Reaching for personal success for students
New programme a success and will be expanded
Matthew Fraser Principal of Manawatu¯ College.
Earlier this year, we received funding from the Ministry of Education to create a programme designed to support junior students to be more successful with their learning. It is important to us that everybody is fully engaged at school and we realise that some need additional and alternative forms of support to make this happen. With these things in mind, we created a programme for a small group of students with the aim of helping them to have a better learning experience at Manawatu¯ College. The name ‘Reach’ comes from a key aspect of our school motto — “Beyond Personal Best”, in the sense that we want all students to be able to ‘reach’ beyond their personal best in all aspects of college life; whether it be with their learning in class or with the relationships they have with others. The programme is centred around our four school values; Manaakitanga | Respect, Kotahitanga | Unity, Manawaroa | Resilience, and Kaihautu¯ tanga | Leadership, as well as the values of restorative practice. Reach is based on the idea of providing an alternative approach to engaging students with their learning. It is not alternative education, rather a hybrid model that weaves the principals of the programme alongside a normal school timetable. For example, students are timetabled into Reach during periods 1 and 5, working alongside a coach to set individual goals for the day and the week ahead. These goals align with personal aspects that students would like to develop, grow and further improve. During periods 2, 3 and 4 students are in normal timetabled classes, supported by a teacher aide. ‘Hands on’ learning experiences are factored into the programme as well, which include connecting with local businesses and working in the community. Over the course of the programme, each of these weekly ‘experiences’ contribute to part of a planned bigger project that students work towards completing by the end of the school term. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our parents, caregivers and wha¯ nau who supported the Reach programme in Term 2. It was a significant success for all students involved and we couldn’t have done it without your support. We are expanding the Reach programme in Term 3 to cater for a wider group of students, and look forward to sharing the developments with our school community later in the term.