Our Kahui Ako began the year in upskilling and developing our staff. By investigating strategies to raise achievement in all students, but with a particular focus on Second Language Learners, our intention was to look at four of the ESOL principles this semester. Towards the end of Term One, all the schools involved in our Community of Learning met together to discuss the first principle: Know Your Learner.
During the lockdown, our group decided that our initial plan would have to be changed to accommodate the changing needs of students and staff. Consequently, we refocused our efforts on Student Wellbeing. We were very much aware that, in this unprecedented situation, our staff needed to be equipped quickly to deal with teaching online and its demands.
For instance, in Middle School, we developed a series of wellbeing videos for students. They were based on the principles of Grit and Resilience. There were also whanau competitions including a Wacky Hair Day to help give students a sense of belonging and connection. Staff also put together a message of encouragement based around Isaiah 41:10. This is a message the whole KingsWay School community needs to be reminded of for both now and the future.
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."