Learning Together

Throughout any given day at Wairakei Primary School students from across the school can be seen to be learning together. These interactions take place in a variety of ways.

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At times this is in the playground. Older students can often be seen helping junior students on the playground equipment, involving them in games and even leading activities. The introduction of our Village Playground Passes has developed this further and it has been fantastic to see the older students helping younger students on the flying fox and the spiders’ web.

Wairakei Primary School encourages the concept of ‘learn it - prove it’ where once a student has mastered a skill or new learning, they then teach it to someone else. 

This was evident this term with our Extension Literacy Group. The students wrote descriptive pieces of writing about their favourite body part. Using success criteria they were able to extend their language choices and created some effective descriptive writing passages. 

The next week, having mastered the skill themselves, they then taught students from Ohaaki and Te Huka the same descriptive writing skills.

We have had a focus on oral language. Manukura have been looking at this in terms of leadership and communicating to other students effectively.

We put this to the test with our New Entrants class. Our Manukura led the students through a barrier game activity. They had to clearly describe a shape made of blocks and rods with the aim to build two identical creations. 

The Manukura had previously completed this activity with each other successfully - however they soon discovered they would need to simplify their instructions.  After some surprised looks and some interesting shapes they had success.

It was hard to explain the specific positions to the younger students.

We built a flower. I had to listen to Clare carefully.

It was hard listening because the directions were tricky to explain.

Zavier was good at listening to my instructions - we built a windmill.

Some of the pairings even swapped roles and the Manukura had to follow the instructions of the younger students.

Oliver was able to give me such great instructions - it was easy to follow.

Working together in a variety of ways helps to foster a positive school culture and strengthens our wharenui nga tae.

2024 Foley

Jenna Foley

My journey in education has taken me down many different paths including teaching in an Area school, urban English and Welsh schools, small semi-rural schools and in a purpose built Innovative Learning Environment.

Teaching at Wairakei Primary School allows me to use so many of the skills I gained in these different settings - as well as acquiring so many more. I consider myself a life-long learner and continuously strive to build on my knowledge of teaching and education in order to create the best possible outcomes for students.

In my spare time I enjoy playing netball, reading, getting out and about with my two children and making the most of what this area has to offer.

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