Hero photograph
Photo by Chris Sullivan

Principal's Message

Kate Nicholson —

Another month of 2020 finished and another month closer to 2021 and our new strategic direction.

During the holidays, a staff planning session reinforced for me that we have a staff excited by change and the desire to reframe the way that curriculum delivery happens at Kavanagh College.

We believe that stronger relationships with fewer teachers is key to settled learning with adults who know the learner well. We know that creating integrated, real world learning experiences enhances engagement and creates purpose for learning, and we also believe that digital technologies are an important tool within learning, but they cannot stand alone and they need to be embedded as a natural part of learning in a 21st century world. We are also conscious that research shows there is a transition leap between year 8 and year 9 and student learning often stalls because of this, more so when students enter a new school at year 9; our aim is to reduce this transition leap and ensure that the experience for students is smoother. Relationships that increase a sense of belonging and connectedness, integrated learning experiences and settled learning environments with more opportunity for student leadership of the year 7-9 area will be key to our new model. Everything here sits firmly within educational research and we are conscious of the need to ensure that our data systems, monitoring and review of every child’s learning and wellbeing is paramount within this new model.

Another aspect that will be interwoven throughout every level, and sitting alongside academic knowledge, will be skills development in line with much of the learning that has come from work by educational researcher Michael Fullan, 21st century learning design by Microsoft, and reports commissioned by the OECD such as the learning framework 2030. Of course, this will all be underpinned by our Catholic character and our graduate profiles. These graduate profiles will be determined by age and stage, unlike most schools that have one graduate profile for leavers at year 13. We see real value in having three stages within Kavanagh - years 7-9 as the foundation years, years 10 & 11 as consolidation years, and years 12 & 13 as transition years for successful next steps into further learning and employment.

We will begin with our year 7-9 area next year, and plan to have reviewed and reformed years 10 -13 by the beginning of 2023. We will be holding a meeting with parents and whanau of our current year 7&8 students within the next few weeks to explain how things will look different for their children next year.

We are excited by where we are heading, and we look forward to your input as we begin the journey into a new stage of learning and academic success for our young people at Kavanagh College.

Open Day is on Sunday at the adjusted time of 12.30. Please continue to spread the word about this opportunity to come and visit. The doors are open to anyone who would like to have a look – maybe because they have just always wondered what we are all about. We have many student guides and helpers, as well as PFA members and other supporters assisting on the day – thank you all in advance for your help.

Ngā mihi nui,

Kate Nicholson

Theme for 2020 “Do the little things well’

‘Ahakoa he iti he pounamu’ (Although small it is highly treasured)