Schools to meet challenges by sharing resources

Local principals (left to right) Justine Driver, Trish Plowright, Michael Williams, Linda Harvie and Catherine Rivers launched a Community of Learning in Pakuranga. Times photo Wayne Martin

It was the first time that teachers from five local schools in Pakuranga got an opportunity to mix and mingle and closely connect with one another at Farm Cove Intermediate.

Principals and teachers and from Elm Park Primary, Sunny Hills Primary, Farm Cove Intermediate, St Marks Catholic School and Pakuranga College got together on Thursday afternoon for a formal launch of the Community of Learning (COL) in Pakuranga.

This follows the Howick Coast Community of Learning comprising of eight local schools, launched in September.

Trish Plowright, principal of Elm Park School and leader of this Ministry of Education (MoE) initiative said that while the cluster of  multicultural decile 5-9 schools have a long history of working together, the COL will ensure a seamless high quality education with a strong strategic leadership.

“The vision of Te ara Mana-a-Kura COL is to create a community of leaders in which we work together to build the capacity of each individual to become a confident and passionate life-long learner who will enjoy success and fulfilment in learning and life,” she said.

The heads of schools with members of the Ministry of Education, teachers and a special Advisory Board Team were welcomed with a powhiri followed by a kapa haka performance by the students of Farm Cove Intermediate.

Teachers from other schools responded with a beautiful rendition of E Toru Nga Mea, a popular Maori hymn led by Mehernaz Daruwalla, an accomplished singer and teacher of Elm Park Primary.

“This is a starting point for us to look back at our achievements and challenges for reading, writing and well being,” said principal of Farm Cove Intermediate Linda Harvie.

Schools will be working with each other as a team to share teaching resources to meet the literacy challenge.

Michael Willams, principal of Pakuranga College, said that the difference in the way cluster of schools work now is that there is funding from MoE to work collaboratively.

“There are four across-the-board positions available for teachers to apply,” he said about more opportunities for teachers to share their expertise in a more positive way. They are fixed term roles for digital fluency, Maths, literacy and Science.

Justine Driver, the tech savvy principal of Sunnyhills School summed up the launch with a Maori proverb saying: “Success is not the work of one but of many.”