Virtual School Meanderings

April 28, 2016

NZC Online Newsletter

One for my Kiwi readers…

26th April 2016
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Ko te ākonga te pūtake o te ako.
The learner is at the centre of learning.
Welcome to the April newsletter for NZC online. This month we highlight inclusive education. Having used the first term to build relationships with your class, and set up routines, now is the time to reflect on the inclusiveness in your teaching and learning programme. The inclusion curriculum principle underpins the importance of classroom and community inclusion. Below are some resources and ideas that can help you put this principle into action in your school context.
NEW – Inclusive Practice and the School Curriculum
The Inclusive Practice and the School Curriculum resource for teachers and leaders in NZ English-medium schools builds professional knowledge and create a shared understanding of inclusive practice within the NZC. It is anticipated that providers of PLD will draw on the resource as they work in and with schools to develop effective and inclusive teaching and learning programmes.

A series of examples taken from practice in New Zealand classrooms is a highlight of this resource. Downloadable as PDFs, these examples cover a range of curriculum learning areas, and allow you to look at practice in other schools that can easily be translated to your own school context.

The inclusion principle
Inclusion is one of eight principles in The New Zealand Curriculum that provide a foundation for schools’ decision making. The principle of inclusion can be used to guide formal curriculum policy and planning, classroom programmes, and teaching practice.

This section of NZC Online draws together research, digital resources, and examples to support schools as they consider the inclusion principle.

School stories provide examples of ideas and approaches some schools are using to enact the inclusion principle. Stories are grouped around including students with diverse learning needs; affirming culutre, language and identity; and using digital technologies to create an accessible curriculum. Here are some examples:

Valuing what students and families bring to learning
Linda Ojala from Silverstream School explains the importance of knowing your learner and building on their interests, strengths, and home experiences in the classroom.

Culturally responsive values
Brian Price, principal at Breens Intermediate, explains how the school made their values more culturally responsive so that they could be owned by all students.

See also
Inclusive education: Guides for schools
This TKI website provides strategies, suggestions, and examples of how to include students with diverse learning needs.

National events and inclusion
Two national events next term will give a context for inclusive practice

Thumbs up logo.New Zealand Sign Language Week, from 9 May 2016
New Zealand Sign Language Week provides an opportunity for schools to reflect on the inclusion principle and explore the values of diversity and respect. Students can make use of key competencies, especially using language, symbols, and text and relating to others. Students will achieve learning outcomes described in the learning languages learning area.

Tapa cloth.Sāmoa Language Week, from 29 May 2016
Sāmoa Language Week / Vaiaso o le gagana Sāmoa helps all New Zealanders journey towards shared cultural understandings. Learning a new language gives us insight to new ways of thinking, and to different beliefs and cultural practices. Everyone who learns gagana Sāmoa helps to preserve it as a living and rich language.

Have you seen?
Earth Day, 22 April 2016
Earth Day is a global event where people honour the natural environment and raise awareness of environmental issues that trouble the world. By taking part in Earth Day students have the opportunity to learn about the future focus issue of sustainability.

Even though this year Earth Day falls in the school holidays, this page is a portal of resources and stories that support both Earth Day and education for sustainability throughout the school year.

EDchatNZ on Twitter – Thursday April 28
Join us tonight!

We want to continue gathering your thoughts, opinions and experiences around community engagement. Please join us on #edchatnz, tonight for a discussion with teachers from all over the country on how they are creating and sustaining the kind of community engagement that will really enhance student success.

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