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Achievement rates on the rise at Windley School

Apr 14th, 2016 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, News, Top Picture

Windley 650

Rising achievement rates at Porirua’s Windley School are due to a new teaching approach according to the school’s principal.

Staff have handed the reigns over to the students and are letting them take control of their own learning.

Principal Rhys McKinley says teachers and staff realise that children learn best when they are taught by one another instead of being told everything by teachers.

“I learnt more from who I was at school with than probably from the teachers,” Mr McKinley says.

He says Windley School is all about giving the students the opportunity to solve their own problems through discussion with other students and sharing of ideas.

And the principal says this new teaching practice allows students to figure out for themselves what they’ve learnt and what they need to do next time to improve their learning.

“Once we get all the relationships, the social and the health issues in place and cared for then we can start working on students’ achievements,” he says.

Over the years Windley has struggled to provide students with the resources needed but the principal says they try their best by providing them with the basic tools to prepare them for the day.

Every morning volunteers and Windley students set up a breakfast club that allows the students to grab a bite to eat providing them with brain food to last the morning.

“You can’t do reading and writing and maths on an empty stomach,” Mr McKinley says.

Statistics show that the new teaching approach has lifted achievement rates significantly over the last three years.

Last year reading rates improved by 11% maths 6% and writing 17%.

Nationally students only improve by 6% in writing and 9.5% in reading, according to Mr McKinley.

And the changes don’t stop here.

This year Windley School is aiming to achieve some major goals.

The principal says among them, raising achievement levels for Maori and Pacific Island students, increasing staff numbers and making sure they have the resources they need to support digital learning in the school.

Rhys McKinley says he’s confident the change in teaching practices will definitely benefit their students in the long run and they will continue to see a rise in student achievement.

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