Learning Together

Throughout any given day at Wairakei Primary School students from across the school can be seen to be learning together. These interactions take place in a variety of ways.

At times this is in the playground. Older students can often be seen helping junior students on the playground equipment, involving them in games and even leading activities. The introduction of our Village Playground Passes has developed this further and it has been fantastic to see the older students helping younger students on the flying fox and the spiders’ web.

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Wairakei Primary School encourages the concept of ‘learn it - prove it’ where once a student has mastered a skill or new learning, they then teach it to someone else. 

This was evident this term with our Extension Literacy Group. The students wrote descriptive pieces of writing about their favourite body part. Using success criteria they were able to extend their language choices and created some effective descriptive writing passages. 

Next, having mastered the skill themselves, they then taught students from Ohaaki and Te Huka the same descriptive writing skills. 

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Our senior students quickly realised that they would need to go slowly and provide a lot of scaffolding to support these younger students to achieve success. 

We have had a focus on oral language. Our Manukura have been looking at this in terms of leadership and communicating to other students effectively.

We put this to the test with our New Entrants class. Our Manukura led the students through a barrier game activity. They had to clearly describe a shape made of blocks and rods with the aim to build two identical creations. 

The Manukura had previously completed this activity with each other successfully - however they soon discovered they would need to simplify their instructions. After some surprised looks and some interesting shapes they had success.

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It was hard to explain the specific positions to the younger students Clare

We built a flower. I had to listen to Clare carefully Zoey

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Some of the pairings even swapped roles and the Manukura had to follow the instructions of the younger students. 

It was hard listening because the directions were tricky to explain Zavier

Zavier was good at listening to my instructions - we built a windmill Dominic

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Oliver was able to give me such great instructions - it was easy to follow Elliot

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Working together in a variety of ways helps to foster a positive school culture and strengthens our wharenui nga tae. 

Keywords:  Tuakana teina, Learn it Prove it, Oral language

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