Category Archives: Curriculum

Senior Learning Community

Welcome to the Senior Learning Community

The Senior Learning Community (SLC)  at Mission Heights Primary School caters for all Years 4-6 students  in  14 Learning Zones. The SLC  is led by a Deputy Principal and Assistant Principal and includes a team of 14 teachers, 5 learning assistants and specialist staff.

SLC 2016 T3

Junior Learning Community

Welcome to the Junior Learning Community!

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The Junior Learning Community (JLC) at Mission Heights Primary School caters for all Years 1-3 students within 14 Learning Zones. The JLC is led by a Deputy Principal and an  Assistant Principal and includes a team of 14 teachers, 5 Learning assistants, teacher aides and specialist staff.

Learning Support

Mission Heights Primary School is a main stream Primary where all children from Year 1-6 who live in the school zone are welcome. We do not have a special needs unit or specialist teacher on site. The school utilises all available resources, both within our school and with outside agencies for students, including those with Special Needs.
The SENCO who is a senior member of the school’s leadership team has responsibility for co-ordinating programmes and support systems for all special needs students in the school.  Parents of all students who have special needs are expected to meet with the staff member in charge prior to starting at Mission Heights Primary. This is to ensure that all support systems are in place for a smooth transition of these students to their day to day school life.
If you do require further information, please contact the school reception at (09) 277 7888 and ask for the school SENCO.

PE and Sports

These are important facets of the programme at Mission Heights Primary School and all students are encouraged to take an active part. We consider that all students should be given the opportunity to experience a wide range of physical activities, and the emphasis is on attitude, sportsmanship and perseverance in both individual and team sports.

Physical Education includes:

  • Major game skills
  • Minor game skills
  • Outdoor activities
  • Fitness
  • Swimming
  • Dance
  • Ball Handling
  • Athletics

Sports Options include:

  • Softball
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Netball
  • Hockey
  • Athletics
  • Cross Country

All students are involved in a daily fitness programme, for which students require the appropriate sports uniform. Many students are involved in inter-school sports competitions and compete against other schools in a variety of sports such as Swimming, Rugby, Cricket, Soccer, Netball, Hockey, Cross Country and Athletics. Students also have the opportunity to participate in Sports Field Days with other schools in the cluster.

Students are expected to bring a note from a parent if they are unwell or injured, or have some other reason for non-participation. Please ensure your child has his / her PE gear in their school bag daily. The school encourages students to use their RTL time before school starts to get ready for their daily physical activities.

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Key Competencies

The New Zealand Curriculum lists five Key Competencies:

  • Thinking
  • Relating to others
  • Using language, symbols and texts
  • Managing self
  • Participating and contributing

The Curriculum states that these competencies (TRUMP) are the key to learning in every learning area and that successful learners make use of the competencies in combination with other resources, knowledge and skills.  Mission Heights Primary School strongly acknowledges the emphasis on these competencies and views these as essential components in the delivery of the school curriculum’s, it’s ACE programme, personalised learning and integrated approach.

The key competencies are a critical thread in the Mission Heights Primary School curriculum. They enable students to participate in an increasingly diverse society, to use new and digital technologies, and to keep on learning throughout their lifetimes.  Teachers can describe how the competencies are embedded in their classrooms, in the learning areas themselves, and across the learning areas where an integrated approach is being taken.  Students at Mission Heights Primary School can all describe the competencies and give examples of learning experiences.  The key competencies are incorporated as ‘vehicles’ for curriculum delivery in combination with all the appropriate resources and opportunities from class and school activities to challenge and support students through wide ranging  contexts.

Homework

Homework at MHP mainly comprises of basic facts, spelling memorization, reading. It also includes Mathletics, Spellodrome, Reading Eggs/Eggspress for Years 1-6 students, ongoing exploration of research information and online forums, and discussions for individual and groups of students relating to current school projects and tasks where appropriate.

Homework will be relevant, authentic and within the student’s capability. The focus of homework activities in all areas of the school is to develop information, literacy and numeracy skills of students. Homework is aimed at complimenting classroom programmes to foster and encourage study skills, independent work habits, time management and to provide opportunities for child and parent interaction in these areas.

Homework

Junior Learning Community: The purpose of homework in the JLC is designed to consolidate and reinforce the learning that takes place in school. Each week the students will be expected to complete reading, spelling and basic facts homework. A reading book will be sent home each night from Monday to Thursday and a poetry reading for years 1 & 2 on Friday. Spelling words to learn will be given at the start of the week and will be tested at the end of the week. Basic facts will be set according to ability and these may be given through Mathletics, MHP online or written methods.

Senior Learning Community: Homework tasks in the SLC are expected to further build on the learning partnership between home and school. All students are expected to read six days each week  for a period 30 minutes each night. Every fortnight students will have a reading response task to complete as part of their reading comprehension homework. Every fortnight a writing task will also be set up for all students that will be posted on mhponline and written in their communication books. Spelling lists will be generated for each students based on their needs from their classwork and words will be tested regularly in class. All SLC students are expected to work for 20-25 minutes on their Mathletics each night to earn a minimum of 1000 points. In addition all students are expected to know their multiplication facts 10×10 and addition and subtraction facts to 20.

ESOL – Being Bilingual

Mission Heights School is a diverse and multicultural school with children and families from all over the world and from different ethnicities. We access funding for our children who do not have English as their first language from the Ministry of Education and this money provides in class and small group literacy support for these students which include resources, one-on-one time with Learning Assistants and quality learning experiences in the ESOL Programme.

At Mission Heights Primary we value the use of children’s first language at home and at school. This helps them to discuss and process the key concepts and learning that they have developed at school. At MHP, we embrace cultural diversities within our community through celebrations and events where cultural differences are encouraged.

English Language Assistants  – ELAs

We  have English Language Learning Assistants to support the literacy needs of our English Language Learners (ELL) across all year levels in the school. The Learning Assistants work alongside the Learning Zone teacher to support small groups of students who have English language learning needs through rich learning experiences. We are extremely lucky to have a range of qualified Learning assistants who are passionate with working with our ELL.

ESOL Programme

Each ELL attends the ESOL programme once a week.  The programme is especially designed to meet each students’ English acquisition needs. The students work in smaller groups with a trained learning assistant where they develop their oral language skills through practical and hands-on experiences.

Years 1-4

Years 5-8

Vocabulary Exercise

Education Outside the Classroom

All students from Years 1-6  at Mission Heights Primary are involved in a variety of independent and outdoor learning experiences out side the classroom as students transition to challenging and progressive  EOTC experiences during their time at Mission Heights Primary School.

The Junior Learning Community participates in a Junior Breakfast at school which involves all Year 1 and Year 2 students coming to school in their pyjamas, having breakfast at school and getting ready in their school uniforms to attend the whole school day independently.  The Year 3 students visit the Birkenhead Leisure centre where students take part in team building games, rock climbing, archery, bivy building and scavenger hunts over a two day period. These activities allow the students to bond with their peers and push themselves to do things beyond what they think they may be capable of.

The Senior Learning Community students are engaged in a variety of outdoor learning experiences that are progressively more challenging from their previous years experiences.The Year 4 students visit Sonshine Ranch where students take part in team building games, rock climbing, archery, bivy building and scavenger hunts. The Year 5 students attend  a 3 day camp at the Kauaeranga Valley Camp in Thames where they are involved in a range of challenging and confidence building activities. The Year 6 students go to Lakewood Lodge Camp for a 4 day camp where they are exposed to a variety of appropriate EOTC experiences. During this week, the students undergo a variety of experiences, to enhance their development mentally, socially and physically. Some of the activities include kayaking, low rope course, raft building, survival in the outdoors.

All EOTC trips are approved in advance and school Policy and Procedures in this regard are closely adhered to in order that safety and risk considerations are addressed carefully.

Digital Technologies

Students and teachers at Mission Heights Primary School  have access to a wide variety of hardware and software technologies to represent information in multiple formats and media; to provide multiple pathways for students’ action and expression and to provide multiple ways to engage students’ interest and motivation to achieve excellence in learning and teaching.

Netsafe Evening 2017

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At Mission Heights Primary School teachers have access to professional development so that they can use these information and communication technologies effectively with students in learning programmes and so that students become independent and active users of the technologies. Learning Zones are digitally-intense environments where students have access to use a range of technologies in appropriate ways at every available opportunity. Information and communication technologies are integrated into the curriculum wherever their use makes skills and knowledge more accessible, more stimulating, more relevant, more authentic and of high quality.  Teachers recognise that students are often more capable, confident and creative than adults in the use of of these technologies and these skills are capitalised on whenever possible.

Curriculum Structure

Mission Heights Primary School is a 21st century learning environment where all students will experience valuable and exciting learning opportunities both in and beyond the school, and where they will become confident, active, reflective and high-achieving independent learners. The school is characterised by an ethic of care, and our culture will emphasise a positive, safe and supportive environment where lifelong learning will be successfully fostered.

We strongly believe that high expectations set from the early years of schooling ensure that students are active in their own learning throughout life.  Students need to understand how they learn best, and to develop their own identities as learners and as member of the community. The New Zealand Curriculum and its Values, Principles, Key Competencies and Learning Areas underpin all learning, teaching and assessment at Mission Heights Primary School.  With a deliberate focus on literacy, numeracy and essential research and knowledge skills, students at Mission Heights Primary School (Mission Heights Primary School) will learn to direct and shape their own learning from an early age.

The following principles underpin the Mission Heights Primary School curriculum. Mission Heights Primary School provides a learning environment where;

  • all students are engaged in challenging, appropriate and meaningful work;
  • all students experience effective teaching;
  • key curriculum learning opportunities are embedded in the class programme;
  • students can explore their interests and curiosities as well as master basic skills in literacy and numeracy;
  • hands-on and authentic learning experiences are integrated;
  • te reo me ona tikanga Maori are integrated in meaningful and appropriate ways;
  • effective assessment tools and strategies are used to co-construct learning;
  • students and staff engage and identify with positive learning communities;
  • teaching is reflective, effective and research-based;
  • learning is supported by meaningful professional development and relationships within a robust culture and climate of high trust; and
  • appropriate services and resources are accessible to staff and students to support ongoing learning and the pursuit of excellence.

At Mission Heights Primary School we are  actively committed to the ongoing process of improving students learning outcomes, enhancing the quality of teaching and learning, monitoring and evaluating teaching and learning practices and outcomes, using engaging and innovative learning strategies and technologies, and spending significant time and effort in fostering students achievement.

From the New Zealand Curriculum to the Mission Heights Primary – School Curriculum

The Mission Heights Primary School curriculum gives effect to the New Zealand curriculum by addressing the particular needs, interests and circumstances of the school’s community and students.  It describes how Mission Heights Primary School will deliver the curriculum, how students’ learning needs will be met, and how students’ achievement will be monitored and assessed.  The Mission Heights Primary School curriculum builds on effective pedagogy in the primary school years, and an integrated curriculum. The Mission Heights Primary School integrated curriculum makes connections across disciplines, to real life and authentic contexts through connections that are both skill-based and/or knowledge-based.

The Principles

The principles of the New Zealand curriculum underpin our school’s curriculum.  The following table links the principles of the Mission Heights Primary School curriculum to the New Zealand Curriculum Principles.

Mission Heights Primary School Curriculum Principles New Zealand Curriculum Principles
all students are engaged in challenging, appropriate and meaningful work High expectations
Treaty of Waitangi
Cultural diversity
Inclusion
Learning to learn
Community engagement
Coherence
Future focus
all students experience effective teaching High expectations
Treaty of Waitangi
Cultural diversity
Inclusion
Learning to learn
Coherence
Future focus
key curriculum learning opportunities are embedded in the class programme High expectations
Learning to learn
Coherence
Future focus
students can explore their interests and curiosities as well as master basic skills in literacy and numeracy Learning to learn
Community engagement
Coherence
Future focus
hands-on and authentic learning experiences are integrated Learning to learn
Community engagement
Coherence
Future focus
te reo me ona tikanga Maori are integrated in meaningful and appropriate ways Treaty of Waitangi
Cultural diversity
Community engagement
Future focus
effective assessment tools and strategies are used to co-construct learning High expectations
Learning to learn
Coherence
Future focus
students and staff engage and identify with positive learning communities Learning to learn
Treaty of Waitangi
Community engagement
Future focus
teaching is reflective, effective and research-based High expectations
Coherence
Future focus
learning is supported by meaningful professional development and relationships within a robust culture and climate of high trust Treaty of Waitangi
Cultural diversity
Learning to learn
Future focus
services and resources are accessible to support ongoing learning and the pursuit of excellence High expectations
Learning to learn
Coherence
Future focus

Learning in the 21st Century

Mission Heights Primary School curriculum is aimed at meeting the needs of its new and growing community, which will continue to become increasingly diverse, where technology and its use will continue to increase and where students will need to be prepared for the ever-changing and complex world of the future.  Learning is no longer just about the teaching of facts and ‘content’. It is about acquiring learning capabilities and learning strategies.

Our interpretation of learning in the 21st century is that we must provide opportunities where students can achieve to the best of their ability across all dimensions of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values.  Learners at our school are self-directed, creative and enthusiastic.

The use of innovative technologies and flexible learning facilities, along with our vision of collaboration with Mission Heights Junior College, contributes to the provision of a 21st century learning environment.  The physical design of Mission Heights Primary School supports the intensive use of digital technologies, as well as fostering a culture of collaboration, visual connectedness,  flexibility, openness and interaction.

An Integrated Approach

Integration is about unification of learning and experiences that are relevant to students interests from a range of subject areas. A popular way to integrate the curriculum is to address a topic or theme through the lenses of several different subject areas and skills.  Integrating reading, writing, and oral communication in literacy is a common example, as is the teaching of Social Science, Science and Technology through a theme in most schools. Often three or more subject areas are involved in the study over several weeks’ and the whole school/ learning community may be involved.

At Mission Heights Primary School using integrated approaches to teaching and learning is about seeking the most effective ways to engage students through effective cross-curricular design and planning strategies with authentic assessment practices.  Implementing an integrated approach at Mission Heights Primary School is about using information technologies effectively, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary skills and knowledge into the curriculum, rather than adapting the curriculum.

In the Mission Heights Primary School integrated approach of the six step planning model, the students’ prior knowledge and skills form the starting point for new learning.  Students are able to see how knowledge, skills and values are connected and their learning is not so constrained by the boundaries of subject areas.  Students have an important role in deciding on contexts that interest them in order to make learning more relevant, authentic, interesting and personally worthwhile for them.  The integrated approach incorporates literacy and numeracy learning wherever appropriate and allows teachers to easily include such components as inquiry, information technologies and thinking skills.

Personalised learning

Mission Heights Primary School has a commitment to personalised learning across the curriculum and views this approach as integral to the provision of learning and teaching in the 21st century.  Personalising learning involves thinking about knowledge as an active process where students are knowledgeable and active participants in their own learning. Personalised learning is more than ‘individualised’ learning or ‘child-centred’ learning although these aspects are still important; it is about putting students at the centre of the learning process and empowering them to make decisions about their learning and to understand the learning process.

At Mission Heights Primary School, personalised learning is achieved through;

  • effective teaching that utilises a variety of techniques and approaches, is informed by research and developed through professional development
  • assessment for learning, giving teachers an in-depth knowledge of the future learning needs of their students, and where students know what they have learnt and where they need to go next with their learning
  • high expectations, where students are constantly challenged to achieve to the best of their ability and to take control of their own learning
  • engaging and challenging curriculum, allowing teachers to deliver a programme that is relevant to their students and that integrates digital technologies and other resources
  • a strong engaged community, where the diversity found across families is valued and used as a learning resource, and where parents and whanau are involved in the learning process wherever possible