Sunday, 13 November 2016

Thank you again to the Lysaght-Watt Trust for making out 2016 MOA Awards event possible

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Moa Kluster Trip

On the 13th and 14th of June the MOA Kluster school visited Russell Street School, Whakarongo School, Halcombe and Riverdale School. This was an amazing experience for our cluster. Having 53 teachers, teacher aides, Board of Trustee and principals sharing common professional development was very powerful. I would like to acknowledge our colleagues in Palmerston North who opened their classrooms and their teaching practice to our scrutiny. We very much appreciate that you were so generous with your time and resources.

During our visits we focussed on how the schools were using digital literacy to enhance authentic learning. We so many examples of great teacher practice. We observed students working in a range of diverse learning situations. Most of all we were able to see our teaching and beliefs aligned with the other schools.

We saw great learning environments and students who were engrossed in the learning through "self directed learning" programmes. This was a great opportunity to see if these were ideas and ways of teaching that we would like to implement in our school.

Most of all the collegiality within our own cluster was strengthened through this collaboration. Our teachers worked in cross school teams to explore the schools. They also worked collaboratively after school critiquing what they had observed.

After the school visits each school has gone on to reflect on the schools we visited. Some of us have used the Six Thinking Hats to critique our new learning.

White Hat: What was the key message from each principal in a nutshell?

Yellow Hat: What did good practice look like in these schools?

Black Hat: What did you see that you would not like to see in our school?

Green Hat: What innovative practice did you see? What would you give up to do it? How would you implement it sustainably?

Red Hat; Which school did you like best? Why? What school in your belief is our school more aligned with, if any?

Blue Hat: What would be best use of our time if we decided to look at improving our practice?

he Six Thinking Hats help to focus our own thinking.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Moa Awards

Tickets are available from the school office for the MOA Awards, for a gold coin donation. Initially we will need to limit tickets to those students who have been shortlisted and their immediate families. If we have spare tickets these will be offered to other students and to families who need additional tickets. All shortlisted students need to get a ticket. Teacher will also need to get a ticket, as we have to restrict the number attending due to Fire Safety regulations. A fire safety officer will be onsite during the evening.

Monday, 3 August 2015

STEM and Computational Thinking

An Essential 21st Century Disposition

Computational Thinking (CT) is a problem solving process that includes a number of characteristics and dispositions. CT is essential to the development of computer applications, but it can also be used to support problem solving across all disciplines, including the humanities, math, and science. Students who learn CT across the curriculum can begin to see a relationship between academic subjects, as well as between life inside and outside of the classroom.

The Skills We Need To Develop With OUR Students.....

Decomposition: Breaking down data, processes, or problems into smaller, manageable parts
Pattern Recognition: Observing patterns, trends, and regularities in data
Abstraction: Identifying the general principles that generate these patterns
Algorithm Design: Developing the step by step instructions for solving this and similar problems

Computational Thinking will act as the overarching umbrella for STEM, which we will commence in 2016. Our teachers already use many aspects of computational thinking in their daily programmes. When our teachers are teaching maths many aspects of computational thinking are required to break down problems, look for patterns, or to "sort the wood from the trees" (Abstraction)

The diagram below explains Computational Thinking very simply.

Thursday, 23 July 2015


What is STEM?

Science ,Technology, Engineering and Maths

Why teach STEM?

Every country in the world is reforming their education system at the current time. Why? Well we are told it is because we are not preparing students with the skills and attributes they need for the future. Many jobs in the future will depend on students have a really good basis in STEM.

“Science and technology are at the heart of every major challenge we face: rebuilding transport systems in major town and cities, climate change, space exploration,creating a healthy economy. Yet every year the number of Graduates in STEM decreases in New Zealand”

Our government has created a new initiative called Curious Minds. “A Nation of Curious Minds is the blueprint for the Science in Society project. In July 2014, the Minister of Science and Innovation, Hon Steven Joyce, and the Minister of Education, Hon Hekia Parata, launched A Nation of Curious Minds, the Government’s plan to encourage and enable better engagement with science and technology across New Zealand society.

The plan, A Nation of Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara, recognises the important role scientific knowledge and innovation play in our lives and in creating and defining New Zealand’s future, economically, socially and environmentally.”

Through the MOA Kluster we have been developing exciting new partnerships and focus, for some months. We have been developing a STEM focus.We are still at the beginning of our journey. We had a combined meeting with the BOT from the four schools and we have agreed that this is a direction that is important for our students and their future.

So What Are We Doing About It?

Maths: Each school has designated a lead teacher to review our direction for 2016. These teachers will be working cross school to explore what is working well and what we need to improve. Having a cross cluster focus adds strength to this review. These teachers will also be exploring different ways to teach maths to help our students to become “maths problem solvers”

Science: The schools are working alongside one another to share professional development. We are currently building working partnerships both in New Zealand and overseas to strengthen our knowledge and skills in this area. Science and maths will be a major focus for our schools in 2016.

So What About Engineering? Do You Actually Do That At Primary School?

The short answer is YES.
If you’ve ever watched children at play, you know they’re fascinated with building things—and with taking things apart to see how they work. In other words, children are natural-born engineers. When children engineer in a school setting, research suggests several positive results:

Building Science and Math Skills

Engineering calls for children to apply what they know about science and math—and their learning is enhanced as a result. At the same time, because engineering activities are based on real-world technologies and problems, they help children see how disciplines like math and science are relevant to their lives.

Classroom Equity

Research suggests engineering activities help build classroom equity. The engineering design process removes the stigma from failure; instead, failure is an important part of the problem-solving process and a positive way to learn. Equally important, in engineering there’s no single “right” answer; one problem can have many solutions. When classroom instruction includes engineering, all students can see themselves as successful.

21st Century Skills

Hands-on, project-based learning is the essence of engineering. As groups of students work together to answer questions like “How large should I make the canopy of this parachute?” or “What material should I use for the blades of my windmill?” they collaborate, think critically and creatively, and communicate with one another.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Student Posting in the Holidays: Auroa Primary School

Bethanys Blog: Visiting Sky Tower
These students from Auroa Primary School are all in the Y5/6 Room Three Class.  They have individual student blogs and have all chosen to post in their own time during the school holidays:

Bethany's been on holiday in Auckland and visited the iconic Auckland Sky Tower.  You can see her standing on a sheet of glass on this fantastic post on her wonderful blog by clicking here.

Caros Blog: Mount Taranaki
Caro has been in the snow on Mount Taranaki - you can read about the details of the experience that she's had by clicking on her fantastic blog here.  

Katelyn has been in Rotorua having some fantastic adventures on her holidays.  If you would like to find out all about what she has been up to and read her fantastic recount about her adventures you can click on the link here.

In each instance the students have been writing about the events that have occurred, and written recounts detailing the events and taken time to include details and links (such as hyper linking to links with more details).   Its provided motivated learners and opportunity to connect with an authentic audience.  The students concerned have had a combined total of 15,000 page views.