WITT has joined Inglewood learning institutions, along with Te Rangiora Te Kohanga Reo: Kohanga Moa, to form a community of learning which creates a new chain from preschool to tertiary education.
The Minister of Education Hekia Parata yesterday revealed more than 1100 teachers and principals had been appointed to new roles in Communities of Learning across the country and released a map showing the addition of WITT and the kohanga to one of the 15 communities in the Taranaki, Manawatu, Whanganui region.
The Inglewood Community of Learning (iCOL), established in 2015 as one of the early adopters of the process embraces a community of 3500 learners across education providers in an around the township.
Community of Learning-Kāhui Ako is a Government initiative seen as a step on from the Tomorrow’s Schools philosophy introduced in 1989 by Labour and are designed to create cooperative learning environments where schools work together for students rather than compete for them.
ICOL now comprises Inglewood Community Childcare Centre, TopKids Inglewood, Inglewood Kindergarten, Inglewood Playcentre, Te Rangiora Te Kōhanga Reo, Egmont Village School, Inglewood Primary School, Inglewood High School, Kaimata School, Norfolk School, St Patrick’s School Inglewood, Ratapiko School, Waitoriki School and WITT
WITT’s inclusion in the group takes the number to 14 and also makes it one of the first to include the entire range of education providers.
“If we are talking about education stories in Taranaki, then this is a big one,’’ WITT chief executive Barbara George said. “This creates a link from preschool to tertiary education in an environment where all those education providers are working cooperatively.
“It comes with a vision – we are not looking at one or two years, we are looking 15 years into the future and discussing how we can plan to meet the education needs of our people and constantly review what we are doing.’’
The Lead Principal of iCOL, Kaimata School principal Richard Anderson said the collaboration between schools paved the way for providing students with equity and excellence. He called it a statement of weaving and achieving together using the combined skills of all learning institutions in the region.
He said the goals of most students in the region are to study towards employment opportunities such as a trade or as a nurse.
“Our aim is to make them a great builder or a great nurse, right here in our region.’’
Inglewood high principal Rosey Mabin said the addition of WITT to iCOL was a hugely significant step for the community.
“It means we have everything covered in the learning spectrum and a clear pathway our students can see.’’
Inglewood High School was a staunch supporter of WITT she said, and having WITT join iCOL was exciting `because it showed the commitment of the region's major tertiary provider to our young people and their willingness to partner across all learning pathways”.
“I knew after my first meeting with Barbara George when we asked WITT to join us that I had a new ally in education.’’
Setting up a Community of Learning comes with benefits to the schools involved, for example they qualify for access to specialised teachers, and iCOL have set themselves challenges around raising achievement in Mathematics and engaging with the community to support this.
Mr Anderson said that iCOL is about creating great people with aspirations to be excellent in all their endeavours.