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St Andrew’s College Preparatory School Annual Report 2017


ST ANDREW’S COLLEGE 


The end-of-year 2017 Preparatory School Annual Report aims to inform the school community about pertinent areas of operation during the year. In particular, it provides information on areas of learning focus and development. This year’s report includes the following sections: Introduction and General Information Student-Centred Learning Curriculum/Teaching and Learning Assessment e-Learning Gifted and Talented Junior Department Middle Syndicate Senior Syndicate Numeracy Sport Learning Support Visual Arts Music Dance and Drama Physical Education Religious Education Library and Information Centre

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Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

2017 WAS A YEAR OF HIGH-LEVEL ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT Literacy and numeracy advancement was significant, as was the children’s   ongoing development of strategies and tools for learning. The children performed well against national benchmarks 

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Reading 

Children at or above national averages – 94%

Mathematics 

Children at or above national averages – 95%

Writing 

Children at or above national averages – 95%

Key Competencies and New Learning  

Children achieved within or above their year level standard – 94%

Advances in learning and curriculum approach continued during the year. The school is committed to enhancing strategies and skills for learning. The children need to be able to make meaningful connections and to apply knowledge to a range of situations   and contexts.

The Preparatory School continues to be visited by teachers, parents and Board members from other schools. It is considered a showcase and a working example of what a 21st century learning environment looks like. Enjoyment, engagement, personalised learning and achievement is readily seen at any time during the day.


The school’s learning environment caters for all learning styles and abilities, which offers a level of diversity which nurtures and expands all children’s development. The children’s learning is personalised through differentiation; the focus becomes each child’s genuine next steps. This allows each child to work at his or her appropriate level irrespective of year level. The teacher uses a ‘guide by the side’ approach to stimulate deeper thinking, and understanding through quality questioning. Differentiation also caters for the learning needs of able children. It allows them to work at an extended, level but remain in their learning environment with their peer group. This approach also assists the development of their Key Competencies (KCs) or emotional intelligence (EQ). The KCs are considered integral to being a well-rounded and successful learner. A person’s EQ is expected to be a significant factor in securing employment in the future. The primary years are the foundation years for the development of this skill set.

IN THE PREPARATORY SCHOOL WE ARE FORTUNATE TO HAVE: • the ability to implement the National Curriculum as designed; • clarity within the school around effective pedagogy; • strong curriculum leadership; • competent teachers; • enrichment experiences taken by specialist staff; • rigorous teacher performance review; • a physical environment which supports the school’s approach to learning; • the flexibility of large open areas as well as smaller (class) rooms. Either or both can be used depending on the learning environment required at the time; • one teacher with one class of children. This ensures that the crucial connections made between the teacher and child (and family) can be maintained, and there is no loss of learning flow; • indoor/outdoor flow and connectivity; • availability of a range of learning technologies; • opportunities for innovation and creativity; • forward looking and timely future planning. 3


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

During the year, the children enjoyed high levels of success – there were many outstanding academic, sporting and cultural achievements. Some of the other highlights were: • a record number of students won competitions – writing, poetry, speech and drama, Rotary speeches, Christchurch music competitions, and in teams – Tournament of Minds, Cantamaths, Kapa Haka, EPro8, and Future Problem Solving; • a greater number of children played and enjoyed more than one sport, and many achieved regional and national success; • there was progress with coding, robotics, and 3D design and printing; • we continued to be a school in demand for places; • the 50:50 gender mix continued. The school’s all-round quality is consistently acknowledged by parents, staff and students in ongoing surveys. The high level of support for the Preparatory School in all key areas is very pleasing and affirming.

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As we look towards 2018, we will have a targeted Annual Plan which will continue to support the ongoing development of the school’s Student-Centred Learning approach (page 5). This model incorporates the intention and emphasis of the New Zealand Curriculum. All staff professional learning in 2018 will link to the Annual Plan targets and expected outcomes. The 2018 school year is set to be an exciting and productive year for students and staff.

Jonathan Bierwirth Principal of Preparatory School   Deputy for Rector


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Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

Literacy remains the largest and most important learning area (includes reading, writing, spelling, visual and oral language). Literacy accounts for 60–65% of the weekly timetable. Numeracy (Mathematics), enrichment (specialist areas), and Units of Inquiry make up the majority of the remaining time in the timetable.

Curriculum/Teaching and Learning The Preparatory School curriculum is developed under the guidelines and philosophy of the New Zealand Curriculum and takes into consideration the special nature of St Andrew’s College. It takes, as its starting point, a vision of our young people as lifelong learners who are confident and creative, connected, and actively involved. It includes a clear set of principles on which to base curriculum decision making. It sets out values which are to be encouraged, modelled, and explored. It defines five Key Competencies which are critical to sustained learning and effective participation in society, and underline the emphasis on lifelong learning. 6

The school is committed to enhancing strategies and skills for learning and high levels of understanding. A quality learning environment encourages discussion and questioning, and for the student is engaging, differentiated, and meaningful. It also develops interpersonal skills. The continued development and implementation of a common school-wide Key Competencies language has remained a focus during the year. The areas of managing self, relating to others, participating and contributing, thinking, and using languages, symbols and texts, are considered integral to character development and academic achievement. Following on from student inquiry work in this area, the staff and students produced the following language for use within classrooms:


Curriculum/Teaching and Learning

A Thinker: (KC – Thinking) • is curious • asks questions • is creative • thinks for themselves  A Communicator: (KC – Using Language, Symbols and Texts) • understands information • shares information in a variety   of ways • communicates appropriately  A Team Player: (KC – Participating and Contributing and Relating to Others) • takes on different roles • thinks about the ideas of others • is compassionate  A Self Manager: (KC – Managing Self) • is independent • is reflective • shows self-control • has a positive attitude The above language is displayed prominently on posters in all classrooms and is becoming embedded in the language used by students when describing what it takes to be a successful ‘learner’. Each of the four posters also contain a quick reference icon which enables students to connect in pictorial form with the intent of

the language. Key Competencies play an integral part in fostering dispositions for lifelong learning. The development of students as learners as described above is encapsulated in the school’s Inquiry Pathway resource for staff. Although developed originally for ‘Units of Inquiry’ the approach is applicable to, and used with, all learning. Our Inquiry Pathway resource includes the SOLO Taxonomy (Student Observed Learning Outcomes) and also incorporates quality questioning and Key Competencies. A continued focus for learning in the area of inquiry for 2017 was the incorporation of new technologies to stimulate interest and enhance communication, problem-solving and collaboration amongst our learners. Students from Years 4–8 explored the area of coding using programs such as Scratch and Python. Interest in robotics and its uses continued to grow, with programmes run for students from Years 2–8. The purchase of extra resources in this area allowed students to experience b-bots, m-bots and eV3 robots in different areas of the school. Two years ago the Preparatory School purchased a 3D printer. 3D design and printing provided

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Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

another avenue for increased student engagement through hands-on learning. The ability for rapid prototyping; being able to try out an idea, print, test and change if necessary enabled groups of students to develop their 21st century skills to a greater degree. Many classes got underway with learning 3D design and the intricacies of working this new technology. In 2017 students have incorporated 3D design and printing into personal inquiries. Several keen students came along to lunchtime sessions to explore and print projects of self-interest. These included a boom box, night light, derby racers, and involved students printing parts and then wiring up basic electronics to complete a finished product. Teachers embraced these new technologies and immediately appreciated the power to engage and motivate students to learn science, technology, engineering and mathematical concepts, while equipping them with the real-world knowledge and 21st century skills required to be successful in today’s global society. During 2017 professional learning groups operated in the areas of literacy, Mathematics, Te Reo, and well-being. PLGs provide 8

teachers with the opportunity to pursue areas of passion with likeminded educators across levels and specialist areas. Using the ‘Teaching as Inquiry’ model, groups have engaged in collaboratively seeking out new and innovative practices, and trialling these in classrooms. The Te Reo group involved staff attending weekly lunchtime sessions with a tutor to learn basic language and correct pronunciation. Sessions also provided an authentic context for staff to develop respect and understanding of Māori culture, history and values. The group were able to adapt the learning from their weekly sessions and implement in the classroom, enabling our students to develop some simple skills in this area. Staff well-being has been an area of strategic focus throughout the College in 2017, and it has been particularly useful to have a group of Preparatory staff focused on implementing schoolwide strategies for our staff. Of particular value to the wider staff were sessions with Tom Matthews (Head of Guidance Counselling) and Lucy Hone (Well-being Consultant). Both speakers spent time talking about the importance of practicing


Curriculum/Teaching and Learning

well-being as an individual, before teaching well-being to students. Other initiatives from the group have seen staff exploring their character strengths and helping students identify and acknowledge what they are good at. The literacy group took on the organisation and preparation for a further two-days of professional development with Australian Literacy consultant Stephen’s Graham. Stephen’s focus is on ‘Explicitly Teaching Writing’. Over the course, Stephen ran demonstration lessons in Years 3–8 classes. Stephen also ran a staff meeting and spent significant time with the group answering questions around his teaching model. This was Stephen’s third visit to St Andrew’s and has allowed his strategies and methods to become a significant part of literacy teaching in the Preparatory School. After Stephen’s visit the group spent time reviewing writing resources, both print and digital, and sharing these with the wider teaching staff in Years 1–8. 2017 saw significant progress made in the area of curriculum and assessment alignment for students in the Middle Years. For   St Andrew’s College the ‘Middle Years’ incorporates students

in Years 7–10 and is a time of significant growth and change. During the year curriculum leaders in Mathematics, English and Science met regularly to discuss and develop resources for use across the College. This included the development of common rubrics for use in writing assessment, common tests for use in Mathematics, and collaborative units in Science. The team of specialist teachers have continued to provide significant enrichment to students across the Preparatory School and are an asset to the Teaching and Learning Programme. During 2017 all staff teaching specialist subjects (Art, Music, Religious Education, Spanish, Physical Education and Drama) engaged in personal inquiries into ‘best practice’ teaching in their subject area. This process involved trialling of new ideas and gaining students’ feedback into how new programmes were received. Inquiries of this nature provide an opportunity to reflect what works well for our students and areas for future development.

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Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

Assessment Assessment is described as the process of gathering, analysing, interpreting and using information about students’ progress and achievement to improve teaching and learning. Assessment plays a significant part in our education system and should strive to involve all children in knowing how successful they have been in their learning. This is an integral part of developing lifelong learning skills. Teaching and learning in the Preparatory School continues to show many strengths. A considerable part of this is the ability to reflect modern learning pedagogy in teaching as well as through our approach to assessment. As this shift in education continues, so has our view of assessment. Assessment for Learning continues to be a focus in the Preparatory School. This is where assessed information is used by teachers to adjust their teaching strategies, and by students to adjust their learning strategies. Assessment, teaching and learning are inextricably linked, as each informs the other. Students feel involved in the process and are 10

able to describe where they are at with their learning and what their next steps are.  E-ASSESSMENT AND ONLINE TESTING During 2017 there was a focus on embedding new approaches to assessment, including online tools and apps. e-asTTle continues to be our main tool for assessing Years 4–8 students in reading and writing. As well as being used for whole school cohort testing, individual teachers also used the shorter tests with small groups to inform next steps in the learning process. It provided information to teachers, students and parents about levels of achievement relative to the curriculum achievement outcomes for Levels 2 to 6. Staff found e-asTTle to be a great tool for helping students understand their progress, and a useful way to involve parents in discussions about their children’s progress. Classes also used the e-asTTle writing rubric to self-assess their writing as part of class work. In Mathematics teachers used PAT: Mathematics online to assess students learning at both the beginning and end of year. The use of the online app called Socrative was trialled by several teachers,


Assessment

and Kahoot! was used as a simple and engaging way of checking student learning. The use of online quizzes allowed teachers to engage and assess their students through the use of real time questioning, instant result aggregation and visualisation. Students accessed these sites on tablets, laptops and smartphones. The use of curriculum level testing in Mathematics was embedded across Years 6–8 during 2017. These tests were developed through the collaboration of Mathematics staff in both the Preparatory and Secondary Schools. The tests provided a tool with which teachers can moderate across classes and year levels, and gave accurate formative feedback to teachers around next steps for learning.   The curriculum level tests, along with rich tasks and other assessment tools provided staff with an in-depth picture of student learning.  REPORTING TO PARENTS

of reading, writing, Mathematics and Key Competencies. Student progress was also reported in a new way to provide consistency of appearance and language with reporting procedures in the Secondary School. Prior to the publishing of the Term 4 reports, a further revamp occurred, solely to upgrade the appearance to match with other College publications.

During 2017 the revamped Learning Progress Report was delivered to parents. The Term 1 version was renamed the ‘Goal Setting Report’ to reflect a greater focus on the setting of goals in the areas

The use of the Parent Portal as the means to view reports was continued in 2017, and is now the accepted means for viewing and comparing student reports   over time.   11


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

• develop logic reasoning through coding; • improve their creative and critical problem-solving skills; • share learning process and achievement.

E-Learning Technology continues to be seen as a force for change. In recent years, e-Learning or electronic learning has become a term used more often in education. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and e-Learning are separate but connected subjects. To benefit from e-Learning an individual needs to have a reasonable degree of ICT skills and confidence in using technology. Teachers seeking to use e-Learning methods need both technical and pedagogical skills. Students in the Preparatory School use e-Learning to: • relate to others; • learn collaboratively with local and global communities; • access to anytime, anywhere learning; 12

During 2017, Preparatory teachers continued to receive support with the use of Microsoft OneNote as a learning platform. This is now a ubiquitous use of technology in the classroom with the majority of staff teaching Years 4–8 using this product to deliver and personalise learning for small groups, and individuals with students in   Years 7–8 using the platform to record and share learning. The increased use across year groups has allowed for more collaboration outside the classroom with the ideal of ‘anytime, anywhere’ learning becoming a reality for many teachers and students. Teachers are able to effectively use the Class Notebook Add-in to manage individual students and groups, not only to deliver learning, but also to review student progress. The OneDrive cloud storage solution has been further improved to include a new ‘homepage’ bringing together all Office 365 tools on one


e-learning

screen allowing staff and students to have access to files anytime, from anywhere, that can be shared and worked on collaboratively with other educators and students. This cloud service is also the backbone that OneNote is built upon and is now fully integrated with other Office 365 products. The Learning Support staff continue to receive training in the use of OneNote, and have dedicated a period per week to digitise their volumes of paper resources. The introduction of Surface Pro devices to the Learning Support Department will allow students working with SLD tutors to use digital inking and the tutors to store notes on progress securely in a shared cloud based service. Coding development progressed further this year moving from being a separate Code Club for a select group to classroom based for all students in Years 7–8. Success was mixed with more progress made by students in classes where coding was integrated into a Mathematics or Science unit. A platform called Tynker was used and this will be scrutinised more closely in 2018.

Edition, giving teachers more control and access to a substantial online bank for learning resources. Students have been able to login using their school Office 365 accounts to collaborate on projects ranging from the development of innovative inventions solving logistical issues around the school, through to working with a scale model of the Christchurch Cathedral and planning how the space may be used to benefit the inner city.

The computer’s true power as an educational medium lies in the ability to facilitate and extend children’s awesome natural ability and drive to construct, hypothesise, explore, experiment, evaluate, draw conclusions – in short to learn all by themselves. Seymour Papert (Schwarz, 1999)

The development of Minecraft as a learning tool was formalised with the first St Andrew’s College server opened in 2016. We have now moved to Minecraft: Education 13


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

Gifted and Talented Curriculum differentiation is a strategy used by staff to cater for the wide range of abilities in classrooms. Differentiation greatly enhances the educational experiences of gifted and talented students. The underlying principles guiding differentiation for gifted and talented students are to: • present content that is related to broad-based issues, themes, or problems; • integrate multiple disciplines; • present comprehensive, related, and mutually reinforcing experiences; • develop independent or   self-directed study skills; • develop productive, complex, abstract and/or higher order thinking skills; • focus on open-ended tasks; • develop research skills and methods; • evaluate student outcomes by using appropriate and specific criteria through self-appraisal.

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Curriculum enrichment is also used widely across all year levels of the Preparatory School. Curriculum enrichment refers to “learning activities providing depth and breadth to regular teaching according to the child’s abilities and needs” (Townsend, 1996). Curriculum enrichment is taught by specialist teachers and included Physical Education, Religious Education, Spanish (Years 1–7) French (Years 7–8) Japanese   (Year 8), Music, Dance and Drama, Art, Food and Materials Technology (Years 7–8). The provision of appropriate opportunities for all students is at the heart of learning in the Preparatory School. In 2017 the following areas were provided: Writing Enrichment During 2017, Kerrin Davidson worked in the Preparatory School as part of a Writing Enrichment programme. Kerrin is a published author and was Victoria University’s Creative Writing Teacher of the Year 2008. 2017 saw the Writing Enrichment programme in the Preparatory School continue to grow from strength to strength with an increase in classes and three writers’ masterclasses running


Gifted and Talented

from Years 3–6. The purpose of these classes was not only for the students who required extension in literacy but also for those students who have a passion for writing. Kerrin’s classes provided an openended platform for students to write creatively with no barriers. She encouraged all students and guided them positively in their learning. Sessions were run on a Monday and Thursday afternoon, as well as Friday lunchtime, with a variety of competitions entered including Japan Airlines Haiku, New Zealand Poetry Society, Australian Writers’ Competition, New Zealand Gifted Association Competition and the Otago Daily Times Competition. Over 20 Preparatory School students had works published both nationally and internationally. The year concluded with a Creative Writing Competition held in the Preparatory School for Years 3–5 and Years 6–8. Winners received a cup at the end of year assembly. Robotics The Preparatory School Robotics programme sees students building and programming robotic devices to help them make sense of the dimensions of light, sound and motion. At the same time, the course places an exciting and highly engaging new spin on core learning

areas such as Mathematics, literacy, Science and Social Studies. In 2017 students used the Lego ‘Mindstorms’ robot construction system to devise solutions to specific technological challenges. The system included planned projects that could be built, but also allowed participants to bring their own ideas to life. Light, sound and motion sensors invite students to think carefully and creatively about how their robot might function and what tasks it might perform. A Years 5–8 Tuesday after school club was established and ran throughout the year – it focused on weekly challenges. This club was run by a Mechatronics student from the University of Canterbury. In August, four teams performed in RoboCup Junior NZ. RoboCup Junior NZ is a national robotics competition for school children.

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Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

RCJNZ is a unique event that excites and motivates students. Created in a true co-operative spirit, the RoboCup Junior Educational Competition encompassed not only engineering and IT skills, but extended right across the school curriculum. One of our robot rescue teams was very successful and qualified for the national tournament in Dunedin. Four Preparatory School students attended this event.  

Future Problem Solving:To dream and to plan, to be curious about the future and to wonder how much it can be influenced by our efforts are important aspects of being human. Dr E Paul Torrance, Founder of FPSNZ

Future Problem Solving is a highly regarded and well-researched international educational programme that develops creative, critical and caring thinking skills in students. Students grapple with global and community issues, identify underlying problems and create positive solutions to those issues. Above all, it aims to give young people the skills to design and promote positive futures as citizens of the 21st century.

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In 2017, the FPS programme was successfully coached by Julie Rogers, who has over 12 years’ experience. There were eight teams across Years 5–8 with a Year 7 team and two individuals qualifying for the national finals in Auckland in November. The Year 7 team came fifth nationally and Harry Withers was placed first in the individual and Pieta Bayley second. A Years 5–6 group attended FPS sessions twice a week in the Stepping Stones – non-competitive division. This division was particularly suitable for students and coaches who were attempting Future Problem Solving for the   first time. Students spent time each week learning about the FPS process and researching various topics. Topics for 2017 included space junk, genetics, 3D printing and identity theft. Our teams worked very effectively together, developed critical thinking skills, and built a strong foundation for the 2017’s programme. The students ran a feedback session and included the following about their FPS time: • learnt to work more efficiently with greater time management; • more effective research skills; • strategies to solve world issues


Gifted and Talented

• enjoyed futuristic thinking opportunity; • developed effective team building skills. Tournament of Minds Tournament of Minds is an opportunity for students with a passion for learning and   problem-solving to demonstrate their skills and talents in an exciting, vibrant and public way. Tournament of Minds has been one of the fastest growing national inter-school programmes to challenge the youth of Australia and is now expanding internationally. Tournament’s aim is to enhance the potential of our youth by developing diverse skills, enterprise, time management, and the discipline to work collaboratively within a challenging and competitive environment. The programme provides the stimulation of real, open-ended challenges, develops creative problem-solving approaches and techniques, fosters co-operative learning and teamwork, promotes knowledge and appreciation of self and others and encourages experimentation and risk taking. The Preparatory School entered three teams of seven Years 6–7  students, facilitated by Di Cumming. 

One of the teams was placed first at the Canterbury regional competition and attended the national final in Wellington where they finished third. EPro8 The EPro8 Challenge is a competition, an engineering and problem-solving race. In 2017 over 7000 students from 700 schools from throughout the New Zealand took part. It is a three hour event that begins with a tutorial on the equipment teams will be using. Teams will choose which challenges they wish to undertake. 17


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

• construct basic electronic circuits; • solve interesting problems using practical mathematics. Our teams competed very strongly with a Years 5–6 and Years 7–8 coming top in their heats and semifinals. Two teams qualified for the Canterbury final.

The harder the challenge, the more points it is worth. There is not enough time to finish all the challenges – so strategy is required to know which ones to go for. Teams compete to: • build large sized structures; • solve practical problems; • engineer using pulleys, motors, gears, wheels and axles; • invent machines that can complete simple tasks; • undertake unusual and fun experiments; 18

Other enrichment opportunities offered in 2017 included: • Mandarin lessons Tuesday lunchtime; • Otago Daily Times Spelling Quiz – Years 5–6 Team placed first in Canterbury; • Rotary Speech Competition; • Kids’ Lit Quiz; • Extension Mathematics class Years 7–8; • Otago Problem Solving Years 7–8; • Code Club; • 3D Design and Printing Club; • Futureintec Project X – Electronics Enrichment Day   (Year 7); • Chess Club Terms 2–3; • D-Squared Drama Group.


Junior Department During 2017 the Junior Department had the pleasure of welcoming three new staff. The new people complemented the team and generously shared their strengths and experiences, which benefited all. We also had the great pleasure of welcoming a number of young children across the year levels. Professional Learning The Junior Department team embraces professional learning and values the collaborative approach offered at St Andrew’s College. Learning together ensures a deeper understanding through follow-up  lesson observations, shared reflections and analysis of student gains. The following were the four areas of focus for 2017. Appraisal Connector provided a very useful electronic tool for the team members to record ‘in the moment’ reflections on their teaching and to seek feedback. Deeper purposes were the recording of personal teacher inquiries, reflecting on progress, creating links to useful literature, and providing a platform for appraisal documentation. Gathering student voice was also

an outstanding aspect of this tool, providing pathways for teacher inquiries. The long-term benefits will unfold as we continue to build inquiries and reflections in 2018. Professional Learning Groups had a very collaborative impact on the team as there was a member allocated to each group. Team members reported back at meetings which kept everyone informed about Mathematics resources, writing development linked to Stephen Graham,   Te Reo Māori protocols, character strengths and reporting expectations. Positive psychology across   St Andrew’s College was embraced through the PERMA–V model.   Our team became familiar with this model and linked it to 19


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

is highly valued by the Junior Department staff.

character strengths. Conversations started with the students as teachers supported them to make connections between positive emotions and actions which brought about these feelings.   These were the initial steps of   self-regulated emotions. Stephen Graham provided strategic professional learning that met the specific requests of the department. This provided an opportunity for staff to ask questions which had surfaced following his visit the year before. A positive outcome that became evident during appraisals was the deeper understanding of the writing process, and the high priority given to the acquisition of oral language skills when teaching a new text type. Stephen’s expertise 20

Oral Language The staff utilised the most current resources to increase the profile of oral language skills. Resources from Sheena Cameron, linked to the professional learning provided by Stephen Graham, impacted strongly on classroom programmes. This was most apparent during staff appraisals where evidence of enhanced practice and raised outcomes was noted. We believe this to be of great benefit to our students and it will remain a priority in 2018 as we seek to ensure transfer into all aspects of the curriculum and the Key Competencies. Writing Stephan Graham’s writing programme was evident in all junior classes during appraisal visits which focused on planning and classroom practice. Writing prompts displayed around rooms engaged the children’s interests and provided ongoing support during independent work. This programme was most useful in giving explicit teaching steps and scaffolding student success by ensuring a strong focus on the language expectations of different text types.


Junior Department

Mathematics Our first year teaching PRIME Mathematics was successful. As experienced teachers reflecting on the program we noted that some areas benefited from supplementary lessons. We developed a deeper understanding of the overall program and our expectations for the children by the end of Year 3. Recommendations have been made moving forward to ensure children are aligned to the appropriate books at the correct year level. Individual needs are then factored into this. Reading An area of team professional learning was reading assessment. This involved completing running records using marking conventions consistent across the syndicate, then analysing the data gathered to inform next steps on an individual and group level. This focus resulted in some very useful conversations within our team and an action plan of when to introduce more complex testing provided by the Hilton Ayrey’s resources. Inquiry Pathway The Year 3 inquiry for 2017 began as a study of endangered and extinct birds and animals. The children looked at how human behaviour has

impacted on the environment and animal species. They followed the   St Andrew’s Inquiry Pathway focusing on the Key Competencies as well as selected curriculum   areas and SOLO thinking skills.   The children learnt the importance of asking open questions. A number of experts came to speak to the children, and they were able to ask thoughtful questions of these visitors. Transition to School Programme During the year, time was given to reflecting on the Transition to School programme. This involved working closely with the St Andrew’s Pre-school. Our departments have formed a very strong and positive working relationship ensuring continuity of programmes. We also attended professional learning together, and gathered parent and student voice to influence our future programmes. Feedback was very favourable and some subtle changes made throughout the year strengthed the programme. Playing ‘Where is StAC Bear?’ each week was a very valuable change for young visitors, as it helped them explore St Andrew’s each week looking for their dear friend,   StAC Bear.

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Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

Discovery Time Our Discovery programme underwent some changes during 2017 to allow more input from the children. A continued focus was having conversations and reflections specifically around the Key Competencies. More time was given to recording ideas from the children about what they would like included in the programme. Planning for learning activities changed more frequently with each focus coming from the children’s menu of ideas. This led to some children leading activities and teaching their peers. Student led activities will become more evident in 2018. Reflection Time Developing the skills to reflect on positive learning outcomes remains a high focus in our classrooms. Building oral language has been vital for our students to articulate their successes and share them, ensuring repeated learning behaviours. Last year our reflective practice became more strongly linked to developing a growth mindset in our young learners. From our new entrant classes to our Year 3 the language of growth mindset has become immersed across the curriculum. Because the understanding is consistent 22

across the department, children were supported and challenged by all staff during programmes, e.g. gymnastics. We know our children have become more open to taking risks and building trust with those around them.


Middle Syndicate New innovations in teaching and learning combined with established best practice ensured 2017 was a successful year for students in the Middle Syndicate. Across the three year levels there was clear evidence that new programmes led to enhanced outcomes for students and greater satisfaction for teachers. Reading Plus and Core5 were two of the most successful programs implemented to improve students reading. The Reading Plus program teaches the children how to silent read effectively which results in better comprehension, advanced vocabulary and greater fluency. The end of year data clearly showed that the more a student used the program the more progress they made. There was an excellent benchmarking system used at the beginning, middle and end of year. Motivation was a key factor and given some children were not intrinsically motivated, there was a need to closely monitor them and to provide the necessary time to access the program. Reading Plus will be an area of professional development in 2018 as there

needs to be a balance found between the reading program and guided reading activities and novel studies. Years 4–5 the students who completed Core5 will progress to Reading Plus. A full year of using the PRIME Mathematics program was equally successful. Data from the end of year assessments provided evidence that the children had progressed significantly. While PRIME was not the entire Mathematics programme, it formed a large percentage. Teachers added to the activities based on student need. Cross-class grouping continued and students’ needs were closely monitored. There was significant discussion between teachers when clarity was sought on a teaching point or when a student required acceleration or extra support. 23


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

widened in recent years and teachers agreed the children had significantly fewer concerns. The opening of the new Junior Department will further enhance this with its proximity.

A professional development focus on writing during the year with Stephen Graham was hugely successful. Student writing was better than ever and most became familiar with the requirements for a variety of genres. Writing celebrations were mostly seen in individual classes but opportunities were available for sharing at syndicate assemblies as well. The Learning Celebration evenings were an opportunity for this as well and the children were so happy to share samples with their parents. Stephen emphasised the need for children to use pen and paper for drafting ideas – they need to see, feel, and change as needed. Observations of other teachers teaching writing were not completed as planned so this will be a focus in 2018. The transition programme between Years 3–4 has strengthened and 24

Kapa Haka was again strong in the Middle Syndicate and the group was thrilled to be awarded the trophy for its action song at the Tuhono Festival. There were many opportunities to perform during the year especially with the Centenary. In 2018 we will look to perform out of the school environment; perhaps at other schools, retirement villages and even participate in a powhiri. Appraisal Connector was fully implemented in 2017. The staff have been very positive about the program; the ease of use as well as the ease of acquiring evidence in regard to professional learning, reflections and observations. Time was to be allocated for the use of Appraisal Connector during syndicate meetings and while this was initiated, it was not sustained. Part of this was due to fewer syndicate meetings and more time allocated to professional groups and full staff meetings. This will be reviewed in 2018. With the introduction of the Learning Celebration evenings,


Middle Syndicate

portfolios containing student work examples were not sent home during the year. This change evolved naturally. There is so much information available to parents that the carrying home of portfolios was no longer viewed important. The use of OneNote continued to be inconsistent during the year. This will be reviewed in 2018. A goal was to have the children   fully understanding of the terms   for inquiry but this needs further work in 2018, possibly with more visibility in the learning spaces.   Year 5 students used colours to identify the stage they were   working on. The ‘So What?’ aspect, a focus within each inquiry, was another goal achieved. The production of an ICT checklist is a goal for 2018 so teachers and children all know what is expected by the end of each year level. We already have the cyber-safety procedures and policies, but not a targeted list of the necessary skills. The development of a growth mindset was an important focus in 2017, and all teachers reported a much greater use and understanding of the term, ‘yet’. I haven’t mastered this skill… yet! We continue to build the children’s grit and resilience. 25


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

Senior Syndicate Reading Plus made substantial headway into the reading programmes in the Preparatory School during 2017. The apparent gains appear quite substantial but the true efficacy of the program needs verification through other benchmark tests not related to   the programme. This is planned   for 2018. All Senior Syndicate teachers used Appraisal Connecter during 2017. It has become a single source for appraisal and reflection which has streamlined the process. However, in 2018, it is expected it will be used to achieve enhanced goal setting and reflective practices. The Years 8–9 transition was more systematically planned in 2017. Professional conversations at the end of the year with the Year 8 teachers and the relevant Secondary staff insured better placement outcomes for the students. The Middle School project continued across various curriculum areas. One key collaborative element was the work done in Mathematics. The Secondary Science Department 26

in collaboration with the Year 8 staff wrote another Science unit based around forces – this was successfully trialled and will be further refined in 2018. There was also positive discussion and collaboration with wellness, and Years 7–11 writing. Student file structure was overhauled and organised very successfully following the oneto-one laptop roll out in Year 8 in 2017; very little student work was lost as a consequence. The ITC Department was hugely helpful, both in ensuring the successful implementation of one-to-one and also in setting up ‘mirroring in the cloud’ software on staff and   student laptops.


Senior Syndicate

Once again e-Portfolios were overhauled and assigned to a subsection of OneNote, which was much more successful. Establishing routines for student work samples in e-Portfolios will again be a focus for 2018. OneNote teacher use and structure was standardised across Year 8 during 2017, which proved effective for students, particularly when they engaged interchanged classes. OneNote was used more widely amongst the staff as the creative possibilities were explored. Stephen Graham returned to run another workshop this year entitled: ‘The Explicit Teaching of Writing’. His structural approach to writing has enabled students, and staff, to better understand writing genre and to correctly apply the relative protocols. Kapa Haka continued into Year 7 but at a lower engagement level – consideration needs to be given for any involvement in the Year 8 programme for 2018.

were built into the one-to-one Year 8 laptop program. Mathematics learning in the Senior Syndicate benefited from the Secondary collaboration, particularly in terms of formative assessment and shared competition preparation. New Mathematics texts at Years 7–8 are still under consideration but no decision has been determined at this juncture. Coding across Years 7–8 was successfully incorporated into the learning programmes. The students enjoyed this focus and stimulus and a number of students were involved in other technology groups as a consequence. The Year 8 Leadership Training Day was successful this year and, as a consequence, is being used with all Year 8 students for 2018 as a means of identifying the most suitable leaders for the positions available. The Senior Syndicate is in good heart as we close 2017.

Inquiry search protocols and procedures floundered a little with the winding up of the PLG Inquiry Group, however, there were individual gains during the year. Templates were established, and some of the search procedures 27


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

to make these connections. This pathway begins on the first day of school, and carries them through to the Secondary School, and out into the world.  THE NEW ZEALAND CURRICULUM ‘Doing maths’ is looking a little different these days in classrooms, as more collaborative approaches to solving Mathematics problems are being encouraged.

Numeracy By studying Mathematics and Statistics, students develop the ability to think creatively, critically, strategically and logically. They learn to structure and to organise, to carry out procedures flexibly and accurately, to process and communicate information, and to enjoy intellectual challenge. They learn to create models and predict outcomes, conjecture, justify and verify, and seek patterns and generalisations, estimate with reasonableness and calculate with precision, understand when results are precise and when they must be interpreted with uncertainty. The Preparatory Mathematics Pathway looks at the practical applications in everyday life, and allows students 28

The roles and responsibilities of teachers and students have changed as the patterns of communication and participation have students taking more responsibility for active listening and sense making. In a lesson, the solutions to problems were discussed, negotiated and constructed in a collective way. Learning conversations included all students, and everyone felt that their contribution was valued. Students feel that everyone succeeds when the group succeeds. Effective Mathematics practice continued to be evident at all levels of the school. A mixture of   problem-solving, rich tasks, strand and number lessons were implemented across the whole school in 2017. There was a greater


Numeracy

uptake of teachers using ‘rich tasks’ to enrich class Mathematics programmes. The range in structure and themes of these tasks allowed students to connect a real life situation and explore the mathematics that could be used, often finding the amount of mathematics in everyday life to be overwhelming.

partaking in the Cantamath Competitions. The material fitted well with general learning programmes that relate to the achievement objectives of the National Curriculum document.   The mixture of skills required across all these activities was exceptional, and there were outstanding results in many areas.

Problem-solving is a continually developing area in the Mathematics programme, and many teachers enjoyed being able to increase the use of problem-solving as part of their integrated inquiries. This created a greater sense of purpose with their learning and for many it changed their attitude towards mathematics. Teachers utilised the terminology of strategy teaching to talk about students’ development, and professional conversations around numeracy were prevalent. Students were able to talk about their learning and understanding within the Mathematics curriculum and many were able to make use of strategy terminology when discussing their learning.

Further time was spent in 2017, discussing Overall Teacher Judgements (OTJs) and moderation with a view to refining moderation of marks across classes for reports. Activities were designed to aid accuracy in making OTJs and moderation across teachers, classes and year levels. The implementation of year level assessments across Years 6–8 assisted in this process.

Several students took part in the Australian Mathematics Examinations, ICAS Examinations, Australian Problem Solving Maths Olympiads, and Otago Problem Solving Challenge, as well as

A focus on formative assessment tracking and tasks were reviewed, and with the implementation of PRIME Mathematics, teachers were able to manage and implement effective grouping and assessing as required. Formative data was also used alongside the quick assessment of new students to enable organisation of strategy grouping, and identify potential extension class students early in the year across year groups. 29


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

Links with the Secondary School Mathematics Department were further expanded in 2017 as we work towards creating a Whole School Mathematics Pathway, from Years 0–13. Discussions with both the Mathematics Co-ordinator and Head of Education (Preparatory) included programme development, numeracy work and resources. PRIME Mathematics was implemented across Years 1–6. After the successful introduction to the Middle Syndicate, the Junior Syndicate followed suit, and it has been very successful. The students respond well to the structure, routine, and cross-curricular examples. Instead of following one Mathematics path, the children are constantly revising, problem-solving and discussing their ideas and strategies. As expected in the New Zealand Curriculum, problem-solving in PRIME is used so that students are able to demonstrate their understanding of concepts through applying them to problems. The approach in PRIME is that the teacher explicitly models examples of ways problems can be solved using a combination of the problem-solving process and strategies (or heuristics). The teaching models ‘thinking through’ 30

the solution, so thought bubbles are used as samples of metalanguage that could be used. The Mathematics Professional Learning Group focused on aligning the PRIME mathematical results to enable efficient and accurate reporting against National Standards. This provided excellent structure for the students. In 2017, placement tests were used from different levels to ensure each child was accurately placed according to competency. The objectives of PRIME Mathematics are aligned to the New Zealand Curriculum and to the National Standards. The progress made in the end of year assessments, when compared with the beginning of year, reinforced the quality of the program. Professional Development was offered in areas of PRIME Mathematics and e-Learning. The Canterbury Mathematical Association supported primary teachers this year by offering numerous ‘Bite-sized’ PD sessions, and a group of teachers were able to learn but also share their expertise. e-Learning in Mathematics is becoming more prevalent, and we are lucky to be able to integrate the use of IT in our Mathematics curriculum, through various rich tasks.


Sport The Preparatory School provides a wide range of sporting opportunities for our students. The emphasis is on opportunity, giving our students the opportunity to participate/compete. Sport is a very important co-curricular area as it allows students to be part of a team and develop a number of important skills that may be transferred into other areas of their lives. The Preparatory School sports programme aims to provide: Physical Benefits • improved fitness, strength, flexibility and co-ordination; • increased range of motor skills. Social Benefits • improved communication and interpersonal skills; • improved leadership and   co-operation skills; • opportunity for lasting friendships; • increased interest in accepting responsibility; • ability to assume responsible risk-taking. Personal Benefits • enjoyment; • increased self-esteem and   self confidence;

• improved ability to concentrate; • self-discipline, commitment   and responsibility; • organisational skills. Cricket has continued to grow within the Preparatory School, three teams in Term 1 turned into seven teams in Term 4 ranging from Years 3–8. The success of the cricket programme has also meant a change to the direction of the cricket centre. The focus of this is now to encourage and develop Year 1–3 cricketers. The Year 3 cricketers then feed into a team in Term 4. Our senior coach continued to be a valuable asset, essential to the continued development of cricketers in the Preparatory School. Also joining our coaching ranks was a Canterbury Magician and England Academy player. Twelve Years 7–8 girls have also formed a squad of players to

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Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

athletes will return to the AIMS Games while football and rugby will head to Queensland, Australia. Our relationship with Heaton Intermediate is now very strong, and during the year we shared resources to provide Heaton with facilities to train their cricket and hockey teams, and in turn they have allowed us the use of their grounds for rugby and athletics practice. compete in next year’s New Zealand Cup, enabling StAC to field both a boys’ and a girls’ team at   the tournament. The 2017 North Island tour to Wellington and Auckland proved to be a great success; students experienced strong competition and new cultural experiences. Attending the All Blacks Captain’s Run, meeting Willie Apiata and the Deputy Prime Minister were unique and memorable experiences. The girls’ teams entered into the AIMS Games and also had a fantastic experience, competing in a very well-organised tournament involving over 10,000 athletes. While the AIMS Games provides netball, hockey and individuals with a great experience, currently it cannot offer football or rugby at a true competitive level. In 2018, hockey, netball and a selection of individual 32

A number of school exchange games in rugby, football, netball, cricket and hockey were played during the year including the visit of Saint Kentigern, Churchie (Brisbane), Medbury and Waihi.   It was great to involve Selwyn   House and St Margaret’s College this year and offer the girls the opportunity to compete against other independent schools A large number of our students represented their region in a variety of sports and were successful in the ISSA and CPSSA competitions in triathlon, duathlon, cross country, swimming and athletics. There were also a number of students who represented both zones and Canterbury in football, basketball, cricket, rugby, netball and hockey. Our Senior Preparatory School football, hockey and netball teams won the ISSA Winter Tournament


Sport

and the mixed hockey team was crowned the CPSSA champions   for 2017. The role of sport captain continued in 2017 and seven students were interviewed and selected to represent each of the major sporting codes. There was a new Leadership Day introduced to identify potential leaders from the Year 8 students. This included prefects, House captains, sacristans and sport captains.   It was a successful day of leadership activities and provided the staff with important information about each student and their ability to lead. In 2017 students nominated themselves for these roles.   In 2018, all Year 8 students will complete the Leadership Day, a   key component in the selection

process for 2018 leaders. The sport captains supported the coaching   of younger teams, helping the   co-ordinators and reporting back to the community. We need to provide a closer link for Preparatory School captains and Senior School captains heading into 2018. Coaching is an area that is essential to a successful sporting programme in the school. During the year there was the opportunity to talk to the Year 13 students to outline the coaching possibilities available in 2018. A number of the students, who will study in Canterbury, expressed an interest in coaching Preparatory School teams in 2018. This year a new Sport Core Skill programme was introduced to   Year 7 students. Over 100 students were given the opportunity to develop their sporting interests.   In Term 1, students selected their winter sports and in Term 3 they chose their summer option. In 2018 the programme will be offered   to both Years 7–8 students.   A nutritional module will be added. This programme will allow high level performers to be identified and will support the selection of students for Year 9 Elite Sport programmes and scholarships. 33


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

In Term 4 a new gymnastics programme was trialled. Coaches organised through Olympia delivered a programme at   St Andrew’s College. This saved money, approximately $30.00 per student, and time, approximately 45 minutes in travel time on the previous programme. Overall it was a success. This year saw the growth of both specialised holiday sport camps (adding netball and hockey) and the Sport Medley Camp. Parents appreciated the option of a holiday programme that provided a healthy alternative as well as develop skills for the season ahead. We will continue with the beginning of year online registration to select sports. Some adjustments have been made to the online form to make it easier to complete correctly. The information will be collated and entered directly onto the database. As the process is paper free it is easier and more efficient for parents. It also ensures parents will be contacted by the   co-ordinator of the selected sport by the end of the first week of school. This process also allows early planning of the winter season. New uniforms for the Girls’ netball A and Boys’ First XI hockey have 34

been ordered for 2018 and a yellow/ blue away strip for hockey and football. Uniforms are currently in good condition and the strong St Andrew’s brand is represented proudly through the uniforms the students wear. The Head of Sport role has continued to grow with new initiatives. In 2018 the role will no longer contain a teaching component. Coach and player development practices will be researched and developed. Goals will be set in 2018 to ensure the school continues to works towards providing the best primary sports programme possible.


Learning Support The Learning Support Department had a busy and successful year.   The team worked closely with Specialist Services and class teachers to ensure students in the programmes obtained the necessary skills and knowledge to close deficits and to reach individual potential. Intervention programmes were implemented to meet the specific needs of each student on the register. The diversity of needs continues. We have students with dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, behavioural needs and some on the autistic spectrum. As a school, we believe these students deserve to be understood and their needs catered for. Over seventy students were placed in programmes to support their learning during 2017. Programmes included literacy, reading, spelling, writing, numeracy, social/emotional, and leadership. Resources used had strong research based credentials. Working closely with Learning Support in the Secondary School enabled relevant students to benefit from the accelerated Mathematics programme after school.

The school’s tier system provides an appropriate allocation of resources for each individual or group. Quality communication between Learning Support staff, private tutors, parents, class teachers and specialist staff ensures the best support is offered. Learning Support works collaboratively with many people and services during the year, e.g. educational psychologists, Special Education Services, Department of Health, speech and language therapists, SLD tutors and counsellors. This provides the necessary support to identify individual needs, and to provide learning goals and outcomes most appropriate for each student. Many of the interventions during the year were academic remediation but increasingly interventions in personal self-management and social skills are being taught to assist with anxiety and stress. For staff, a highlight of the year was being trained to facilitate the New Zealand based Travellers Programme (resilience and   well-being). This programme has now been implemented in the school. The programme sits alongside the FRIENDS for Life Programme which has been operating for 10 years.

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Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

Learning Support staff regularly attended Pastoral Care meetings to strengthen and promote the emotional well-being of the students and a holistic approach. The services of Socially Speaking continued to support students with social communication requirements. This year we also enlisted the support of a behavioral specialist for some students needing to improve self-regulation. Four students had an across curriculum IEP (Individual Learning Plan) implemented. The modification of class programmes and individual lessons enabled success for these children. Some life skills and creative activities were also included in the IEPs. ESOL lessons were provided for four students who required them. This support was well received. Students appreciated the opportunity to be supported both academically and personally. Meetings were held with the Head of Learning Support in the Secondary School. This will continue in 2018 and bring greater continuity and understanding of programmes and systems between the two schools. We are looking forward to working together next 36

year as we move towards increased computerisation. Electronic reading programs were used during the year. This supported the programmes used within the classes. During the year the Head of Learning Support attended meetings with staff in similar roles in the other Christchurch independent schools. These meetings were valuable and motivating. She also attended the Literacy Symposium at Canterbury University at the end of the year which confirmed the school’s teaching content and educational programmes. Our department aims to use the best researched resources and teaching methods for the students in our care, and to provide them with every chance to reach their potential and experience success. 2018 will bring many new and exciting developments to enhance learning opportunities for our students. It is with anticipation that we look forward to implementing some new initiatives particularly in College-wide systems, and the increased awareness of the importance of positive psychology   in education.


Visual Arts The Preparatory School Visual Arts programme in 2017 had two areas of focus. The first was on the continuation of established goals and activities and the second was the Centenary of the College. The programme continued to be cyclic in its nature with skills being taught in all media at each year group level. A student in Year 1 may explore and investigate a wide range of art-making techniques and use of materials. Over the years in the programme the students build on their prior knowledge and skills until, by their senior years, they can apply their learnt knowledge and skills to independently create their own artworks. This was the key aim for most art projects undertaken in weekly art classes. The senior students in both semesters visited the city to discover local and international artists’ works in galleries and on the city streets. Six senior classes participated in guided SCAPE tours in the final term. These experiences proved to be a wonderful motivation for students who created artworks which, in some cases, met Level 5 exemplar criterion. Their work

was included in the collation of exemplars for teaching and learning which has been extended comprehensively over recent years. As a teaching tool, these exemplars proved invaluable in helping students set goals and make their own self-evaluations of their progress in Art. All students had their works displayed in the College, primarily in the learning hallways of the main school building. The ongoing commemorative ceramic poppy installation, which honours students’ family members who were involved in war/conflict during the last century, was a particular focus for Year 5 students. They made their 37


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

in March 2017. Using the College as the central theme, students created a range of artworks following various historic themes, used a wide range of techniques, materials and motivations. The huge crowd attending the fête explored the exhibition and made most appreciative comments on the children’s work. Assistance from a group of PTA parents was much appreciated. The exhibition was then transferred to the Preparatory School where it was enjoyed for the remainder of the year. poppies to be added to the section of installation projecting from the wall. It is intended to continue to fill the site with poppies over the years. Opportunities for Junior School artwork displays were anticipated as the building of the new Junior School progressed – many   Years 1–3 artworks completed in 2017 were stored ready for the building’s completion and will be exhibited in time for the opening of the building in February 2018. As St Andrew’s College turned 100 years old, an opportunity to celebrate the students and their art was presented by the organisers of the Centenary Gala Weekend. An extensive art exhibition by Preparatory School students featured at the Fête held 38

Specific professional development in Visual Arts was self-generated by the Art specialist in 2017; it included online and hard copy reading, visiting galleries in New Zealand and overseas while on holiday, and developing skills in visual storytelling through involvement in writing the Centenary book Spirit of St Andrew’s. By working alongside skilled colleagues and contractors, the opportunity to develop a real understanding of digital, photographic and design techniques was invaluable. The opportunity to work on the Centenary book was rewarding, challenging and intellectually engaging.


Visual Arts

Personal professional development for the Art specialist was undertaken, this year, in Te Reo Māori. Under the expert tutoring of Marcelle Leo’o, weekly PLG meetings provided the opportunity to engage in conversational Te Reo and an associated extension of knowledge and appreciation of tikanga Māori. It is intended to integrate Te Reo in all Visual Arts lessons in 2018.   As an initial trial into the integration of Te Reo into the Visual Arts programme, a complex mixed media unit of work based on Māori whakataukī was completed by Year 6 students in 2017. The students’ large artworks were based on an inquiry into the work of New Zealand artist, Nigel Brown. The completed artworks were

finished at the end of Term 4 and will be displayed throughout the Preparatory School in the first term of 2018. The students continued to engage with new materials and resources, with the architectural LEGO attracting a lot of creative energy. The Year 7 students completed a new unit of work based on the use of architectural LEGO in which they investigated, compared, and contrasted the ideas of New Zealand and international architects. They then used these models to fulfil their own architectural brief and create their own LEGO structure. This unit was most engaging and will be developed further to include Year 8 students. 39


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

in the playground during their lunch and morning tea breaks and teaching it to their playmates. Another benefit of this programme is observing the children develop their listening skills. With these enhanced listening skills, children are then able to make informed judgement as to whether they are correctly pitching material in class and then make corrections.

Music The Kodály method of Music education was introduced during 2017. The College’s Music specialist was trained in this approach through the Australian Kodály Institute. The pedagogy uses children’s play-song and is based totally on the voice, without CD or instrument accompaniment. The lessons are pitched entirely from a tuning fork for each song, so that the child’s optimum pitch range is accessed. This aids the children’s ability to sing perfectly tunefully, and develops their individual pitching skills. Many of the songs used were games, so there was a lot of movement in each session. The children took this new material on board enthusiastically, often spontaneously singing these songs 40

Part of the Music curriculum involves listening to live performances. During March of this year, the New Zealand Opera came to our school to perform the adapted opera of Don Pasquale by Donizetti to Year 3–8 students. This was a wonderful animated performance introducing students to the world of opera in a very approachable and entertaining way. What a delight it was to have this performance opportunity take place in our newly completed Centennial Chapel. The performance was followed by a question and answer session where students were able to gain further insights into this musical genre. This will be the start of many more opportunities where the school can come together to enjoy live musical performance in our own Centennial Chapel. During the third term, the two Year 6 classes participated in the


music

Strum, Strike, Blow Festival in the Horncastle Arena. Strum, Strike, Blow was a one-day event with massed group rehearsals in the day followed by an evening performance by one thousand children. This involved one class learning material on the ukulele, while the other spent a term preparing material on mallet instruments. The children then played in massed ukulele and massed mallet-instrument (xylophone and glockenspiel) items. The concert concluded with a commissioned piece for recorders, ukuleles and marimbas. The pieces were well chosen and included instrumental parts for a range of musical ability, with the intention of developing and extending skills. Our newly acquired bass xylophone and additional alto xylophones were employed for this occasion.

the Music Room, giving individual students an occasion to perform to family members in a supportive and nurturing environment. The concerts are popular events with students performing on a range of instruments and demonstrating a range of musical skill and experience. Many of the same students feature regularly in these performances. In turn, these same students have become notably more confident and skilled on their instrument over time. It is very encouraging to see and hear the musical growth of individual students.

For many of the children, this was a new learning experience that they might not have otherwise chosen. The benefits of this experience are numerous, and many of the children have become more confident in playing in front of their classmates in informal class performances. An integral part of Music in the school is providing children with a range of performance opportunities. Throughout the year, performance evenings were held in 41


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

of dance to reflect on the work of others. There were no opportunities for sharing dance formally during the year for these groups. Year 3–6 students also benefited from having Year 11 dancers teach a choreographed piece of musical theatre. This was highly engaging for the students and provided a focus on the element of time within the Dance curriculum.

Dance and Drama The Preparatory School provides the opportunity for school students to develop literacies in Dance and Drama. Students have a class once a week for two terms. Dance The main goal of Dance education is for students to use dance as a creative form of expression. Student-led choreography is the primary focus of the programme in the Preparatory School. Students in Years 1–6 continued to develop their skills with a focus on the elements of dance. They shared their in-class work informally with each other and used the language 42

Students in Years 7–8 used a creative dance process to develop movement to express one of the four elements. The choreography was student-led and used dance motif development and class discussion to shape the work. Some students with expertise in dance led others in order to teach some basic contemporary technique which enhanced the work. The work created was shared formally in the setting of the production. Drama All students from Years 1–8 experienced learning about Drama this year. The junior classes focused on creating short scenes to explore the characters within a nursery story. The younger students also developed drama based on shared books. The middle classes developed work around common ‘real life’ experiences such as being


Dance and Drama

frustrated in a range of contexts, and focusing on ways to develop a role. The students were able to articulate what worked well in a piece of theatre in order to create a realistic scene for a story. Years 7–8 students worked with the production script which was co-constructed. At times they developed aspects of the script, and at other times they explored ways to enhance a role through the use of voice, body, movement and space. Production The biennial production was performed in September. At the end of the summer holidays a group of students were invited to start creating the framework for the show. The first term was spent developing the scripts for each scene with a group of interested students. This was highly challenging as there simply wasn’t enough time to do the task that was required. Therefore there was additional time spent out of school to edit, shape and refine in the final script. With the time limitations this year, the music was composed by local composer, Matt Everingham. This was prepared in time to begin the dance training with the students. All 200 students were involved in the show. Six students took on

technical roles. These students were mentored by a crew of students from the Secondary School. This is a positive aspect of the production process, and many of the mentors had been in tech roles as students in the   Preparatory School. It is worth noting that many of the students who enjoy productions in the Secondary School, started in the Preparatory School. D-Squared In the Term 4, the lunchtime Drama group was well subscribed. This activity provides the opportunity for students with an interest in Drama to work together regularly. This year the students were introduced to theatresports through games and training exercises that built confidence and improvisation skills. Some of the members from the senior theatresports team came along to work with the students. D-squared provides a positive sense of community for these students. Dance and Drama continues to provide an aesthetic opportunity for students to express thoughts and ideas. This is an important way for students to apply thinking skills and work collaboratively with others and learn about the human experience. 43


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

Physical Education In the Preparatory School students received an interactive and enjoyable Physical Education programme involving a variety of sport options. This provided the opportunity to develop skills and to identify sporting codes of interest to pursue in the future. Physical Education is learning in, through and about movement. It is not about creating elite athletes. The aim of the programme was to inspire, motivate and educate students in the physical environment to be healthy in all aspects of hauora. This was done successfully and was evident 44

through student achievement in a variety of school events and activities. The main focus area for the Junior Syndicate was to discover movement through non-sport specific activities. Activities for this stage enabled children to explore and discover for themselves what is involved in performing a particular movement or skill. Students also developed the skills that were required to work successfully in a small group or team. This enabled them to be a productive participant and to manage their behaviour in Physical Education lessons. A development phase occurred in the Middle Syndicate curriculum. The students became more efficient and refined in movement through


Physical Education

repetition in a variety of contexts. This included an introduction to basic game play of mainstream sports. Students also started to experience a leadership role within the class, and started to involve themselves more in team strategies and game tactics. They were exposed to a variety of sporting contexts so they were able to find one that suited them and was enjoyable. The aim was not to make elite athletes but to make them want to have a lifelong relationship with physical activity. Through the Senior Syndicate the students consolidated the skills developed in earlier years. They applied movement skills in a variety of ways and combined other movements in more complex games and activities. Skills became more automatic and the focus was on being able to naturally transfer skills from one context to another. There was also a greater focus on tactical and strategic game play. Students were confident in taking on the role as a leader and be able to have the respect of their peers to do this. Students were able to manage themselves in all lessons with limited teacher direction. Physical Education does not only focus on movement, it also focuses on interpersonal skills

such as teamwork, co-operation, listening, managing self, and relating to others. These are the skills that have been identified in the New Zealand Curriculum as Key Competencies. The Physical Education programme gives students the opportunity to learn, develop and fine-tune these skills in an energetic and motivating environment which they can then apply to all facets of life. Many new activities were implemented in 2017 to keep up with the latest trends and technology. These activities came from numerous PD opportunities during the year. The Physical Education programme benefited from these new ideas, which in turn correlated to successful student learning opportunities. 45


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

Religious Education Developing Positive Relationships The School Values developed through this year were Honesty, Faith and Hope. The anticipation and eventual opening of the Centennial Chapel in October became an important and authentic learning opportunity where students could find connections with the past as well as looking forward to the future. Mid-year, many students were involved in raising money for World Vision through the 40 Hour Famine. The money raised in 2016 provided school equipment for refugee children from Syria who are now living in Jordan. In Term 4, the Preparatory School students gave generously to Operation Christmas Child, providing over 200 gift boxes to children in the South Pacific region. Professional Development • the children’s knowledge of waiata and karakia continued to grow in the Years 4–8 levels through their involvement in Kapa Haka. Waiata and karakia were supported by the staff, and in the Years 1–7 Religious Education classes words of special meaning were discussed throughout the year; • the introduction and use of Appraisal Connector as a 46

professional tool was found to be most valuable in that it enabled teachers to critically reflect on their teaching practice as well as gather data to support children’s learning; • in August the Preparatory School Chaplain attended a Chaplain’s and Religious Education teachers’ conference which focused on Well-being in schools. Information was grounded in good research and wise practice, and supported the ongoing importance to provide pastoral support in New Zealand schools; • Tom Matthews spoke to the staff about the progressive nature of Positive Psychology. Pastoral Care This year a Pastoral Care team was initiated by the College Chaplain. The aim of this group was to review and strengthen Pastoral Care processes, and to share knowledge of good pastoral care practices across the school. Attending a Canterbury Pastoral Care Group furthered the team’s knowledge. A number of children participated in The FRIENDS Programme (resilience) throughout the year. Individual pastoral support was also given to students during the year.


Library and Information Centre 2017 was another busy year for the Preparatory School Library. Spending was focused on further developing the print and digital collections in a meaningful way to meet student needs. Keeping our collections vital and interesting ensures that students have access to the latest information resources and children’s literature. Staffing This year saw some staffing changes. Eilish Moran left at the end of Term 3 to pursue her acting career. Although only with us for a short time, Eilish brought creativity and flair to the role and will be missed. After Eilish’s departure Tracey Hull joined the team as Library Manager. Tracey has a long relationship with St Andrew’s as a parent, and has many years of experience in school library management. As well as her passion for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Tracey also has a strong interest in inquiry learning and has experience in developing library services that support this aspect of the school curriculum.

Sarah Payton also joined the library team as Library Assistant. Sarah came to us from reception in Strowan House and wasted no time getting to know the students and her way around the Library. The strong relationship between the Secondary and Preparatory School Libraries continues to flourish under the direction of Wilj Dekkers, Head of Innovation and Information Services, and we are looking forward to strengthening this relationship further once the Innovation and Information Centre opens in 2018. Services There were no significant changes in the services provided by the library in 2017. All classes visit the library weekly for a mixture of reading engagement and information literacy activities. These class times 47


Preparatory School Annual Report | 2017

are jealously guarded by staff and students alike, demonstrating the value and popularity of the library.

participating and the drive to achieve the Gold Award is as evident as it has been in previous years.

Reading Engagement A new initiative this year saw the start of the Boys’ Reading Club. Led by teacher Bradley Shaw, boys of all ages were invited to join up to listen to stories and swap ideas for great reads. Some of the older boys also buddied up with our younger students for story sharing and proved to be amazing role models. The Boys’ Reading Club ran during Terms 2 and 3 and we hope to run this again in 2018.

Information Literacy The Information Literacy programme continued to be delivered to students through a serious of lessons throughout the year. This programme is designed to support the College-wide model of inquiry learning, and caters for all students from Years 1–8. Sessions are designed to maximise the children’s abilities to utilise both print and digital information sources.

Book Week, as always, was the highlight of the year. Our theme in 2017 was ‘A long, long time ago: fairy tales, fables and legends’, with the focus on celebrating old stories in children’s literature. The week included a host of lunchtime activities and competitions in the Library. A highlight was a visit from Lesley Dowding who entertained us all with her marvellous storytelling, elaborate costumes and puppets. The ever-popular ‘Battle of the Books’ interclass quiz was another hit, and we ended the week with a fabulous Dress-Up Parade for students and staff. The Wide Reading Initiative continues to flourish with many students 48


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Preparatory School Annual Report 2017  

This is the 2017 Annual Report for St Andrew's College, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Preparatory School Annual Report 2017  

This is the 2017 Annual Report for St Andrew's College, Christchurch, New Zealand.