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Hampton Hill kids encouraged to connect

Oct 12th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News


LOUISE Bray-Burns hasn’t taken long to make her mark at Hampton Hill School – children are now allowed to bring cell phones and other electronic devices to school.

The new principal, pictured above, is looking to the future with her decision.

“We’ve got to start looking at the fact these kids are 21st century learners,” Mrs Bray-Burns says.

“Why engage them with bits of paper when very soon they’ll all have their own mobile devices and they’ll all be able to hook into the internet.”

Mrs Bray-Burns is already impressed with the use of technology at Hampton Hill, which includes blogs for each classroom..

“I was looking at them the other day and I was going ‘oh man they are so cool’.”

The new principal is a champion of technology, having been responsible for some of Tawa Intermediate’s early computerisation.

She was former deputy principal of Tawa Intermediate, where she worked her way up from relieving teacher to acting principal over 20 years.

She also lives in the area, and being so local means she is also familiar with many of the families at Hampton Hill.

“I ring parents, I talk to parents, and I make sure I’m out there meeting people.”

Mrs Bray-Burns came close to getting other principal jobs before landing the Hampton Hill role, so the outcome has worked well.

“I really wanted it because I know the area and I love it and so it all just fell into place”

An important philosophy for the new principal is that kids and teachers look after and respect each other.

“I see that’s hugely important and that for me is a really big part of making sure that the culture of the school works.”

Mrs Bray-Burns has no fixed plans for her future role at this stage. “You’ve got to be part of the culture first.”

She is not only meeting the parents but she has also drawing ideas from children and teachers.

She has already using De Bono thinking hats, a way of bring out ideas in groups.

She wants ideas out of the kids and the staff about what good things there are about the school, what things they want to see retained and what good ideas they would like to see get brought in.

“I’m going to pool that information and see where we are going.

“But it’s been a really nice way to interact with the staff and interact with the kids so they know a bit more about me which I think is quite important.”

Mrs Bray-Burns has been active in her personal and professional development.

She has a Masters in Education, has travelled to Japan and the United States to learn and spent time working with the Ministry of Education.

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