Saturday, 9 November 2019

Senior Prize Giving 2019

Nau mai haere mai ki te kura te Huruhuru Ao o Horomaka.
Welcome to our 45th annual Hornby High School prize giving.
Please be seated.

Ki nga mana whenua ki Ngati Moki me Ngati Ruahekeheke ki taumutu, tena koutou
Members of the Board of Trustees, distinguished guests, fellow staff, parents and whānau.. tēnā koutou

Ki te Kura Te Huruhuru Ao o Horomaka, tēnā koe
Tēnā koutou katoa 

Mā te huruhuru, ka rere te manu
‘Feathers enable the bird to fly’

Board Chair, Mrs Kaye Banks, fellow Board of Trustees members, Te Taumutu runanga, honoured guests, colleagues, parents and friends, ladies and gentlemen, students of Hornby High School  - welcome to this 45th senior prize giving of Hornby High School. 

During the year Kaye Banks, Penny Devine, Donna Sullivan, and  Rochelle Jackson, were re-elected to the Board, and Simon Evans joined them on election. Crystal Edminstin was re-elected as our student representative on the Board. Thankyou to you all for your time, your work, your wisdom and your support.

The year has seen a small number of staff changes. 
Mr Jack Goodlfellow joined us as our newest Deputy Principal replacing Mr Jon Rogers and quickly showed his worth to our kura. Mr Alan Tenberth continued his work relieving for Mr Jonathan Handley-Packham who has subsequently announced his retirement. Mr Russell Cairns joined us in a part time position teaching English for the year, and Ms Gina Cuttance joined the counselling team part time for the year. Ms Cuttance’ position was funded entirely by the Board and reflects their focus on supporting improved wellbeing for students by increasing the availability of counselling support for students across the school.  Mr Corey Kamariera left us to join the team at Te Whānau Tahi, and subsequently Mr Connor Matthews joined us teaching Te Reo Māori. We welcomed Ms Melissa Oliver part time to the staff team working lart time in our Learning Commons Re Pae Rewa. Teacher Aides Emma Grennell and Sarah Nothcote left us to take up full time employment elsewhere.

We are grateful for the contributions that they have all made to our wonderful kura.

The year 2019 marked the completion of the whole school rebuild, with only landscaping and ‘make good’ work to be completed. Our contractors Leighs Construction expect to be clear of our site by March 2020. The company and its team have been exemplary citizens sharing the campus with us as they have undertaken their construction work. We moved into the last of our new buildings, we have called them kahui, late in term 3. Unsurprisingly we immediately saw students focussing on their learning in these new spaces. We were careful in our planning and design to allow for a variety of learning needs amongst students, with a combination of larger collaborative spaces and smaller break out and traditional class spaces. I have already observed increased staff collaboration, and the exchange of ideas and thinking, exactly the sort of start we would have hoped for in these spaces. Our preparation for the occupation of these new spaces has included a great deal of thinking and trialling of different ways of planning our curriculum, we have called it ‘playing in the sandpit’, and we believe that we continue to see improved engagement and achievement amongst students. The new buildings were also explicitly designed to allow a shift to a vertical pastoral system, a whānau grouping in which students from all year levels will be grouped in those whānau groups. Each of our kahui is a pastoral grouping. This change will be phased in over the next few years.

Of particular note has been what we believe is a significant improvement in internal NCEA results at the Merit and Excellence levels (and in fact overall pass rates). One year level has nearly doubled the proportion of internal standards credits achieved at the Excellence level before the inclusion of external results in January, and we have seen a record number of students gaining their NCEA endorsed with Excellence before they even enter the examination room. This reflects deeper learning and higher levels of engagement and aspiration amongst students. This broader aspiration is vital to our student success. Every student needs to aspire to be their best. 

To every adult in the room, I beg you, I implore you, to support our rangatahi in raising their aspirations. Perhaps my biggest frustration in my professional life is the amount of almost unbounded human potential I see going unrealised. Talented students settling for nothing near their best means they miss out on fuller richer lives, and it also means that as a society we miss out on those talents.  We are the poorer economically, culturally, and socially. Settle for nothing less than their best.

To our wonderful staff, thank you. You are amazing colleagues, you show yourselves to be the risk takers that our rangatahi need in education. We know that risk taking is essential for creativity to thrive, and I want to make some comment at this point about the media in regards to education and its future, and the notion of risk taking.

We know that in New Zealand we have what has been dubbed a ‘tail of underachievement’. We know that our Māori and Pasifika children are overly represented in that group. This tells us that much about our traditional systems of education has not worked for those children, that this is the fault of our systems and structures, not the fault of those tamariki. We must change and adapt to better meet the needs of these children who are our future. However, most often when a school tries new ways of meeting the needs of these children, it is pilloried, it is attacked, by our media. The result of this is that schools become risk averse. Change is disincentivized. Frankly this is little more than institutional racism, it is the protection of the privilege of the few for whom the system does work, as the media is slowing the change that we need in New Zealand to better meet the educational needs of our tamariki. To steal and adapt the famous quote from the epic movie ‘Gone with the Wind’, “Frankly, we don’t give a damn about those media attitudes”. My colleagues are embracing change.They show great courage in our endeavours. We have not lost our moral compass. We are driven by the moral imperative to do right by every child, not simply the privileged few.

I’d like to once again make mention of The Manaiakalani Programme. In my entire career I have never seen anything as transformational in education. The Manaiakalani Programme is a pedagogy (a way of causing learning summarised with the three words Learn Create Share) that is consistent across our cluster, and increasingly throughout our kura, and it is magnified with the use of digital technology, specifically Chromebooks. With these tools, we are accelerating student progress in writing by twice national averages. That is, our students are improving in their writing twice as quickly as students of their age generally across the country. In reading and mathematics it is currently less spectacular. The rate of progress is only one and a half times that of students generally across the country. But we still have our junior students improving faster than students nationally. Can I say definitively that these improvements are solely the result of Manaiakalani? No. However, consider this. These same improvements are happening for the thousands of students across the country in the nearly 100 Manaiakalani schools. Those same improvements are not happening consistently anywhere else. It would be a funny old coincidence if it weren’t Learn Create Share and the affordances of the digital technology that were creating these transformational improvements. The Ministry of Education has finally accepted the worth of what is going on, and work is afoot to have funding for the scaling of Manaiakalani across the country built into budget 2020/21

We are doing our bit, as staff learn how to best employ the pedagogy to accelerate the learning of your children. Please help us. Please make what we know for many is a significant investment: provide your child with a Chromebook. It is possibly the best money investment you can make in your child.

In this regard I’d like to make special mention of and offer our warmest thanks to the members of the Uru Mānuka Education Trust who have done amazing work to support our work across the cluster, and to the Wayne Francis Charitable Trust who have made the investment into our cluster Uruy Mānuka. They have secured five years worth of funding to support our education leader Ms Kelsey Morgan who works with teachers to continue their upskilling in how to cause learning with our driving pedagogy, and therefore how better to help students to make informed use of the digital technology. This teacher development is essential, because we know that simply putting devices into the hands of learners and doing nothing else will fail completely. The devices impact learning for your children when we also change the way teachers teach. Thank you.

Of note too over this past year is that we have engaged with the other schools across our cluster (Uru Mānuka) to formalise our Kāhui Ako, our community of learning. This releases additional resources that will be put to use to support and benefit our learners, your children, not just at Hornby High School but across the whole community. Thank you to my colleagues and fellow Principals, and to the wonderful staff who make these kura such wonderful places tro be. We are doing amazing things for our community.

I have to say thank you to a growing number of supporters of our kura. This growing list is a symbol of the support, the love and kindness, the faith, that our community has in you our students, our whānau, our staff.

CERT Trust
Mainland Foundation
Westpac  - Hornby Branch
GCSN - the Greater Christchurch Schools Network
Orica Chemicals
Hornby Residents Association
OCS   ( $200)
Wycola Medical Centre
Westpac Hornby Branch
Craig Frampton 
David Browne Contractors 
Kitchen Surplus  
Hornby Working Men's Club 
Hornby Rotary  
Gators Basketball -   ran fundraiser for senior basketball to attend tournament

Finally, to our prize winners, well done. Tonight we acknowledge and celebrate your attitude, your persistence, and your achievement. The prizes we award acknowledge only one part of the wonderful achievement represented here tonight, and throughout the school, but that achievement represents much about our purpose as a kura.. 

To our 2019 Prefects, thank you for your leadership and your commitment to the school. You have modelled the very kindness that I think is essential to healthy caring inclusive communities. Your daily actions are an example and an inspiration to us all, you are all a wonderful example of the values based leadership that the world desperately needs. Kia tau te mauri.

To all of our leavers - please know that you take with you our best wishes, and the knowledge that at Hornby High School you have your turangawaewae, your place to stand. You are an outstanding group of young men and women. Thank you for everything you have contributed to our kura. Well done on all that you have achieved. Thank you for the people that you have become.

Kia mau ki te tūmanako, te whakapono me te aroha

Hold fast to hope, faith, and love.

Noreira tena koutou tena koutou tena koutou katoa

Wednesday, 23 October 2019


The annual Manaiakalani 'Wānanga' was held today. This year over 100 educators from Manaiakalani clusters from around the country got together to review data and progress and to share ideas on next steps. The day is always energising and inspirational, highlighting the incredible impact of what we do.

As is so often the case when groups of like-minded people come together (regardless of the interest or purpose) really useful conversations take place over the tea breaks, and today was no exception.

I had a fascinating conversation with Mark Maddren (the original Manaiakalani facilitator for Uru Mānuka), and Aaron Wilson (researcher with the Woolf Fisher Research Centre, Auckland University) and Mark put forward an idea that I hadn't considered before. He pitched it like this.

We are mostly familiar with the concept of 'helicopter parents', those who (with the best of intentions and motivations) hover far too closely over their children (always wanting the best for their children, as we are hardwired to do as parents) but as a consequence denying their children to the opportunity to stand on their own two feet, to make mistakes from which thy can learn, and develop their own coping strategies which will be essential in their adult lives.

Image result for helicopter

Mark proposed the idea of 'helicopter teachers'. If I understood Mark correctly, these are the teachers who try to make things as simple as possible for students but as a result of which they take away the challenge.

Now this is, it seems to me, a fine line. On the one hand a part of our core job is to make core skills and knowledge accessible for our rangatahi. On the other hand we must make sure that those rangatahi still develop and grow the necessary skills for their learning.

We do this by:

  • Scaffolding content to such an extent that challenge is removed from the task, or
  • Bullet-pointing text so much that there is very little actual reading required, 
We attempt to make success so certain that there is little risk of failure, the result of which is :

  • Students don't develop the resilience necessary to face future failure, 
  • They fail to learn the critical lesson that success in life rarely comes from those first attempts, but requires persistence in the face of failure, and
  • We need to take risks in order to learn, develop and grow

We all do this for the best of reasons. If you believe in the idea of personality types (not sure that I do, but that's a different story), then you'd mostly classify teachers as 'rescuers'. If you don't follow that approach, then maybe it's because we generally understand the moral imperative behind what we do. We have to make sure that every human being that crosses our professional path is able to achieve outcomes that match their potential.

The discussion arose as we were talking about progress in reading. The Manaiakalani data shows that while we are accelerating writing achievement for our tamariki by twice national averages, we are only accelerating reading by 1.5x the national averages. When we present content we will bullet point it, taking out a lot of the words necessary to fully convey meaning. As a consequence students do less reading. We make a judgement call that real authentic texts are too difficult for our students, and so we don't present them with these reading tasks.

All of this means that as teachers we do all the work, not the students. As a consequence we undermine critical learning opportunities.

I fear that this reflects a lack of aspiration for our learners, and possibly even some deficit theorising about our learners. Possibly a better approach is to develop the skills necessary to teach students how to deal with, to read, authentic texts, how to approach and read difficult stuff. I believe that this is more of a problem with those of use who have been trained as secondary teachers (myself included). Yet we are ALL teachers of literacy (reading and writing). So the challenge in our Uru Mānuka cluster oi to create a sharper focus on reading by improving teacher skills around how to support our learners to read more effectively, rather than simplifying the reading tasks in the first place

All of this came from a discussion of the incredible data that is being accumulated on the success of The Manaiakalani Programme in accelerating student success. This is one of the powers of good data, and one of the huge benefits of collaboration. It is an incredible testimony to the professionalism of our teachers.

Robin Sutton

Monday, 16 September 2019

'Learn Create Share' the old fashioned way, with a modern twist

The Manaiakalani Programme is extraordinary. It is accelerating student achievement wherever it is used, regardless of the context. It uses a common pedagogy regardless of age, stage, or subject matter: 'Learn Create Share'. Pedagogy is just a fancy way for saying 'the way that we cause learning'. The biggest challenge is to help everyone to understand what that means. Teachers may get that idea more easily than non teachers, and the best way to help is to show what it looks like.

You might argue that teachers have used 'Learn Create Share' throughout the development of education, but the differences now are :

  1.  We are consciously employing it, consistently employing it, and making it clear to learners that we are using it, and
  2. We are amplifying the benefits of the pedagogy using digital devices, and digital tools.

In doing so we have to be careful not to through the baby out with the bathwater. That is, we have to be careful that we don't throw away other tools that still work.

Over the past few weeks two classes of Year 10 social studies students under the guidance of Catherine, a teaching intern from NZGSE, and their class teacher Alby Wilson, have combined the best of the old and the new. They have been studying technological change through human history, and today it was my pleasure to open an 'exhibition' of their learning. They were looking at technologies from those early neolithic civilisations, alongside those of ancient Rome, and ancient Egypt.

Because the room they have been working in is due for demolition very soon (yay) they sought my permission to do some 'cave drawings' on some of the walls. The walls were first textured using glue and sand, and they students then created their 'cave art'. The created cardboard models, cooked food according to what historians believe were accurate recipes of the time, made life sized replicas of some equipment, and created costume that they thought was appropriate to the times. They looked at mummification as a process, both scientifically, and culturally.

The researched and they wrote (all digitally), and alongside that they created. Finally today they shared as we opened their exhibition, inviting whānau to come along and enjoy their work too.

'Learn, Create Share', the old fashioned way, but again 'amplified' through the use of digital technologies.

Now let the blogging begin as students reflect on their learning, and share those reflections with the real world, making their learning visible.

Here are some photos of their exhibition. Ka mau te wehi!!

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Democratisation of education: The Manaiakalani Project, and more ...

Nothing could capture the moral imperative of education better than this image:

Image result for equality equity liberation image

It captures the challenge that faces us better than anything else that I can think of, and I've used it repeatedly.

How can we reduce inequality, how can we improve equity? I believe that ONE strategy is the democratisation of education,  making education 'fit for purpose' for everyone, not just those from the European middle class, not just those who have traditionally benefited from our past educational systems. Education offers the opportunity for liberation.

That is the background to my thinking after another great meeting with Cheryl Doig. We discussed a really interesting piece of work that she is involved with called 'Learning City Christchurch'. The name speaks for itself. What does it involve? What would a 'learning city' look like? That's the million dollar question.

Here's my take on it: we want Christchurch to be a city in which learning is ''what we do', the 'we' being all citizens, regardless of age, race, religion, and regardless of the purpose or context of the learning. Such a 'construct' is a very complex thing with lots of inter-related parts.

In Christchurch we have a formal education system that is evolving in ways possibly unique in the country. Secondary schools are increasingly collaborating, working together, sharing practise in order to improve outcomes for learners. Much of this began post earthquakes through the work of the Ministry funded 'Grow Waitaha' organisation, and continues on to this day. This in itself is important work that the Ministry of Education needs to continue to fund.

I recently discovered another exciting piece of collaboration in the making when I had a delightful meeting with Cheryl de la Rey, the (new) current Vice Chancellor of University of Canterbury. She spoke of moves to improve collaboration between the four key tertiary providers in Christchurch. To get more learners into formal tertiary education, regardless of the institution, is winning for the city, for learners, and for the country. Her views were refreshing.

Back to the meeting with Cheryl Doig; we talked of a concept of 'supernodes'.. something that blew my mind, but if I understand correctly it involves systematic development of areas of advantage that the city already has - agri-technology for example with Lincoln University.

So, how does this connect with Hornby High School?

We are already doing great work in the democratisation of education with The Manaiakalani Programme. The outcomes for our learners, regardless of gender or ethnicity, are transformational. Students are encouraged to find their voice, to connect their learning to their own cultural world, to make their learning visible, to coach each other. We are also working to transform curriculum so that it is more relevant, engaging, and effective. These things support development of student agency and efficacy (that is, control and effectiveness). These two things improve achievement for learners.

In this journey we are not alone. Many secondary schools in Christchurch are working to improve the ways in which they cause learning so that they improve outcomes. Whether it is Haeata and their new learning paradigm, or Christ's College and their 'Inspire' programme for their year 10 boys, it is all a part of the innovative educational landscape that we have in Christchurch. I am aware of many other initiatives across the city (and across the country) that are seeing extraordinary transformation in learning. Beyond Christchurch, try Hobsonville Point Secondary School, or Rototuna High School.

What is holding us back? In my opinion one barrier is the media, ever ready to 'bag' any attempts at doing things differently. After all, growing a sense of outrage is the best way to sell advertisements and generate revenue. To hell with the truth. To hell with improvements in society. The net result is that schools and Principals tend to keep their heads down in their attempts to avoid that public media gaze, that pseudo-scorn that the media is so keen to heap on educational innovation. Thank goodness many schools and Principals have the moral courage to try new things.

Well, Dear Media, let me offer that famous Einstein wisdom "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

In schools we are trying to do things differently. Whenever you see change and you 'bag it', you disincentivise that change and improvement. In doing so you create a push factor that resists change and maintains the status quo, that keeps those who have traditionally been poorly served by education down at the bottom on the economic heap. Perhaps most specifically you keep Māori at the bottom of the heap, because they are the people who have been least well served by our traditional euro-centric system. That sounds and looks a lot like institutional racism to me. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's certainly my perspective. And here's the fascinating thing in this regard: things that improve educational outcomes for Māori improve educational outcomes for all (He Kakano)

These are things that help to make a learning city, or to use a Christchurch City Council phrase, a city of opportunity. So too are moves to micro credentialing, to creating a system that 'badges' or recognises small pieces of learning that are important to the learner at a specific point in time, and that may well accumulate towards qualifications but which more importantly focus learning on what matters, not on gaining qualifications that may be largely irrelevant to the learner, and to society.

This looks a lot like democratisation of learning, and equity for learners. For Hornby High School, the democratisation of education comes in the form of The Manaiakalani Programme, in the shape of new connected curriculum, in the shape of a shift in pastoral practices and structures. Other schools have their own journey, as they should. This happens to be our journey. Many schools have the courage to change. Let's not be brow beaten by others into avoiding what is right.

Iti te matakahi, pangāia ke te tōtara pakaru ai (The wedge may be small but it will split the greatest tōtara).

At the very least we all bask in the economic benefits of this democratisation. By crikey, even the OECD agrees. And some of us even bask in the knowledge that what we are doing is morally right.

Ma te hururu, ka rere te manu

Robin Sutton

Sunday, 18 August 2019

A wonderful mix of 'Learn Create Share' and good old fashioned kindness and gratitude

Our Year 7 & 8 curriculum this year includes the opportunity for tamariki to take part in 'Community Impact Projects', and passion projects. One of these projects engages the tamariki in enhancing wellbeing in their community. Last term they devised and designed a mindfulness colouring in project/competition that they then promoted amongst cluster schools. They went out to businesses asking for prizes and were, on their own admissions, overwhelmed with the support they received, and were able to support improved wellbeing.

Their teacher Miss Birtch wanted to share some great learning and community interactions. Last week she had some of the Year 7/8's writing letters of appreciation to someone special in their lives. They were expressing their gratitude to help improve someone else's wellbeing and to show kindness.

Miss Birtch writes:

"Students wrote to a variety of people including Mums, Dads, other whānau members, teachers, friends, coaches etc. Students got to choose to share their actual letter on their blog, print them off to take home or email straight to their person, and then post a reflection about the task.

"It was great to see friends lighting up receiving kind messages and students running up to us to say that "Mum responded!!" or "Mum commented back!" within the time frame of the lesson."

This is a link to Saia's blog. He posted his letter on his blog, and guess what? Mum responded. I suspect you can imagine Saia's delight.

Engagement was high and these students brightened the day for a lot of people showing once more, and in a very different context, the power of 'Learn Create Share'. Students were writing, they were thinking critically, they were reflecting on gratitude which we know is strongly connected to wellbeing. For some this was via blogs, for others it was via email, or paper copies. The sharing of their thinking and their feelings was the important thing, and for some the technology enabled this in ways that might not have been easily accessible otherwise.

This is a condition of the human heart, and powerful determinant of our wellbeing. Of course that said, technology was never required to say thank you.

Monday, 5 August 2019

The power of making learning visible 2

My last post looked at a class scenario in which some of our amazing rangatahi contacted a fave author after reading one of her books, and writing a series of reviews. The net result is Ella West's planned visit to our kura in September. When we make our learning visible, authentic connections occur and new opportunities are created, opportunities that most probably would not have existed without that visibility, without the blogging, without the affordances of the digital technology.

Here is another recent example. Natasha is a Year 10 Business Studies student in Mr Stokes' Business Studies class. Natasha put together a presentation on what we call the 'Triple Bottom Line', the idea that businesses need to focus not just on profits, but also people, and the planet. Her presentation was a mini case study about Van, the shoe manufacturer. She then posted her presentation on her blog for the world to see.

With a little 'engineering', a staff member from Van's in Australia read the presentation and commented on Natasha's blog post. You can see the reply if you scroll down to the bottom of Natasha's post.

This is a real and authentic connection, a connection with real world people in a real world context. Natasha has brought her thinking to the attention of the people who matter in this regard, she has been able to begin the process of tapping into real world expertise. The fact that her presentation has been shared across the Australian arm of this company is extraordinary. Imagine how Natasha feels. No, you don't need to imagine. In her own words:

Natasha's context is real, the expertise that she may now be able to learn from is real. Natasha's learning is real. The benefits of this visible learning go far beyond the improvements to thinking and writing that occur with the act of 'blogging', improvements that are well documented through the independent and authenticated research conducted by Woolf Fisher Research centre (Auckland University).

We can only guess at the possibilities that now exist, but we can be sure that they are possibilities that did not exist before.

Image result for equality equity liberation image

This is the power of visible learning, this is the liberation we want for our learners. This is what happens when learning focuses on real world situations, and is shared with an authentic audience.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

The power of making learning visible 1

So what's this big deal about making learning visible?  'Manaiakalani', we say. "Learn Create Share' we say. "Accelerating learning", we say. How does that work? What does the Share part of that look like, and what it the big benefit of sharing learning?

Our basic sharing tool is student blogs. Blogs are our mechanism for sharing our thinking, our work, our learning, with a real audience. This blog post that you are reading is me as an educator sharing my thinking. And whenever a student writes a blog post, she opens up the possibility of connection with an authentic audience, with an audience that at the very least may be interested in the topic, or an audience that has much more specific expertise to offer on the blog topic. That offers a pathway to much deeper learning by connecting with levels of expertise that are not easily accessible within the student's own localised community. Sometimes that connection occurs naturally, and sometimes we have to 'engineer' it in the same way that a business or organisation has to engineer its own connections with its market or audience. But that's okay. We are most often so overloaded with information that we relish any opportunity to have our attention steered towards what matters, or what may be of interest.

This post is the first of two looking at real examples that we have seen at Hornby High School in the past few weeks.

Late last term a group of students from 7/8 Al started to read the book 'Night Vision' by ex Christchurch author Ella West.

Ella now lives in Australia. The students loved the book so much that they decided to contact her. To their surprise Ella replied. What's more she replied to each and every one of them.

And then this happened:

Followd by this:

The following day Mrs Allan-Fletcher took a phone call from Ella West, with the offer to come and talk with the class when she is in Christchurch in September this year. Mrs Fletcher came to tell me, and she was almost literally jumping up and down with excitement. If I am to be truthful, so was I when I heard the news.

Here are some of the responses of the students, who were equally as excited. Their words tell the story far better than I could. These are 11 and 12 year olds, hooked onto reading, and hooked onto learning. These are 11 and 12 year olds grateful for the opportunities they have, grateful for the chance to connect with a real author.

THIS is the power of blogging. THIS is the power of making learning visible.

Perhaps most importantly this is the power of Manaiakalani, Learn Create Share, and the use of Chromebooks as a way to create real connection, to create learning in context. This is how Chromebooks amplify learning. This is how we are accelerating learning. This is how we are accelerating writing development for our rangatahi by twice national averages. Theirs is perhaps the most powerful statement of that impact, and the most powerful argument for delivering a Chromebook into the hands of each and every child. We remain grateful to those whānau who make the sacrifice to purchase a Chromebook for their tamariki. After your time, you are giving your tamariki the best gift you possibly can.

This is not the first example of Hornby High School students making those real world connections with world experts to enhance their learning. Mr Rees' work with a Year 9 Maths class constructing sundials was the first I documented on this blog. This is another outstanding example.

Let's not forget that this is students showing our school values of Commitment, Achievement, Resilience, and Respect. And let's also not forget the power of an inspiring teacher in all of this. In this case, thanks Mrs Allan-Fletcher!!! And let's also not forget the manaaki, the whanaungatanga, the simple kindness, shown by Ellas West herself... reaching out to our tamariki in this way is true humanity. Thank you!!!

In part 2 I will describe another wonderful example of the power of sharing, of making learning visible, that has occurred in our kura over the past few weeks.