One for my Kiwi readers…
VLN Primary School
Term Three Update 2015
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Kia ora koutouThanks for reading our VLN Primary School newsletters. Our goal is to:Connect Schools for Enhanced Learning Outcomes.In this newsletter we update you on the activities and achievements of our connected learners and teachers. This term we kicked off our Asian Languages Project and introduce you to our newest three eteachers; we celebrate success for our te reo Māori programme; share the adventures of our Rural & Remote Schools students; and make the first call for registrations for 2016.We are pleased to announce that our current contract between Matapu School and the Ministry of Education has been rolled over for the 2016 year. A big thank you to our friends at the MoE who have been working alongside in support of our work. This relieves the uncertainty of how we will operate next year but we are yet to achieve long term sustainability. I have been cautiously optimistic that changes in our educational system would help bring a legitimate place for the VLN Primary School within the publicly funded schooling system. We have pursued these opportunities as they present themselves – unfortunately we have plainly been told ‘we don’t fit the policy parameters’ for accessing resources for Communities of Schools and we also are not the right stuff for TLIF – Teacher Led Innovation Fund – it is hard to see that we aren’t innovative enough to access this fund? It is disheartening that these changes, although aimed at collaboration and innovation are quite inflexible and not accessible to us. However we will reframe our approach to TLIF, and will keep a watch on reviews to provisions of PLD & the Education Act. We are also looking for business & community partnership and support. This year we have put in applications to NEXT Foundation, UNESCO and InternetNZ. We are looking for someone to join our Governance team with the right networks to open doors to business & community sectors and to help us develop those partnerships and sponsorship opportunities. So if you are that person, know that person or want to partner with us we would love to talk to you.
The Rural & Remote Project Camp was held in Wellington last week with 7 schools, 27 students & their teachers, and Sam the KiwiCan youth helper. It was an action packed week; some of the highlights were Weta Workshop, Trade Me offices, Gallipoli exhibitions at Te Papa and at the National War Memorial, Capital E – Gamemaking. We visited parliament and had 6 of our MPs spend some time with us – a first for the Parliament Education Centre. We also got up close with Prince Charles and Camilla and their entourage, and shared in the excitement of the All Blacks welcome, including some close encounters. Check out camp week told through social media here on our Storify. With our continued funding from the Ministry we will be able to extend our Rural & Remote Project in 2016 if you are interested in participating and leading a new cohort – contact Rachel.The Rural & Remote Schools Project has been running for the last 3 years with the goal of reducing the social isolation of our students (& teachers) and preparing them for leaving their small communities and going on to high school. Our previous cohort of students (Class of 2013) are became good friends and still remain in contact.
VLN Primary Made Finalists for Nga Tohu Reo MāoriCongratulations to our amazing kaiako Nan Peeti & Koka Jules for their work they do with our students & school communities, that has placed us as finalists in Ngā Tohu Reo Māori.
Ngā Tohu Reo Māori is an annual Māori language awards event held to celebrate excellence and long term commitment to te reo Māori from across Aotearoa New Zealand. The awards, hosted by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, aim to recognise te reo Māori regeneration and innovation.We have had a growing number of requests to extend and adapt our programme into te reo Māori PLD opportunities for classroom teachers, and are currently working on developing this for schools. If you are interested in participating in Virtual Rumaki and sharing the taonga that Jules & Peeti bring to your classroom and professional practice, please contact us to express your interest.
You can read more about our Virtual Rumaki here.
Congratulations to Fiona Duncan from Rangiwaea School who has been accepted on the Asian NZ Shanghai Business Forum for Teachers! This is a great professional learning opportunity and as Fiona is a participant in our ALLiS Project we will all get to gain from the knowledge & expertise that she will bring back. All schools will have an opportunity to participate in our ALLiS Project, student learning and PLD – contact us to express your interest!
We are pleased to introduce to you our new eteachers who will be working with us on our Asian Languages in Schools Project. Each brings with them a wealth of experience in teaching their various Asian languages in NZ schools.
Ni hao, my name is Lisa. I have joined VLN Primary this year as an eTeacher of Chinese.I was born in Taiwan and have lived in NZ for more than 20 years. I live with my husband, my dog Archie, and two international students. Before I was a Mandarin teacher I studied music at University. I have taught Mandarin Chinese for the last six years. I enjoy using different strategies to help students to speak with confidence. In my spare time, I like to learn how to cook new things, travel to new places, take my dog to the beach, dig in the garden, play piano, have coffee with friends, and watch movies.
April was born in South Korea, where she gained a Bachelor degree followed by Master of Art degree in Korean language and literature. In Korea, she has been in various teaching roles since graduating from her Masters in Korea. She taught Korean language and literature in primary and secondary schools for several years. After moving to Auckland, she taught Korean to Korean students living in New Zealand at Auckland Korean School, where she also became the Deputy Principal. From 2006, she worked as a teacher-aide in Mt Albert Grammar School. Then she moved on to complete a Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) at the University of Auckland in 2010 and has been teaching Korean at several intermediate schools since 2012.
Ever since she moved to New Zealand with her family, April has lived her life in New Zealand regarding herself as a ‘moving Korea’.
Konnichi wa. My name is Shona Salomen and I have just recently joined VLN Primary as a Japanese language teacher.
I lived in Japan for 12 years, returning to New Zealand with my family in 2002. Since then I have worked as a Japanese language teacher at Fiordland College. I have developed an interesting language programme, which includes a trip to Japan every three years. I am passionate about teaching, and try to introduce this fascinating culture and language in an easy and fun environment.
At the beginning of 2015, my family moved to Wellington, and I will be joining them in November. My son who is passionate about basketball and parkour, is training to be an arborist, my daughter is completing her Year 11 studies.
Call for Registrations and Expressions of Interest 2016
We are preparing now for 2016 and have started our enrolments process. Please put in any expressions of interest or enrolments SOONER rather than later. This will give us more time to respond to queries, tailor programmes more specifically to the need of your students, and prepare the elearning support & PLD that needs to be in place to ensure our students are set up for success. Getting in early will also be an advantage to ensure your students get their first choices.
We intend to offer the following language classes:
Cook Islands Māori, Te Reo Māori, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, German, French, Spanish and Afrikaans. (We are currently seeking new language teachers for: French and Spanish)
Our other classes are:
Asia Aware Enquiry, Astronomy, Extension Maths, Literacy – Poetry and Programming & Computer Science.
We are also inviting interest for PLD in te reo Māori, Asian Languages and Learning with Digital Technologies.
PLZ consider putting yourself forward as an eteacher, this reduces your schools participation costs and is a great way to get some PLD in teaching & learning online!
ULearn15, as always, was a great time to make contact outside the virtual in face to face networks. To meet, make new friends and learn from each other.
The VLN Primary School presented two workshops on our Asian Languages and our Rural & Remote Schools Projects. You can see our presentation here.If you would like Rachel to present to your school, BoT or Principals group on these projects or any aspects of the VLN Primary School initiative please make contact.
Register Early for:
14th Annual Sole Charge and Rural Teaching Principals′ Conference:
Lead, Innovate, Educate: Creating Communities
Havelock North, 18-20 May 2015
The conference will feature:
Communicate, collaborate and create community with Jennifer Abrams (USA)
Reimaging AKO across NZ Schools with Cherie Taylor-Patel
Effective use of banked staffing and school financial management tips with Wayne Facer
Teacher workshops include:
Student ownership of learning
Reggio Emilia in New Zealand classrooms
Tools and tips for online collaboration
Plus exciting Hawke’s Bay experiences:
Art Deco Conference Dinner
Last years conference was a great success make sure you get along to next years – more info and registration form here.
What is the VLN Primary School?
The VLN is an amorphous phrase that can mean different things to different people – a Ministry online service, a teachers professional website, or online teaching & learning communities. To see what the ‘VLN Primary School’ is all about read this recent article published in STA magazine.
The VLN Primary School is available to all NZ primary schools providing:
- support and leadership for virtual learning,
- effective coordination of virtual learning programmes,
- professional learning to enable quality online teaching and learning programmes,
- personnel to advocate for virtual learning initiatives.
Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and school communities.Ngā mihi nui
Thanks to our supporters:
Our mailing address is:
VLN Primary School10 Clem Elliott DriveR D 4
Matata, Bay of Plenty 3194New Zealand
Please note that I am a member of the Governance Group for this e-learning cluster.