By Nicki Ridden-Angus | Posted: Monday July 5, 2021
From 2021, Kavanagh College has a new junior school programme, Te Timotanga, which is based on evidence from educational research. This has led us to develop a programme for Year 7 – 9 students to enhance student engagement and academic improvement.
We know that strong relationships between students and teachers create fertile ground for excellence in learning. Therefore we have created a structure to ensure that a small number of staff know your children very well and will mentor and advocate for them during their time in Years 7 - 9. Students will be in a Whānau tutor group – a vertical group comprising Year 7 – 9 students. The intention is that a Year 7 student would have the same Whānau teacher (Kaiako Kumanu) for three years.
Our Years 7-9 work an integrated curriculum. What this means is that we will have a central focus for the term centred around a topical, current issue in our society. Our subject areas will then feed into this issue and learning in Mathematics, English, Science, Social Sciences, Religious Education and Health will have a real-world context.
An example of what this could look like is looking at recent natural disasters within New Zealand (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions etc.).
We have designed this model for a range of reasons, including to lift the engagement and achievement of what we are already providing for our Year 7 - 9 students.
We acknowledge that what we don’t want is for content or achievement to be in any way watered down from what it currently is. Therefore, we have identified that while we are implementing an integrated model, there will be times when we will need to enter the ‘Maths World’ or the ‘Literacy World’ to ensure we are still covering content even when it doesn’t fit in with our term's theme. We feel strongly that this programme is to lift current student achievement.