March 3, 2024
Looking Back To Look Forward –

Looking Back To Look Forward –

Looking Back To Look Forward –

Author: Learning and Teaching Buzz
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2020 has been a year of many things to many people. For many of us, it has changed our focus and we are reevaluating what is important to us.

After many years of not being able to work full-time and of thinking that my career and love for teaching was in the past due to various health issues, a corner was turned and 2020 has turned out to contain so many more positives that any other year to date.

This year, I was hired to work at a very special school – Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu – The Correspondence School. This is Aotearoa New Zealand’s Correspondence School, but it is not the Correspondence School of old. This is a truly innovative and ākonga-centred learning and teaching environment that has our ākonga firmly at its heart. Our philosophy is as far away from a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy as you can get. We have a ‘one size fits one’ philosophy. You hear it in the daily conversations with colleagues, ākonga and their whānau. You see it in our actions.


We have just changed to a continuous reporting system

Instead of report-writing twice a year which, in actual fact, causes a lot of disruption to learning and teaching and with a finished report that is generally out of date by the time it reaches our ākonga and their whānau, we have ongoing learning and teaching where feedback and feedforward is ongoing and seamless. (ADD MORE and link to articles, research and Te Kura website)


Ngā Mātāpono are the principles we follow. They guide us in everything we do.

and it is at the heart of everything we do.

The five principles are:

Kotahitanga – Care / Resilience

Whaitake – Curiosity / Contribution

Whakamana – Agency / Optimism

Māramatonutanga – Sense Making / Creative Thinking / Innovation

Whakawhanaungatanga – Collaboration / Connection


My Korowai is our cloak which links past to present and to the future. It is never finished as new learning, experiences and connections help to grow and strengthen it as it envelopes our ākonga. It is our ‘connector’ if you like. It tells the story of all the different parts of the learning journey our ākonga are on.


Big Picture Learning is all about personalising learning and keeping our ākonga (learners) at the heart of everything we do. It’s about connecting learning to the real world and finding opportunities to support our ākonga to find their way in the world. It is Inquiry Learning or Problem Based Learning at its best.

This form of learning and pedagogy is my passion and I am incredibly excited about the coming year and how I can incorporate these changes into learning from and with my ākonga.

I will be using this blog to regularly reflect on this new journey.