One Tree Hill College leads by example
One Tree Hill College has joined the Ministry of Education’s Communities of Schools initiative.
But much of what it entails is nothing new for the college.
The initiative encourages schools to join together in groups of around 10 to share knowledge and come up with their own achievement goals.
Since changing its name from Penrose High School in 2009 there has been a transformation at the school.
In 2007 the role slumped to just 680 but now accommodates more than 1000 students.
The school’s latest Education Review Office report, released on May 14, was very positive and placed the school on the maximum review period of four to five years.
Acting principal Mark Barlow says this is an ‘‘absolutely thrilling result’’.
‘‘It’s been a huge journey over the last 10 or so years,’’ Barlow says.
‘‘The relationship between ourselves, the community and our contributing schools has been paramount to the success of One Tree Hill College and the wider community.
‘‘All together that’s lead to the role growth and the increase in academic achievement.’’
The $359 million Investing in Educational Success (IES) initiative will see Bailey Road, Ellerslie, Panmure District, Stanhope Road and Sylvia Park schools all join One Tree Hill College in the new community.
The initiative aims to lift the quality of learning in classrooms for 83,000 students across the country.
The ERO report states the school ‘‘places high value on student’s becoming connected and engaged with their learning’’.
Barlow says sharing teaching expertise played a significant role in reversing the school’s decline.
‘‘We’ve been working closely with our contributing schools over the past three or four years.
‘‘We’ve got really strong relationships with them now,’’ he says.
After seeing the turnaround in his own school, Barlow feels collab- oration will see other achieve the same result.
‘‘The Communities of Schools is about doing what we’ve been doing already in a more formalised way.
‘‘Sharing curriculum, knowledge – it’s sharing skills that individuals have developed for the whole community.’’
One Tree Hill College acting principal Mark Barlow, head boy Dallas Tagaloasa and head girl Aprille Lopez are proud of how far their school has come.