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Friday, 28 July 2017 11:48 pm

Bellevue School is ready ERO report after accelerating students

Bellevue has accelerated the writing ability of male and Maori students and is ready for a major review this year.

The writing project was in response to the Newlands school’s 2014 Education Review Office report.

Karen Hardie, who took over as principal just after the last report, thinks they are no different to many other schools in New Zealand when it comes to male students and their ability in writing.

Hardie says she worked with more than just her staff to achieve the change.

They included literacy facilitator Giselle McCashin, and Nathan Mikaere-Wallis, lead trainer for Brainwave Trust.

“We worked with the parents, the students and the staff to look at what the values are that we hold dear at Bellevue School and what are the things we want our students to do when they leave at the end of Year 6,” she said.

“Last year we got the School Achievement Function facilitator (from the Ministry of Education) in to help with us.”

They formed a change team for the writing.

“We looked at what we were doing, not only what we were teaching, but how we were delivering writing programmes and making teacher judgements across the whole school,” she said.

In order to keep the children in the know of how they are doing, they came up with a writing poutama, a visual document that shows the learning steps.

Hardie says she also put more use to IT.

“We have Chromebooks which are actually quite helpful.

“There are some programmes too, for those children who find it a bit trickier to write, that assist them to write so it does not inhibit them sharing their ideas.”

So far they have seen a successful rise in male and Maori student’s ability in writing.

Bellevue is also focusing on change to the school’s learning spaces.

The school recently hosted their twilight fair fundraiser and the money will help develop their outside areas into different learning spaces.

“The move in education is for children to learn in different spaces and have more flexible learning spaces, so that is what we are trying to do, to open out where the kids can be learning,” she said.

Hardie became principle of Bellevue School in May 2014 and before that, was the principle at Owhiro Bay School.

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