Community of Learning appointments announced in Marlborough
A group of Marlborough schools designed to lift levels of achievement in the region has appointed 34 teachers to help tackle educational challenges facing pupils.
High on the teachers' list is improving maths and literacy among the 21 schools signed up to the Blenheim Community of Learning.
Lead principals Simon Heath, of Renwick School, and Karen Stewart, of Marlborough Girls' College, announced the new roles on Monday.
Heath said the teachers, who were chosen from school staff, would help the schools meet the community's challenges.
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Nearly 750 Marlborough pupils in years 1 to 8 were below the national standard for writing, 500 were below the standard for reading, and 641 were below the standard for maths.
The Community of Learning aimed to reduce each number to 467 students or fewer by 2017, and to reduce the number of students leaving the colleges without NCEA Level 2 from 85 to 63 or fewer by 2017.
Stewart said the teachers would be available to provide support to staff.
"They have been appointed by the schools and they are there so that staff can discuss good practice with them."
Seven appointments were yet to be made for the "across school" roles, working between schools and looking at improving teaching practices.
Education Minister Hekia Parata said on Monday the Blenheim group was the first to have their achievement challenges endorsed, which was why the resources had been released for the appointments.
"I think it's spectacular. They are trailblazers," she said.
Parata was in Marlborough for the edVenture Conference, which focused on upskilling teachers in "innovative learning practices" and using new technology.
One of the reasons for deciding to create two co-located high schools in Marlborough at a cost of $63 million were the benefits it would bring to the wider school community in Marlborough, with the community able to use the school facilities, Parata said.
More than 500 teachers from every school in the Marlborough area attended the conference.
With the announcement last week that 97 per cent of schools around the country were connected to ultra-fast broadband it was important to talk about how that influenced teaching, Parata said.
Digital technology would play a vital part in children's futures, Parata said.
"We are seeing whole industries change," she said.
The Government announced on Friday that 782,000 students had fibre laid to their school gate under the Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiative programmes between 2010 and 2016.
The initiatives meant schools had a broadband speed of at least 100 megabytes per second.
In Marlborough, all schools were connected to the broadband service except the remote Waitaria Bay School on the northern side of Kenepuru Sound, which was one of the 49 schools nationwide connected to the Remote Schools Broadband Initiative.
The school, which had a roll of 11, had broadband of at least 10 megabytes per second.
- The Marlborough Express