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WAICoL – Waiheke Kāhui Ako

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WAICoL is Waiheke Island’s Community of Learning / Kāhui Ako and it was officially established at the end of 2017. A Kāhui Ako is defined as a group of education and training providers which represent the learning pathway of most of the children and young people within the community. Currently WAICoL includes Waiheke High School, Waiheke Primary and Te Huruhi School.

Now that WAICoL is established and starting to make progress toward our vision of “… providing a seamless education that will inspire our learners to engage in a world of possibilities.” we feel that it is important to keep our community informed of our actions, successes and next steps. Looking to the future we plan to provide a termly update via the school newsletters.

Recap of 2018

Combined teacher professional development dominated last year with a focus on the ‘teaching of writing’. This development programme was led and delivered by ‘Tools for Teachers’, a Ministry of Education approved provider. The programme included workshops around effective teaching strategies, observations of teacher practice and opportunities for our teachers to view the facilitators teaching writing lessons.  

Our Across Schools Teachers completed two reviews – ‘Learning Support’ and the methods used for ‘Teaching as Inquiry’. These two reviews helped to shape the direction of WAICoL for 2019.

The focus of 2019 has been on:

  • Developing stronger relationships between teachers across the three schools.
  • Investigating methods for supporting learners in and across our learning community.
  • Engaging with the early childhood sector.

All teachers from the three schools are meeting twice a term, and as the year has progressed the focus of these meetings has shifted from getting to know each other to focusing on students’ learning and pathways. All of the teachers are part of inquiry groups which are exploring a variety of methods for supporting our learners and improving learning outcomes.

Members of the primary school staff have been meeting with the early childhood sector to explore ways we can improve the sharing of student information and the transition to school process. This is a passionate group of educators who are determined to ensure all children make the best start to their education journey.  We are in the process of strengthening these relationships by formally including the Waiheke Early Childhood Centres within the WAICoL Kahui Ako structure.

Following on from the 2018 Learning Support investigation, a steering committee has been formed with representation from the three schools. The purpose of this group is to review our systems and develop improved methods for supporting all of our learners.

The first of our across school learning programmes was launched earlier this year. Tupu Mai is a Te Reo Māori Language extension programme that involves students from the three schools. The tamariki and Kaiako meet each Thursday afternoon at Waiheke High School. The programme is focussed on extending both oral and written Te Reo Māori knowledge and skills. The ultimate aim of the programme is to develop the students’ knowledge and capability so that in the future they can complete Māori NCEA level 1.

The school leaders are undertaking a review of the WAICoL documentation with a particular focus on the achievement goals / challenges. The reason for this review is that the goals were written in the time of National Standards and the Ministry insisted that the goals were tied to achievement related to the Standards. With the removal of National Standards there needs to be a review to ensure that we are focussing on what is considered best practice and also what is best for Waiheke Learners.  

These are exciting time in Education with a number of reviews underway by the Government and Ministry of Education. We are aiming to put Waiheke education at the forefront to ensure the best outcomes for our tamariki.