For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function...
ESTABLISHING MEANINGFUL RELATIONSHIPS
One of RVS’s strengths as a small school is that the school can personalise education by supporting the development of meaningful, sustained relationships among teachers, students, families and the wider Marlborough community. The school will continue its active membership in the Blenheim Community of Learning, continuing collaboration within this forum. RVS want to continue to build reciprocal relationships with the school’s Māori community to meet their aspirations for their children at RVS. Meaningful relationships will be established in the following ways:
A. A POSITIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
Establishing higher teacher to student ratios for students, and reducing pupil loads for teachers, ensures the young people and the adults in the school are well-known to each other. Students are encouraged to be ready, willing and able to learn alone and with others, effecting the deep learning competency of collaboration. Physical spaces will reflect the desire for authentic collaboration between all learners.
B. A TEAM APPROACH TO EDUCATION
By adopting a ‘small team’ teaching approach, staff will collaborate to design curriculum, projects and assessment that are focused on meeting the specific learning goals of each learner. Joint curricular planning will ensure the curriculum builds upon ideas from one course to another and from one year to the next.
A primary goal of this team approach is to ensure peers are supported and encourage the sharing of teaching practices. Furthermore, ample professional development opportunities will be provided to supplement current skills, with a focus on skills in facilitation, adopting new technologies and incorporating the 6C's principles throughout the curriculum. Staff will also be involved in leading professional development in-house, which will help facilitate the adoption of better teaching practices, further strengthen staff unity and give staff increasing ownership of personalised education.
“…we need to recognise effectiveness among teachers and build a profession that allows all to join the successful."
Families are the first teachers of their children. Learners’ families will be encouraged to take an active role as a part of their child’s ‘team’, generating and sharing feedback that will be used to help assess and evaluate learning plans and modify student learning goals accordingly. Regular conversations using a range of media will be conducted between student, family and teachers/advisors to help create a community that focuses on learning.
Regional network of educators will be utilised to provide students with the best available innovative practice to suit their specific learning goals, including Network 4 Learning, tertiary providers (e.g. NMIT), local government, communities and business.
Partnerships with Elim Christian College in Auckland and Rangiora New Life School, amongst other schools, will provide students with subject matter experts with whom they can video conference to ask questions and gain specific feedback.
The school will increase links between learners and the local community to source mentors for students from the community and local business. These mentors will become a part of the learning team, providing feedback that will help to align students’ learning plans with their goals.