Our year has started on a very positive note. We have had great results that show children in the trial classrooms are moving forward at the same rate regardless of the knowledge they started school with.
We have planned a PD day called “Where to Next?”. The Ministry of Education has offered to fund up to four teachers per school to attend this day, which is fantastic! This means that teachers who have not been part of the PD before, but who are now teaching children in the trial can attend as well as new entrant teachers. Some schools have booked their whole junior syndicate teachers to attend and are funding the release of extra teachers themselves. We will be running this one-day workshop on two different dates to accommodate numbers – Monday 23 March at Pataka, and Monday 30th March at the Aotea Lodge.
We have shown that it is possible to prevent an increasing achievement gap in the first few months at school. What we want to do now is to close the gap that exists at school entry.
We were very lucky to receive funding from the Mana Community Grants Foundation in October 2014 which allowed us to provide 500 students with a set of 8 activity books to support their learning and to provide a link between home and school. These books have been provided to schools in the last couple of weeks and we are already hearing great feedback from parents who are excited to find out more about what their children are learning.
Mana Community Grants Foundation has also just confirmed that they will provide us with funding to go towards funding Margaret Paterson’s full-time employment as coordinator of this project.