President's Pen 

By Sharon Keen | Posted: Thursday July 27, 2017

Sharon provides us with an overview of the role NZAIMS is playing in facilitating and promoting middle schooling in New Zealand.

Welcome back to term three, I hope the first week is treating you well. The break was very cold and wet in Christchurch and so the majority of our students were very pleased to return to warm classrooms.

During term two, the AIMS Exec members continued to represent you at the numerous meetings and workshops hosted by both the MOE and other sector groups.

National Education Leaders Partnership (NELP) is a group who meet to discuss a range of common issues. One of the main topics has been the implementation of Communities of Learning (CoL).

The group contacted Minister Kaye with their concerns and the immediate result has been an invitation to a meeting next week.

The letter to the minister outlined that we are all supportive of the original principles of Communities of Learning (and IES generally), which we understood as collaboration, career-pathways and sharing of good practice.

The Main Issues that have come through from members are:

-Pressure to join a CoL

-Flexibility around the leadership model

-Flexibility around achievement challenges

-Support, guidance and advice varies from district to district

-Back- fill for CoL positions

-The extra demands being placed on Cols

-Lack of consultation with all key stakeholders

NELP wishes to see the focus return to the original principals and allow time for the successful implementation of these before adding additional responsibilities into the CoLs brief.

The release of the Digital Technologies Curriculum document is seen as a first step in ensuring that this generation and future ones are digitally fluent. At the release of the documents, the point was made that we need to be closing the gender gap. Girls lack digital skills and this will be a major factor in limiting employment opportunities. The Middle Years are the ideal time to engage girls in digital learning, a challenge for our sector.

Well-done Manurewa Intermediate for being awarded the Prime Ministers Supreme award and the Education Excellence in Engagement award. Iain, you and your team must be very proud of what you have achieved through what could only be a great deal of hard work. It is a wonderful accolade for Intermediate and Middle Schooling.

Congratulations to Brian Diver and Vicki Semple, the Anchor AIMS games organisers. This year there are 302 schools participating and 10 138 competitors. This has to be the makings of a fantastic competition. All the very best for the week.

NZAIMS has the Specialist Teachers STEAM conference on September 28-29 in Auckland. Places are filling fast so please enrol your staff to avoid disappointment. The feedback from last year was very positive, as the conference content is so relevant to the needs of our staff. The format this year will be similar but with different school visits and speakers.

On October 26 we have our summit day in Auckland. The theme of the day is ’Schoolwide Wellbeing,’ with an interesting line up of speakers. You are able to register here.

I trust the remainder of the term is successful and rewarding and I look forward to meeting up with many of you for the New Zealand night at the Adolescent Success Conference in Brisbane on August 23.

Please contact me if you have any concerns or would like to draw a matter to the Executives attention.

Ngā Mihi

Sharon Keen

NZAIMS President