Te Whakatipuranga Hou Cluster

Today I had the pleasure of attending Te Whakatipurangi’s Cluster Conference in Papamoa in the Bay of Plenty. Paula Jamieson, the cluster ICT facilitator, had been following my stuff for a while and had been at ULearn08 in Christchurch last year.

I did a couple of workshops- one on podcasting and another on Adobe OnLine. The feedback from the podcasting sessions were very positive with people enjoying the conversations and fun of it all.

Quote- “Podcasting looks much more straightforward than I thought. Great! I will try this!

Unfortunately we had a bit of a problem all logging on to the internet at the same time in the second workshop but at least we got some useful tips on how to make good use of Google Docs. If you would like to look at what I was going to talk about in Google Docs as a presentation click on the graphic below and follow along by clicking on the arrows on the bottom left hand corner of the presentation.


The conference was held at Te Akau Ki Papamoa School. What a wonderful set up that was- the school has quite a distinct character and vision. Their vision comprises seven waves with the proximity to Papamoa Beach being recognised. Each wave is a separate learning goal. That visual symbol of the vision is great for learners to identify with.


Vision – Clearly define our preferred future. Provide a clear learning continuum.
Think – Focus on Higher Order Thinking, critical self-reflection, Essential Skills, individualised learning, in depth learning and research.
Learn – Provide the environment and opportunities for our learners to develop the skills, attitudes and values to contribute to society and to be self-motivating, life long learners.
Nurture – applying a Whanau approach in all we do. Providing a safe physical and emotional environment. Applying “good choices” and “restorative justice”. Nurturing each child as our own.
Grow – Assist learners to discover, develop, demonstrate and celebrate their talents. Apply Benchmarks to measure progress. Focus on goals and ways to achieve them.
Communicate – Celebrate the excellence we achieve. Share what we expect, stand for and believe in. Consult with our community regularly.
Shine – Focus on “Best Practice.” Identify, harness, develop, utilise and build on individual strengths.

Here is a link to one of our early Skype podcasts as we tried to learn more about neighbouring Brightwater School‘s logo in order to help us think of ideas that we needed for our own .

Here is Appleby’s newish logo. We were trying to articulate and represent our new vision statement in our logo. Has anyone else got any good visual symbols of their learning vision?


LEARNZ Virtual Field Trips for NZ teachers

What a great New Year’s present for 2009. All NZ teachers now have free access to the LEARNZ virtual field trips. Usually this would cost $75 per year for your school. All you have to do is verify your Teacher Registration number and provide an email address and you are away laughing.Image

If you haven’t explored the Virtual Field Trips before they have a demo link to a previous field trip about Mt Bruce Wildlife Park that has been archived that can be freely accessed but it will give a good look around the site. The virtual field trip has links to curriculum guides, audio, video, photos and heaps more.

If you chose to participate in a live field trip you will be able to talk to people on site via an audio bridge. All very cool and engaging for children.

The first field trip starts at the end of February and looks at Marine Reserves and there are others coming up on renewable energy, earth science, wind power, ancient NZ, freshwater ecology and much more. Give it a go- there’s nothing to lose.


Thanks Chris, Penny and Amanda for getting me blogging again in 2009. The deal is that people encourage you to write some stuff about yourself that others might not know.

I did another prompted by Miguel a while back- The Passion Quilt. And this Bucket List one from Cathy, this Random Facts one from Jane. And this one from Sheryl called Simply Successful Secrets.

So here it goes for 2008….

  1. I just bought my first house and will be 81 years old before I pay it off. I have lived in a lot of school houses with low rent and never before felt the need to buy before now. I bought when house prices and interest rates were at their peak!
  2. 2008 was the first year I had ever been overseas apart from Australia- and now I have been to America, Hong Kong, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Eire and Thailand. I am a late bloomer.Caerphilly Castle
  3. I have been a fairly ordinary teacher for most of my teaching career but have now through the use of ICT found something I am actually good at- it has taken a while to find my passion in teaching but hopefully it has been worth the wait.
  4. My great-great grandmother was the first pakeha girl born in Nelson- local Maori helped deliver her in a whare on the sides of what is now the Queen’s Garden’s in Nelson, but was then a harakeke swamp. My great grandfather was part of the Armed Constabulary that went to Parihaka to subdue the Maori. I am not proud of that but it is good that my best friend’s great grandfather was also there but not part of the Armed Constabulary.
  5. I have an abject fear of spiders and weta. I once lived in a house that was crawling with weta- even on the inside- I would have to check the bed every night to make sure it was weta free and I used kitchen tongs to inspect every piece of firewood bringing it into the house.
  6. I love New Zealand. It is my home and I can never imagine permanently living anywhere else. I can understand people fighting for a country but I can’t understand them fighting over a religion.
  7. I love to take photos and I have way too many cameras but keep on upgrading. Does anyone have a need for a couple of very good film cameras?
  8. Oh- and one last thing- For a previous job I had to sign the NZ Official Secrets Act- I can’t tell you what the job was as a bit of mystery is always a good thing.

No tagging of anyone else ‘cos we are all very busy getting our classrooms sorted.