Hero photograph
Photo by Nick Colville

Dual Vision: November-December in a School

Richard Edmundson —

Focussing on both the final weeks of 2019 and planning for 2020.

Kia ora koutou. Talofa. Kia Orana. Malo e lelei. Bula. Fakaalofa atu. Namaste. Kumusta. Warm greetings to the Linwood community. Haere mai to LCŌ.

Our first two terms at Linwood College at Ōtākaro are over. It has been good to note attention to learning has been retained amidst all the potential distractions. I wish to thank all the staff, our learners, the Board, and the Ministry of Education who have worked so hard to get us successfully to this point and I wish to thank whānau for their continued support and adaptability.

We are coming to the final weeks of Term 4 with senior students finishing internal course content and in their external exams.  Likewise, junior learners have a focus on learning gained across the year. Also this term we celebrate student success in all areas of school life, farewell leavers, liaise with our partner primary schools about next year's entrants, review the past year and plan for the next, all from the bedrock of Mauri Ora: flourishing wellbeing.

 At the end of Term 3 I wrote about the “pathwayed curriculum” at LCŌ.  I am mentioning this again as it has two major points to it that relate to student success. Firstly, it is  the school, learners and whānau knowing from our partner primary schools individuals' learning and skills as they come into LCŌ,  and building on these successes. Secondly, it is the learners seeing themselves in this learning, knowing both how their learning connects to them now, and to what they may wish to do when they leave school. “What are my post-school pathways and how does my learning help me achieve these pathways?”

In this way learning is meaningful to the individual and success is strengths-based.

At senior prize-giving I made a comment about a change in how I view learning-success. I walk around the school a lot during the school day and even that is not as much as I would like to. I endeavor to have positive learning conversations with every student I meet. This year I have had a personal re-set about expectations and now instead of asking about progress and credit-success generally, I am usually opening these conversations by asking about merits and excellences. At Linwood College at Ōtākaro  personalising learning means that for most learners to simply pass is not enough. We are a school where passing well, success with integrity, matters.

Linwood College is a vibrant community. Our students are wonderful people: open, thoughtful and questioning. We the Linwood whānau – school, family, community – are proud of them.

Finally, schools can be complex places, so if any member of the community wishes to talk to me about anything, please contact the office, or my direct dial 982 0100 ext 839, to arrange a time for this to occur. My door is open.

Ngā mihi nui and best wishes for the festive season and summer holiday.

Richard Edmundson Tumuaki-Principal