Puketaha School’s vision is to ‘Develop students unique gifts and talents and to equip them with the learning capacity to thrive in our complicated world’. This vision is supported by our core values and our 6 C’s, the dispositions we believe are critical for children to be happy and successful for their future.
To be able to do this we believe that creating learning environments which empower children to see learning as something they do, in a way and space that best suits their learning needs, is critical to the success in delivering on this vision.
As a result, learning at Puketaha School is done in a collaborative setting, where both teachers and children learn in spaces that are flexible and support the designed learning programme. We know that the most powerful kind of learning is done when it is socially constructed. Therefore, at Puketaha School you will not see learning taking place in a traditional single-cell classroom, with one teacher to 30 children, but rather several teachers working collaboratively to design a learning programme that caters for all children. These spaces are consistently refined to ensure the needs of our children are being catered for. A recent survey, gathering student voice on these spaces, show that our children love the flexibility and opportunities they provide.
Finally, we believe our modern learning environments align better with what we know about the brain and student learning can facilitate traditional pedagogies such as direct instruction if needed, but they typically offer students and teachers much more:
- Flexibility: the ability to combine two classes into one for team teaching, split a class into small groups and spread them over a wider area or combine different classes studying complementary learning areas.
- Openness: modern learning environments traditionally have fewer walls, and more glass and often use the idea of a learning common (or hub), which is a central teaching and learning space that several classes can share. They provide opportunities to observe and learn from the teaching of others and be observed in return.
- Access to resources (including technology): typically, a learning common is surrounded by breakout spaces allowing a range of different activities, such as reading, group work, project space, wet areas, reflection, and presenting. There is often a mixture of wireless and wired technology offering access as and when students need it, within the flow of their learning.