ROTORUA SCHOOL

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Apple Distinguished Schools are centres of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence. They use Apple technology to connect students to the world, fuel creativity, deepen collaboration and make learning personal.

Today

On ancestral land of Ngāti Whakaue people, our school’s historic buildings honour the past but house incredibly innovative learning inside. Cultural pride, belonging and identity are vital ingredients in our learners’ success.

 

Our people have a long history of exploration and innovation and that history strongly influences the school we are today and the school we will be tomorrow. Apple technology acts as rocket fuel for the cutting-edge cultural learning that sets us apart.

We consider ourselves one family; our way of fostering an inclusive, supportive and caring learning environment is completely unique. Press play to see the extremely encouraging culture we have created and how technology is used to communicate our pride.

Vision

With bold new leadership in place, we have developed a commitment to continuous innovation in policy and practice over the last two years.
 
This approach has been embraced by staff, learners, their families and the community. We are a low decile school but operate under the passionate belief that our learner’s deserve world-class teaching and access to the best technology.
 
Our school and community are one so it is our vision to not only become an Apple Distinguished School but to become New Zealand’s first Apple Distinguished community.
 
It is our mission is to ensure each member of our school community is empowered with knowledge and confidence to embrace their futures.

Learning

Our teachers embrace all the Professional Learning Development opportunities offered to them and have been able to turn those into meaningful and highly personalised classroom activities and practices.

 

Age is no barrier to inspired learning among our teachers with some of our most transformational technology teaching coming from a teacher nearing retirement. Inspired by an Apple PLD training which ‘lit an inferno’ in her, Whaea Mere’s class now completes virtually all their work on iPads.

 

An example of a completely unique learning experience designed by staff is a module exploring the traditional art of moko kauae (chin tattooing for Māori women symbolising sacred identity). Students were able to sit-in on a ceremonial tattooing of an elder teacher and then explore the topic further using their iPads. Learners drew moko onto photos taken and created their own original images.

 

Showing real vision, school leadership dedicated resource to funding a specific Apple and ICT lead teacher, established an e Sports programme, fit Apple TVs around the school, provided MacBooks to teachers, Mac Minis to admin staff and supplied 250 iPads to students thus ensuring everyone in the school community grows in their skills alongside one another.

 

We have five qualified Apple Teachers on staff and five more ready to undertake training.To foster collaboration, in 2020, our school organised and hosted a full PLD for local Māori immersion schools and later this year will take a further step by running this year’s event ourselves.

Success

We are three years into a comprehensive Theory of Improvement Plan which includes significant digital literacy goals. We’ve been using multiple methods to measure our progress including monthly reporting, culturally responsive pedagogy assessment specific Māori Medium schools, classroom video observations, Professional Growth Cycle reporting and student voice reporting.

We are very proud of the progress that has been charted in this short time frame.

Literacy and numeracy levels are rising and can be aligned to the introduction of our digital programme which has been integrated into all other areas of the curriculum.

What's next

The next steps in developing our technology learning programme include the extension of robotics and coding programmes, extensive professional learning development for all staff and increasing inclusive digital learning opportunities for families.

As far as we have already come, the highly detailed plan to establish a world first Aotearoa Innovation Centre driven entirely by Apple technology on school land is one of our most exciting plans for the the future. This transformational project aims to make our school and community the leaders in culturally contextualised technology education. Learn more about this revolutionary project here.

A note on symbols: We proudly use our own versions of tāniko (traditional weaving) patterns to represent ideas explored in each section of this application. Each pattern is used by Ngāti Whakaue people and has a particular meaning. The ideas represented include: nurturing future generations, wellbeing, wisdom and knowledge. Each pattern was made made using basic shapes in Pages, the gradient colour tool and the instant alpha function.