Communities of learning
Ten Matamata schools are benefiting from a multi million dollar government funded education initiative, aimed to improve educational outcomes.
Across the country, more than 1,260 schools and 18 early childhood education providers have now formed Communities of Learning, to work together to raise student achievement.
Locally, there are 2283 local students forming a Matamata Community of Learning.
These communities are supporting more than 410,000 Kiwi kids, more than half of New Zealand schools.
Waikato National MP Lindsay Tisch says the communities work together on challenges they identify for their students, then they share their expertise and resources to help them overcome the challenges and achieve.
‘‘National is focusing on improving performance in the school system to ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed,’’ Mr Tisch said.
Matamata Christian School principal Alistair Paterson says over the years Matamata schools have had a long history of work- ing together, so he welcomes an initiative which continues to nurture cooperation.
‘‘What we have already started to see is more openness between schools and a greater understanding of the issues faced between schools.
‘‘It provides government funding and license for us to directly work together to solve common problems, that is to help accelerate learners who have struggled to succeed in our education system.
‘‘It also means a child isn’t just one school’s concern until they get passed onto another school. They can stay a priority throughout their schooling if necessary by the whole community.’’
Mr Paterson says although the initiative is great for the town, Matamata schools already have high performing teachers who put a lot of effort into progressing every student. He says there is more work that needs to be done on a social level.
‘‘It holds opportunity promise.
‘‘What this will never address is some of the fundamental things such as social issues that work against our children, often long before they even come to school. ‘‘ and