Hero photograph
Photo by Kate Boyes


Scott Aitken —

This year we continued with the Manaiakalani pedagogy of Learn, Create, Share by encouraging students to share their learning on their blogs. Next year we will continue with this and focus on strengthening communication with whānau so everyone can see the awesome learning our students are doing.

We still strongly encourage all students to bring a Chromebook to school in 2018 to help them facilitate their learning. Not bringing one disadvantages students and creates unnecessary stress for teachers and other learners.

The Level 3 English students successfully developed an informed understanding of literature using critical texts that were based on the narratology works of Joseph Campbell’s ‘The Hero’s Journey’.

The department also participated in Project-Based Learning with many other subject areas.  This is a very different pedagogy, or style of learning.  Students learn 21st Century skills, such as collaboration, communication, creativity and problem solving to name a few. Students were also able to improve their writing, research, and presentation skills through a more authentic means. The onus is more on the students to do the work and is interdisciplinary and based on real-world issues and work.

The staffing for 2017 was Scott Aitken, Chris McLaren, Sasha Johnson, Joanne Clark, Diane Alpers, Matt Grace, and Lynda O’Donnell. Mrs O’Donnell gave birth to little Myla in November. She will be sorely missed as they enjoy motherhood. Also sadly missed will be Matt Grace and Di Alpers who have jet-setting aspirations for 2018.

The Media Studies Department.  This year, the students created some of the best documentaries ever made by Hornby High students, and not only made it to the finals of the New Zealand Broadcasting Schools' Short Films Festival but were also asked to be put on the new NZIWR Facebook page. Students obtained credits through the design and plan of the documentary, the documentary itself, a feature article and the external exam which focussed on the Sci-Fi sub-genre Dystopia. We critically examined the genre and how it has changed over the year as society has changed. It included such films as Bladerunner, V for Vendetta, and Elysium.