Future Focussed Learning at Oranga School

There are enormous changes within society and today’s learners will live in a world which is difficult to predict. The emergence of new technologies and their exponential rate of development dramatically change the way we live, work and carry out our day to day living. We know that we need to prepare our learners for a world that will be vastly different from the one we see today.

 

The structures that promote student learning and progress 

There are many ways in which teachers support their students in the classroom, however, based on the latest research, there are several key organisational structures that we have embedded at Oranga School to ensure a positive learning environment that promotes student learning and progress. These include;  

  • Teachers working and learning together collaboratively

  • A kaitiaki to support and guide each student through their learning.

  • Flexible Learning Hubs

 

How many teachers will work with my child? 

Your child will be in a Hub working with 2 or 3 teachers, providing a richer, more well rounded curriculum. The teachers within the hub all take professional responsibility for your child, and their achievement and development. 

 

What is the role of a kaitiaki at Oranga School?

One of the most important factors that contributes to the success of your child at school is their relationship with their teacher. To value the importance of this relationship at Oranga School each student has their own kaitiaki. The Māori word kaitiaki means caregiver or guardian. The role of the kaitiaki will be to guide, support and track your child’s learning journey. Your child’s kaitiaki will be your first point of contact for your child’s learning and pastoral care.

 

What are the benefits of teachers working together?

When teachers co-teach they draw from each other’s strengths and ideas. Research tells us that collaborating leads to significant improvements in the quality of teaching and therefore outcomes for students (York-Barr et al., 2007)⁠. By working in Hubs teachers can readily access the teaching expertise of their colleagues to model and to be modelled to, which supports the development of effective teaching practice far more than teaching in an isolated, private space. Working in a shared space allows teachers to share their inquiries, interventions, and reflections based on both self and peer observations. 

Why are Flexible Learning Hubs beneficial for our students?

Each Flexible Learning Hub includes open areas for collaborative learning, and quiet spaces for independent learning, as well as technology, media, arts, resource and reading spaces. The flexibility of these spaces is key, therefore furniture is designed to be rearranged according to the style of learning. Research supports the theory that the design of flexible learning creates a secure and stimulating learning environment which drives innovative and imaginative teaching practice. The end result is improved levels of student engagement, leading to improved academic achievement. 

Other benefits of Flexible Learning Hubs include;

  • more frequent student to teacher interactions 

  • greater differentiation of the teaching and learning programme

  • increased collaboration: students to students, students to teachers, teachers to teachers

  • greater social development with students having the opportunity to interact with a wider group of peers

  • greater opportunity for students to work in a way and setting that best suits them

 

We know that the learning environment is only a tool in the hands of teachers. As Blackmore et al. (2011)⁠ conclude: “buildings on their own are not enough.” It’s what teachers do with those buildings that counts. But giving teachers the best tools to do their job as well as they possibly can is a vital first step towards creating great learning opportunities for all young people.