Com­mu­ni­ties of learn­ing

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REXINE HAWES

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

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