Virtual School Meanderings

June 20, 2017

June Update 2017

A newsletter for my Kiwi colleagues.

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VLN Primary School logo VLN Primary School
June Update 2017
Joining in Japanese class with Mangere Central School
Joining in Japanese class with Mangere Central School, by Rachel Whalley
Connected, Passionate, Purposeful Learners! by Rachel Whalley
Our Governance Group recently ratified our 2018 – 2020 VLN Primary Charter. Thanks to our schools’ community for your input that helped shape our key strategic document. Here are some of the changes that we made. Read more
Kia ora koutou katoa

Naumai, haere mai ki te Kura Tuatahi – Akonga Aka Mariko. Welcome to the VLN Primary School

Our goal is to:

Create Connected, Passionate, Purposeful Learners

This month we say au revoir to Rachel Whalley as she goes on Sabbatical. Our National Coordinator Ginette Van Praag will be relieving for her in her absence. We wish her and husband Rick, safe and happy travels for their trip overseas, and look forward to welcoming her return in Term 4.

An important theme this month is our 2018 Charter, updated and ratified to position us firmly within the CoOLs sector.  The new Charter is learner-centred and acknowledges that all are learners / ākonga – students, teachers, whānau and the wider community.  With this in mind we are focussing more deeply on improving teaching and learning through PLD, building our learning community and developing systems and structures that support this.

Following on from this theme, we include a timely article by Rick Whalley around the importance of ‘home school’ support staff in developing and supporting learner partcipation and management of their learning with the VLN Primary School.  The article highlights key findings from his research thesis and includes a link to a resource he has developed for schools.

In this newsletter:

Semester 1 is rapidly coming to a close and enrolments are now open for Semester 2 classes.  Inside you’ll find links to our Semester 2 prospectus with resources to support your student’s learning choices.  Don’t forget you can also visit our new website for further information. Our ALLiS contract ends this year, so Semester 2 is your last chance to access any of our ALLiS programmes at no additional cost!

We know that Google Classrooms is a great platform for sharing activities and collating work from students. This Semester we have been trialling Google Classrooms in some of our online classes. This article from eTeacher Sofie Jacobs highlights some of the key features and benefits and is well worth a read.  We plan to use the platform with all our classes from 2018.  If you’d like help with setting up your school to connect with VLNP Google Classrooms, please get in touch and I will be happy to help.

Finally, we would like to invite EOI’s for a reciprocal contribution of an eTeacher to teach Computer Science and Programming. This is a growth area for us and with the new NZC Digital Technologies coming into schools for 2018 you may find the PLD particularly useful to support its implementation in your school.

Kia pai tō ra

Ngā mihi nui



Lisa and learners from Mangere exploring Chinese
Semester 2 Enrolments Now Open

Do you want your students to be #connectedlearners, lead their own learning and build key competencies?  Do you want to share in the expertise of a growing collaborative network of schools?   Read more

Ready for French lesson @ Blackmount School
Supporting online learners

Effective student support is a key to learners achieving success. Rick Whalley discusses his research findings and shares a resource for schools Read more

Connecting Globally
Global connections – Making it work

Having been asked often, “How do you establish and maintain your global connections?” Geoff Wood details the nuts, bolts and issues relating to this. Read more

Online teaching and learning becomes more visible using this platform
Using Google Classrooms to support student learning

This year some of our eTeachers have been using Google Classrooms to share activities and resources with students and as a tool to collate and evaluate student work. eTeacher, Sofie Jacobs, shares her experiences so far. Read more

Mangatwhiri eLearners 
Teach Computer Science and Programming online!

The new NZC Digital Technologies Curriculum is coming into schools from 2018 and Computer Science and Programming are some of the Big Ideas covered in the new curriculum. Read more

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Attribution-ShareAlike (by-sa)   Some rights reserved, VLN Primary School, 2017

Please note that I am a member of the Governance Group for this e-learning cluster.

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