The Education Hub
NEXT Foundation has announced a new investment, in The Education Hub – a resource for teachers that bridges the gap between university research and the professional practice of New Zealand teachers. NEXT CEO Bill Kermode said the Hub is strongly aligned with NEXT’s focus on teacher excellence, and its support for evidence based work in education. “We have followed the development of The Education Hub with interest for more than 2 years” he said, “and we are delighted to be able to add to the initial funding support the Hub received from The Fletcher Trust and the Aotearoa Foundation.”The Education Hub was founded by academic and former teacher Dr Nina Hood, and offers an online resource to provide up to date information on the latest educational research and to share innovative teaching practice. “The Education Hub is a transformational educational initiative supporting New Zealand’s teachers. Research shows that teachers have the biggest impact on improving a child’s educational outcomes – so this investment is all about New Zealand children,” Mr Kermode said. Dr Hood said she was thrilled with the NEXT investment following on from Fletcher and Aotearoa. “We have ambitious plans for what The Education Hub can become and how it can contribute to a better New Zealand. NEXT’s support will enable us to work with and reach more teachers and schools across New Zealand, to provide them with ready access to the research knowledge and innovative practice that exists across our education system”. NEXT is also supporting The Education Hub in a new award being offered to teachers and schools to support the school-based design and implementation of innovative educational projects. The Bright Spots Awards are worth up to $75,000 over a two-year period. Up to four awards will be available in the first round of funding. “The Bright Spots Awards give teachers both time and expert support to create, trial, develop, and evaluate an innovative practice, and then to share or scale it up across other schools. This sharing of effective practice will bring big benefits to New Zealand teachers and schools – and will ultimately benefit our students,” Dr Hood said. Mr Kermode said The Bright Spot Awards are another opportunity for NEXT to support and disseminate examples of excellence in the professional practice of teachers in New Zealand education.
Manaiakalani Outreach is expanding on the proven approach of the Manaiakalani programme in the Tamaki Auckland region to initially support five clusters of predominantly decile 1 and 2 schools in Hornby in Christchurch, the West Coast of the South Island, Papakura and Mt Roskill in Auckland, and Kaikohe in Northland. Manaiakalani Outreach is making it possible for over 8,500 learners throughout New Zealand to experience accelerated learning outcomes. Click to read more.
Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru and Manaiakalani Outreach have much in common, and important differences. Both are using collaborative learning pedagogies enhanced by digital learning environments, integrated with strong family, whanau and community engagement, to accelerate student learning outcomes; and are working in communities with large Maori or Pasifika populations - Manaiakalani in predominantly lower decile schools, Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru across all deciles.
Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru
This is a Rotorua district-wide initiative that will use best practice e-learning teaching methodologies and collaboration between schools to transform educational outcomes for learners and whanau across all of Rotorua’s schools and kura. The Excel Rotorua Education Trust is in the early stages of enabling Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru, which will have 18 early adopter schools in its first year. Click to read more.
The first 1,000 days
Space for you and your baby is a support programme to help new parents navigate the first year with their new baby. It is a year long course run through community groups like Playcentres and Churches. The NEXT Foundation is funding the expansion of SPACE as it integrates with another family support network, Parenting Place.
Springboard Trust enhances leadership and strategic planning skills of school principals, leading to more effective management of schools and most importantly better learning outcomes for students. Led by Ian Narev, Chair of Springboard Trust and a passionate Kiwi advocate for education for all New Zealanders, the Trust’s ‘Strategic Leadership for Principals’ programme has been completed by 90 school principals in New Zealand and with NEXT Foundation support plans to expand significantly over the next few years. Click to read more.
Summer Learning Journey
A blogging programme for school children – to help them maintain academic grades over the summer holidays – is to expand significantly with support from NEXT Foundation. The Summer Learning Journey has been developed through a partnership with Manaiakalani teachers and the Woolf Fisher Research Centre at the University of Auckland to counter the “Summer Slump” – where school students can lose a year or more of their academic progress in writing when they break for the six-week summer holiday. It takes months for that slide to be recovered. Summer Learning Journey helps students maintain literary grades so they start the new school year with the skills motivation and attitude to accelerate their learning from day one of the new school year. NEXT Foundation CEO Bill Kermode said NEXT is delighted to fund the expansion of the programme. It has been trialled in Tamaki Manaiakalani schools over the past two summers, and will be expanded to nearly 50 schools in Manaiakalani clusters around the country for the next two years. “Summer Learning Journey is an excellent example of a well structured education innovation with robust evidence and a scalable model” says NEXT CEO Bill Kermode. “It has had a significant impact on students’ writing performance in the holiday periods, and there are signs of other benefits too, not least the students’ confidence, their work ethic and their aspirations. NEXT is thrilled to support the roll out of Summer Learning Journey to more schools around the country.”
The programme has been developed by Manaiakalani teachers and Dr Rachel Williams and colleagues through the Woolf Fisher Research Centre at the University of Auckland. It is also supported by the MSA Charitable Trust. The expansion will allow six Manaiakalani clusters to partake in the programme across 50 schools – covering 1400 summer bloggers. Dr Willams says she is overjoyed when she sees the effects the blogging has on the children’s learning and literacy. “It is something I feel really compelled to do for our students, many of whom do not have access to learning opportunities over summer. It is incredibly humbling and really exciting to see the degree to which students are engaging with the programme and with each other online during the holiday.” And she says teachers notice the difference in students when schools start again in February. “They can tell who was a Summer Learning student and who wasn’t. They can just tell in a sea of 30 students who has taken up the challenge over summer.” To view Daniel’s story, the story of the Summer Learning Journey (three minutes duration) click here
The first 1,000 days
Talking Matters is a campaign to promote the importance of communicating with babies and toddlers in their first 1000 days. The NEXT Foundation is seed funding this initiative. Research shows the first three years are vital for building a child’s capacity to love, learn, think and communicate throughout their lives. Talk is important in whatever languages families use – it doesn’t have to be in English.
Talking Matters is also an equity campaign. Some children in Auckland are starting school with the oral language normally expected of three-year-olds. That disadvantage is a significant contributor to the achievement gap between poorer and more affluent children. The majority of children with low oral language live in low-socio economic communities.
In 2017-18 Talking Matters is running small-scale pilot projects in three communities - Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Tāmaki and Puketāpapa, to find out what works to promote talk and interaction for families in specific contexts, and what could be replicated and scaled-up. One of the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu pilot projects showing exciting early results is LENA – language environment analysis. It involves children wearing a LENA recorder, like a pedometer for oral expression, to help parents identify when and how to encourage responsive conversations. Watch the LENA Mums and children here.
Talking Matters is led by COMET Auckland, an independent education trust linked to Auckland Council. It has more than 300 individuals and organisations in the Talking Matters Network. Our inaugural Talking Matters Summit in September 2017 drew 250 participants.
Watch all the presentations here.
Read the launch Press Release here.
Find out more www.talkingmatters.org.nz
Teach first NZ
Teach First NZ Ako Mātātupu is an independent charitable trust working to address educational inequality and achieve the vision of an Aotearoa New Zealand, in which all children fulfil their potential.
The organisation supports high-achieving people to enter the education system. Specifically, they develop people into teachers and leaders, helping them to have a far-reaching impact--in the classroom, in the school, and at the system-level.
Through its unique flagship, employment-based teaching and leadership programme, Teach First NZ Ako Mātātupu selects high performing graduates and career-changing professionals to teach in schools serving low-income communities.
The Mind Lab by Unitec
The Mind Lab by Unitec is dedicated to enhancing digital and collaborative learning skills for teachers in New Zealand. Technology has fundamentally changed how we communicate, share and learn. Frances Valintine, Founder and Chair of The Mind Lab by Unitec, has pioneered a postgraduate qualification for educators that is up-skilling teachers to implement new digital and collaborative learning practices. So far, 3000 teachers have enrolled in the post graduate course in over 30+ locations throughout New Zealand - from Kaitaia to Invercargill. Click to read more.
In addition to supporting the establishment of the NEXT Foundation, Annette and Neal Plowman have initiated or supported several other major philanthropic projects, through their benefaction of a charitable trust. These include:
AUT – BUSINESS UNDERGRADUATE INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE SCHOLARSHIPS
These scholarships enable students in the Bachelor of Business to undertake international exchanges at business schools in the USA, Canada, UK and France. They offer assistance to students when financial circumstances make it difficult for them to undertake the exchange.
THE UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND – BUSINESS SCHOOL
Following the establishment of a Chair in Entrepreneurship in 2003, $10 million was contributed to the University of Auckland Business School Endowment Fund, which is focused on fostering a culture of innovation and enterprise in New Zealand. Funds are used to help students become outstanding business leaders and entrepreneurs, to contribute to the creation of wealth through business education, and to help the School become more attractive and competitive on a global scale.