This presentation from November 2015 provides a summary of feedback on collaborative spaces in 2015 and information about our school-wide developments towards providing future-focussed learning programmes.

This presentation from December 2014 shared our intentions with a trial of Collaborative Learning Spaces in 2015. Opening the presentation with this link will give enable you to view the presenter notes.

Parent evening Future Focused Learning T.4 2014

This video gives an outline of the school's strategic direction. It was prepared in 2013.

Schools in New Zealand are currently being encouraged to develop Innovative Learning Environments to better meet the learning needs of their students. At Cashmere Avenue we are exploring ways that we can apply new practices to improve our student achievement, as well as the quality of experience for our learners.

Information about Innovative learning Environments can be found on this Ministry of Education website link.

During 2015 we have made a deliberate decision to apply and trial the principles of modern learning practice in both a Junior School and a Middle School flexible learning space. Some of the most obvious features of these spaces include flexible use of the shared space, cooperation and collaboration between teachers, and grouping children across the home classes for specific learning purposes.

There are advantages in this collaborative teaching model that have a direct benefit to children’s learning some of which are noted here.

  1. Targeted teaching: More groups are available so children are more likely to be placed into a group that specifically targets their personal next learning steps. As the instruction is more focused on exactly what they need to learn now, children can more quickly move to the next level.

  2. Positive relationships: Children are able to interact and get to know several teachers, which deepens the level of pastoral care they are provided with as their unique personality and needs

  3. Areas designated for specific learning functions: In a larger connected space areas can be designated for specific learning purposes eg. a quiet working zone, a collaborating and group zone and an activity area etc. distracting or noisy activities are can be located away from those students who want to work with a degree of quiet and independence. When working collaboratively and aligning the programmes across the space teachers are more able to designate someone to rove and assist and manage any issues.

  4. Peer support for teachers: Teachers working collaboratively can learn and benefit from the strengths of their teacher peers. As teachers see how others do things, their own performance and expertise can be enhanced.

  5. Better able to deal with problems: When a problem arises in a class the teacher must deal with it immediately often at the expense of learning activities (this could be a sick child, a behavioural issue, or any number of other things). When teachers are working as a team, learning can continue for the majority of children as other teachers are available to oversee this while one teacher deals with the problem.

We expect to continue to evolve and develop our future focussed approach throughout the whole school in future years as our building programme provides us with the flexible spaces to do so.