SchoolNews - Term 3 - 2019

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SchoolNews The essential industry guide

Issue 46 | Term 3, 2019 | NZD $12 incl GST |

Essential Reading for Principals • Department Heads • Teachers • Professionals

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School News is distributed to primary, secondary and intermediate schools throughout New Zealand by Multimedia Publishing Limited. The views and images expressed in School News do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. The information contained in School News is intended to act as a guide only, the publisher, authors and editors expressly disclaim all liability for the results of action taken or not taken on the basis of information contained herein. We recommend professional advice is sought before making important business decisions.

Inside our term three issue Front Desk Editor's Note: Teach kids the value of their data...................................... 05

News In Brief


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The publisher reserves the right to refuse to publish or to republish without any explanation for such action. The publisher, it’s employees and agents will endeavour to place and reproduce advertisements as requested but takes no responsibility for omission, delay, error in transmission, production deficiency, alteration of misplacement. The advertiser must notify the publisher of any errors as soon as they appear, otherwise the publisher accepts no responsibility for republishing such advertisements. If advertising copy does not arrive by the copy deadline the publisher reserves the right to repeat existing material.

Special Report: History waits: pay delay lawsuit, principals shun MoE, NZEI speaks out............................ 10

Disclaimer Any mention of a product, service or supplier in editorial is not indicative of any endorsement by the author, editor or publisher. Although the publisher, editor and authors do all they can to ensure accuracy in all editorial content, readers are advised to fact check for themselves, any opinion or statement made by a reporter, editor, columnist, contributor, interviewee, supplier or any other entity involved before making judgements or decisions based on the materials contained herein. School News, its publisher, editor and staff, is not responsible for and does not accept liability for any damages, defamation or other consequences (including but not limited to revenue and/or profit loss) claimed to have occurred as the result of anything contained within this publication, to the extent permitted by law. Advertisers and Advertising Agents warrant to the publisher that any advertising material placed is in no way an infringement of any copyright or other right and does not breach confidence, is not defamatory, libellous or unlawful, does not slander title, does not contain anything obscene or indecent and does not infringe the Consumer Guarantees Act or other laws, regulations or statutes. Moreover, advertisers or advertising agents agree to indemnify the publisher and its’ agents against any claims, demands, proceedings, damages, costs including legal costs or other costs or expenses properly incurred, penalties, judgements, occasioned to the publisher in consequence of any breach of the above warranties. © 2019 Multimedia Publishing Ltd. It is an infringement of copyright to reproduce in any way all or part of this publication without the written consent of the publisher.

Principal Speaks: Play-based learning principles bolster our wellbeing.............................................................. 14 Whole-school approach with teaching aids.................. 16


Supplier information or content Suppliers share their views in one-off, topical pieces General editorial. Case studies and features may cite or quote suppliers, please be aware that we have a strict ‘no commercial content’ guideline for all magazine editorial, so this is not part of any commercially funded advertorial but may be included as relevant opinion. Happy reading!


Student independence depends on the library management system.............................................................. 21 Case study: Auckland school overhauls library software........................................................................................ 22

Profile Scots College: The future-focussed boys’ school bringing girls onboard.............................................. 26

What's Hot


Teacher's Desk Leveraging strengths: Supporting teachers to flourish..................................................................................... 29 Weaving wellbeing: into your school................................ 30 Wellbeing trumps the economy......................................... 31


Five tips for using memory techniques in the classroom....................................................................... 32 Upcoming Industry Events Calendar............................... 33

Teaching Resources Sparking curiosity with science lab design................... 34 Facts behind the fiction: Exclusive author insider – Eileen Merriman.................. 36 Book Reviews............................................................................. 38

Sports & Recreation


Why are boys ditching school rugby?.............................. 39

E.O.T.C. Auckland’s LEOTC community is ready for you............ 40

Health & Safety Have you spoken about substance use lately?............ 44

Food & Beverage Make the switch to water (and plain milk) only........... 46 Becoming a water only school............................................ 48


KEY Commercially funded supplier profile or supplier case study

Design better seating for better learning........................ 18

Take better photos: boost pride and profits.................. 24

PO Box 5104, Papanui, Christchurch, 8542, NZ Phone: (03) 365 5575 Fax: (03) 365 1655 ISSN: 2624-2389 (Print) ISSN: 2624-2397 (Digital)

EDITOR Rosie Clarke, STAFF WRITERS Mandy Clarke DESIGN & PRODUCTION Richard McGill, ADVERTISING Dee Dawson, CONTRIBUTORS Danielle Robinson, Paul Tupou-Vea, Lynne Kelly, Ara Simmons and Andrew King.



Is your energy efficient enough?........................................ 50 Case Study: Set to break a school record...................... 50 The cost of 'noise' in education.......................................... 52 Case Study: Acoustic treatments for Westmount School MLE................................................. 54 Term 3, 2019 |

Teach kids the value of their data Because they’re being taken advantage of online. Kia ora and welcome! Data is more valuable than oil but we mine the earth for oil and mine each other for data. Privacy concerns have remained concerns for a long time, yet internet-based conglomerates grow increasingly intrusive. Facebook was just fined a record-breaking $5 billion for its mishandling of data that exposed almost 90 million users to political manipulation at the hands of Cambridge Analytica. Facebook waxed poetic about the magnitude of the fine but $5 billion is about as much revenue as the social media giant brings in per month. It’s a drop in the ocean. Meanwhile, teenagers today are some of the most prolific social media users, emitting streams of data without even realising it. Ninety-five percent of teens have access to a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center, and almost half claim they are “almost constantly” on the

Rosie Clarke, Editor, SchoolNews

internet. Data privacy boundaries are blurred: most social media sites have a minimum age requirement but children can quite easily circumnavigate the restriction, and parents are uploading a significant amount of information about their children before they can even consent. Most social media platforms have privacy terms and conditions but you have to accept them if you want use the site and most teenagers just want to be on the same platform as their friends.

Should schools be teaching students more about how to protect their data online? Is it even possible? Data doesn’t just refer to names and IP addresses… Google has a record of every purchase ever made via Google accounts or Gmail; the Google Maps Timeline will show you everywhere you’ve ever been. Media streaming companies could trace your mood based on what you’ve been watching; a realisation Twitter users had after Netflix tweeted, “To the 53 people who’ve watched every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?” Some of it seems tongue-incheek but Techcrunch published a scathing expose about a Facebook VPN app rewarding teenagers with up to $20 per month to “suck in all of a user’s phone and web activity”. If data is more valuable than oil but Facebook has been buying personal data from 13-year-olds for $20 per month, maybe teenagers need to be better informed. In the last week of July, NZ company Soul Machines

dominated headlines with its chillingly posthuman AI, dubbed ‘technology with feeling’. The ‘digital brain’ has been designed to mimic our human brain chemistry, so the AI can learn and adapt to its environment, improvising facial expressions and interacting through a hyperrealistic digital face and voice. Its implications are mind-boggling, with the company suggesting it should be used to transform the customer service industry. Banks are already picking up the technology and corporate employers are increasingly moving online. Research from Gartner has estimated that a colossal 80 percent of traditional high street banks will disappear by 2030. We are beginning to witness the end of industries we have taken for granted for decades and the implications for teaching are worth pondering. What jobs, let alone careers, will be available to students entering the workforce in the next 10 years and beyond? Noho ora mai

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MoE's latest attempt to fix teacher shortage The government has announced it will fund 240 places in a new programme that enables teachers to earn while they work towards their teacher qualification. The programme is the latest in a string of moves to attract more kiwis into the profession. A new employment-based initial training education programme will have 80 secondary school teacher trainee places each year from 2021 over four years, with the first cohort likely to graduate at the end of 2022. “We know on-the-job training is an attractive option for those wanting a career change and for many university graduates as well,” education minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is one of a range of new initiatives announced in the Wellbeing Budget to make sure we train the teachers New Zealand needs to educate our young people. “School leaders have been keen to support teachers to learn on-the-job, meeting immediate supply needs while students learn. The number of New Zealanders enrolling in initial teacher education (ITE) plummeted by about 40 percent under the previous National Government. “Since 2017, the number of teachers has increased by over 1,000. This shows that people are interested in joining the

profession, and we want to make sure we offer people in different circumstances a range of pathways to become a teacher. “Our teacher supply modelling shows a rapid growth in secondary school-aged students in the coming years. That’s why this initiative is aimed at boosting staff numbers in secondary schools around the country, including a focus on attracting teachers who speak te reo Māori. TeachFirst NZ is the only employment-based initial teacher education programme currently available to trainees. While it’s an extremely popular and successful programme, we want to develop other new and innovative programmes to give teacher trainees more options,” Chris Hipkins said. The Ministry of Education is holding sessions with key stakeholders including principals and providers who have an interest or experience in employmentbased ITE programmes in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch over the next month. Ministry spokeswoman Ellen MacGregor-Reid added last week that "the Education Workforce Strategy is identifying new roles that will be needed in the future to support teachers to focus on their teaching". Citing new data, she said more people are training to be teachers, more teachers are entering the workforce and more teachers are

staying in the profession as of 2018 than previous years. "Last year nearly 400 more domestic students started beginning teacher training compared to 2017 - a 9.8 percent increase. This included a 16 percent increase in primary enrolments. There were 4,300 domestic students who started teacher training overall. The total number of teachers

increased by over 1,000 (672 primary and 332 secondary), adding to the 70,000 strong teaching workforce. There were also around 2,000 more beginning primary teachers employed (13 percent increase), and around 1,200 more beginning secondary teachers employed (six percent increase).” The jury's still out on what 2019 data will show.

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Birthdates impact NCEA results for levels 1, 2, and 3 Newly award-winning research confirms long-held suspicion that the timing of a child’s fifth birthday, and when they typically first start school, can impact their NCEA results and University Entrance (UE) later on. The 2019 Stats NZ Prize for a paper with “the best use of official statistics” has been awarded to the research, completed at the University of Canterbury (UC). Associate Professor Andrea Menclova and PhD student Asaad Ali from the UC Business School were awarded the prize at the 60th Annual Conference of the New Zealand Association of Economists (NZAE) this term. The paper, ‘Returns to Initial Years of Formal Education: How Birthdate Affects Later Educational Outcomes’, found that the date of birth affects the amount of time spent in primary school and may further impact educational outcomes. “The finding is unique to New Zealand where primary school attendance typically starts as soon as a child turns five years old,” Associate Professor Menclova said. “Depending on the timing of the fifth birthday, children either go to Year 0 or Year 1. They then proceed to the next grade in February

the following year, regardless of how much time they have spent in the previous grade.” “More specifically, if a child’s birth date is between January and May, that child will often spend the year he or she turns five in Year 1 and the next year in Year 2. However, if a child’s birth date is between June and December, the student will usually spend the year he or she turns five in Year 0 and the next year in Year 1, which means they effectively get more time in the early formal education setting.” Using confidentialised microdata accessed via a Stats NZ Tatauranga Aotearoa data lab at UC’s Business School, the researchers found that students with an additional month of early schooling are on average five percent more likely to meet UE, when all other aspects are equal. “Controlling for demographic and socio-economic characteristics, we found that an additional month spent in Years 0/1 increases the probability of achieving NCEA level 1 by two percent, NCEA level 2 by four percent, NCEA level 3 by six percent, and UE by five percent.” In most other developed countries, all children turning a specific age in a certain academic year begin school on the same date and receive the same amount of primary education in total.

13-year-old student petitions for primary school counsellors After a teenage friend “ jumped in front of a train last year”, 13-yearold Sinead Latimer has bravely committed to advocate for change. Ms Latimer explained that she has suffered from depression related to bullying for three years but had to wait until she started college to be offered help. With weeks left to gather signatures and more than 1,200 logged so far, the petition asks the House of Representatives to look at providing primary schools with counsellors. The NZ Association of Counsellors (NZAC) has backed the college student’s plea to government to place counsellors in primary and intermediate schools. Ms Latimer said: “We need counsellors in primary and intermediate schools now if we have any chance of saving our lives. […] And I want MPs to hear my voice, and those of many others – young and old – who are pleading to help our young people earlier.” NZAC president, Bev Weber, says school guidance counsellors in primary and intermediate schools are long overdue. “Kiwis are presenting with mental health issues at a younger and younger age, often as young as eight or nine years old. And they are presenting with increasingly serious issues, too. We can’t just ignore these problems



until the child gets to see a counsellor at secondary school as happened in Sinead’s case. That delay can potentially embed the issue and cause longer-term consequences. Nor can we leave it to primary or intermediate teachers to deal with in the absence of a counsellor. Dealing with mental health issues affecting their young charges is not a teacher’s job. “We hope Sinead’s petition generates the awareness and support that it needs.” Sinead suffered depression for three years due to bullying, and it wasn’t until she moved to Kuranui College in Greytown that she finally received access to a counsellor. But why - like many other young people - did she have to wait until she attended secondary school before professional help was available? She raised this point in May when addressing the hundreds who marched to parliament grounds for teen suicide awareness, calling on the government to address one of New Zealand’s greatest tragedies. If there was earlier intervention for students like her in primary and intermediate schools, then young people might feel less likely to do the unthinkable, Sinead said. If she can help just one young person through this journey, she added the death of one of her friends – aged 15 – won’t be in vain.

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Auckland – Photo: Chris Traill

History waits: pay delay lawsuit, principals shun MoE, NZEI speaks out By Rosie Clarke, Editor

It’s been a rocky road for the education sector. As School News goes to print, NZEI Te Riu Roa and PPTA have announced they will take action against school payroll service, Novopay for delaying pay increases by more than two months. Education minister Chris Hipkins shared his frustration with the payroll system, venting that the delays were “just not good enough”. He urged: “The replacement of Novopay is underway, with a new system developed and being slowly and carefully implemented so we avoid another meltdown. It will help to avoid these frustrations in the future, but alone won't fix everything.” Red tape has put a dampener on progress for people around the country. One Marlborough teacher described her devastation in an unanswered letter penned to Mr Hipkins: “Who is benefiting by withholding my wages from


Christchurch – Photo: Distant Sea Photography

me for 10.5 weeks after I agreed to the contract?” she asked. Having taught for 10 years, she is the sole income earner of her household. “Two weeks ago, I found a house that I want to put an offer on. If my offer is accepted, [it] will be my first home. The deadline sale closes next Wednesday. The house is not fancy but it is in good condition and considering

I travel 1.5 hours return to my school, doing 100km an hour, and I work 60-70 hours at school per week, it is perfect for my lifestyle, if that amount of hours at work can be called a lifestyle. “This evening, I opened my payslip and discovered that I had not received my one-off payment of $1500. I was counting on this money for my deposit. My bank will


not allow me to place an offer of $450,000 due to the lack of $800, money that this government has promised but has not paid me. “Novopay is not going to pay me the lump sum until at least one more fortnight, bringing it to more than six weeks since I accepted your offer. […] To find out via Facebook, not even an email from Novopay, that I am Term 3, 2019 |


Auckland – Photo: Chris Traill

meant to wait 1/5th of the year to receive my wage increase has reduced me to tears. “I would also like to know if and how Novopay intend to pay the interest that my money should have earned, had it been paid to me in a timely fashion.” While he has not responded to the letter, Mr Hipkins said in a statement that moving towards a unified payscale and having everyone change at the same time made things tricky. “Fiftyone-thousand people are on the payroll, each with different pay and allowances, meaning there are over 139,000 pay adjustments to do,” he said on Twitter. “I'm sorry that we have to ask teachers to wait a little longer to get the pay rises they fought hard to get. It's frustrating. If there was a way to speed up the process, I'd make it happen. Unfortunately, there isn't an easy answer here.” NZEI’s national secretary, Paul Goulter is happy to work on simplifying the system, but emphasised one caveat: “That it won't erode any of the entitlements and conditions our members have fought hard

for.” The union confirmed it has instructed lawyers to file action for compliance and penalties. “The delay is completely unacceptable. We're taking every effort to try and force the Ministry to speed things up,” Mr Goulter clarified. The new pay agreement promised union members a $1500 lump sum and teachers a pay rise of around three percent per year until 2021. The maximum base salary for primary, secondary and area school teachers with teaching and subject degrees should now increase to $90,000, which would mean around 46 percent of teachers will reach that figure by July 2021. A further 22 percent should reach $85,490, those being primary, secondary and area school teachers with teaching degrees but no subject degrees.


The agreement also stipulates an Accord, which will allow continuous discussion between teachers and government to improve trust, wellbeing, and desirability of the profession. Class sizes and the removal of current legislative appraisal requirements will be prioritised on the Accord agenda, according to the negotiating parties.

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A pay delay isn’t an inconvenience, it’s an insult.

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Wellington – Photo: Meredith Biberstein

These victories were all fought for and won by the union strikes. Teachers, families and colleagues marched to secure fairer pay for educators and the unions wrestled with negotiations for weeks at a time. A pay delay isn’t an inconvenience, it’s an insult to the efforts made. NZEI Te Riu Roa president Lynda Stuart gave School News some exclusive insights on her perspective of the history-making action. “It’s bigger than any one person: it’s the collective coming together to say, ‘enough’s enough’. But I think the other part of it is that people shouldn’t need to take action like that. The people did what they needed to do but there was a clear sense of, ‘do you know what we’d rather be doing? We’d rather be with our schools and children, focussing on teaching and learning.’ We shouldn’t need to do this and we want to get back to the job that we love and that we came into because we want to make a difference for children. “There were momentous occasions in Auckland: seeing teachers, principals, colleagues, families, boards of trustees, standing alongside each other has been huge. The sheer numbers! When we got to the May 29 march with our PPTA colleagues… New Zealand hadn’t seen these numbers before – especially not in education – and it sent a real message that there are significant issues for our


Christchurch – Photo: Distant Sea Photograph

principals and teachers. People were feeling undervalued and demoralised and we needed to find a way forward. So we’re really glad we found a way forward for our teachers and now we’ve got to find a way forward for our primary principals who rejected the offer [and most recently cut ties with the Ministry until a new deal is agreed]. We are having conversations at the moment with the Ministry of Education. “The agreement is supposed to cover both teachers and primary principals and there will be conversations in the future around secondary principals, I’m sure, in a way that we can all work together. It has yet to be determined, I have to say. But for primary principals, there will be some issues that cannot be addressed straight away and we want to address them through the Accord. Specifically around wellbeing, workload and ensuring we have parity with secondary colleagues.

On reframing the role of principal in this country… “We want to look at the role of principal and the complexity underpinning it and how it is renumerated. In the past, renumeration has really relied on the size of the school; so, small school principals earn a lot less than colleagues who are principals of larger schools. We know that the complexity of being a principal of a small school is huge because sometimes you are a teaching principal, so you’ve got the demands of teaching as well as the demands of leadership, paperwork and administration.” Principals can also bear the responsibility of boosting and maintaining staff wellbeing. “We’ve always said that wellbeing operates within the system, so the system has an impact on the wellbeing of those within it. We really need to


look at those systemic issues that are creating stress and burnout for school leaders and teachers. We will survey our school leaders again and this year and will also include our teachers, working with PPTA too, to get some really rich data on the health and wellbeing of our sector. There are clear recommendations that come through in our research, so hopefully these will provide some solutions to the issues we are facing.

How can schools with few resources improve staff wellbeing? Trust. “Having conversations within your school about what things are unnecessary (i.e. the duplication of administration or efforts) and getting rid of some of those things. Also, expectations on people [should change]. Because we use digital technology so freely, we are highly accessible.” Establish parameters like banning work emails after 5pm so that staff can enjoy their family/free time. “As principals and teachers, we are often expected to respond to emails from parents and families so I think we need to look at some of these habits within communities. Then there are things that do need to be resourced, i.e. coaches, mentors and making time to schedule meetings during the working day instead of during lunch or before school.” Term 3, 2019 |

put in after hours, growing class sizes and lack of support for kids with special needs. When the strike was announced I really wanted teachers to know that I was concerned about my kids’ education and I supported them 100 percent taking strike action.

What happens next? “What we’ve got with the agreement is a significant shift around pay, particularly with people who had diplomas or for many years had not been able to move through the pay scale – they are now able to. It’s really exciting to see the exploration of a unified pay scale. Our teachers won pay parity with their secondary colleagues over 20 years ago and it was in danger of being lost. We’ve obviously regained parity but we want to make sure that never happens again. Over time, we want to extend pay parity so that a teacher is a teacher is a teacher.” “The Accord is really to work through issues that we have around time, ensuring teaching is regarded as a valuable profession and other issues we want to address but couldn’t address upfront in the offer. We will now have eight teacher-only days over the next three years that can be used to support work around the curriculum; schools will be able to use them for professional development or assessment. We’ve also found that appraisals have caused a lot of additional workload and there’s been a group

I got the feeling - rightly or wrongly - that many teachers felt worried about ‘upsetting’ parents. looking at areas of compliance and reduction of compliance to help make teaching a more manageable profession where wellbeing and workload is concerned. “At the moment, appraisals are really cumbersome and create unnecessary stress, so we are looking at that in the Accord.”

How does the Accord work for teachers? “What we want to do is enable this Accord to actually work in the best interest of our teachers (and ultimately children). The process is yet to be determined through all groups involved but we want to see – over the eight days – that it gives teachers and principals the time they need to do what they want about the curriculum and

teaching and learning. It’s a start, and schools should be able to utilise it in the best way they can.”

Emotional impact and final thoughts “It’s been clear throughout the journey we’ve been on that the public has stood with us,” said Ms Stuart. I Back the Teachers! was a Facebook group created by Esther Te Aotonga that resonated among parents and friends, racking up more than 11,000 members by early May. One of the group administrators, Marnie Wilton, was invited to speak at the Aotea Square Rally in Auckland to present a parent’s perspective on the crisis. She told us: “Both my sons had experienced split classes many times. I saw the huge amount of work teachers

“I got the feeling - rightly or wrongly - that many teachers felt worried about ‘upsetting’ parents. I would go up to teachers and talk to them in the playground or wherever just to say, ‘hey, I get it! I know there is a crisis going on here, and I support you taking action’.” The Facebook group became a huge platform, with members offering interviews, appearing in media coverage of strikes and launching petitions. Ms Wilton tells us the group will be watching for progress on the Accord and has shifted focus to supporting principals: “As parents, we want to see real work and commitment from the government to address the issues.” Finally, Ms Stuart summarised the journey so far: “It’s been very humbling to see the support of communities and other colleagues, from learning support and early childhood, who have been with us the whole way.”


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Play-based learning principles bolster our wellbeing

At Oropi School , addressing wellbeing and inequity go hand-in-hand, fostered by a culture of tuakana-teina and a localised curriculum. Connecting our tamariki to the natural resources we are surrounded by and localising our curriculum first and foremost is key to enabling this. The curriculum features of our school are: •

Play-based learning

Garden to table programme

Global competencies and intercultural strategy

The main physical and natural resources to highlight include: •

The kokako garden and outdoor kitchen

Orchard, fruit trees, and beehive

The gully

The sheds

Having a school cat and chickens


are not bound by preconceived notions of ‘societal norms’. They create their own, based on learning dispositions and key competencies, where roles and ‘requirements’ in the play context emerge naturally as it happens. Our work on embracing cultural diversity as a strength, addressing assumptions, and valuing different perspectives helps this too. Andrew King, Principal, Oropi School

How does this all connect and enable a sense of well-being and equality? One only needs to spend time walking around the school as children arrive to start the day, as they are immersed in imaginative play with no boundaries. Social diversity abounds in the children’s play. Because there is a high level of trust assumed and allowed as they play with loose parts scattered in all corners, there are no limits. The children are free to set their own constructs to determine the context they find themselves in. With this, children

Adults do not interfere with the play process. In fact, the key role of a teacher is that of observer. Noticing and responding are key elements. This is not haphazard by any means. The teachers are skilled at analysing the dispositional, social and academic indicators emerging and happening to inform future planning and resourcing. Key aspects to this are recording learning stories through video, photos, and anecdotal writing. This is how planning unfolds; we call it responsive planning. Preparing curriculum topics weeks or a term in advance does not happen in most cases. However, accountability is not ignored. Tracking of curriculum coverage is done by reviewing and reflecting


on the tasks that have been done. The play curriculum and responsive planning approach allows all students a context to draw on for future learning, particularly in more academic, formal reading, writing and mathematical lessons that generally occur later in the day. Yes, there still is a role for this formal learning and a focus first and foremost on our play curriculum does not mean we throw this out! However, the difference is that all children have a real-life context and experience to inform their theoretical learning from. This points us to another skill required of our teachers and that is to create meaning in academic lessons from real-life, prior learning, that the children have collectively experienced at school. This has a way of ‘levelling the playing field’ because it doesn’t rely on the experiences children are having outside of school, for which there is a huge range, due to the diversity of socio-economic norms in our community. Fostering understandings about global competencies for staff and

Term 3, 2019 |

students is an important element of this, so we are conscious of our own biases and assumptions. Our school has had to work hard to ensure our on-site environment can provide those rich, everyday hands-on experiences for all students. Over the past eight years, our context has been intentionally set up for this purpose. On a daily basis, you will see students engaged with one another in such activities as cooking, gardening, harvesting, constructing, making huts, climbing trees, sliding down muddy banks, playing in the rain, setting up dams, planting, and building… creating memories!

positive and creates a strong sense of collective well-being. Parents regularly tell us about their child waking up on a school morning, bounding out of bed, excited about getting to school so they can finish their hut in the gully, fortress, obstacle course, or spaceship on the field made out of loose parts! This sense of well-being extends to our staff because they are not bound by expectations. Instead, they get to ‘live in the moment’ and generate learning opportunities from the exciting experiences they observe tamariki engaged in. How empowering and stimulating it is, to generate learning experiences organically.

Oropi kids want to come to school, enjoy it and have happy memories and experiences. Their highlights are not to do with the latest digital technologies or material purchases we make. Rather, they get excitement and fulfilment from such things as the latest garden that has been created, the hut that has just been built, the fruit that is ready for harvest, or the latest dam that has been created in the gully.

There is a huge sense of freedom at ‘our place’. Rules are minimalised to enable what we do and the children are encouraged to make decisions for themselves, solve problems with one another, and self-regulate. We do not have a name for what we do, neither do we call it anything ‘fancy’. We are not trying to create a new trend. We know who we are, what we are about, and what we are here for.

Our children are grounded and connected to their natural environment, which keeps minds

It is embedded in our collective philosophy of teaching and learning, that we all own.

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Whole-school approach with teaching aids By Rosie Clarke, Editor

Data on the number of New Zealand students who have some form of learning difference or disability is woefully thin, often leaving teachers in the dark about how they can support the most children in the best way. A 2016 parliamentary inquiry indicated that as many as 80,000 children could have dyslexia alone. A 2013 survey found that around 52 percent of children with a disability and six percent of all children in New Zealand have at least one learning difficulty. Students with high needs can attend day schools and residential schools across the country to access specialist teaching and services. Many special schools also

incorporate satellite classes so they can reach students with specialist learning needs who attend integrated mainstream schools. At the same time though, students in mainstream schools can ‘fly under the radar’ if additional needs are not identified or learning support is underfunded or inconsistent. On its website, the Ministry emphasises using “whole-class strategies to support students with ASD” and provides funding options for teacher aides through its In-Class Support scheme, which it says caters to 4,000 school children this year alone. Other learning support services include the Speech-Language (Communication) Service and the Severe Behaviour Initiative. Students who are supported by one of these services and meet other criteria, like having an Individual Education Plan, can

apply for assistive technology. But increasingly, educators are wondering whether assistive technology and other learning support tools can help a wider net of students. Classroom teaching aids are moving into the mainstream with rising rates of ASD, sensory processing and learning disorder diagnoses. Schools are also becoming more flexible and better able to support divergent learning preferences. Whether providing small pieces of equipment like pencil grips and timers, app-based accessibility tools, speech recognition software or sensory rooms for students to take breaks in, the modern learning environment trends can lend themselves well to inclusive learning. Teaching aids that can better integrate children with different needs and normalise divergent learning

patterns are of particular interest to schools focussed on building an inclusive reputation. But in order to develop strategies around new tools and resources to support students, schools need to have a better idea of what their students’ specific learning needs are. Kāpiti College spent about $40 per student to create a support system for students with diverse learning needs, including aids like speech recognition software and learning environment redesigns. One of the school’s former teachers and a neurodiversity education specialist who provides PLD to other teachers, Sarah Sharpe told Newsroom that schools need to focus on normalising learning needs, identifying neurodivergent students earlier and upskilling teachers to adopt more inclusive learning strategies.

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There are a huge range of learning needs that can be supported by assistive technology devices and simple classroom solutions. Scanning pens and smartpens can help students with note-taking, memory and information processing. Devices like these, along with some app solutions have cameras and audio recording capabilities, so that students can learn at their own pace, using voice-to-text and/or text-tovoice functions to revisit and reformulate information, create vocabulary lists and facilitate their own learning process.

Industry view and recommendations: Nuance communications’ representative, Derek Austin told School News about the looming benefits of speech recognition software for students with different learning needs. Students with dyslexia and related challenges can benefit from speech recognition software. While younger students may have difficulty using software, introducing speech recognition as a general skill has benefits as students get older and the writing required increases. Speech recognition was pegged as ‘mainstream’ technology by Gartner Group in 2013. Technology is getting more accurate at ‘speaker independent’ recognition so that anyone who talks can have their speech converted to text. However, the accuracy rates are limited to around 90 percent meaning that accuracy isn’t high enough for classroom interactions. Some services offer Term 3, 2019 |

live transcription using human transcribers but these seem to be perceived as too expensive to use by most organisations. Instead, speech recognition is being used to assist students with dyslexic or dyspraxic symptoms, and more generally. Students can talk instead of write or type and this can improve quality and length of responses by an order of magnitude. There’s a video on YouTube with two Brisbane speech therapists, called ‘Dare to Speak’, which provides a background on how to use this technology. In terms of dos and don’ts for schools looking to refurnish or upgrade assistive technology in classrooms, I suggest schools contact vendors directly for recommendations. It can now be hard to discern what the education options are for some products and services as company focus is elsewhere with changes in markets and products.

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Staff should consider expanding access to accessibility resources to all of their students. Accessibility options may benefit a wider group than the initial target group. For example, speech recognition is a general facility that can improve productivity for the whole student body, as well as those with expressive or physical challenges.

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Design better seating for better learning School children no longer need to be prepped for the office or the factory line. Seating trends are moving with the times.

the optimum seating. Booths and breakout lounges work better for group collaboration while low, cushioned seating encourages solo reading.

Today’s students are less likely than any previous modern generation to end up in a sitdown-all-day cubicle job. So why are many schools around the country still using this model for classroom seating? The shift doesn’t just come from untold new industries blooming from the ether or from the vast wealth of ergonomic results now cited in health and safety regulations. The push for flexible seating responds to the notion that young people are now more likely to work contract hours rather than full-time jobs, are better able to work from home (thanks to the internet), and


Image courtesy of Distinction Furniture because the corporate world has been influenced by the Google school of office design. Sydney’s GoogleHQ made a splash last year when photos were released of its gaming rooms, in-office aquarium and roaming-style

flexible office space, equipped with hidden lounge areas, floor cushions, padded booths and even a hammock. Flexible learning environments are emphasising how teachers can structure learning by arranging


Google employee satisfaction rose by 37 percent and productivity rose 12 percent, according to research by Warwick University. Can these kinds of numbers be replicated in education? In the impact of classroom design on pupils' learning, which was a study undertaken by the University of Salford, school design was found to have a 16 percent impact on 3766 pupils' learning rates. “Furniture and features in the class that were ergonomic and comfortable for the children were significantly correlated with learning progress”. The study also found that when students’ work was displayed

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Images courtesy of Distinction Furniture permanently, it gave students a “sense of ownership” over learning and significantly boosted self-esteem. This is something to keep in mind when designing classrooms and flexible seating environments that will likely be shared by lots of students. Personalise where possible. The well-known Heschong Mahone study established that children in classrooms with the most daylight and biggest windows progressed approximately 20 percent faster

in maths and reading. However, in traditional classroom designs, desks often face away from windows, directing attention toward a teaching desk or board. Arranging dedicated seating for focussed study and reading around windows and daylight can have a significant impact on student learning.

Specific insights from industry experts

Likewise, different seating designs tell students what behaviour is expected in any given teaching environment.

One of the theories behind the trends is students’ need to move to think, and not every student is suited to every chair or stool.

Distinction Furniture’s Suzanne Roxburgh-Blair spoke with us about why seating trends have been changing. The seating trends have changed to better accommodate concentration and learning.

innovative furniture for education

More and more students are using a variety of seating to help with flexible movement within their learning environment. This has more to do with students moving to collaborate by using different seating for high and low tables, group campfire settings, outside seating, quiet booth seating, break out seating plus others. Students are moving from one different seat to another and spending less time in one seat.

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There is a variety of stools that can be used within library, science, technology and classrooms, depending on the school and how they wish to use their learning environment. Budget can also influence which stool the school wishes to use. Stools vary from flexible supportive backs and seats, padded seats, some quirky modern looks to the great ‘tried and true’ stool with an mdf seat. Schools need to consider when selecting stools or seating that they have been designed and built for

the school environment giving them durability and ergonomics using high quality materials. Scholar Furniture specialist, Georgia Baker told School News about an interesting new ‘Starbucks’ trend. In MLE classrooms, we have begun to see the role of the teacher change from a 'giver of knowledge' to one that is more a mentor, facilitator or coach. One trend that is coming through is the ‘Starbucks-style’ classroom inspired by education influencer, Kayla Delzer.

The concept mimics that of a coffee shop environment where students are relaxed, happy and engaged in their work. Much like a coffee shop, they can choose what part of the room they work in and what type of seating they would like to use, whether it is lying on the floor, standing at a desk, using a wobble stool, sitting on a beanbag, or on a comfy chair. The classroom environment should be conducive to open collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. This simply cannot be done when kids are sitting in rows of desks all day. We know that students learn best when they are comfortable. You can organise learning by dividing the classrooms into zones: use different furniture and seating to determine behaviour. A flexible seating arrangement

often consists of a low table with cushions or floor disks to kneel on; a medium height table with wobble stools or traditional ergonomic chairs; high tables or desks where students can stand or sit on a high stool; and, a lounge area where students can lie on a floor mat, sit on a beanbag or comfy soft seating. Having the option to stand, lie down or sit on wobbly stools, allows fidgety students to burn excess energy, improving their concentration and focus. Wobble chairs encourage active sitting and provide light exercise for the legs, back, and core. They can be used in groups, joined desk arrangements, and for tasks requiring focus, like reading, which makes them well-suited to a library.

Images courtesy of Scholar Furniture



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Student independence depends on the library management system School libraries are the gateway to realworld research skills. Research means something different today from what it meant even 10 years ago as it’s a skill-set that rapidly expands with every new technology and platform. Of course, designing a library space that best facilitates research is important but what is truly crucial, is that the library management system works efficiently to empower teachers and students in their learning. Last issue, we interviewed teacher-librarians around the country and discovered that many felt frustrated by classroom teachers not capitalising on library resources enough. A library management system with an efficient tracking, monitoring and cataloguing system is uniquely in-tune with what students are learning. Librarians advised us that they notice students tend to borrow books related to units being studied but teachers don’t always think to encourage wider reading or approach them for a suggested reading list. It was also advised that students that can choose their own book to study tend to borrow more books; independent reading prompts independent library use. These kinds of trends can help libraries cultivate a reading culture at the school. If your management system shows you that historical fiction novels are popular with Year 10 students studying World War II, you could discuss how best to capitalise on that with teachers or look at buying more books on the topic for next year. An effective tracking function will also help libraries keep tabs on borrowing and make sure students have a fair chance to read what they like.

Technobabble The back-end of a working library management system needs to operate seamlessly with the school’s ICT platform. If you are looking to upgrade or swap over to a new system, the IT department should be involved in the process Term 3, 2019 |

Image courtesy of Wesley Intermediate from the get-go to avoid any incompatibilities. A new system needs to be able to cope with multiple users accessing different modules, mobile access and ideally have security measures to make sure different members of staff can access different levels within the interface. You certainly want to be able to customise any homepages with logos, library promotions, and create engaging campaigns as part of building your library community. To be a research hub for your school, the library needs a solid referencing framework. How easy is referencing in your library management software? In some systems, shared databases are available between your library and others nationwide; this can be incredibly helpful for research purposes if a teacher or student is looking for a hard-to-find book or article but you may also be able to compare trends. Enquire with local schools and public libraries to find out which system they use as there may be benefits to sharing a sister-network. Data is hugely valuable, so automatic back-up and restore options are critical. Is the server host reliable? Will the supplier assist with management, maintenance and staff training? What kind of post-installation help is available? Of course, data migration will likely be the first hurdle to overcome, so discuss

this with both your onsite IT department and vendor of choice.

Budget concerns Especially for smaller schools, this is a huge consideration. When comparing contracts, look at the length of time it covers and what the training and maintenance stipulations are. How much is included and what will the ongoing costs likely be? First, you should find out whether the equipment you currently have will be compatible and meet the specs required for an upgrade or new system. If you need to purchase new hardware or workstation products you will need to factor this into the decision. Will future upgrades and add-on functions be included, and how well will they interact with the ICT framework of the school? Nobody likes a buggy upgrade! What about the licensing rules? How many users are included? What if multiple installations are required?

Thinking outside the genre box Functionality can make the difference between a busy library and a ghost town. Adding book reviews, suggestions and recommendations can personalise a catalogue and encourage wider reading. If the interface allows students to post


reviews or ratings, even better. Take inspiration from YouTube recommendations and create lists, ‘if you like X, you’ll probably like Y’. Genre has been newly defined by the streaming generation. Romance, fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, etc., have all lost their meaning in today’s astonishingly specific, overly personalised multi-media sphere. Netflix has more than 23,000 genre codes, with names like ‘true bromance’, ‘oddballs and outcasts’, ‘unlikely friends’, and ‘featuring a strong female lead’. If you’re thinking, these are descriptors, not genres… you would be correct and yet they work extremely well for Netflix, which librarians are telling us books now compete with. Interestingly, genre-criss-crossing is a feature of young adult fiction, growing in popularity here in New Zealand. Teenagers, especially, will hop from genre-to-genre within young adult fiction, influenced by movie tie-ins and online fandom culture. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is a classic autobiography often read by students studying World War II, but perhaps if it was categorised as ‘featuring a strong female lead’ alongside The Hunger Games and Tahereh Mafi’s Furthermore rather than relegated to the otherwise fairly unpopular biography section, it would gain an entirely different readership.


Case study: Auckland school

overhauls library software By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

server, migrating data from one of our two libraries, we started training, and student administration integration. The installation process was huge, and really well-managed by the Accessit team. We made it easy for ourselves by closing the school library for a couple of weeks, but it is possible to install while keeping the library open.

Busy teacher librarian, Patria Davis spoke exclusively with School News about the installation of Accessit Library in her Wesley Intermediate School library. Wesley Intermediate is a small school, with around 165 Year 7 and 8 students and less than 20 staff members. The unique school is tucked comfortably into the Wesley community and Patria emphasised its strong sense of “belonging, family, safety, love, positivity and hope”. She explained how students draw from their diverse range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds to encourage a culture of warmth throughout the school. “Our students are the reason we all show up to work every day; you cannot get far through the school corridors each morning without encountering smiles, laughs and happy greetings. It is a great place to work.” While being a small school helps create this lovely environment, it also means the library runs on a small budget and staff wear lots of different hats. Patria shared: “My roles include librarian, teacher in charge (TIC) of learning hub (academic support and extension programs for students), TIC of ESOL program, TIC of resource room, and TIC of the William Pike Challenge Award (WPCA).

Images courtesy of Wesley Intermediate redesigned the library space for less than $100 and using Kiwi ingenuity, we opened up the space to create an inviting, relaxing, and open environment. It is now my favourite part of the school to work in.” The library management system Patria inherited needed updating, so she arranged to meet with Accessit Library team. “The scope of the software caught my attention (actually I was completely hooked and my passion for the software hasn’t waned yet) and a meeting with our school’s senior leadership team and teachers confirmed support for the new system was unanimous. Key features that impressed us were the easy, visual access to search functions, its book review feature, and the One Search feature that enables scaffolding of student’s independent online research. “We use Accessit Library to catalogue all the student and teacher resources in the

school. In the future it is likely to become our system for digital technologies as well. In the old system we had two libraries: school library and resource room, so we rolled over the data from the school library, then proceeded to catalogue the resource room from scratch in order to update, correct and improve the ability to search quickly for resources. “As I became familiar with the software and problem-solved with the Accessit team we opened up some new terrain. One of the significant features I stumbled across was using educational terms as ‘tags’ to help teachers quickly locate useful resources. The ‘tags’ function was also useful for assigning curriculum levels to enable teachers to narrow their searches.”

Support throughout the process “We installed Accessit Library as a local install on the school

“A typical day for me involves juggling time completing administration work, teaching small groups, working alongside teachers in classrooms, planning and leading activities outside the school grounds for the WPCA and ESOL programs, answering questions, answering emails - and, of course, all the jobs involved in running the school library. “Almost all of the ‘new’ books are donations or second-hand purchases. In my first year, I


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“The greatest service for me has been the Help Desk at Accessit, the team are amazing with speedy phone and email responses. Up to that point it had very much been ‘sink or learn to swim’ for me in the various roles I had taken on. I was accustomed, partly due to personality and partly due to necessity, to problem-solving on my own, so it was a new experience to have a team of people telling me to call them for help before I spent hours trying to solve the problem myself!” Patria emphasised the level of potential for what can be done with the software. “Primarily, we are using the sophisticated search function to improve access to teacher resources and library books. Teachers are now able to use the web app to search for resources, which has also been great in simplifying the process for student librarians - they no longer access the management app, as all the features they require are accessible via the web app.” For Patria, the management app is “easy to use and has a host of easily accessible features, so that I can make small or larger changes quickly. In the limited time I have to spend in the library, this is a tremendous asset. Other benefits for us for long-term implementation include the book review feature and the One Search feature. These were two of the major draw cards for the teaching staff but are not fully functioning across the school community just yet. These are part of our plan to develop the library. I am excited about the potential scope of these features and look forward to seeing them used across the school.”


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Take better photos: boost pride and profits It’s an annual event that teachers don’t have to dread. School News wants to make sure that your photo day isn’t a pain to organise and that your students (no matter what awkward stage they are at or horrible hair style they wear) scrub up well enough to make a frame worthy record of their school year that meets the expectations of even the most deluded helicopter parent. 1.


At least two weeks before photo day, send out a reminder to parents, caregivers and kids to suggest they book in a haircut for their little darlings. Haircuts tend to look their best about 10 days after a fresh new cut. Structure the day. Pay special attention to sibling groups and family


portraits that may need extra scheduling. Have a schedule agreed with your photographer and broadcast it to staff, students and parents so that everybody knows exactly when and where they need to be. Plan for delays and ask your photographer to advise on large group photos. 3.

For graduations, balls and events, plan to have a ‘formal photo’ space and get them done early. Atmospheric photos that capture the event itself need to be planned separately with the photographers: discuss what style and ‘vibe’ you want them to capture. Promotional materials will require a different style to social media, a cohort’s yearbook, or a school newsletter.


Plan for one ‘silly photo’ where students can let loose to mitigate unruly behaviour when you’re trying to capture a formal shot!


Talk to your students about listening to the photographer and cooperating at the shoot.


Run through safety information with photographers ahead of time and think about how best to present it to students.


Avoid ‘saying cheese’ and ask the photographer to give students some quick tips on how to smile for the camera before they take the photos. If it’s a sunny day, for example, have them avert their eyes until they are given a cue.


No uniform? Choose


a colour or theme for student groups so the photos look cohesive. Without some coordination, you could end up with a smorgasbord of Marvel characters. 9.

Send your most confident and easy-going child to the photographer first to set an example for the whole class. It is very wise to have a nervous or apprehensive child watch the session with you to begin with and talk them through their shyness or anxieties.

10. Don’t forget yourself! Look in the mirror and make sure there is no spinach in your teeth! Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy. You’ll only have your staff picture for… well… actually, it might be worth a second glance in the mirror. Term 3, 2019 |

It doesn’t have to be a huge pain in the asphalt

teams and school bands pose for group photos to use on flyers or posters, press releases and social media.

If scheduling around classtime is a huge concern, write it off as a ‘low stakes’ day by cancelling normal lessons and organise large group activities and assemblies instead; have guest speakers to engage with year groups in between pictures, or run a model UN-style activity to keep students occupied in a confined space for a few hours.

Video. Depending on your choice of photography team, video services could be an option. Film a principal’s welcome, or ‘trailers’ for your arts department, sports teams or new STEAM program.

Marketing. Use the day to update photos for your school publication and create glossy new snaps to showcase cultural activities. Do you have a school pet? Feature them in some special photos. Capture new onsite builds and, classroom displays and outdoor areas. Fundraising. Arrange to take photos that can be used as part of a campaign. For instance, get photos of the drama class in character for their next production to use on merch to sell to family and friends. Similarly, have sports

It is a no-brainer that your school should take commission on photo sales if offered. School photographers often have different rates and a variety of offers for you to consider and depending on the size of your school this could add up to a considerable amount. Ask your photographer for terms. The more flexible and imaginative you can be with the range of shots and the more choice of images; the more photos will be sold, and commissions made. Consider running a survey of parents months in advance – would they prefer formal or informal photos? What is their budget? Do they want a mug

and a lanyard or would they prefer an inscribed frame? Make the ordering process easy and have the images online, to view, order and pay. This will also reduce the administrative work for you, making photo day an altogether more enjoyable occasion.

Which photographer should you choose? Select a photographer that has a style that is in keeping with your school culture whether traditional or

contemporary, formal, more casual, quirky or imaginative. Choose a photographer who is experienced at school photography, who is good with kids and a great communicator and one who shows you the money too! Most importantly choose a photographer that can best capture your school’s spirit in pictures, one that will show off your school and student’s personalities in a good (not ridiculous) way and avoid those cringeworthy, awkward pics for good!

Taking the photos PARENTS LOVE Our fun, relaxed and modern approach to school photography is a great way to fundraise whilst taking beautiful portraits of your students. When you choose Inspire, you’ll find we’re more than just a friendly and professional school photography

service. We’ve been taking photographs of children for years and we know how to get the best out of your students. We take the kind of photos that parents love to buy. Not only do we provide you with great portraits, we also gift a full set of student id images ready to upload to your school database plus 10% commission on our photo gallery sales. Often gifting back to your school a commission up to $1000.

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The future-focussed boys’ school bringing girls onboard Removing NCEA assessment

By Rosie Clarke, Editor

With a freshly launched STEAM program pushing boundaries in Wellington, this IB World School was as surprised as you that becoming coeducational would make the bigger splash in 2019. In conversation with Scots College headmaster, Graeme Yule School News found out about the pedagogical learning curve his staff embarked upon, the evolution from international baccalaureate to future-focussed learning, and why girls are essential.

This was step one, Graeme revealed: “We restructured our Year 11 course, so students now do one internal and one external item in five subjects. So none of our Year 11 students will get NCEA level one but they’ll get their literacy and numeracy. We then introduced a number of semester courses; things like biomimicry, environmental studies, a law program and other options of interest to students.

Big changes in three stages

NCEA as a dual assessment pathway. So, we created a thing called our Future-Focussed Learning Plan, a strategy we announced to our community at the beginning of last year.

learning skills that the students will need, so they sit really well with the approaches to learning that we offer through the IB programs and also align very well with the NZ Curriculum.”

“Because we are an IB World School, we offer the primary and middle years program as well as the IB diploma and, at Years 12-13, we also offer

“We are trying to develop the skills students need in terms of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. These are the 21st century

There are three key elements to the plan: pedagogy, building a new flexible school block, “without big open spaces”, and introducing girls.



“What we were finding at level one is that we were spending so much time doing NCEA assessment that it was driving the teaching and learning. So we tried to take that back by giving students agency. Staff have loved getting to design and deliver their own programs! We started this year, replacing NCEA assessment with project-based assessment.

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The teachers’ journey

change. Overall, response has been overwhelmingly positive but of course we have a small pocket who are vehemently against it. We have pretty much worked through that, though.”

“Initially, when we spoke to staff the response was, ‘oh no, another change, more workload’, but when we explained that we were removing a significant piece of their workload (i.e. all the moderation and assessment at level one, bar those 40 credits) and we were creating space for them… they quickly came aboard.

Becoming co-ed: why we want to include girls “In the next three years we will have about 150 girls enter the senior school, which will be about a third of the student population.” Why? “The world is co-educational and the role of gender seems to be less significant in education than maybe it was when we were founded 103 years ago.

“Staff particularly liked that they would be able to determine what they teach and we have been doing substantial PD over the last 18 months, providing time for our department to sit down and design their courses; so the staff have been really engaged in this as well. They feel they have ownership over what they are trying to achieve. We’ve broken down the different silos between subjects over the last five years with interdisciplinary trialling in the middle school. With Year 11, we didn’t have to reinvent the wheel, so relationships between teachers haven’t had to change too significantly.”

Catapulting Year 11s into their future “We started the year by throwing our Year 11s into the BP Technology Challenge. We gave them no brief or warning and then we analysed how they worked together as a group because students tend to want to go with their friends and then they miss out on developing new skills. The goal here was to try to teach them how to work together to problem solve.

“We kicked off by inviting our old boys to mark outcomes of the challenge, Dragon’s Den style. Going forward, as students develop their projects, we will link them up with old boys as external mentors to find out how they can get relevant support. We will also have all our students out in the workforce as part of the work experience programme we are doing with Swivel around career options.”

Backlash from the wider community Graeme shared his initial surprise that while changes

to the teaching program went down well with parents and friends of the school, not everyone was happy about the introduction of girls. “The tsunami of new government changes (NCEA review) really helped us in our communications with families because they looked at government proposals and saw that it was similar to what we were doing. It gave our wider community confidence that we were on the right track. “We mostly got a response about becoming co-ed, which I felt was only 20 percent of the

“Our new building will have an office for our newly appointed deputy principal, who will be looking out for girls’ welfare. There will also be a girls’ common room in the new block for the first two years because they will be considerably outnumbered; just 60 in the first year and 120 in the second year. From year three, that space will become a co-educational common room for Year 12, and another common room will be co-educational for Year 13.”

Focussing on their future In the new programme, students “are not writing an essay on some theoretical problem, they are actually solving a real-world issue; and that’s how the workforce works, isn’t it? You don’t sit down in the workforce and write an essay about a problem, you gather with a group and work out a solution.”

The futuristic new block will have lots of glass and breakout spaces ideal for project-based learning

Term 3, 2019 |



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E W Term 3, 2019 |

Leveraging strengths: Supporting teachers to flourish Ask teachers to identify their own strengths and they probably have a better idea of their ‘gaps’ or weaknesses. As educators, and this is perhaps true of New Zealanders in general, we have a culture of being humble. Talking about our strengths can make some of us feel quite uncomfortable; it’s not something we are used to. When someone asks us about our strengths, they are asking what’s right with us. Knowing and discussing our strengths offers us a common positive language that can be used in our workplace. Positive psychology, the study of optimal human functioning, provides this language via twentyfour researched character strengths/virtues that appear to be universal across all cultures. Character strengths are our capacities for thinking, feeling, volition (making and acting on decisions) and the way we behave. Essentially, they form part of who we are at our core. They are the positive traits of our personality and very different from the other types of strengths that we may have, such as talent, interests and skills. We all have these twenty-four character strengths in varying amounts. Our signature strengths are those we draw on most effortlessly. They are energising and essential to who we are. To flourish is to experience high levels of wellbeing. Flourishing individuals typically have a general tendency towards experiencing positive emotions more frequently: •

They are engaged in the world around them;

feel loved and supported by others;

have meaning and purpose with regards to being involved in something greater than themselves; Term 3, 2019 |

Ara Simmons, Positive Psychology Practitioner, CORE Education

Four ways to leverage strengths and boost wellbeing 1.

Start with spotting the signature strengths you use daily in your work, and remember to express appreciation towards yourself for having that strength.

developing mastery in aspects of their lives.


Pick a signature strength and consciously practice it in a new way for a week. Then choose a new focus.

Essentially, to flourish is to feel good and function well in what are described as the five pillars of wellbeing: positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose and accomplishment.


Positive reminiscence. At the end of your day, reflect for a moment on the strengths you demonstrated. Writing them down can reinforce the awareness you are creating.


Avoid underusing and overusing your strengths.

feel that they are growing personally, and are;

Why knowing our strengths supports wellbeing The Values In Action Character Strengths survey from the VIA Institute on Character is a great place to begin uncovering our personal character strengths. Google it to take part! Using it brings clarity and focus to what helps us and our colleagues flourish. In a study of nearly 10,000 New Zealand workers that examined indicators of flourishing, those who reported a higher awareness of their strengths were nine and a half times more likely to be flourishing than those with low strength awareness. Moreover, workers who reported using their strengths more often were 18 times more likely to be flourishing. Having personally supported many school staff to collectively complete the survey, which surfaced both individual and collective strengths as an entire staff or community of

learning, I saw that it inspired valuable discussion and insight for many teachers. Being able to share stories of when they were at their best provided great opportunities to connect with colleagues in meaningful ways. Allowing teachers to be seen and valued for who they are, and the unique qualities teachers brought to their roles. It also created an energy and motivation to consider what was right with the close relationships they had around them, and a way to intentionally shine the spotlight on others to both celebrate and appreciate them. Research informs us that being able to use between four to six signature strengths in the workplace is linked with higher workplace satisfaction,

meaning, and describing work as a “calling” in life. Our signature strengths are our top character strengths that we draw on most frequently.

Be mindful In the ever-expanding body of research on strengths use, researchers have also discovered that underusing our strengths can impact our wellbeing more negatively than overusing them. For example, there is an increased likelihood of suffering social anxiety if we underuse our strengths of zest, humour and self-regulation and overuse our humility and social intelligence. So, with this, it is really helpful to ask ourselves how much we are underusing our strengths; overusing, or using, our strengths in balance.

Ara Simmons is an accredited facilitator, positive psychology practitioner and certified positive psychology based coach at CORE Education. Ara works alongside schools in supporting a whole school systems response to both culture and wellbeing, including staff, tamariki and whānau. This includes strategic planning for delivering wellbeing, coaching, growing wellbeing teams within schools and supporting the design of wellbeing initiatives.



Weaving wellbeing: into your school

The buzz: for better or worse, ‘wellbeing’ is a buzzword right now.

The field of positive psychology provokes us to think of wellbeing with new eyes. It should not only be concerned with alleviating problems like burnout or bullying, but also promoting factors that bring vitality to people. Mason Durie’s Te whare tapa whā model is one of a few useful models that help to identify these factors. A simple definition of wellbeing from academia is “feeling good and functioning well”. How can your school create conditions and capacities for people to feel good and function well?

Paul Tupou-Vea, Clifftop Wellbeing

Common challenges schools face: •

Requires time!

People working hard

Existing school systems and priorities obstruct wellbeing goals. The danger of partial understanding: “Some people know just enough about wellbeing to do a bit of help and a bit of harm.”

The golden threads in whole-school approaches Because your school has its own unique culture and community, there is no one ‘copy and paste’ template to embed meaningful wellbeing. Schools regularly use oneoff approaches to introduce wellbeing concepts or skills, such as lessons, units or projects. However the real magic happens when wellbeing becomes a part of ‘the way things are done here’.



Guiding schools & building thriving communities Training and Consultancy Services for schools: • Staff training • Co-design workshops • Senior leadership coaching • Board advisory

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Bring the whole community onboard - everyone on the waka, paddling in the same direction. This involves planning time for your staff to gain collective insight into the importance of focusing on wellbeing. Facilitate directed, inquiring conversations that build shared vision, and values.

Coordination Create a sustainable rhythm and pace for group. Once your school has a shared goals and priorities, ensure that people can learn from each other’s practice and gain momentum from each other’s successes. At this stage people in your school are intentional about applying wellbeing practices to themselves and others.

Considered Plan the journey well. Ensure there is an evidence and research base for your decisions. Being thorough in your own research will help you spend your time (and budgets) wisely to maximise the return for your school community. It also helps to build momentum by ensuring people don’t switch-off because of negative experiences; rather, they gather energy because of successful work. Key points: •

Use an evidence base to build wellbeing.

Wear an appreciative lens.

Capacity building is an accelerator to a well school community.

Point your sails in the same direction people are paddling.

Build a lived culture of wellbeing.

Clear the way for your wellbeing work to be done with ease and alignment.

Collective buy-in is key.

The best results occur when all staff, ākonga, whānau and Board are involved in this process too.


Amend meeting times and topics, plan out PLD priorities over your calendar, position wellbeing strategically with your other objectives. TEACHER'S DESK

In my opinion there’s no greater gift you can offer your students and staff, than a learning community with wellbeing woven into its fabric. Go well. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou. Term 3, 2019 |

Wellbeing trumps the economy By Rosie Clarke, Editor

New Zealand did something game changing this year: it told the classic, moneyfocussed national budget to go take a hike and presented its first ever Wellbeing Budget instead.

Bold move, bolder consequences While ever-so-slightly overshadowed by the megastrike in media coverage of the education sector this term, the Wellbeing Budget hit a nerve that schools have been tackling for years. Student and teacher wellbeing has been collapsing under duress from workload, mental health crises, financial stress and slew of other pressures both internal and external. A huge emphasis of the teacher strike was a communally-felt need to improve teacher wellbeing and schools have been trialling all manner of programs to combat bullying and sky-high rates of teen suicide. Christopher Boyce, a research fellow at the Behavioural Science Centre, University of Stirling, wrote about the new budget in collaboration with The Conversation and the World Economic Forum. He said the shift is both logically sound and culturally unprecedented. “Decades of research into happiness and well-being have shown us that the key determinants of wellbeing are the quality of our relationships, mental and physical health, our capacity to meet basic needs, social and emotional Term 3, 2019 |

skills, having a purpose in life, and stability. More money, beyond the point of meeting basic needs, rarely brings that much extra happiness. Yet it is economic growth that nearly always takes policy precedence.”

Will the Wellbeing Budget help schools? Fundamentally, shifting the focus from immediate cashflow to long-term wellbeing in New Zealand should benefit our school system if the budget lives up to its premise. Investing in people, rather than funding cuts, would have a huge impact on teachers and students. We are starting to see some of this potential, beyond the apparent success of the teacher strike, already. The Wellbeing Budget has allocated a record $1.9 billion for mental health initiatives, claiming it is “taking mental health seriously” with a “special focus on under-24-year-olds”. As Victoria University of Wellington clinical psychologist Dougal Sutherland explained in his The Conversation op-ed: “This includes a new frontline service for mental health, with a $455 million programme and a goal of reaching 325,000 people by 2024. The package also includes a $40 million boost to suicide prevention services and extra nurses in schools to reach 5,600 more secondary students.” He praised the injection of more nurses into the school system, citing the shortage of incoming clinical psychologists. “Innovative initiatives will need to be considered, including e-therapies and prevention programmes targeted at children and teens.”

Changing the climate conversation Climate change is a massive stressor for young people. Not only will they experience far more extreme consequences of climate change than we are faced with today; but, they are also more likely to work in sustainability-focussed industries than generations

before them. Industries that do not exist yet – or are still in their infancy - because our economy still relies on fossil fuel. By creating a budget that seeks to transform the economy into a “low-emissions economy” rather than simply continuing to drain the well dry in the shortterm, our government may actually foster an environment in which students can feel more secure and confident about their future careers.

Let’s talk about WELLBEING We know the theory, eat well, sleep, exercise, good company, plans for the future. But the ideal is often challenged by our reality. Work and family pressures, relationship issues, financial constraints, health – even the weather can hold us back. Making a meaningful change often requires the support of other people. Vitae specialises in providing access to a team of professionals who can help make a difference in your world.

What did you plan to achieve in 2018? What did you actually achieve?


Our counsellors, psychotherapist, psychologists, educators, nutritionists, coaches and budget advisors are all a part of the team that offer NZ wide coverage and support to people at work. To enquire about Vitae’s employer funded services, contact: or call 0508 664 981.

What do you want to achieve in 2019?


Five tips for using memory techniques in the classroom Indigenous cultures the world over have memorised vast amounts of practical knowledge about animals, plants, navigation, laws, ethics, history, genealogies, agricultural practices... the list goes on and on.

without knowing its meaning. Creating logical (and beautiful) paintings, vivid stories and songs from written text can only be done when the student has fully engaged with the information.

5. Handwrite and decorate notes There are many lessons from the Middle Ages to aid memory. Books were rare and often memorised by the monks and others who had to preach from them.

We don’t use their memory methods, yet there is so much that we can learn from them.

1. Use characters All indigenous cultures tell stories featuring a vast cast of characters who act out information. Knowledge performed is much more memorable than knowledge simply read. Students can use toys, favourite characters from books, films or games, imaginary friends, pets or characters they make up specifically for the purpose. Abstract knowledge, anything from science definitions, mathematics tables or grammar rules can be brought to life through the stories of the characters.

Typed notes, with every page looking the same, are totally forgettable.

2. Use art and music Indigenous cultures incorporate art and music in the knowledge they perform. Art and music should not be at the peripheries of the curriculum, as they too often are, but an invaluable tool for enriching all the subjects in the curriculum. It is nigh impossible to forget a catchy song, so why not reword familiar tunes with critical knowledge?

3. Create memory palaces A memory palace is a set of locations that students can walk around in order, inside the buildings, in the school grounds or around any familiar place. Facts and ideas can then be associated with each location. The neuroscience is


Laying down a foundation of facts enables students to see a big picture and then play with ideas, analyse, theorise and perform the higher levels of thinking founded on a firm knowledge base. They will see patterns in the knowledge that they could not have seen otherwise.

Dr Lynne Kelly, Author, Memory Craft

unequivocal that information associated with physical locations is retained with amazing accuracy. Australian Aboriginal songlines and Native American pilgrimage trails are examples of this memory method, which is often attributed to the Greek and Roman orators, but in fact dates much earlier.

4. Convert knowledge from one form to another Mind maps allow information to be presented logically on the page. Indigenous art works and ancient mandalas served a similar purpose, but used pictures. Creating a little image for each point forces the student to engage with the concept. It is too easy to write a word


Encourage students to hand write and use colours. They should lay out each page differently. It is amazing how often you can remember where an idea was on a page, so why not use that natural facility of the brain and plan the layout with artistic flair? Medieval manuscripts had wide margins so comments could be added when revising, rather than just rote learning. The scribes would add drawings, known as drolleries, often unrelated to the text, just to make each page distinct and memorable. I have been delighted to watch the way students in both primary and secondary schools have embraced these memory techniques. It has been particularly pleasing to see students who have been disengaged due to learning difficulties or other issues find these alternative approaches appealing and effective. And fun! After four decades in the classroom, Lynne returned to university to complete a doctorate exploring Indigenous memory systems. She is the author of 17 books, including The Memory Code and Memory Craft.

Term 3, 2019 |


uLearn Conference, Rotorua



IDP Auckland and AUT International House Teachers’ Day, Auckland


This year’s uLearn conference will revolve around the concept of ‘networked learning’ and how it can enrich the teaching profession. The conference event asks, ‘What online evidence can you provide to demonstrate learning around learners' needs and strengths? What are the benefits of national and global networked learning as an approach to professional learning?’. School News will be attending so come and say hello!


The Ultimate Modern Learning & Teaching Conference, Rotorua




The first annual Teachers’’ Day event for IDP will include a masterclass with Don Oliver, workshops and sessions and prizes for innovation. Anyone interested in presenting should contact Lize.


Learning with Games full day workshop, Auckland



This one is all about modern teaching and learning environments. The conference aims to cover digital technologies, pedagogy, flexible learning and a range of creative and collaborative ways to engage the curriculum.


CONTACT: Jessica Condliffe ABOUT:


Join Carl Condliffe and Dale Sidebottom for a full day of gamified learning. Suitable for Primary and Secondary school teachers. The workshop is split in to three sections, Carl and Dale will take you through some of the latest and best practices for teaching, including gamification throughout the school, class-based board games, musical workouts, brain and energy breaks, dice and card fitness for all subjects, team-building fitness games, game development and cross curricular activities.

Talking Teaching 2019 - Diverse Learners: Inclusive Teaching, Auckland



The annual conference will house speaker presentations, panel discussions and debates, learning cafes and workshop sessions. Presenters have yet to be announced but organisers have said they are looking for speakers who can share their unique stories and experiences around “inspirational and engaging tertiary teaching practice and scholarship”.



NZSCTA Diamond Jubilee Conference, Wellington CONTACT: WEBSITE: ABOUT: Swim schools, coaches and teachers will converge on all matters relevant to New Zealand’s swimming education sector. Topics covered will include behaviour support, swimming with asthma, altitude camp observations, sensory difficulties, field trip, teacher development and more.


Primary Teaching Recruitment Expo 2019, Auckland CONTACT: Organiser Auckland Primary Principals Association WEBSITE: ABOUT: The expo focuses on how to find a primary or intermediate school teaching job in 2020 Auckland. Principals will lead the recruitment event to put their open positions on show.


TENZ Conference, Albany Senior High School




Design professor Welby Ings will be the conference keynote speaker. Known for his widely read book Disobedient Teaching, Ings won the 2014 AUT medal for research, pedagogical and creative contributions to teaching excellence. A wide range of technology-based workshops will also be a conference highlight for attendees.

Term 3, 2019 |



Sparking curiosity

with science lab design By Rosie Clarke, Editor

The National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement raised eyebrows last year with its revelation that science learning progress slows aggressively as students enter college. Most Year 4 students are reaching expected curriculum levels in science – a whopping 85 percent. Yet just 19 percent are doing so in Year 8. The progress gap was much smaller in other learning areas like reading, which recorded just a one percent difference. While this could indicate that Year 8 curriculum expectations for science are simply to high, it also presents secondary teachers with the challenge of helping incoming students ‘catch up’. Perhaps this is why schools are taking a more adventurous approach to their science learning environments. Labs are now starting to get creative while meeting their health and safety requirements. Colourful, bright, thematic storage, and an organisation system that focusses on use, with labelled field trip kits and experimental toolboxes designed to spark curiosity and make managing the lab as easy as possible. Don’t be afraid to personalise the science labs! When students see their work on display or can see themselves in the classroom design, they are more likely to feel engaged and respond confidently during lessons.


Industry guidance on science furniture and storage… School News caught up with the general manager at Novalab Systems, Richard Sutcliffe, to find out what advice a science furniture and equipment supplier can offer schools on purchasing. There are several key elements to consider when choosing the style of laboratory you need. Would a traditional, formal layout or a modern flexible design work best? Do you want to foster a teaching style that favours a ‘sage on the stage’ or more of a ‘guide on the side’? Is longevity of materials paramount or is a cheaper solution more important?

Flexible learning trends can certainly be applied to a lab block but labs do still need to meet certain criteria. Safety is obviously paramount, as is the ability of the teacher to be able to supervise the pupils in a safe manner. Practical spaces with services including gas, water, power and data are a huge requirement. There are also standards and guidelines to consider: depending on the scope of work required to get your new lab up and running, you may need to seek input from a specialist designer. This could be via a bespoke educational furniture manufacturer or an architect who specialises in the science lab field. In terms of materials, the bench top and the sinks are where most damage or abuse takes place, so

Image courtesy of Novalabs TEACHING RESOURCES

high quality materials should be prioritised here. The go to bench top material would be a chemically resistant compact laminate as this is an extremely robust material with excellent chemical resistance properties and is totally impervious to moisture ingress. Most good manufacturers would offer a 10-year warranty for the product. For sinks, I recommend looking into epoxy resin rather than stainless steel as it has great chemical resistance and will not rust. For storage, joinery made from a compact laminate will give serious longevity to the lab; it is impervious to moisture and doesn’t have any of those glued edges that pupils like to pick at. If a flexible lab has been chosen, joinery cabinets can be suspended from a steel frame for easy cleaning switchability. Mobile units are also fast and flexible options. It is strongly recommended that technician prep areas aren’t overlooked as this is where the chemicals are stored. Factor in lockable, specific dangerous goods cabinets as there are clear guidelines on where these units should be stored and the relative positioning of differing types of dangerous goods. Fume cupboards are key pieces of equipment and I recommend a fully extracted fixed fume cupboard for the technician area. Within the labs, a flexible, mobile fume cupboard that can serve several labs would be ideal. Mobile fume cupboards do need docking stations in the labs but this is still an extremely economical solution for schools that want total flexibility. Term 3, 2019 |

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For all your educational furniture needs, fitted or loose. We specialize in bespoke solutions for school furniture including laboratories, food technology rooms, technology areas and general storage solutions. Our furniture is designed with longevity and sharp design in mind. Contact us for design input and help in meeting standards. Term 3,- 2019 Release Year -| Issue - XX


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EILEEN MERRIMAN In our ‘Facts behind the fiction’ series, School News invites published authors to analyse their own texts specifically for the classroom. This term, the magnificent Eileen Merriman takes us through her research and thought process, as she delves into her YA novel, Invisibly Breathing. Merriman’s latest work tackles bullying, sexuality and ‘being different’ in a school context. Her research insights, selected excerpt and self-reflective summary of the novel are designed to aid teachers and students in the classroom. Bullying is quite a large theme in Invisibly Breathing. I was fortunate not to be bullied at school, although I certainly took steps to avoid it, e.g. not wearing my glasses in third and fourth form (despite not being able to see the blackboard), and trying not to answer too many questions in class for fear of being labelled a ‘nerd’ or a ‘know-it-all’. In my second year of intermediate, a friend said, ‘You think you’re better than us because you’re good at reading.’ I remember thinking that was an unfair comment but I did try to hide my academic abilities after that (at least for a while). That was the year I took off the yellow oilskin my mother had bought me when walking to school and stuffed into my bag, preferring to get wet than to be seen in something so uncool. When I was twelve, I remember a girl being bullied after she had a ‘bowl cut’. I remember (with guilt) joining in. Then I remember the tables turning on me, for a brief time, when I was teased about my flat chest. I don’t remember participating in any bullying after that. I’d learned my lesson.


It is easier to bully or be bullied than ever before. This is because bullying can now take place electronically, through text/SMS messages, social media, chat rooms and instant messaging, termed cyber-bullying. It is possible to be bullied without leaving the privacy of one’s bedroom. That makes it even worse, because one can’t get away from it. People will often post comments on line that they don’t dare tell others to their face. No youth is exempt from bullying, but some are more likely to be bullied than others. As Felix in Invisibly Breathing notes, ‘being different can be dangerous.’ Because Felix is different. He enjoys mathematics and physics, but has trouble interacting with people. He counts to calm himself down. And, much as he’d hate to admit it, sometimes Felix fantasises about guys like Christian Bale, the actor who plays Batman: ‘… I’d die of embarrassment if anyone knew that. Then he meets the new kid at school, Bailey Hunter. Bailey has a stutter, but he’s good at judo and at making friends.


And Bailey seems to have noticed Felix too: Felix keeps to himself mostly, but there’s something about him that keeps drawing me in. When I first started writing Invisibly Breathing, I didn’t set out to write a book where bullying featured so strongly. I thought that surely everyone was far more accepting of LGBTI youth in this day and age. I researched the subject by talking to teenagers and staff at the Auckland Sexual Health Service.

Term 3, 2019 |

To my surprise, I found that although the culture in some schools was quite accepting, in others it was far from it. A team worker from the Auckland Sexual Health Service told me stories of teenagers who had left school early because of bullying over their sexual orientation, and of a teenager who came out as gay on Facebook and then had to close his account down because of all the hurtful comments. Bullying relies on a power imbalance between the bully and the victim. In the very first chapter of Invisibly Breathing, Felix is bullied (verbally) by some of the boys at school. Later, Felix

is bullied via Facebook, and Bailey helps Felix delete his account so he doesn’t have to see the hurtful comments any more. Unfortunately for Bailey, although he is not subject to bullying at school, he suffers far worse at the hands of his alcoholic father at home. Felix’s home, for Bailey, is a safe haven. Their challenge is to tell the world the truth –– about their relationship, and about the physical abuse Bailey is suffering at home. These may be huge topics to tackle in a YA book but, sadly, are by no means unusual. LGBTI youth are more likely to suffer

Excer pt for the classroom: I have a love-hate relationship with school. Physics, chemistry, biology and maths are all good, most of the time. If only English didn’t exist. Why do I have to learn English? I know how to read. I know how to spell, most of the time. But ask me to read a boring-as-hell book and write an essay about it, are you kidding? How’s that going to help the rest of the world? Our English teacher is Ms Ralph. She’s bendy-skinny like a pipe cleaner, with curly brown hair. The book she’s given us to read is called The Road. It’s about a boy and his father journeying through a wasteland. Every time I try to read it, the inside of my head turns black. So I stopped reading it, and now I’m way behind. Bailey’s in my English class too. English four times a week and physics four times a week. That’s 50 x 8 = 400 minutes we’re in the same room. But we haven’t said a word to each other since judo yesterday, twenty-two hours and five minutes ago. I’m sitting next to Molly Riordan at the front of the room. Bailey is sitting at the back of the room, next to Wiremu Wright. Molly wouldn’t have chosen to sit next to me naturally, but she was moved last week because she and her friend Ella were talking too much. ‘I want you all to think about the setting as you move through this novel, and how McCarthy uses it to effect,’ Ms Ralph says. ‘Molly, how do you think a writer can use setting Term 3, 2019 |

to influence the mood in a story?’

Molly fiddles with the chain around her neck, and wrinkles her nose. She looks like the dolls my grandma collects, with her creamy, unblemished skin and perfectly straight blonde hair. ‘Sometimes you can use the weather,’ she says. ‘Like having thunderstorms when the characters are feeling angry, or black clouds when something scary is about to happen.’ Ms Ralph smiles. ‘That’s right. Can you give me an example of a book you’ve read like that? Felix?’ My heart is a trapped mouse skittering around my chest. Thunderstorms? There were no storms in my book about Turing. I try to cast my mind back to other books I’ve read, but all that comes to mind is a picture book Mum used to read me when I was little. ‘Um, Where the Wild Things Are?’ I blurt. Molly smirks and rolls her eyes past me to where Ella is sitting, by the window. Ella smirks back.

from depression, anxiety, and are more likely to attempt suicide than non-LGBTI youth. With regards to family violence, 2015 figures show that a child is admitted to a New Zealand hospital every second day with injuries as a result of assault, neglect or maltreatment. Every year, an average of 10 to 14 children are victims of homicide. Reading promotes empathy, and a greater understanding of the world around us. It wasn’t my intention to preach or convey a message when I wrote this book. However, on reflection, I do hope that Invisibly Breathing can achieve these things: firstly, to show that love is universal and it doesn’t matter

‘Yes,’ she says. ‘The moon shining into the room at the start of the book creates a lonely feeling, that’s good.’ I can tell she’s just trying to rescue me, because how did she get that out of moon? ‘That book is about the power of imagination, about how a boy creates an alternative world in which he can control his own destiny.’ She gives me a thoughtful stare, as if she can see straight into the centre of me. I wish I had an alternative world to escape to right now, preferably one containing Batman and a Tumbler. But all I have is the inside of my head. As soon as Ms Ralph’s eyes move away, I start thinking about numbers, sequences rolling behind my eyes like the credits on a movie. Until I hear another snigger beside me. ‘Shut up,’ I growl at Molly. Her eyebrows shoot upward, surprise flitting across her china-doll face. That’s when I realise she’s not laughing at me, for once. Behind me, I hear Bailey’s tongue sliding around a syllable he can’t spit out. ‘B-b-b—’

‘That’s a great book,’ Ms Ralph says. I can’t tell if she’s mocking me or if she really means it. ‘Tell us how the setting influences the mood in that book, Felix.’

Molly’s lip curls upward. ‘Don’t freak out on me, will you, Felix?’ she murmurs. I clench my fists on top of my thighs, my stomach acid simmering.

Behind me, someone mutters, ‘Ooh, wild thing.’

Don’t lose it, don’t lose it.

Meaningful looks ping between Molly and Ella, grazing across my chest like poison arrows. All I can remember is how the boy and the wild things howled at the moon together. Hell, I can’t even remember the boy’s name. ‘The moon,’ I mumble. Ella laughs out loud. Ms Ralph frowns at her, and turns back to me.

Bailey, flailing around like a fish on a hook, stops trying to say the word starting with ‘b’ and spits out ‘courageous’. I’m trying to figure out why he has so much trouble with some words and not others. Sometimes he’ll say a whole sentence without stuttering at all.

if it is love between a male and a female, between two males, or between two females. Secondly, to show youth that they are not alone; to be able to read this book and say, hey, I can recognise myself in there. My parents have split up. My father or mother drinks too much. I’m not sure about my sexuality either. Thirdly, to show everyone that being different is OK. And maybe, just maybe, someone might read this book and change their behaviour as a result.

Help Lines: Youth Line: Rainbow Youth: Lifeline:

B-brave. At least, I think brave is the word Bailey was trying to say, instead of courageous. ‘Yes.’ Ms Ralph looks relieved. ‘Yes, that’s right.’ I’m not sure if she was asking Bailey to read aloud, or if she asked him a question, but I figure he’ll give up now, while the going’s good. But to my surprise, he says, ‘They have no names. The man and the b—’ He barely hesitates before substituting ‘his son’ for ‘boy’. I turn slightly, watching the flare in Bailey’s cheeks as he carries on. ‘It’s like they don’t trust anyone enough to tell them their names.’ B-brave. B-boy. ‘Yeah,’ Wiremu Wright says. ‘Because they’re living in a world where they can’t trust anyone.’ Bailey nods, his eyes straying briefly to mine, then away. ‘That’s one of the important themes of the book, isn’t it?’ Ms Ralph says. ‘Naming and memory.’ What she says after that starts to sound pretty interesting, but my brain is wandering again, trying to put together the pieces of the Bailey puzzle. B-brave. B-boy. I wonder how many other words he can’t say. He must have a whole thesaurus of substitute words in his brain. Except for his own name, Bailey, how does he get around that? That’s when I realise I’ve never heard him use his own name, not once.

Invisibly Breathing by Eileen Merriman is a new release published by, Penguin Random House NZ.



New to the

bookshelf this term Ready, Set, Go!

Invisibly Breathing

For age 5+ By Des Hunt Little Love

For age 14+ By Eileen Merriman Penguin Random House

Themes include: transport, non-fiction, NZ history. This book was a collaboration between Mary Egan Publishing’s children’s imprint Little Love and the MOTAT transport and technology museum. The illustrations are hyper-engaging as they have blended photos of real heritage items with beautifully drawn characters. Filled with interesting kiwi transport facts, it’s a great classroom resource for primary schools prioritising STEAM learning areas.


Check out the exclusive learning resource at

To Trap A Thief

For age 6+ By Jim Benton Scholastic Themes include: nonsense humour, optimism, friendship. A graphic novel with one of the youngest demographics we’ve seen for the genre, this is a silly collection of short stories designed to hook in young primary readers. Very funny, extremely colourful and ridiculously chipper: primary school children will love it

The Invincibles For age 7+ By Peter Millett Scholastic Themes include: rugby, teamwork, superpowers, friendship. Young readers will enjoy the ‘super-sports’ storyline but the most awesome part of this book is its unmistakable kiwi spirit, from setting to dialogue. middle-grade saga has young readers captivated by myth and legend.


Themes include: bullying, LGBT+ youth, reference to domestic abuse, neurodivergence. Eileen is the latest author to contribute to the School News ‘Facts Behind Fiction’ series, where she discusses her novel with classroom teaching in mind.


For age 10+ By Des Hunt Scholastic Themes include: kids versus adults, parental death, blended families, adventure. Recommended for intermediate and upper primary readers, the shorter chapters and mystery codebreaking will encourage lots of reading breaks! Hunt is one of New Zealand’s reliably good children’s authors.

The Million Pieces of Neena Gill For age 14+ By Emma Smith-Barton Penguin Random House Themes include: cultural difference, identity, arranged marriage, mental health, family. A great introduction to the concept of #ownvoices, this novel invites readers to experience the bi-cultural world of its protagonist.

Term 3, 2019 |

Why are boys ditching school rugby? By Rosie Clarke, Editor

Amid controversy over whether an 11-year-old girl from Havelock North Intermediate should have been allowed to play in the boys' 1st XV team, research is saying that schoolboys no longer want to play. A Review of New Zealand Secondary School Rugby released by New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and EdSolNZ has urged for change that will provide more rugby opportunities for regional schools as ‘elite’ private schools use scholarships to attract top talent. Schoolboys gave a variety of reasons for why they lost interest in the sport, citing unfair competition formats, too much focus on scoring rather than having fun, tournaments only catering to very top First XVs and Under 15 teams, fear of getting “smashed” with injuries, bad experiences with previous coaches, and external pressures like parttime jobs and school work. School Sport NZ data shows that the number of school rugby teams have also declined as basketball gains traction. Between 2014 and 2017, basketball participation soared from 13,130 to 18,498 while rugby boy numbers shrunk from 25,841 to just 21,532. Term 3, 2019 |

Redirecting rugby funds The NZR review advocates for RAIS funding to be redirected in part to better support coach recruitment, “targeted at those schools that are challenged in terms of relative rugby participation”. It has become a sensitive topic as there is a shortage of teachers willing to take on the role, leaving many schools to rely on parents and club personnel. General teacher shortages aside, rising public suspicion of sports coaches has been a consequence of the #MeToo movement and may be one reason why teachers are hesitant to take on sports coaching roles. A story broke in July when Takapuna Grammar School got into hot water with the Ministry of Education for allowing student rugby players to live with staff members. Katrina Casey, deputy secretary of sector enablement and support, told the Herald at the time: “It is generally not appropriate for students to reside with staff on a longer-term basis, unless they are family members. This can place a school in a complex position as it manages both its responsibilities for the health and safety of students and as employers.” The school declined to comment publicly.

Culture of suspicion Dr Blake Bennett, a lecturer at the University of Auckland's Faculty of Education and Social

Boys just aren’t as interested in secondary school rugby anymore Work, is at the beginning of an investigation into the ways New Zealand volunteer sports coaches are being influenced by a new culture of suspicion. “The potential for, and reality of, inappropriate touch and abuse of young athletes in the coaching environment is ever-present,” he says. “It’s unsurprising then that the recently established Children’s Act (2014) presses for a series of changes to be introduced in New Zealand over the coming years in an effort to safeguard children who are interacting with adults.”

He’s also noted similar scrutiny, and related consequences in the US. “From 2000, American volunteer sports coaches were cautioned to consider the time, place, and context in which they make physical contact with their athletes." "These suggestions implied that in the event of injury, a coach is well advised to carefully consider the necessity for physical contact if they’re accredited to do so; and that even the action of hugging an athlete may be considered a criminal offence if circumstances are misconstrued."

“At their core, these codes are all about protecting children, which given our terrible statistics in this area, is obviously extremely important. However sport coaching can be very complex already, and there appears to be uncertainty about what is ‘allowed’ when it comes to touch.”

Dr Bennett says the fallout could include male educators leaving the teaching profession, which already struggles to attract them, and men not volunteering to coach sports teams or go on class trips; leaving children at risk of fearing all physical contact and boys (and girls) at risk of having no gentle male role models.

He says that while there is hardly any New Zealand-based research into this area, a 2016 UK study suggests that mainstream conversations about things like police vetting and codes of conduct encouraging a ‘no touch’ approach have contributed to a culture of suspicion in sport coaching circles.

As the basis of his research, he plans to interview a number of diverse New Zealand coaches about how this environment is affecting their practices, as well as policy makers from areas like the Ministry of Education and Sport NZ. He is hoping his findings might inform future policy in this important area.



Auckland’s LEOTC community is ready for you By Rosie Clarke, Editor

The realm of LEOTC is about to change! Not quite yet. But in 2021, the Ministry of Education will start scouting for providers around the country that deliver experiences for school groups “across the national curriculum rather than the current subject-based rolling cycle”. It’s an interesting – if vague – move that strives to enrich the focus on integrated learning we have seen wash through the curriculum in recent years. It’s unlikely we will know much more about the re-worked LEOTC approach until the Ministry makes an update announcement, which has been promised for Term 4. What we do know, is that Ministry research to date has emphasised the importance of teacher planning and, in particular, engaging with onsite LEOTC education officers before, during and after a site visit. Auckland is a city teeming with LEOTC opportunities that schools around the country can take advantage of, but a lot still comes down to how well a lead teacher can structure their unit. Establishing learning goals with the site officer to make sure the visit will relate to a wider unit being studied, is essential. MoE advises teachers “link pre-visit learning activities with the site visit, and follow up with post-visit activities and discussions” to make the most of each learning opportunity. It’s also good to note that students tend to absorb more when learning goals are reiterated both at school and onsite; and they prefer working in small groups.

particularly useful as they

introduce students to

Large student group? Here’s how a day trip to MOTAT* might look for 90 kids: 6:30-8:30 - Breakfast at hotel. Discuss planned activities and assignments for the day. Split large group into three smaller groups and announce prize for group that engages with museum content the most effectively. 9:00 - Travel to MOTAT by bus or coach. Auckland Transport buses and the OuterLink bus service MOTAT from the CBD every 15 minutes, while the Auckland Explorer Bus can schedule stops at MOTAT along its tour route upon request. Group 1 Approx. Students: 30

Group 2 Approx. Students: 30

Group 3 Approx. Students: 30

9:45 - Welcome, orientation & morning tea

9:45 - Welcome, orientation & morning tea

9:45 - Welcome, orientation & morning tea

10:10 - Transport launch with educator

10:10 - Transport launch with educator

10:10 - Explore MOTAT exhibition displays

Transport challenge: students get their hands dirty to ‘put out a fire’ and explore the site. Use a tablet to engage digitally, complete the interactive program and develop key competencies.

Transport challenge: students get their hands dirty to ‘put out a fire’ and explore the site. Use a tablet to engage digitally, complete the interactive program and develop key competencies.

11:00 - Tram ride: students can note various sights en-route as they ride past Western Springs Park and Auckland Zoo.

11:45 - Wrap-up challenge with educator

11:45 - Wrap-up challenge with educator

11:30 - Picnic lunch on the historic Village Lawn (check out Tram 91).

12:00 - Picnic lunch on the historic Village Lawn (check out Tram 91).

12:00 - Picnic lunch on the historic Village Lawn (check out Tram 91).

12:00 - Transport launch with educator

12:30 - Explore MOTAT exhibition displays

12:30 - Explore MOTAT exhibition displays

Transport challenge: students get their hands dirty to ‘put out a fire’ and explore the site. Use a tablet to engage digitally, complete the interactive program and develop key competencies.

13:00 - Tram ride: students can note various sights en-route as they ride past Western Springs Park and Auckland Zoo.

13:30 - Tram ride: students can note various sights en-route as they ride past Western Springs Park and Auckland Zoo.

13:45 - Wrap-up challenge with educator

13:30 - Explore MOTAT exhibition displays

13:30 - Western Springs Park and Auckland Zoo. DEPART MOTAT AT 2.00 PM *Example timetable only

Pre-visit activities are


new vocabulary they may


Term 3, 2019 |

find onsite and they help define the purpose of a trip, especially if the trip has lots of components or involves a large city with many opportunities like Auckland. In case studies presented by the department, students “learned from education officers who were enthusiastic”. So, it is worthwhile for teachers to build rapport with education officers and programme organisers on sites being visited. Julie Baker, the education

manager at MOTAT, said her top tip for school groups on a budget was to “hop on the Auckland Explorer ‘hop on hop off’ bus in the CBD” and check out all the curriculum aligned learning experiences provided by many different attractions in Auckland. She explained that MOTAT, along with the Auckland War Memorial Museum, Auckland Zoo and the National Maritime Museum have Ministry LEOTC contracts to design relevant programs for NZ students.

New Zealand’s highest classroom!

At 328 metres the Sky Tower is Auckland’s most iconic building, and the main observation level at 186 meters can be your highest classroom! Volcanoes is the set topic that also covers tectonic plates and the ring of fire. But the real learning is the rest of the experience. Little minds can explore the view and the city from a completely new perspective.

Here’s some kids comments from previous trips: Term 3, 2019 |

The people below in the streets look like ants

Rainbows and clouds in the sky seem closer

Look at the planes!

I walk on that path with my Mum and Dad!

Where’s our school?

Even the trip up the escalator is a wonder to them! Teacher’s have also commented how appropriate the content is for the age group. Come and join us for education with altitude! For more information contact or phone 09 363 7095

E.O.T.C. SKYA12393 Sky Tower Education Ad_PRINT_89x267mm 3.0ƒ.indd 1

41 21/06/19 11:23 AM

Sometimes pressure builds up beneath the earth and forces hot magma up towards the surface. Then there’s an eruption......

Behind me is Rangitoto, Auckland’s largest and youngest volcano. It erupted about 600 years ago. It’s surrounded by water and sits in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf. Like me, it’s one of Auckland’s best known landmarks. But Rangitoto isn’t Auckland’s only Volcano. In fact, Auckland has 53 volcanoes! They’re all around you! This map only shows a few of them! Do you know of any volcanoes close to where you live? Have you heard of Mt Eden, Mt Smart or One Tree Hill? These are all volcanoes.

When magma reaches the surface it’s called lava.

students to work together and stay focussed. Lava flows can form volcanic cones like Rangitoto. Some eruptions form craters in the ground and fill with water like Lake Pupuke and the Panmure Basin. Eruptions are destructive but...

...they can also support life. Volcanic soil is rich in nutrients. It helps plants grow. And good soil...

Auckland is the only city in the world built on top of a live basaltic volcanic field. This is called the Auckland volcanic field. About 100 kilometres beneath Auckland lies a sea of magma (molten rock) that created our volcanoes.

SKYA12410 SkytowerEducationProgramme_StudentVolcanoWorkbook_210x297mm 1.0.indd 6-7

Workbook inspirations: making the most out of your trip Workbooks are effective in keeping students engaged in day-time activities. Wherever you are headed on your trip, it’s worth putting together a journal-style booklet for students to come back to,


with light activities, space for creative writing or diary entries, drawings, ideas, challenges and even some fun facts.

teachers as their Volcanic Auckland experience is NZ Curriculum aligned and created by NZ teachers.

Here is an excerpt from a workbook provided to pre-booked school groups by Sky Tower.

Must see-and-dos for Sky Tower trips: •

They also provide a lesson plan and guidebook for


Embrace your inner Willy Wonka and ride up the glass-fronted lifts, 186 metres into the air. (Don’t forget to look down through the glass floor!)

Walk around the main observation area with 360 panoramic views of Auckland – can anyone spot Rangitoto?

Have a go at spotting the landmarks, students can check them off or choose one as a story setting to write later.

Feeling brave? Step onto the glass floor and look down to the street below. Take lots of photos for the yearbook!

20/06/19 12:43 PM

Work through your workbooks as you explore Sky Tower and set prize targets for small groups of

Term 3, 2019 |

Check out the other towers of the world to see how Auckland measures up. How long would it take a rugby ball to fall to the ground from where you’re standing? Head to the on-site café and watch the windows on the right – you might see

someone bungy jumping down to the ground! •

of any ‘local’ area is beneficial”. She said: “New surroundings create intrigue, thoughts, questions. Education is all about expanding knowledge and stepping out of comfort zones and Auckland is a very diverse city.”

Check out any films playing in the Sky Tower theatre – you can discover how the tower was built 20 years ago!

Sky Tower’s very own, Stefanie Gough, told us why “getting out


If you’re travelling on a budget:

“Look out for group booking rates and attractions that have lunch areas where students can sit and eat a packed lunch.” If you’re venturing a little further outside the city: “Explore Auckland’s volcanoes from the heights of Mt Eden to the beaches of Mission Bay or Kohimarama.”

Celebrate Science With MOTAT How do you bend light? How small is nano? How are advanced materials used in our everyday lives? MOTAT can answer those questions and more in their current exhibition Mighty Small Mighty Bright. Mighty Small Mighty Bright is a thought-provoking exhibition devised in collaboration with New Zealand’s leading science research institutes The Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies, The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, and Otago Museum. The exhibition can be enjoyed by students on different levels and ages and by working with MOTAT’s team of educators, learning experiences can

Term 3, 2019 |

be specially designed to engage your classroom and the unique needs of your students. Prepare to be entertained and intrigued – it’s simply the best way to learn about the magic of science and to discover how New Zealand’s scientific community are helping to make our world a better place. Email or visit to learn more.



Have you spoken about substance use lately? The number of New Zealand secondary students who say they have used substances has been in decline since 2001. The goal of alcohol and drug education (AoD) is to continue this trend by allowing young people to make informed decisions. Studies like the 2005 ‘Schoolbased prevention for illicit drugs’ use’ in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews have shown that AoD can prevent or delay use in young people. If drug or alcohol use is delayed even by a few years, it can help prevent long-term dependence issues, according to the Alcohol and Drug Foundation. So, the earlier schools can intervene with AoD, the better for students. Harm minimisation is an important aspect, along with presenting accurate information in a calm and conversational setting. For this reason, the Ministry advises taking a whole-school, inquiry-based approach to AoD that integrates with the community and wider mental health and relationship education topics. While one-off expo events and formal guest speakers can be helpful in specific school contexts, they need to fit into a broader school initiative.

at age 25. Encouraging local community youth groups and organisations to set up clubs for e-gaming, theatre sports, team sports and other activities can give students a social outlet where they can bond with their peers. Communicating with parents and carers about the importance of engaging their children in fun, free-time social activities could also help.

Additional support for some students

From left: Troy Vandergoes middle Kieran Milton and right Carrisse Utai

Teachers therefore need to be supported with regular professional learning and development, so they are knowledgeable enough to field questions, open conversations and raise concerns effectively.

frequently cited. Providing safe spaces for students to socialise is a powerful strategy. Having fun without drugs or alcohol sets a good foundation and allows students to build positive relationships with their peers.

What can schools do to prevent or delay substance use?

Having a supportive, close-knit group of friends is a determining factor in teenage wellbeing.

The reasons young people experiment with drugs and alcohol vary but social participation is one that is

In fact, a 2017 child development study found that 15-to-16-yearolds with close friendships rather than wide social circles reported higher self-worth, lower rates of social anxiety and lower rates of depression

It is worth bearing in mind that while many young people try drugs or alcohol, only some will suffer short-term problems and even fewer will have long-term issues; as the Drug Foundation NZ makes clear, “an early conversation could make all the difference”. AoD programs are built with the whole school in mind and centre around information and prevention. If early intervention is required at your school to support some of your students, there is plenty of help you can access. A school’s first port of call should be the student counsellor, welfare officer or other suitably trained professional who can assess needs and engage the student(s) with more specialised care or a more in-depth program, perhaps externally.

Crisis support helplines: Healthline – Speak to a registered nurse, 24 hour health advice: phone 0800 611 116 Alcohol Drug Helplines: General helpline: phone 0800 787 797, text 868 Māori Helpline – kaupapa Māori support services: phone 0800 787 798, text 8681 Pasifika Helpline – Pacific support services: phone 0800 787 799, text 8681 Youth Helpline – support for working through issues affecting young people: phone 0800 787 984, text 8681



Term 3, 2019 |

Educating youth about peer pressure and alcohol through theatre-in-education Nearly half of those aged 15 years or under say they ‘currently drink’ and nearly 25% say they have participated in binge drinking in the last four weeks. So waiting until Year 13 to talk with students about alcohol and how it effects behaviour and decisions is a lost opportunity. Year nine students across New Zealand are benefitting from the launch of the Smashed Project, provided by the Life Education Trust. Smashed uses a powerful theatre performance to tackle challenging subjects and follow the characters journeys. The 30 minute performance is followed by an engaging, interactive workshop exploring the characters behaviour impacted by alcohol, peer pressure and sexual harassment and equipping teenagers with information, awareness and

confidence to make responsible choices. Smashed began in the UK in 2004 and is now performed in more than 21 countries with fantastic results and feedback across the globe. This year in New Zealand Smashed will visit more than 80 secondary schools and more than 15,000 year nine students will take part. Smashed includes pre and post evaluation of students’ knowledge and attitudes. Importantly teachers have access to post performance teaching resources to ensure the learning continues after the performance. “We’re fully booked this year but taking enquiries for 2020,” says Life Education Trust Chief Executive John O’Connell. “The support from schools in the first year has been outstanding.”

“It was a great session, the team are very talented. Anyone who can engage 140 Year 9s for 1 hour is a super hero! Loved having them here. Thanks again, if this is repeated next year we are super keen! Bless you and your team.” Nikki Clark at KingsWay School “I thought it was fantastic, as did my colleagues. Speaking to the students in my class I know they enjoyed it and seemed to pick up the concepts delivered. We massively endorse this program. Thanks so much for reaching out to us.” Paul Bennett Head of Middle College Health & Physical Education at Saint Kentigern College “Our students absolutely loved the performance and the 3 presenters were amazing. There was a lot of important information and messages based around the effects of

Smashed is a powerful live theatre production and interactive workshop, created to engage youth on the dangers of underage drinking.

Term 3, 2019- |Issue Release - Year - XX


alcohol that really hit some of our kids and us teachers as well. So, can you please pass on to the 3 presenters that we really enjoyed having them call in to our college on their way through to Napier and to thank them as well. Nga mihi nui.” Reg Keil, Year 9 Dean at Wairoa College Life Education Trust has also created a website to support students understanding of the impact of alcohol and other substances on the adolescent brain – conveying the importance of delaying decisions to drink alcohol. Visit www.gbr. Smashed is funded by The Tomorrow Project, a charity established to support education about responsible drinking. To find out more or to book for 2020 visit

The facts about relationships, drugs and the brain summed up for teenagers. No sugar coating, no voice of doom.

45 XX

Make the switch to water (and plain milk) only By Branko Cvjetan, Manager North Island Nutrition Advisors, Heart Foundation

Did you know that the biggest contributor of sugar to the New Zealand diet is sugary drinks? Sugary drinks (like fizzy drinks, sports drinks, flavoured milk and juices) contribute to tooth decay, obesity and diabetes, and also make it harder for children to learn while at school. Children should be having no more than five teaspoons of added sugar per day, according to the World Health Organisation. These sugary drinks are all too high in sugar: •

600ml bottle fizzy drink has 16 teaspoons added sugar.

350ml fruit juice has 10 teaspoons of sugar.

750ml sports drink has 15 teaspoons added sugar.

Schools that have moved to being water and plain milk only have seen that it benefits behaviour and achievement as well as student health and wellbeing. By providing healthy drink choices in a school environment, the healthy choice becomes the easy choice and abnormalises the growing consumption of sugary drinks.

through a lunch order system or tuckshop) and children are only permitted to drink water and plain milk at school, including during breakfast club and at school events. As with all changes that affect the school community, it’s important to communicate and consult throughout the process.

That’s why moving towards a water and plain milk only school is so important. But what does ‘water and plain milk only’ mean? It means these are the only drinks sold at school (i.e.

Here are some tips:

1. Prepare and share your goal Role model through staff, look for resources to support you (see below for links), communicate the aim and reasons why. Make sure water is accessible. This could include fountains outside and sinks in classes for refilling bottles.

2. Engage the students Incorporate learning about sugar into the curriculum, include hydration breaks during class. Survey students to find popular alternatives to food-based classroom rewards. A dedicated student health team could be tasked with approaching local shops to ask for their support of the policy. Being water-only can include school events like shared lunches, discos and galas.

3. Develop a water only policy and guidelines Involve the whole school community, including whanau, local shops, your tuckshop/ lunch provider. There are great sample policies available as a starting point. Share the finalised policy far and wide.

4. Promote your water only status Write and talk about it often, e.g. assemblies, newsletters, social media, enrolment packs. Reward and celebrate positive behaviours. It’s important, if there are drinks sold at school (e.g. canteen or lunch order system), that the provider is on-board with this change. Where there is a written contract for food and drink



Term 3, 2019 |

sold at school, it is a good idea to include the school’s water only status in the contract. A frequent concern is that you will be ‘telling’ parents what they can and cannot give their children. According to recent research by the Health Promotion Agency, 93 percent of parents and/or caregivers think it is important for schools to limit access to sugary drinks. If parents choose to give their children other drinks as treats, they can still do so outside of the school environment. There is a suite of great resources available. Check out some case studies to see how going water-only has had a wide range of flow-on effects including improved dental health and classroom behaviour. Simonne Goodall, principal of Randwick School, had this to say about going water only: “The school’s teachers have noticed

better concentration and work habits from the students and a sense of responsibility for their own hydration.” Visit http:// and search ‘water only’ to read more.

How can we help? We can support you with healthy fundraising alternatives, whether it’s selling healthier food and drinks at events, or selling non-food fundraisers. Find some online fundraising resources and class party ideas at If you would like any assistance, the Heart Foundation has Nutrition Advisors around the country that can support your school through the process of going water only. You can contact your local Nutrition Advisor via www.learnbyheart., by calling or emailing 0800 863 375, LBHSupport@

Branko Cvjetan works for the Heart Foundation as a Manager for Nutrition Advisors in the North Island. His team support schools and early learning services to encourage healthy eating and physical activity. He is a New Zealand Registered Dietitian and father of two who is passionate about helping children to eat well.

ruNning a SchooL canTeen iSn’T easY – We caN helP you. We offer FREE advice on menus, recipes, finances, management & policies. Sign up today at to receive our many free resources.

wWw.FuellEd4liFe.oRg.nZ Term 3, 2019 |



Becoming a

How many of your students drink coffee or energy drinks? Caffeine is probably the most accessible stimulant consumed by children and young people. A 2017 study on energy drink consumption among New Zealand adolescents found that 35 percent of high school students had consumed energy drinks in the past week and 12 percent had done so four or more times that week. It’s harder to quantify how many teenagers drink coffee and other caffeinated drinks on a regular basis, but a US study in Paediatrics journal placed the figure at 73 percent. Caffeine isn’t just an issue because of links to anxiety and impact on growth; it is a diuretic. Students consuming caffeinated beverages are more likely to be dehydrated and even mild dehydration can impact a child’s ability to learn, cause headaches, lethargy and irritability. A recent Harvard study warned that children and teens are simply not drinking enough water, and advocated for schools to come up with ways to keep kids and teens drinking plain water throughout the day.


school Pencilling in water breaks A good strategy for schools could mean scheduling water breaks throughout the day, even during class time. Where is the closest drinking water fountain or bubble from each classroom, or the library? If it is going to take too long for a student to fill up their water bottle during a lesson to allow them to do so, then the fountain or filtered

water access is likely too far away or you need to look at increasing water options. Distributing personal water bottles for students to fill up during the day, or making it compulsory for students to have water with them during lessons could encourage hydration. How about incentives for remembering to bring their water bottle to school, like extra reading time or tokens students can ‘cash in’ for privileges.

Tips for becoming a water conscious school: 1.

Follow our lead: encourage teachers and staff to drink water during class and in staffrooms. If teachers drink coffee and sugary soft drinks around students, it normalises the behaviour.


Have water-themed fundraisers and school events. Avoid selling drinks, except for water, at sporting and other events. Make sure there are water options and prioritise ‘dressed up water’ instead of soft drinks by infusing it with fruits and sugar-free flavours.


Make it a challenge. Get students involved in making the rules and work towards becoming a water-only school. Year groups could compete to find out who can drink the most water in a term.

An industry perspective: Grant McCarthy from Filters & Fountains, explains how schools can choose which drinking fountain options suit them best. Most schools need drinking fountains that are easyto-use, low maintenance and provide clean, freshtasting drinking water.


Term 3, 2019 |

to filters, simple carbon filters have been around for decades; they are cost-effective and, in most cases, last 12 months. For 10,000 litres of water, it costs less than $100, making a litre of fresh-tasting filtered water less than one-cent per litre.

Customised drinking fountains with a lower height are recommended for Years 1 to 3. Optional vandal-resistant shrouds can also be installed to protect the fountains. Hard-wearing functionality is key, as well as customisable colour design to match school branding. Brightly coloured units work well at schools as they are easy to find and students tend to gravitate towards them. Ideal positions for fountains include courtyards, outside classroom blocks, next to playing fields and on paths to-and-from main areas like the gym, school hall, netball or basketball courts. Offering chilled water is a luxury that most schools do not have a budget for. Power requirements and internal drainage is expensive and they are not robust enough to provide long-term value. Having multiple drinking bubblers and bottle filler options is a good choice for busy areas like the school tuck shop and main thoroughfares. When it comes

Town and city councils are increasing budgets for more drinking fountains in public areas and schools are investing in upgrading their drinking fountains as well. Our children will become pro-active about their health and the planet’s health as plastic waste is now such a major environmental concern. Personal water bottles and easy access to drinking fountains is a good start for students. In an ideal world, the only drinks available at schools would be water, supplied freely to students to fill their own water bottles, caring for both their health and for the environment. Give students BPA-free water bottles, sponsored by a local firm, and make all schools Wai Anake (water only).

Image courtesy of Filters & Fountains

Time to update your school’s drinking fountains? Call Grant at Filters and Fountains today!

Water Only Schools Encouraging students to drink only water at school seems to rest heavily on the school itself - and Filters and Fountains can help. Providing a clean, well maintained and functioning water station for students enables them to make the right choices when it comes to hydration. Budgetary constraints may often appear to be in the way of facilitating a replacement of hard-wear, but there are a multitude of options available to schools to meet every budget requirement. With a range of drinking fountains from the most popular wall mounted, to the internally drained fountains for ice and frost prone Term 3, 2019 |

areas as well as wheelchair accessible fountains, Grant has created something for everyone. Designed in New Zealand for the New Zealand market, demand is high across the country in both schools and public spaces. All of the school appropriate drinking fountains are fully filtered ensuring great tasting clean water for student’s healthy minds. Contact Grant today for more information on how Filters and Fountains can help you get clean healthy water to every student. 0800 500 545

Plus! We are giving away a wall mounted drinking fountain!

Filters and Fountains are giving one lucky school the chance to WIN a fully filtered

FF4X Wall Mounted Drinking Fountain valued at $598.00

We’d like the kids on board with this so get them to send us some photos of the worst drinking fountain in your school, plus tell us a great reason why your school needs this fountain, and we will choose the most deserving school...

Entries close 30 September

Email: Post to: PO Box 24506, Royal Oak Auckland 1345

CONTACT US TODAY: Free phone 0800 500 545 101 Onehunga Mall, Onehunga, Auckland



Is your energy efficient enough? By Mandy Clarke, Industry Reporter

Beyond improving the carbon footprint; the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), or Te Tari Tiaki Pūngao, (the office that guards the energy) says that introducing energy efficient measures to your establishment increases productivity, staff wellbeing and performance.

School efforts don’t have to be complicated: make it simple for yourself with small, low-cost things you can do to make efficiencies. For example, ‘switch off’ reminders create instant savings. Developing a culture of energy efficient behaviour with both staff and students is a valuable first task.

Where to start? An audit will help identify how much energy your school is using, how much it costs and where the

problem areas are, or where the excess usage is coming from. To make the most of your school’s energy audit, have the results play a key role in future planning for the school grounds and develop a plan so that investments and cost savings each year are included in budgets. Remember the focus should be whether school facilities are operated efficiently, maintaining a good learning environment, without excess energy-use or excess energy-related maintenance costs.

New building must-dos Look at designs from an energy perspective prior to construction. Upgrade your energy management system or old, inefficient central boiler if need be, improve controls and replace inefficient heating with heat pumps or introduce solar and increase insulation. Maximise natural light – you may only need to rearrange furniture but cost benefits aside, studies have shown that daylight enhances students’ performance


Set to break a school record Geraldine High School (GHS) in rural South Canterbury is set to save power, money and break records with its recent installation of a large solar array system by Power Technology, under the New Zealand Solar Schools programme.

An impressive 45kWp solar array with 150 solar modules was installed over the July school holidays. This system is not only the largest solar array installed to date on a South Island school but it’s also one of the largest school solar installations across the entire country. The system, which is expected to be extended in the future, should initially deliver around 17 percent of the schools’ total electrical energy needs and promises to save the school over $400,000 in


agriculture or science faculties. It is also to teach all students sustainability in this modern world we are living in. To fund the project Rotary and our local farmers group provided over half the cost of the project with the balance funded by the selling of solar panels (with naming rights) and other significant donations.” electricity costs at today’s rates over the life of the solar array.

to the Temuka/Geraldine Rotary club and led the project.

Typically, New Zealand Solar Schools pay for the system with school funds or on finance arranged within the programme (or a mixture of both). The funds are then returned by way of savings in power costs.

Mr Pemberton told us: “We used data from previous smaller projects to ascertain the viability and yield for a much larger system namely the GHS project. Handing the project over, debt free to the school was our priority along with a legal memorandum of understanding as to where the money with the savings made would be spent.

However, in the case of GHS, the cost of implementation and joining the New Zealand Solar Schools programme was met by the work of the school and Gerald Pemberton, who belongs

“In our case, it is to be used for an enduring scholarship in either


With the savings generated by the solar power system and by allowing local community businesses to sponsor one or more of the 150 panels required solar modules, and working with the likes of Rotary and other organisations, the dream of installing a large solar array has become a reality. The genius of this project is that it will not only educate the next generation; it will provide funding for a student scholarship with the money saved. So, for the students of Geraldine High School this project presents bright future opportunities! Term 3, 2019 |

Most important – help with funds!

and attendance. If you need to use artificial light, only use lighting that is as energy efficient as possible.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) has grants and an interest free loan scheme, which is available to schools through EECA’s programme partners and is publicly funded. EECA’s grant funding programmes are subject to change so grants are processed and approved on a case-by-case basis.

Be creative because energy efficiency projects have many other benefits, such as reducing maintenance costs and improving health and safety. For example, if more shade is required in outdoor areas then construct a shade using solar panels, which can also be used as an environmental education feature. Finally, use energy efficiency as a learning tool. Get students involved in auditing, implementation and managing projects and don’t forgets any savings made can be used to further invest in your students or future energy projects.

They also offer funding for feasibility studies to help you find out the costs and technical aspects of an energy efficiency or renewable energy project before deciding whether to go ahead or not. They also offer help online with energy audits and management plans.

5 quick tips to make your lighting, heating and electrical-use more energy efficient: 1.

Label power sources with calls to action: don’t forget air conditioners, electronics, socket outlets and lights. Nominate students and staff members as ‘energy allies’ to brainstorm efficiency ideas and turn off lights. Ensure computers, projectors, monitors, and any other electrical devices are set to enter ‘sleep mode’ when not in use. Set energy reduction







Lead the next generation to sustainable living.


goals and keep the school community updated and invested. Set reward targets like competitions and group activities. Reinvest energy savings into upgrading your school infrastructure further. Set goals like installing solar panels and composting gardens. Ensure that you carry out regular audits, and/or install an energy monitoring system so that you know where to improve.

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Term 3, 2019 |


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The cost of 'noise' d u o l w Ho ? d u o l o is to By Rosie Clarke, Editor

use environments, the ability to receive and process audible information may have taken a backseat. Noise comes with a cost, according to sound and communication expert and TED talker, Julian Treasure. He said: “If you view teaching as watering the garden, poor acoustics means that some of the water evaporates rather than gets received by the flowers.”

General consensus from audiologists suggests about 70 to 75 decibels is the safety limit for children, which is the equivalent to the loudness of a vacuum cleaner. But Wellingtonbased audiologist Lisa Seerup warned Newshub that sound levels as low as 50 decibels can cause learning difficulties. How loud is your classroom? It can be hard to quantify in a school setting, unless ambient noise is actually measured at regular intervals by a professional, because you may not even notice a lot of background noise. Particularly in large rooms like assembly halls, noise builds quickly. Voices travel but technology is an increasing source of classroom noise, whether students are building robots or have VR headsets on. Flexible learning environments encourage lots of furniture moving and foot traffic. Interest in acoustic flooring, insulation and walls is gaining traction as we all become more aware of


Sound levels as low as 50 decibels can cause learning difficulties sensory processing needs. The World Health Organisation has warned that hearing loss caused by noise is irreversible, so children should be taught to have a healthy listening practice. If students will

have their headphones on for an hour-long bus ride, they need noise cancelling headphones so they can keep the volume below 70 percent. It is a worry that in an age of open-plan layouts and flexible-


Even in the best environments, good listening is a challenge to humans (we usually only retain 25 percent of information sent) and poor acoustics in a classroom environment will substantially reduce that. Have our country’s schools considered the impact of new trends on acoustics? Not well enough, according Mr Treasure who said that the type of noise typical in an open plan school environment reduces the learner’s ability to do mental working out significantly, noise has a major effect on cognition and indeed behaviour. “We teach our children how to read and write, but not how to speak and listen. Listening is untaught and usually unpractised. Term 3, 2019 |

good level of absorption at high frequencies, but less absorption at low frequencies.”

Our amazing human voice is marginalised as we communicate more and more through text, not spoken word. My vision is to transform the world by inspiring people to listen consciously and speak powerfully.” At the Sound Education Seminars back in 2012, renowned physicist and acoustician Adrian James revealed how to create better acoustic environments in education. He advocated for educational environments where children can easily listen and he discussed The Essex Study, which showed that acoustically treated rooms lead to less vocal effort from teachers, lower noise levels (primarily for those with hearing impairment, but for all students too), better signal/noise ratio, better behaviour and better learning possibilities. Creating a good acoustic environment requires knowledge of basic sound minimising strategies and to recognise that each learning environment is acoustically

unique (because even if the rooms are identically set up, the acoustics may be very different). He also said schools must consider what teaching method/devices will be used. It is best to consult an expert on this front, who can help to come up with clever ways to minimise ambient noise with different absorption techniques and solutions when a school building is undergoing construction or refurbishment.

There are many ways to improve acoustics, including in-room partitions, soft furnishings and plush coverings, bookshelves and mobile screens, carpet, flooring and wall/ceiling treatments. The MoE’s report, ‘Designing Quality Learning Spaces – Acoustics 2016’ recommends schools: “Use a variety of thicknesses of sound absorption materials. Thin products (less than 50 mm) can provide a

It is interesting to note that when referring to flexible learning spaces, the report states: “While sound absorption is very important in flexible learning spaces, sound insulation between learning groups within the space is less critical than it was in traditional classrooms. Users tend to adjust their behaviour through the ‘open-plan office effect’ and high levels of absorption in adjoining spaces lowers the ambient noise levels in both spaces. Together, these reduce the amount of direct sound being created that could interrupt learning activities in an adjacent space.” For special education learners, consider installing sound reinforcement delivery systems to benefit hearing aids, and make sure that ‘quiet spaces’ or rooms are always available to students who need them. Listening is a skill like any other: it needs a considered learning environment.

Floorspace helping to reduce plastic waste Eight million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean each year. If this trend continues, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. It is estimated that plastic kills millions of marine animals every year and with nearly a million plastic beverage bottles sold every minute, how is this going to change? No doubt you are having conversations about this and other environmental issues with your students. A change in behaviour is necessary to stop this trend. You can also make the choice now to select products that help reduce the amount of plastic waste, such as the new Ecosoft carpet tile distributed by Floorspace. Ecosoft marks a new era in the development of high-performance and environmentally friendly carpet tiles. Made from 80 percent post-consumer plastic bottles Term 3, 2019 |

and five percent post-industrial recycled PET, Ecosoft has diverted over 700 million PET bottles from landfill and oceans since it was created. In addition to this, the cushion backed tile consistently outperforms conventional PVC and bitumen backed carpet tiles in terms of durability, underfoot comfort, acoustic performance and indoor air quality. Arguably the most cost-efficient cushion backed carpet tile, all these features will help create a comfortable, collaborative and connected learning space. PROPERTY



Acoustic treatments for Westmount School MLE

Photos: Mark Scowen By Danielle Robinson, Autex Industries

Westmount School refurbished its Kaipara campus to include a new learning centre designed around modern learning and flexible learning spaces. The contemporary learning centre consists of a large, open-plan collaborative area with banquette seating and separate rooms for brainstorming and project work. Although aesthetically pleasing, the large open area proved to be a challenge for controlling sound reverberation. The hard surfaces and the open nature of the space meant that there was no barrier for sound, and it was likely to produce high levels of sound reverberation. This had the potential to create a disruptive learning environment.

that would be a visually appealing, engaging, and fun learning environment. Having worked with Autex previously, Unispace associate designer Rosie Taylor approached Autex account manager Anton Agnew for a practical acoustic solution that would complement the school’s vibrant culture. Autex’s Frontier™ Acoustic Fin system was an ideal solution to creating an acoustic ceiling feature that was simple to install and delivered exceptional acoustic absorption. Working in collaboration with Autex, Unispace designed a rippled water pattern to form a softened, fluid effect that changes as you move around the learning centre.

As design and aesthetics were particularly crucial for this project, Frontier was chosen due to its impressive soundabsorbing properties and its ability to allow complete design flexibility. This is achieved through its lightweight and semi-rigid attributes. Working to an extremely tight programme, Autex used their state-of-the-art water cutting machine to cut seventy-four custom acoustic fins in colours Senado, Flatiron and Savoye. Using the patented Frontier channels and connector system, the ceiling formation was installed smoothly and easily, and saved the installers plenty of time. The rippled water pattern had lights suspended

Post-installation of Frontier, the new learning centre promotes a calm yet collaborative environment, benefiting students and staff alike. Not only ideal for acoustic absorption, Frontier presents many benefits that make it a staple in any educational environment, and is made from highly durable, non-allergenic, non-irritant and non-toxic material. The complete design flexibility of the Frontier fins creates endless possibilities and solutions for modern learning environments.

Although aesthetically pleasing, the large open area proved to be a challenge for controlling sound

Aware of the potential issue, interior design group Unispace sought out a high-performing custom acoustic solution


in between fins to create a vibrant glisten, highlighting the contemporary colours selected to enhance the space further.


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