitious young performers with proven exceptional talent, demonstrated by having given acclaimed public performances in any country. This is an exciting time for Music at Waikato, currently ranked the number one music programme in the country.

This exciting mix of top young musicians and inspiring teachers creates an exhilarating learning environment that encourages musical activities. Accelerando is an Italian direction that musicians all understand, meaning to increase speed or tempo and, the University of Waikato programme aims to facilitate the speed at which the students reach their potential.

26 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010

The photos are all of Lara Hall and the student from the Accelerando Junior Music Academy

Music Month 2010

Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 27

The New Zealand School of Music fosters world-class performance training and opportunities, innovative and distinctive academic programmes, and excellence in research and research-led teaching.

DEVELOP YOUR SKILLS in an interdisciplinary environment with cross-fertilisation between composition, performance, musicology, and research.

TAILOR your own course of study.

COME TO THE NEW ZEALAND SCHOOL OF MUSIC and study with some of the New Zealand’s finest musicians and scholars. To find out about any of our programmes call us

04-463 5369 or email The New Zealand School of Music is a joint initiative of Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington.

28 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010

Music Month 2010

Symphony Orchestra Did you know you can access the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) for your students’ and curriculum needs?

Through the Music for Schools programme, NZSO provides opportunities for students all around the country to access the orchestra. The aim is to support the work of classroom and itinerant teachers by providing activities which add value to the teaching of the Music-Sound Arts curriculum and support the delivery of music in New Zealand schools. Every year NZSO hosts a number of special concerts aimed specifically at school audiences. In 2010 the organisation has two concert options available to schools: an introductory concert for intermediate level students, which presents the incredible sounds and sights of the NZSO and a special cross-curricular programme, Sonnets Unplugged, for NCEA students of music, drama and English, which explores Shakespeare in music.

All the NZSO activities are supported by teaching resources which help teachers and students prepare for their visit and explore both the orchestra and concert themes as a classroom project. Schools can also apply to receive a free in-school visit by NZSO musicians. Targeted specifically at your students’ needs, these visits are free of charge and offer a special “up-close and personal” experience for your school. To find out more contact or visit

Stronglite ging Sta Stronglite Staging® offers a superior range of staging products, designed and manufactured exclusively in New Zealand. The Stronglite range is ideal for school halls, auditoriums, drama suites, gymnasiums, sports fields and swimming pools. Product range includes: Stage sections • Portable, safe, easy to handle and store • Uses include: stages, catwalks, tiered audience seating, seated choir/ orchestra risers, display/work tables, ramps and more • No tools required; no folding or moving parts to trap fingers etc. Sections can be stacked on castor wheels for storage and moved as a stack. Pit infills & stage extensions

Stronglite Staging Limited 196 Finlayson Rd RD10, Hamilton T (07) 825 2933 E W

• Custom designs, new venues or refits. Choir risers • Two, three and four-level, folding choir risers with safety rails and carpeted decks are quiet, stable, easy to handle and store. Grandstands • From the fixed, three-level wheeled Babygrand (18 seater), to the demountable or fixed Superseat (40 seater), Stronglite’s range of allaluminium grandstands are ideal for the gym, the pool and the sports field. Wheel the Babygrand to your chosen site or set up the Superseat in about 10 easy minutes. These comfortable bleacher style grandstands can be supplied with or without insulated seats. Stronglite Staging’s premium products are manufactured to exacting standards and feature unique benefits including strength, lightness, safety, versatility and portability. Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 29

Music Month 2010

Facing the


Alex has spent his professional life listening to students playing music, but now the sound of a zipper being pulled is too much for him to bear.

The former secondary school music teacher lives with a condition called hyperacusis, which leaves him hypersensitive to sounds at certain pitches and unable to continue a career he loves. An ACC investigation has ruled that Alex was the victim of occupational noiseinduced hearing damage. His condition could easily have been avoided with information, support and simple changes to his teaching environment. Teaching music has been Alex’s life. He trained as a teacher overseas and has a Masters degree in music. The only difference in his last job was extended work with the school’s concert, jazz, rock and production bands. Hypersensitivity to sound is not typical of occupational noise exposure – with the striking exception of those exposed to music. Reseach also shows the largest group of musicians with hearing difficulties is high school band directors. It was after working with a school production band in 2006 that Alex began to realise something was wrong. “I didn’t know whether it was age or stress. I was really knocked around - I lost nine-and-ahalf-kilos,” he says. During the school holidays he started to get better, but once back at school things began to go downhill again. “It was the concert band direction that I enjoyed immensely, but after each rehearsal I felt totally drained. “I really struggled to cope. The kids were driving me nuts in class, they were so loud. It was crazy.” It wasn’t until he was diagnosed in 2007 that Alex discovered he had developed a low tolerance for sound. “It wasn’t the students that were noisier, it was my perception that had changed.” Alex was becoming sensitive to high frequency sounds, while at the same time suffering from hearing loss. It was only a subtle switch from a sound being just audible, to it becoming loud enough to cause him extreme discomfort. Sounds like cutlery scraping against plates, bells at supermarkets and even a zipper 30 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010

being done up quickly can easily become too much for him. When listening to live performances he discovered he was unable to hear certain instruments. It became more obvious when he marked a particularly talented student down for playing out of tune during a practical assessment. The student queried the mark and an independent reassessment by a respected woodwind tutor also disputed it. “It was a real shock. I couldn’t fathom why this tutor would disagree with me. It was after discussing this with my wife that I made an appointment with my GP. If you have a hearing problem you realise it pretty quickly because you can’t hear things, but if sounds are louder than they should be it takes a while for the penny to drop. Musicians put a lot of faith in their ears,” he says. One of the saddest things about Alex’s story was that it didn’t have to happen. If some basic measures had been put in place, he would still be teaching today. “The biggest thing is knowledge. Schools need to understand the health and safety aspects of music teaching and the importance of simple things like timetabling,” he says. During the course of a day music teachers can be exposed to temporary threshold shifts (TTS), which cause hearing problems. If the person affected is given time away from the noise to recover – preferably 16 to 18 hours – the condition resolves itself. But without that downtime, permanent hearing damage can result. The teaching space at Alex’s decile 10 school was no different to many other music classrooms in New Zealand. Sound-proofing would have helped the situation, but a simple change in timetable would have made all the difference. According to the Department of Labour a workplace noise level should not exceed an average of 85 decibels during an eight hour period. To put this in perspective – a power lawnmower that requires ear protection to operate can be 91dB or more, while an individual flute can reach 116dB at its peak. Recordings made by music industry working group SoundAdvice during a college music class showed the cornet

was the worst offender with an average of 89dB, reaching 140dB at its peak, closely followed by tenor saxophone – peaking at 134dB and the oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone and trombone, which all peak at 132dB. Teachers working with beginning classes are also likely to be exposed to more noise because, for beginner players – especially those learning woodwind and brass instruments – it’s technically difficult to play softly, he says. Another simple, but crucial, piece of advice Alex has for music teachers is to get annual hearing checks. Because of an unrelated ear condition Alex had a precautionary audiogram done before starting at his last school. This showed he had normal hearing ability prior to commencing work at the school and was an important piece of evidence when it came to the ACC investigation into his case. “I’m not the only one – there are lots of people out there like me. I was just lucky I had the test before I started. I just want to see that this does not happen to other music teachers – or their students.” For more information see or Sound Advice, noise at work in music and entertainment, • Alex’s name has been changed to protect the person’s identity • Case Study kindly provided by the Post Primary Teachers Association's (PPTA).

Music Month 2010

n Before children ca We all know a noisy environment makes listen, they need for a disruptive class. If children can’t hear their teacher they miss important to hear discussions and lose their focus. This in turn can cause them to act up, often adding more noise to the problem. Traditionally teachers have to raise their voices, causing strain and, at worst, voice loss. Nowadays sound-field amplification systems are becoming more and more common in classrooms. New Zealand students spend up to 75 percent of their day engaged in auditory learning. However, in a recent survey 71 percent of teachers reported that noise generated within a classroom is a problem and 86 percent said noise outside the classroom competed with their lesson. New Zealand research by Kelston Deaf Centre regional co-ordinator Michael Heeney for his PhD found dramatic differences between classrooms with a sound-field system and ones without.

Michael Heeney’s Key Findings • PATs for listening, reading comprehension, vocabulary and mathematics in amplified classrooms improved significantly • Phonological awareness tests measure achievement in 10 phonologic areas. The students in amplified classrooms made statistical improvements on all 10 sub scores • High teacher acceptance of the equipment, with 90 percent using the sound-field system consistently • 66 percent of teachers reported lower noise levels

• 73 percent of teachers reported increased on-task behaviour • One third of teachers noted reduced disruptive behaviour • Two thirds reported reduced vocal strain • 98 percent of students had positive feedback on the equipment • Students and teachers reported that teaches voices were clear and that it was easier to hear, even when sitting a distance away and over competing noises • Students and teachers both reported enjoying the quieter, calmer classroom environment.

Case study – Panasonic Front Row Sound System The Panasonic Front Row Sound System has been developed to provide a practical and cost effective solution to poor classroom acoustics. The system consists of a convenient hands free pendant for the teacher, a hand held microphone option for the student, infrared sensor, amplifier and wall speakers. Utilising wireless technology the system allows teachers to roam freely around the classroom and the easy-to-install system will not interfere with other transmitting devices. Baverstock Oaks schoolteacher Chris Thomson says the system is a huge help. “I have avoided another bout of voice loss primarily because of the system. It’s simple to use and makes teaching much more pleasurable.” “All in all it’s a piece of equipment I’d hate to lose.”

Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 31

Music Month 2010

Hearing preservation By Melinda Collins

Tinnitus is a hearing deficiency which is usually described as a ringing noise. In some patients however, it takes the form of a high pitched whining, buzzing, hissing, screaming, humming, or whistling sound. However perceived it can’t be enjoyable. And that's just one of the common symptoms of prolonged exposure to sound. Teachers of music are often exposed to high levels of noise in their workplace; it's their job. But there are ways to limit your exposure to noise and, ultimately lessen your chance of developing some form of hearing disability.

Ways of reducing exposure • Suitable rooms - ensure teaching rooms are assessed as suitable for the purpose. The size of teaching rooms is important as it is likely that teaching in a small room will result in higher exposure levels than those in a larger auditorium where they can get further away from the sound being produced. • Avoid highly reverberant rooms by selecting an appropriate acoustic. Select rooms not by size of instrument, but by how noisy they are; the players of the loudest instruments need the largest rooms. • Acoustic treatment - use a teaching room that has been fitted with sound-absorbant materials such as carpeting, acoustic panelling or drapes. • Positioning when teaching - some instruments are highly directional. Teachers should avoid standing directly in the 'line of fire' during lessons. When possible make use of acoustic screens between the pupil and the teacher. • Scheduling of lessons - avoid back to back lessons without 'respite' periods. • Content of lessons - it might be possible to include some instruction which does not require the student to play. • Teaching levels - ask the student to play at a reduced level during lessons whenever possible. • Reduce overall noise levels - avoid 'playing along' with pupils to reduce overall noise levels. When teaching in groups avoid constant 'group' practice. • Familiarise yourself - keep an eye on exposure levels which are available from and keep in mind that for some instruments the lengths of time you should be exposed is less than others. • Protection - wear hearing protection when necessary. 32 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010

Resource • The National Foundation for the Deaf Inc. includes information and resouces for the deaf and hearing impaired, along with advice and encouragement of hearing preservation from Children's hearing in the classroom Hearing is not an issue solely for the teachers and is of equal importance to what children absorb in their lessons. Children gather 50 to 90 percent of information through hearing alone. So it is certainly no surprise that research suggests good classroom acoustics are vital for learning to take place. Because children's brains are not fully developed for listening until they are in their early teenage years, primary aged children find it much harder to correctly hear their teachers' voices. New Zealand research into classroom acoustics has found classroom noise is a problem for most children and teachers. In fact, sometimes background noise was higher than the teacher's voice, making listening and learning extremely difficult. In New Zealand very little attention has been paid to the effects of poor classroom acoustics. Research undertaken by Kelston Deaf Education Centre regional co-ordinator Michael Heeney for his PhD, carried out in New Zealand schools, found that students benefit significantly from the use of soundfield amplification systems in classrooms. "Sound-field systems are the single most cost effective intervention a school can invest in to increase literary outcomes," Heeney says. The research showed sound-field systems made a significant difference in terms of the listening and reading comprehension, vocabulary and mathematical skills of the students involved. "The difference between the test scores of the students in classrooms with sound-field and those without was quite dramatic," he adds. "While sound-field made the greatest difference in low decile schools, the study shows the systems provide considerable and significant benefits to all students, regardless of their school, ethnicity or whether they had middle ear problems such as glue ear."

Even the students and teacher involved in the study were positive about the system. "Children found it easier to hear the teacher and found the quieter classroom environment more enjoyable. Because they could hear the teacher's answer to other childrens' questions, their 'incidental' learning increased and they didn't need to ask the question themselves. "Teachers noticed increased attention levels among students and a decrease in disruptive behavious. They also had higher energy levels from reduced voice strain and not having the repeat questions or instructions."

Music Month 2010

Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 33


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Sun Safety

Coverup Even though we are coming into winter it is still important to ensure students are safe from the sun when playing outside. One company who excels at providing fantastic sun protection solutions is Shades Direct. Shades Direct provides today’s schools with a total package of sun and rain protection solutions; from shade sails to giant cantilever umbrellas, from allweather waterproof canopies to hip-roof structures. With agents throughout New Zealand, Shades Direct offers busy principals and staff the convenience and peace-ofmind of dealing with one company for different weather protection requirements throughout the school. Your local Shades Direct agent can advise on the best product for your needs and assist with all aspects, from design through to installation. Shades Direct offers fixed or retractable sail options that are manufactured from quality materials. Shades Direct shade sails are constructed from commercial grade 370gm shade cloth and are double stitched for strength and durability with long life Tenara thread. Attention to detail, such as using only corrosion-resistant stainless steel fittings, ensures a long life from your investment. Giant cantilevered umbrellas are an innovative solution for outdoor spaces where shade is needed in different areas as the sun moves throughout the day.

Robust in construction, these super versatile umbrellas can be rotated on their pivot base and the cantilever design means no centre pole to get in the way of picnic tables, seating or play equipment. All-weather Solar Shield canopies provide year-round sun and rain protection with polycarbonate roofing that is both completely waterproof and excludes 99 percent of harmful UV radiation. Perfect for classroom frontages, lunch areas, walkways, assembly areas and extra teaching space. Hip-Roof structures provide shade protection for those high play grounds or large congregation areas. Shades Direct hip-roofs come with eves to give maximum shade cover from your investment. Other products in the Shades Direct range include retractable awnings, retractable clear curtains, louvre systems and portable shelters. Whatever your shade and shelter requirements, Shades Direct has your school covered. Shades Direct 0800 SHADES (0800 742 337)


Special Education


gifted Implementing the New Zealand Curriculum, with its emphasis on the personalisation of learning, brings both opportunities and challenges for teachers. One group with potentially much to gain from the new curriculum is the group of students described as “gifted”. skilled, they will specialise and become Effectively managed, personalisation can foster gifted students’ strengths and open doors to new learning. In a similar way, personalised learning offers teachers opportunities to actively utilise their strengths, as well as challenging them to develop new strategies. Just as gifted students require support in taking up opportunities and facing challenges, their teachers also need support in providing for such students. According to Joseph Driessen of Education Answers, “moving every student to the next step is top of the priority list for a great teacher”. “A great teacher acknowledges they are part of a great learning community. While a great teacher will be generically very

truly great in one area.” Professional reflection will lead teachers to acknowledge that for some students, and in some curriculum areas, they may need to call on expert advice, in order to move particular students on in their learning. With their diverse specific learning needs, gifted students may well be included among such students. Using new assessment tools, it is now possible to identify potentially gifted students early. Appropriate educational and support programmes can then be provided from the earliest years of schooling. The Gifted Education Centre (formerly the George Parkyn Centre), is able to provide both student assessment and professional development tailored to schools’ individual needs.

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Call 0800 SHADES - Agents Throughout the North Island

SHADES DIRECT Call 0800 742 337 for a FREE quote

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36 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010




Creating dry, player friendly surfaces to encourage participation and to provide courts and pitches of international standard for your athletes. From small half and single courts, to full size pitches, TigerTurf continue to install our Astrograss specifications, over cracked puddled ashphalt and concrete, or over purpose built bases - from TigerTurf construction. DESIGN â&#x20AC;&#x201C; COMPLETE BASE CONSTRUCTION â&#x20AC;&#x201C; FENCING â&#x20AC;&#x201C; SURFACE MANUFACTURE AND INSTALLATION.



$1HZ=HDODQG6XFFHVV6WRU\"ÂĽ<RX%HW 3KZZZWLJHUWXUIFRQ] Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 37



special By Kate Pierson


New Zealand regularly voices the importance of accepting and embracing difference. After all, difference is the common denominator between all the Kiwis who inhabit our multi-cultural, multi-skilled and multi-dimensional society. In the school environment difference is never more apparent. Different strengths, weaknesses, different likes, dislikes and just different pupils in general. And while a unique body of students brings new identities and personalities into the mix, it is imperative that there is equal opportunity for all, particularly when students have physical differences which may inhibit their access to school facilities, or make attendance and participation more difficult. In New Zealand, thanks to the Ministry of Education (MOE), state schools can provide facilities which enable students who may be physically or mentally impaired, to realise their potential. The Education Act 1989, Human Rights Act, 1993 and the Building Act, 2004, requires the board of trustees at schools to ensure that students with special behavioural, physical and sensory needs can access school buildings including toilet and technology blocks. The MOE is committed to meeting modification expenses for state schools. These modifications include ramps, lifts, rails, change tables, hoists, specialised bathrooms for wheelchair access and

38 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010

adjustments to doorways and door handles. The board of trustees at schools where disadvantaged children are enrolled, can apply to their local MOE office for information about the process.

modification checklist’ is provided. From external modifications such as road crossings, fencing and disabled car parks, to internal modifications like stair rails, lifts and hoists in bathrooms, this list details all aspects of property modification. The report also lists specific principles for schools when they are planning for students with special educational needs. It states the following principles should be used to guide planning:

Given the assessment, design and construction process that is necessary to implement these • Promote independence and/or facilitate modifications, schools should allow for up to 12 effective care provision months from commencement to completion and initiate these modifications well in advance of any • Eliminate manual lifting whenever practicable students who require these services starting school. • Promote student privacy and safety State integrated and private schools can seek • Promote carer safety and comfort comprehensive advice through the MOE Special • Plan for individual students and include Education division, but the costs incurred must reasonable provision for future students where be met by the school’s proprietor and for this is practicable. integrated schools, this is an obligation under the integration agreement. The board of trustees at integrated and private schools will need to make an application to the school’s proprietor for this funding.

For more information on property modification in the school domain, visit and word search In the MOE report ‘Property modification guidelines ‘special education’. School property modification guidelines are in this section. for students with special needs’, a ‘whole school


g n i t t a M s s e g Bur facing and Sur

Burgess Matting and Surfacing Limited specialises in the unique Wetpour system, which enables playground surfaces to be installed predominantly in one piece, limiting the number of joints. The continuous installation moulds around equipment poles, leaving no gaps, can form mounds and follow contoured surfaces. There are various colour options available which can be used in conjunction with a range of bright coloured patterns, or a design of your choice can be created. Burgess Matting and Surfacing's products are manufactured from 100 percent recycled rubber, which enables the company and its clients to do their share for the environment with unwanted waste. The surface is virtually maintenance free as you will no longer need to top up bark or fill up scuffed-out areas which become wet, muddy and unpleasant to play in. Excessive tile joins can work apart and gaps can lodge unwanted materials, which can be hard to remove and compromise safety and the aesthetic appearance of the surface. These issues can be avoided using the Burgess Matting and Surfacing Wetpour system. Base preparation prior to the matting installation is of the upmost importance and can add years to your playground surface when done correctly. A competent contractor is essential and we recommend Burgess Matting's trained personnel, who can advise the correct procedure for your situation.

Burgess Matting's installation teams are highly trained with many years of experience and knowledge in the fundamentals of the Wetpour system and work to provide a quality finish which will last for many years. This experience and knowledge is invaluable when clients are outlaying significant sums of money on a project everyone has worked hard to achieve. On completion and final payment of your installation, a Compliance Certificate of NZS5828:2004, along with a five year warranty statement, will be issued knowing we will still be around for many years to satisfy any future requirements. A sales representative can be in your area within days to discuss which matting system is most suited to your situation. A free, no obligation measure and quote and a list of potential funding organisations will be sent to you to assist in making your final decision.

Burgess Matting and Surfacing Limited 22 Poutini Street Wanganui T 0800 808 570 E

Fit and active children are healthy children No doubt you would have read in the newspaper or heard on television, the growth in childhood obesity and the effects it has on a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health. More and more children are spending their time sitting in front of the television or playing computer games instead of playing outdoors. Outdoor play time burns far more calories than other forms of play and parents and adults should get involved too, as an average adult playing actively with a child will burn nearly four times more calories in an hour than they would watching television.

Playgrounds help your child develop and are fun. The benefits of outdoor play are endless, children just call it fun, but child psychologists say with a well - designed climbing frame, children are developing important physical skills like, balance, co-ordination, strength and agility. The child also has to problem solve, concentrate, explore, use their imagination and discover how they can reach their goal. Managing risk and building confidence Obviously safety is the number one priority when it comes to a child playing

on challenging play equipment. But under correct supervision, challenging play encourages children to assess and manage risk for themselves - this is a very important skill for the rest of their lives. When a child achieves something that they thought they would not be able to do, it gives them such a sense of achievement and confidence to try challenge themselves in the future, this will boost their self esteem and confidence â&#x20AC;&#x201C; at the same time they will learn about the consequences of undertaking more challenging tasks in the safety of their own back garden.

Fast Fact: Throughout every day, children need 60 minutes or more of physical activity. So, get your children to be active in as many ways as possible; playgrounds are a great way to keep up exercise and have fun! Information provided by Park Supplies T (09) 527 4666 F (09) 527 4667 E Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 39





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Made to measure

For more than half a century The Uniform Shoppe has grown to provide retail and wholesale services to schools and other organisations. So it has certainly seen the changing trends through the years and understands what it takes to get the uniform and to sell it. This gives The Uniform Shoppe the ability to offer expert advice to find a solution for your schoool. The ways the company can help are various: • Help develop the concept that suits your specific needs

• Suggest how to best implement the introduction of the uniform • Support you when developing the school uniform policy • Provide a comprehensive design service from top to toe • Provide branding solutions by using monogramming to tie together your ‘story’ • Provide samples of the proposed uniform • Provide advice on building order and sales histories • Provide supply options – retail, wholesale and online. Uniforms are available in a variety of sizes to suit children of all ages. The size and fit of a school uniform can directly relate to its durability. The key is to find something just right. The Uniform Shoppe can help you get a better fit and additional wear through adjustable buttons and elastic, reinforced knees, twin needle stitching and deep hems.

The Uniform Shoppe PO Box 75652 Manurewa,Auckland T (09) 268 7421 F (09) 267 6053

Looking at introducing or changing your school uniform?


Call us: 09 286 7421 Fax us: 09 267 6053

Service Value

The Uniform Shoppe the smart choice Principals Today | Term 2 2010 | 41

Christian Camping

Lake Whakamaru Christian Camp Lake Whakamaru Christian Camp is an idyllic island camp on the Waikato River, conveniently located only 11 kilometres from State Highway One in the central North Island.

The camp has loads of awesome activities such as abseiling, kayaking, bushcraft, air rifles, archery, climbing wall, confidence course, flying fox, BMX, Go-Kart and much, much more. Many fun and challenging team building activities are available for students of any age. As the camp is on the edge of a reserve and there are hiking and biking trails that start right from camp, including the new Waikato River Trail. A beautiful recreation hall with large windows and comfortable seating overlooks Lake Whakamaru, providing an ideal place for indoor games, group meeting time, or watching movies with the data projector.

Nearby attractions include the cultural and thermal areas of Rotorua and Taupo, mountains and waterfalls at Tongariro National Park and the glowworm caves at Waitomo. The camp is close enough to have a snow day-trip and hot pools as one of your daytime activities.

forward to your phone call to make your next school camp what camping should be – idyllic, awesome and outstanding.

You will also find outstanding service at camp Lake Whakamaru. The food’s great (as the camp has catered for the Prime Minister), the bunkrooms are tidy and heated – even a clean sheet on your bed, and there’s plenty of hot water for showers.

Choose the activities you like and we will design your programme for you - it’s just that simple and only a phone call away.

Catering for up to 84 campers, you won’t find yourself lost in a crowd as it only hosts one group at a time! The staff look

Lake Whakamaru Christian Camp T (07) 343 2352 E

Term 2 still has a few weeks available and Term 3 is also open for winter bookings. Activities incur no charge during the winter months.

El Rancho Waikanae Christian Camp There are times when our children need an escape; an escape to an environment which will nurture their physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. El Rancho Waikanae Christian Camp can provide this escape in an environment set among 70 acres of park land. El Rancho was born from the creative and spiritual imagination of a small group of Christian businessmen who wanted to build a place where children could grow. Situated on the Waikanae River, close to the beach, El Rancho is only 60 kilometres north of Wellington but is a world of its own.

Offering camps, holiday programmes and conference facilities to cater for churches, schools, groups and families from all around New Zealand, El Rancho provides both a relaxing and stimulating recreational retreat. Children need a holistic education, one which integrates both institutional and recreational elements. El Rancho is a recreational and educational holiday park where children can go to be challenged both physically and mentally in an environment where Christian spirituality is celebrated. From rifle and archery ranges to indoor rockwall climbing and multi-purpose buildings, come rain or shine, children will be entertained at El Rancho. As a certified education beyond the classroom (EOTC) camp, El Rancho

• Curriculum-based programme

• Huge range of activities

• Self-catering option

• Trained instructors

• Great food

• Bunkroom sleeping

Many of our guests are schools, churches and community groups, who come to El Rancho to unwind.

Over the Christmas holidays most of our Elm Court conference units are also available for families.

Choose to stay in our conference venue or bunk rooms, or families can enjoy a holiday in our self-contained units.

Our renowned children’s school holiday camps are run every school holiday. The format changes over the years, but the purpose is always the same; to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to young people in a relevant way, through an exciting, fun and safe holiday experience. The park is very popular with school camps

For private family holidays, the holiday park is ideal with its tent and caravan sites and holiday units to suit all budgets.

employs trained instructors to provide programmes which meet EOTC objectives. Safety is paramount at the camp and all activities offered are supported by risk management systems. El Rancho promotes strong spiritual values which are underpinned by Christian value programmes involving biblical based themes, which educate children on the important of forgiveness, trust and integrity.

El Rancho Waikanae Christian Camp T (04) 902 6287 | F (04) 902 6289 E

and our trained instructors work with schools to provide programmes which meet EOTC objectives. Safety is paramount and all the activities are supported by risk management systems. Schools and groups can choose from a range of activities all ages can enjoy. Go horse-riding or boating, take the kids over the confidence course, or test your skills at rife shooting or archery.

El Rancho, Waikanae, Kapiti Coast Email | Phone (04) 902 6287

42 | Principals Today | Term 2 2010

• Any group size

Invest $395+gst and get as many great staff as you want for an entire year - guaranteed! Sounds like one of those unbelievable tabloid headlines like;

“Sex education delayed; teachers request training” “Clairvoyant Society cancels meeting due to unforeseen circumstances” Well it’s not one of those headlines. It’s 100% true and not only will I refund you in full if you’re not completely satisfied, but I’ll give you a further 12 months free.

Would you like to have a steady flow of interested, high calibre candidates calling / emailing you? If you would like complete control over your recruiting process and not have to pay the thousands of dollars others may charge you to find the same person, then this is the solution for you. It’s obvious that recruiting has become extremely tough over the last few years, and you have to talk to a lot more people than ever before to find the right one. So why is recruiting getting so hard? The biggest obstacle you face is marketing incest. Everyone goes to the same seminars, reads the same publications and looks in the same places for staff. Breakthroughs come from looking outside the rectangle and looking at new, proven methods of advertising for staff. ...................................................................................

“ We were really surprised with how easy to use Myjobspace was for employers and employees, the service was exceptional and it was a great way to capture our target audience. ”

Jessica Scott — Media Monitors ................................................................................... Imagine how easy your life would be with great staff. Imagine if you were able to promote yourself and your company so people can actually see what it would be like to work at your place. We are the first in NZ to provide this technology. We can actually load video clips of your business showing how great it is to work there, some of the staff and all the amenities you provide. Imagine if you were actually able to view CVs, and actual work wanted ads, so you could see what job hunters want. This way you know when you employ them that you’ve got someone who wants to work in your environment. You’re not squeezing a round peg into a square hole, as many of us do, only to find they move on after a few months. Our revolutionary job site only began the end of 2006 and is growing rapidly. We also have more than 1500 businesses registered as employers, including some of the biggest companies in NZ with more than 9000 employees, right through to some of the smallest companies with only a couple of staff. ...................................................................................

“One of the things that impresses me the most about MyJobSpace is their attention to service and after sale care. The entire staff has been

willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to handle every issue and make sure things are right. In some cases, they’ve done MORE than I expected.” Steve Skobel — Marketing Manager ................................................................................... If you would like to see some of our clients please log on to our site and view. We also have over 16,000 registered jobhunters who are actively looking for new employment and many of them receive email alerts as soon as jobs are posted. Our site also achieves more than 81,000 visits per month ensuring you’ll receive quality candidates. To our knowledge we are the only site that’s blocked the Indian spam explosion from applying to jobs. ...................................................................................

“From time to time we do an evaluation of our service providers. We have been working with your company since 2008 and would like to advise the following:

sStaff including yourself (Damien), are always professional but friendly. sThe can do attitude of customer service is a pleasure to work with.

sRequests are welcomed and actioned in a timely manner by staff that we have liaised with over time. As the key contact person for our organisation I am pleased to provide the above information and please pass it on to your colleagues.” Noho ora mai

we’ll at least make one expense low, constant and risk free. ...................................................................................

“Through an interest in advertising my new home based business and with previous business dealings in the New Zealand property market, I found the site My Job Space NZ. From my first contact with Zack Foreman and his team at My Job Space, I knew that I had made the right decision in spending my advertising dollars with them. Zack is articulate, friendly, reliable, extremely helpful and patient, given that I had minimal international advertising experience at that stage. He demonstrated interest and talent when guiding me through the formulation of my advertisement and I am proud to stand by the final result. I have no hesitation in recommending Zack and his professional advertising team at to other business owners.” Belinda Smith ................................................................................... It’s been said you can be the greatest manager in the world – but that won’t do any good unless you can attract enough of the right people. www. may be the solution. So if you’re ready to save time and money call now or log on to In less than seven minutes you can have your first ad ready, and when/if you need to run your second ad in the future it will only take a few minutes. In fact many employers think our site is the easiest site for loading jobs.

Paula Parkin HR Manager — Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust ................................................................................... But our major benefit to you is that we only charge $395+gst per year for unlimited use. I’ll repeat that because it does sound too cheap. $395+gst for an entire year to advertise as many jobs as you like. Your next question is no doubt; how can we do it so cheaply? We prefer the expression “cost effective.” Because we don’t need to pay huge overheads or the over-the-top salaries. In fact there’s only a handful of full time staff, and the rest are part time. Just shows you how much the foreign owned corporations are over-charging. To give you a comparison, if you were to run five ads over a year and have a company profile next to your ad it would cost you a minimum of $3225 on one of these sites. On our site it is $395+gst. If you’re not happy with any part of our service, we’ll refund you in full. There’s absolutely no risk! So

Gary Collins, Managing Director P.S. Now is the time to act, as employers are on the move again - our site visits (job hunters) increased 26% from February to March


NZ s largest Kiwi owned job site


300 schools can’t be wrong! More than 300 schools in the UK have chosen a wireless solution from Extricom and can attest to the viability of this equipment over any other, including Great Barr School in Birmingham, whose 3800 students make it the largest secondary schools in the UK, and second largest in Europe. Extricom is now bringing the success to schools in New Zealand, especially where key decision-making criteria are: s(IGHESTSECURITYBETWEENUSERGROUPS s3EAMLESSROAMINGFORVOICEANDVIDEOUSERSWITHNODROPOFFS s(IGHBANDWIDTHAVAILABILITYTOALLUSERSINHIGHDENSITYAREASSUCHASCOMPUTERCLASSROOMS s:EROCROSSCHANNELINTERFERENCE


Do you want to know more? Call us and we’ll show you why so many schools are choosing Extricom for their new wireless solutions, as well as replacing existing networks provided by Cisco,Trapeze and others.

Guaranteed three times the bandwidth of other vendors! Contact or phone 04 566 4438

Connecting The IP World c

2009 Allied Telesis Inc. All rights reserved. EMEA2001

Principals Today Issue 86  

Principals Today is a New Zealand based magazine for school principals.