Why is there a need for change in the design of school buildings?
"The majority of New Zealand’s school buildings were built between 1950 and the 70s. Since then, teaching practice and student learning needs have changed significantly. New technologies and building materials allow for new, vibrant and well-connected learning spaces. All students deserve to be taught in these new modern learning environments and benefit from new teaching methods." – Ministry of Education
Learning is not the same as it was 10 years ago due to the exponential growth of the technology the world is now using. It has drastically changed our lives and also the workforce. Children can now learn any time, anywhere (ubiquitous learning). 47% of jobs will disappear in the next 25 years and robots will replace 5 million workers in 2020 alone. So to cope with the ever-changing world we need to create different learning spaces to ensure every child gets the best opportunity to achieve and cope with the changes we are now facing.
Will learning spaces be too noisy?
Naturally, you would think that fewer walls equal more noise. But through current research with the design of buildings, they now know what is the best material to use and the best position for that material within the school learning spaces. These design outcomes mean that noise is specifically reduced through the material on the walls, the use of break out spaces and speaker control systems. The acoustic design in our learning spaces is world-class.
Are the teaching and learning programmes the same?
The answer to this is yes. We will still use the New Zealand Curriculum to shape our local curriculum. We will still focus on Reading, Writing and Maths to ensure all children make the greatest amount of progress as possible and share this information with families throughout the year. Each school has its own design on delivering the curriculum and the process that they use. Tamaoho School will develop a process that meets the needs of the community and the world we currently live in. This is the exciting part, as we can design a curriculum that will be relevant, authentic and purposeful to our learners.
The teachers will use a collaborative approach to planning, to share expertise and ideas to ensure the best outcome for each child. You will still see teachers teaching in small groups, children working independently or collaboratively and learners managing their own learning (through the guidance of their teacher).
Are the class sizes larger?
No. Tamaoho school learning space design does not impact student to teacher class ratio based on the Ministry of Education staffing ratios. Tamaoho will be in a fortunate situation initially and we will be able to keep our class sizes below the normal ratios. Our youngest students will transition into school with similar-age peers. At the end of each year, the school enrolment numbers will be discussed to look at the best learning opportunities for all its students to ensure there is a balanced number of learners in each class. This means that some classes may be composite classes (classes made up of two different year groups).
Some classes will have different year levels, will my child's learning needs be met?
Children have always been taught on their abilities and capabilities no matter the year level expectations. There has always been a wide range of abilities within a ‘traditional’ classroom environment. This does not change in this new learning space. No matter the year level each child will be given the support they need to make good progress across all areas of the curriculum. The advantage of having more than one teacher in each learning space allows teachers to plan collaboratively together, thus they are able to work more closely to differentiate the learning needs and to provide more opportunity to meet every learning need no matter the year level.
What does this mean for my child if they leave and enter a more traditional school?
There are similarities between schools and their curriculum designs and preparing students for the future. All children should be able to cope with the curriculum change with ease. We believe our learning spaces will develop learner’s confidence, ability to think for themselves and to be empowered to manage themselves and their learning. They will be able to thrive when facing any changes in any new environment due to the skills we will be developing with our learners. We want all learners leaving our school to be confident, creative, critical thinkers and to be able to self-manage.
When will you be employing your school staff?
The Deputy Principal will be joining our strategic leadership team at the beginning of Term 2 2020. The rest of the teaching staff will be advertised in Term 2 2020, with the start date for the beginning of Term 4 2020. We will be looking to employ 9 teachers, and three out of those 9 teaching positions will have a leadership area attached. This is an excellent opportunity and will provide the team with the ability to work together and really define the curriculum and best practice teaching before the school opens in 2021. We will all be ready to GO! Jobs will be advertised via the Education Gazette and Tamaoho Facebook page.
Administrative staff will be advertised in Term 3 and appointed to start in Term 4 to ensure the school’s administrative procedures are running smoothly before we open and to also support the enrolments for 2021.
All other support staff will be advertised in Term 4, ready for opening in Term 1 2021.
If you have any further questions around the school environment or curriculum then please feel free to email: Amanda Wynyard (Leader of Learning/Principal)
How many students will there be per class?
Tamaoho will be tracking the number of enrolments carefully from July 2020 to ensure we have enough staffing to keep our class numbers equitable for all children. The MOE provides ratios to calculate curriculum funding for staffing, so schools try and use these ratios as a guide for class sizes. We will be hoping to provide the following class sizes (dependent on enrolments in 2020).
Year 1, 18 - 20 students
Year 2-3, 23 - 25 Students
Year 4-6, 26 - 30 Students
These are just a guide, and in the beginning the classes will be smaller until the school begins to grow.
Will there be before and after school care?
During Term 2 and Term 3 the Leadership Team and the Establishment Board will work through a process of identifying a provider for before and after school care. We will want a good quality programme that takes care of our learners. We will then ensure there is clear communication around how to enrol your child in the programmes ready for 2021. The before and after school club will take place in the school hall each day. There will also be a holiday programme on offer during each of the school holidays throughout the year.
How will children be grouped for learning?
In a collaborative learning environment with 2 or 3 teachers there is a huge advantage to support all children’s learning needs and to personalise learning, just simply by having more adults in the learning space to work with learners. Learners are grouped depending on the learning task, requirement or outcome. There will be elements in the day where children are grouped the following way (up to 6 children in a group):
- By their choice of learning activity
- By a mutually shared interest
- By mixed ability grouping (really challenge thinking skills and learning how to learn)
- By ability and the National Curriculum level the children are working at.
Grouping of children at Tamaoho will be flexible and fluid depending on what teachers observe each day happening with children’s learning and through the vigorous use of ongoing assessments. Groupings will not be fixed, as all children learn and different rates.
How much are the school donations/fees?
Tamaoho School Establishment Board of Trustees has opted into the Ministry of Education school donation scheme. This means there is no school donation or activity fee for our families. Around 1626 schools opted into this scheme in 2020.
Each year the Tamaoho School Board has to review this through consultation with the community and apply for the school donation scheme. We believe every learner deserves the best possible education through our curriculum.