Teaching and Learning

Orakei School is committed to a way of teaching and learning for our students that builds confident, connected, life-long learners who will be contributing and innovative citizens.
Our best practice AKO teaching model creates opportunities for our teachers and students to be partners in learning that leads to greater success and improved achievement levels. This approach is based on a mutually respectful, collaborative learning relationship and is highly compatible with our school values of respect, excellence, self-belief and creativity.
In classrooms, students are highly involved in all aspects of their learning. They set goals, make decisions about strategies that best support them as learners and evaluate their progress for their next steps in learning. Students are getting to know how to be highly successful learners and achievers by self-directing and managing their learning, in partnership with their teacher.

Learning Spaces

At Orakei School, learning takes place in Innovative Learning Environments, or ILE’s. These flexible and open learning spaces combine three classrooms. Known as hubs, the spaces are designed to build a learning community. They enable students to learn in different ways, through different means, depending on their learning styles and pace of learning. Teachers work flexibly across the hubs with an emphasis on cross grouping and collaborating between students as they learn.

E-Learning

E-learning supports our students to develop their digital literacy skills to a high standard. Digital learning also provides self-managing learning situations for students through different learning pathways. Students use these technologies to engage in accessible, high quality, goal based learning opportunities across the curriculum that aim to improve student engagement, independence and achievement.

Writing

The teaching of writing happens on a daily basis and links with our reading program. The writing focus for teaching and learning each term is usually based on the genre or text type that has been identified as a school focus.
A class program will be differentiated or adapted to meet the diverse needs of students within a group.
The program will include whole class teaching and small group teaching through different writing approaches e.g. modelled, shared, interactive and guided writing.
Conferencing is a key feature of our writing programs. Teachers support students to reflect on their writing progress and share ways to improve it.

Reading

Reading happens on a daily basis and is organised to provide opportunities for reading to, with and by students.
Effective planning and teaching for reading provides every student with access to learning through:
– Differentiation – changes to the classroom program, the learning content
– Adaptation – changes to the supports – the school environment, the classroom
– Teaching strategies and teaching and learning materials depending on the needs of
the students.
In the junior and middle school, the lesson focus is on ‘learning to read’ and understanding what is read. This happens through a Guided Reading approach with students organised in similar needs groups.
In the senior school, the teaching emphasis is on ‘reading to learn’ and reading critically and analytically. This happens through Literature Circles and Reciprocal Reading approaches.
Our Ako teaching and learning model enables students to select and learn literacy learning goals and review their progress in highly critical ways through self and peer-assessment.

Mathematics

The teaching of mathematics happens on a daily basis.
Effective planning and teaching for mathematics provides every student with access to
learning through:
– Differentiation – changes to the classroom program or the learning content
– Adaptation – changes to the supports – the school environment or the classroom
teaching strategies and learning materials depending on the needs of the students.
Lessons consist of the following aspects and include the use of concrete materials:
Whole Class Teaching
Warm Ups and warm Downs – Number knowledge based – 5mins at the beginning and end of the lesson.
The focus is called a ‘Hot Spot’ and is based on number knowledge and assessment data.
The small group teaching focus is on strategy. Teachers co-construct learning intentions with learners and explicitly teach those with similar needs.
Our Ako teaching and learning model enables students to select and learn numeracy learning goals and review their progress in highly critical ways through self and peer-assessment.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Our ESOL program is designed to support the cultural, language and learning needs of ESOL students from Years 1-8. The program emphasis is primarily on developing the listening, speaking, reading and writing and cultural and social needs of the students. There are two hourly sessions a week for both senior and junior groups of students. The program content is based on the school topic so that learning can be meaningful and connected. The emphasis in the junior program is on developing a range of oracy and literacy skills. For the senior students, the focus is on the development of reading and writing skills across learning areas.

Gifted and Talented (GATE)

Since 2012, Orakei School has provided a program to cater for those students identified as having exceptional ability in an area. Gifted and talented students think and learn in divergent ways and often learn differently. Our current programme facilitator, Diana Hayman, works for the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education and runs one day programs across Auckland. She focuses on fuelling the students with personal development, a positive mindset, thinking tools and strategies and opportunities to explore passion areas.

Orakei School Charter

Orakei School’s charter clearly sets out the Board’s aims and actions to improve student achievement. The charter is clear and concise, and allows parents whanau and the community to easily understand and engage with the school’s vision and values.
Orakei School overlooks the Waitemata harbour and is located in close proximity to Auckland’s commercial district. Close historical and cultural links exist with Ngati Whatua Orakei. With a roll of approximately 260 students our school places great emphasis on engaging our community, providing a welcoming and inclusive environment and creating a ‘family’ atmosphere.
Orakei School acknowledges the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, the bi-cultural foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand and the ahi kaaroa (long relationship with the land) of Ngati Whatua Orakei. All students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge of Te Reo and Tikanga.
We are a school committed to meeting the needs of all our students in an inclusive and encouraging environment. We have a commitment to a ‘resolution of one’ teaching philosophy where students are aware of their learning journey and next steps.
We aim to be a school that meets the needs of our diverse community and embody our vision of ‘Nurturing Excellence’.