Table of Contents

Keep us up to date about what's happening in your schools here



Hi All. Welcome back to the wiki, I hope you're all having a great start to the year. I'm off to spend a week in Taranaki next week and will be catching up with some of you while I'm there. I'm really looking forward to reconnecting with the Maunga and her people.
The Small Schools Principal's conference is coming up in May and you will be receiving an invitation to this shortly. Sadly (for you - I'll be in Canada :) I will not be there this year but I believe the programme is shaping up well.
You will all be well aware of the new cost recovery climate in education and as small school principals, Iappreciate the real impact this will have on your budgets. Massey facilitators are still working hard to provide flexible, purpose built support for you designed around your budget and needs though, so if there is any way we can help, please get in touch. And that is not just in the Massey region either - we're happy to poach you from anywhere in the country :) We have a wide range of experience in the education field, know the issues you face well, and have a record of getting the results that you need.

Here are some of the ideas I'm working on at the moment. I'd really love to hear from you if you have suggestions as I'm open to all ideas at the moment. Hear the Bell
Cheers, Heather




Yep, it sure looks like a chilly day in the Bay (Hawke's Bay, that is). I hope everyone is having a break of some description. Have a great Term 3 and keep up the communication.
Cheers Mary

How about some snow photos people?
Here's one from Mary at Tareha School to kick things off :)
Thanks Mary, there's some really nice resources here.
There is a NZ section in there and there is a section of resources that are translated into Maori. Click on the Maori flag beside each one to get the translated resources. We have a school here in Napier called Hukarere, I've learn't that this means snow. As it used to be located on top of Napier Hill, I'm not sure about our claim to having the best climate is that accurate. From the Maori dictionary online
1. (stative) be snowing. Ahakoa i hukarere i taua rā, kua tae noa atu tō mātou manuhiri. Although it snowed that day our visitor had arrived long before.
2. (noun) snow. Ehara i te hukarere noa iho nei, engari he huka whakapohe rawa i te tangata, pōuri ana te rā ānō he pō. It wasn't just snow, but snow that completely blinds a person and the day was so dark it was as if it was night.
cheers, heather

I think it has something to do with a white spray of mist or something like that - sea spray as I researched it once but age defies me to be sure!
Hi everyone
Here is an interesting and free resource that can be used for teaching and learning. Click on the image to go to the site. Cheers Mary

Hi Mary,
sure you can use our marrix. It has been developed with Lisa Kaye the Massey lit advisor. She is in our school tomorrow so I will check with her but I am sure she will be happy to share.

I have one year 7 girl who would be keen to chat to others I'm sure. I will be setting up skype with Kelly Vaney over the holidays to work on moderation with her class...should be cool. I also, attended a moderation workshop with 2 other small schools in the bay. It was mostly a discussion and sharing session and as a result we will be sharing work and moderating at the end of term 3. The work we will be covering will be based on a writing sample (recount on a cross country event that we are hosting with these schools). We will be using the asttle matrix for writing to start with so that we have some controls in place. It should be a worthwhile experience.
Cheers Mary
Oueroa...may I please use your matrix?
Cheers Mary
Taihape looks great...cold!
will try to look at the sites you have mentioned over the holidays. I am just hanging out for the end of the term now...we are all very tired here at Oueroa!!

Those of you who volunteered their names for a Teaching and Learning Research Institute project for 2012 (supporting remote small schools in moderation), I just heard that it has got through to the next round. I'm like a kid at Christmas over this as only about 10% make it this far.
Thanks for offering to be involved. You are still not committed to do the work yet so don't panic.

Just had a couple of days with Taihape Schools this week. Interesting journey! It was minus 8 on Monday, which over the Gentle Annie made for a slow trip and just a few slippery moments - there are down sides to the Annie being completely sealed now. Tuesday was interesting too as I ended up at Pukeokahu for the afternoon and wandered home the back way through some gorgeous country. No fences, cattle stops and fords, so an equally slow trip, but at least gravel doesn't get iced up.
No cellphone coverage hasn't stopped these schools using the internet really successfully to engage their students in their learning. Their students are sharing through such things as Google Docs, voicethreads, wikis and blogs. Marama Stewart at Pukeokahu has a wonderful website which is worth having a look at. They are using Google Apps to manage their accounts which allows students to have their own email addresses (useful for tracking students online activity) yet is completely controlled by the principal who is able to restrict access to the programmes that are inappropriate at the time. For those of you having trouble with your providers, this is perhaps time to make some inquiries into this free option. Get in touch if you are interested, but I hope to encourage Marama to share this with us at our next meeting.

Cheers, Heather

This sounds really great Jan and Sharon. Pity about the broadband though.
When the internet is playing up, try a few of the following;
  • using Skype without video. It's the video that really sucks the bandwidth.
  • using the chat function of skype - better than email as it's instant (live), and you can send files quickly through it too - just drag and drop them into the chat pane. Arrange a set time that they will both be available and let them go to it.
  • Use GoogleDocs to share work. One could write and ask the other for feedback. GD now has a comments function that is really great. Again, it can be live so you can get them both 'working' the document at the same time. Or they can do it asynchronously - at their own pace independently.
  • Use Twiducate. A couple of Taranaki network learning communities used it last year really well. Talk to Jen Vincent from Marco,
Thanks for sharing everyone. Keep it up, it's lonely out there!
Cheers, heather


1st July
Hi Jan,
my Meg is really enjoying emailing your girl.
Does anybody else want to join us in the search for skype or email buddies for lonely yr 7 or 8 girls?

Hi Kelly,
I have some matrices that show progress and also include the standards. I will put some of them on the 'resources' page and you can have a look. If you like them... use them. We had help from (Lisa Kaye HB literacy advisor) to do the writing and reading one. We have aligned the writing one to the Literacy Progressions. Hope that helps. I have put the reporting sheet on the resource page too.

Just alerting you to some discussions that are going on at the moment. I've put one from Kelly Vaney here as I think it may get more views here. Go to the discussion link on the left (top of the navigation bar) to offer your answers. Hope to hear your responses soon.
I have seen some grids being used by other schools for showing progress in achievement against the standard. They have the year level down the bottom (mid and end) with the tools up the side (eastle, curriculum level, etc). Does anyone have these? I have been trying to make my own, but its very time consuming... H E L P!!!!
Thanks Kelly.
Cheers, Heather
Hi Jan...yes I am interested. I have your email so will drop you a line. I am on skye under my name at the moment...Put in... Sharon Middleton. Or If you have skype already I can contact you. My girl will be thrilled!
Hi Sharon
I have a nice year 7 girl that could do with a friend outside of this school I will get in touch with you by phone to set something up if you are interested?
Jan Westfield Rawhitiroa School

I have a year 7 girl who would like to skye other girls her age. She is my only year 7 and gets a bit lonely for others her age. Any takers?
Sharon from Oueroa School

My condolences also to Carolyn's family and to the Whareorino community for this loss. I only had the pleasure of meeting Carolyn for the first time at the conference and found her extremely welcoming and knowledgeable.

My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Carolyn's family, friends, and school. Carolyn was such a hard working and loving sole who always made me feel welcome and special as an individual. I am shocked and in disbelief. Very sad news.
Mary (Tareha School)

my condolences to Carolyn's family.
A reminder to us all to live life to the full while we can..we all work far too hard!

Many of you will know Carolyn Shorter from Whareorino School, one of our most remote schools in Taranaki. She has lead the Taranaki small schools NLC cluster for quite a while now and done some amazing work with these very small schools. Sadly Carolyn passed away yesterday. Carolyn will leave a huge hole in the Taranaki district as she has taught there for many years. Deepest sympathies to her family and those whose lives she touched and brightened. Arohanui.

I have various matrices that have been recently revised that I am happy to share. My BOT/school does not agree with the Nat Standards as such, believing they don't improve children's learning but we are accomodating them into our assessment proceedures and using them as one of our assessment tools. If anyone wants to look at our matrices perhaps they could let me know.
Sharon (Oueroa School)

Hi all. Sharon has been adding lots of really neat resources on the shared resources page. I hope you all get a chance to have a look at what is up there now, it's growing quickly. thank you to everyone who has either sent me things or has put them up themselves. Awesome.
cheers, heather


25th May
This story is about how Oturu School, a small decile 1 school in Kaitaia, builds on learning experiences to engage students. Students who are now representing NZ in the World Championship Problem Solving competition in USA.
I think you'll be inspired by this CloseUp story from Tuesday 24th May. Click on the picture to take you to the site, then click on chapter 2.