Our Learning Approach

The Kohimarama School teaching team bring a wealth of experience and have embraced a range of learning approaches to prepare our children to thrive in our changing world.

The school’s teaching is based on the New Zealand Curriculum.  On this page we describe some of our current areas of focus for bringing the curriculum to life.

E-learning for 21st Century Citizens and Learners

A key principle of the curriculum is to encourage students to look to the future. This means being future-oriented and adaptable, adopting a more complex view of knowledge, that incorporates knowing, doing, and being. These ideas are captured in the concept of the ‘21st century learner.’

Dr David Parsons, Associate Professor Massey University, explains the need to teach higher level thinking skills and develop key competencies using technology to prepare students for the 21st century. Source: TKI | Ministry of Education.
Our Approach

One of the key ways we have encapsulated 21st century learning is through The Kohimarama Way. The Kohimarama Way is the set of values and dispositions that underpin our approach to learning and student development.

Our students also engage in e-learning, which is blended into the learning programmes. Students have regular access to a range of e-learning tools and applications. The teaching team are constantly experimenting and refining how these tools are used to achieve learning outcomes.

Our physical learning spaces are another area of focus to support the new ways of learning and the integration of technology into the classroom. As part of an ongoing programme, a number of classrooms and facilities have been upgraded as per our Innovative Learning Environments plan.

The SOLO Taxonomy

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What is it?

A key part of the Kohimarama School purpose is to instil a passion for life-long learning. The SOLO taxonomy (Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome) is an approach that helps the students learn to learn.

How does it work?

When a new concept or idea is introduced to to a student, they work through a process of surface learning through to deep learning and then conceptual learning. The SOLO approach recognises the steps a learner needs to go through to get there and identifies learning outcomes along the way. It helps make it clear to both the teacher and the student what the learning outcomes and purpose of a particular activity or programme are.

Why is it important?

The approach challenges students to think more deeply by giving them a framework for thinking about loose ideas, connected ideas and extended ideas. Ultimately it helps students see that their learning outcomes are due to their efforts and strategies rather than luck or fixed ability.

Learner Agency – Student Assessment & Individual Learning

Becoming a life-long learner means taking ownership of your learning and building a level of independence. One way we are helping our students work towards achieving this is through the design of our assessment process.

Along with assessing students against the curriculum our teachers work with their students to co-construct their next learning steps. As our students grow as learners they are encouraged to engage in goal setting processes, regular reflection and self-assessment to promote ownership of their learning.

Part of this is recognising each student as an individual with a unique set of strengths and identity. Our learning programmes are designed so that students engage in a wide range of activities allowing them to explore and determine where their talents lie.

Environmental Sustainability

Global warming and environmental sustainability is arguably one of the greatest global issues our students will face in their lifetime. So much so that this is now an area recognised in New Zealand Curriculum. The Curriculum seeks to instil environmental sustainability as a core value to be encouraged, modelled and explored.

Kohimarama School has embraced this and has put a number of programmes in place to help our students build an understanding of environmental sustainability and to be empowered to act on this. This is an ongoing initiative  as we work with students to incorporate sustainable practices into their daily lives at school and home.

The school is also participating in the Enviroschools programme which is an action-based education programme where young people plan, design and implement sustainability projects and become catalysts for change in their families, and within the wider New Zealand community. You can find out more about the Enviroschools programme at www.enviroschools.org.nz.

Education Outside the Classroom

Education outside the classroom (EOTC) is curriculum-based teaching and learning activities that go beyond the walls of the classroom. It includes any curriculum-based activity that takes place outside the school ranging from a museum or marae visit, to a sports trip, field trip, or outdoor education camp.

Experiences outside the classroom reinforce learning by enabling students to make connections between what they have learnt in the classroom and the world beyond the classroom. EOTC experiences also give students opportunities to demonstrate the key competencies identified in The New Zealand Curriculum; particularly managing self, relating to others, and participating and contributing.

We are constantly evolving our EOTC programme which includes field trips, school camps, and a range of age appropriate activities.

Community of Learning

Kohimarama School actively participates in our local Community of Learning (COL). The COL is a group of schools who share learnings and experiences with the goal of helping our collective students achieve their full potential. The COL is made up of 5 local schools (Kohimarama, Orakei, Stonefields, St Thomas’s, Selwyn College) and is constantly looking at ways to collaborate on learning and achievements.