We value each individual as part of our school community and understand that each akonga starts at our kura with knowledge and understandings that are shaped by their life experiences so far. Kaiako get to know akonga and collaborate from this point to build a more meaningful understanding of the world they live in and the community they share. We are equally motivated to enhance learners’ ability to ask questions; explore the process of how to find answers; gain knowledge and understanding as well as use that knowledge to make a difference. The future our akonga will live in will be different to today and they must learn how to embrace new situations, take on challenges and collaborate with others to grow their individual and collective futures.
Kaiako support learners to interact positively with each other, developing an open mind to differences, similarities, skills, interests and perspectives. Teachers use observations, assessments, discussion and judgements to find out what akonga understand and what they need to know next. This is communicated to parents through HERO and akonga are involved in explaining what they have learnt and how they learnt it. All progress, attainment and mahi is valued, moderated and recorded by kaiako. Collaborative teachers and learners share the enjoyment and hard work of learning. Sometimes learning is challenging and difficult but it is always supported and encouraged. Kaiako support learners to be problem solvers by providing opportunities for learning to happen in situations where the teacher provides tools and knowledge rather than answers.
Learner Philosophy (The Ahutoetoe Way)
At Ahutoetoe Kura, we develop akonga who can explain and communicate what they understand in different ways (i.e. written, verbally, mathematically, artistically). We encourage learning from each other rather than relying on teachers or only themselves, and strongly believe we can achieve far more with each other. Ahutoetoe School values connections; connections between ideas, between people, between times, between places, between beliefs and between interests. With these connections, we can listen to, learn about and understand the viewpoints of others to grow a future we can all share in building.
Akonga have the responsibility to make use of their current knowledge and understanding to engage in lessons with their kaiako and friends. Learners in our school should be open-minded to working with a variety of different people to explore different learning and achieve specific outcomes. Learners should be able to appreciate and nurture the different talents and skills of others as well as share their own. They should understand that all knowledge and skills can be improved and developed with time, effort and determination. Learners are encouraged to ask questions, inspire others and work with their friends and teachers to explore how to find the answer. Individual and collective learner voices, choices and agency are shared and valued. Actively listening to others before building on and sharing their own ideas is strongly encouraged. All learners should gain insight into their own learning by reflecting on their experiences and evaluating what went well and what could be improved.
Our Space, Our Place
Every learning environment at Ahutoetoe School is a shared space; our school is a place for learning; our school is a place for learners. Kaiako and research informed how we designed our learning hubs to be connected, shared and adaptable. Our environment is one where learners can interact with each other and their teachers. Kaiako and akonga use large shared spaces, breakout rooms, the outside areas and quiet areas for different learning experiences and to cater for different kinds of learners. Kaiako collaborate to adapt the learning environment to suit the akonga. Spaces are specifically designed by kaiako for learners to foster agency through self-management, self-motivation and self-fulfilment. Our space is a place where everyone is welcome and we work towards ways to connect, involve and include whanau and community in our physical spaces and communal, shared environments.