Nau mai haere mai ki te Kura Tuatahi o Whakatu
It is my great pleasure to welcome you to Nelson Central School - you will find us in Nile Street to the east of Nelson Cathedral. We are 'home' to 450 enthusiastic children aged 5 to 11 years. A mixture of old and new buildings are complemented by several beautiful, mature trees. We are fortunate that our school grounds feature two large playing fields and two adventure playgrounds. While being highly regarded by our community we do our best to achieve constant and never ending improvement. For further information, please contact the school office.
Last week I was asked about the changes to schooling and their origins- which made me think. As someone who has been immersed in education for a long time, the movement towards what is now called “innovative learning environments” makes complete sense. However the real change is not in the look of classrooms ( ours haven’t changed significantly in the past 50 years), but in the way teachers support learners.
What has changed?
The impact of technology and travel has changed our working future. Society no longer needs to parcel people into a “pass and fail” system to provide large numbers of unskilled labour. It is hard to predict what knowledge will be needed in the future, and what future jobs may evolve. We also know a lot more about how to learn - mostly because of the gains in brain imaging.
These two things have meant we have needed to change the way we teach.
Teachers now provide learning that is personalised to each learner - rather than the learner fitting in to a “one size fits all” model. Even when children are working as a group they will be asked different questions and challenged in differing ways. Learning involves working with adults and other children in partnership, as well as using technology. Being able to listen and collaborate are important skills. Increased attention is given to deep learning and thinking, to creativity and resilience. The foundations of literacy, numeracy, curiosity and perserverance continue to be important.
These changes mean that the role of a teacher is a very complex, highly skilled one, and our teachers work hundreds of unseen hours to ensure your children are supported and challenged every day.
There are also implications for our buildings - which were designed for groups of children all doing the same thing at the same time, mostly in silence. We are working to see what we can do to make classrooms more effective for the learning that is happening.
As parents, everything you do to encourage your child to be curious, to ask questions, and to keep trying when it is tricky, will support them to be active successful learners. We talk about having a “growth mindset”; that intelligence is developed, and effort creates success.
We are looking forward to sharing some of this learning, and our successes at the end of this term, with student led interviews.
Ngā mihi nui
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