Our latest Principal’s Email Group was focusing on the subject of Kahui Ako (Communities of Learning). The full results can be found on the school website under the Principal’s Email Group section, but in summary;

We asked respondents about their level of knowledge and understanding of the Community of Learning initiative. The average response was 2.4

We asked about possible steps we could take to keep parents informed about what Communities of Learning are, and how our school may benefit. Some suggestions were;

-Communication via newsletter particularly highlighting key opportunities
-Send link to a website or send information home
-Provide a presentation
-Make the information available readily for those that want to know more. As a first time parent (from overseas) I remain in the dark about lots of areas of the NZ education system. Just the link above is useful for me to have a look around – I just didn’t know about it.
-Emails parents with bullet points – make it easy to read not paragraphs with links through to other websites which is all I have seen so far. This meant reading and understanding was too time consuming
-Give information through normal channels, eg facebook, SkoolBag. But if you feel there is too much you could hold a parent evening for those interested.
-In order to inform the community, it would be a good start to build a pamphlet with clear and nuclear information regarding the goals of the concept. For parents wishing more details and to go further on the development of the idea, maybe a workshop or a brainstorm session.
-Newsletter information every year.
-School newsletter
-A talk with the parents with the leaders of the other schools present. An example of how Col works shared with the parents.
-Send key info and link via Dojo and Wechat
-Have a question and answer evening explaining what the Kahui Ako initiative is. How as a community this will effect our learners, the benefits to the school.
-Posting more information on the school Facebook page, website and Skoolbag

Finally, we asked what benefits the survey participants could see for our school if we became more deeply involved;

-Shared resources, facilities & specialist educators ie sports, music
-Better awareness of other schools, better connection and transition to intermediate and college, better connection to wider community
-Better understand neighbouring schools’ operation & concerns etc
-Biggest benefits I would see would be the knowledge of levels of learning. Moving from where one school finishes to where the next one starts. Takes away some of the ‘fear’ for the children moving schools.
-Ensuring smooth transition form primary to intermediate. If someone has organised an event for eg top mathematicians, perhaps it could invite the other schools. Share resources or programs that worked really well in their school. Having opportunities to perform at other schools (choir, music groups) or share learning to inspire children from other schools and to have a platform to share their work. Sharing teacher professional development (offering it to the other schools to join). Advertising extra curricular activities from other schools, that are not offered at our school. Coming together to work on a community project that will affect people in the area (eg, cleaning up a local stream).
-In my opinion a Community of Learning might have some positive outcomes for everyone: For the community itself, as it is another way of liaison, building a stronger bond and facilitation of ways of interaction among the different scholar groups; For the teachers, as a powerful way to share and build learning resources, strategies and optimising their student’s trajectory throughout all levels of learning. It would be easier for teachers to understand where their students came from or where they are going and, in that way, prepare and support them better, not only academically but socially and psychologically. For students, as it would facilitate the transition to the next stage of learning (eg primary to intermediate) and know what to expect from the new environment of learning. For parents, as they would have more information about all the steps and transitions in the path of their children and be able to support and prepare them better.
-I can think of Engagement and also more knowledge for all involved people as well the children that be with good impact.
-Everyone working towards the same goals, improving our communities education offering to our children
-Huge benefits. Sharing of resources. Easier for children to transition to be school. Shared best practice.
-Teachers are more connected, valued and motivated through more resources and peer support
-Broaden our schools knowledge of how other schools work and what ideas we could use of theirs or give to them. The fund aspect how as a community could we make better use of funds to benefit all involved. Giving the teachers connection to other teachers for support and ideas.
-We may be able to leverage resources to maximise utilisation. Healthy dialogue and discourse can strengthen the collective in general.