Waimate schools join forces to share skills

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A group of schools in Waimate are forming Canterbury’s first Community of Learning, part of a Government initiative to boost academic success at primary, intermediate and secondary schools.
The schools are Waimate High School and Waimate Main, Waimate Centennial, Makikihi, Waihao Downs and Waituna Creek schools.
Communities of Learning are part of an initiative called “Investing in Educational Success”.
Waimate Centennial School principal Jonathan Young said the initiative would promote professional relationships between the schools, which would benefit pupils, as each school had staff members with different areas of expertise.
“I think there will be a huge benefit for the Waimate district in terms of the schools being able to work together,” he said.
“I’m hoping it will put the students first and get them in the centre. All of the schools will be working out what’s best for the students.”There are 96 Communities of Learning nationwide.
Waimate High School principal Janette Packman said the schools worked together for six months on their joint application, which was recently signed off by Education Minister Hekia Parata.
“The boards are fully committed to supporting the project and principals welcome the opportunities for establishing strong networks of support that working collaboratively enable.
“As a Community of Learning we have identified achievement challenges to lift our students’ achievement in areas such as reading, writing, maths and school leaver qualification.
“We will work collaboratively to raise achievement for our children and young people,” she said.
“We will be doing this by sharing expertise in teaching and learning, supporting each other and working together, so the child’s journey through education is easier.”Now the application has been signed off, Ms Packman said the focus would shift to schools appointing their most skilled teachers to share knowledge with their colleagues.