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Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

Communities of Learning are "aimed at making it easier for schools to work together around a child’s journey through the education system to tackle educational challenges, and get the professional resources they need to do that."

Ministry of Education

A Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako is a group of education and training providers working together to help learners achieve their full potential. These include:

  • early childhood education services me ngā kōhanga reo (early learning services)
  • schools and kura
  • post-secondary. 

Each Community of Learning sets shared goals or achievement challenges based on the identified needs of its learners. An action plan is developed identifying how the Community of Learning will achieve its goals.

Community of Learning model

Enlarge Community of Learning model »

The initial Community of Learning model, developed by NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Ministry of Education, is based on sector research identifying what supports children's learning. The model is being reviewed during 2017 to ensure it is:

  • sufficiently responsive and adaptive to innovated practice
  • resourced flexibly enough to meet students' needs.
More information »

A short guide to centrally-funded professional learning and development

This Ministry of Education video explains the steps that a school, kura or Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako goes through to put together a PLD proposal, and what they do if they are successful.

More information »

The Ministry of Education's website contains information about Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako .

  • Support  – from the early stages of formation through to being fully functioning.
  • Local curriculum design smart tool  – helps communities build a shared local curriculum, focussed on supporting learners along their entire pathway. This tool is currently under development and will be will be progressively available to all Communities of Learning from April 2017.
  • Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako toolkit  – This toolkit contains information about the tools, resources and services available to support your Kāhui Ako to work in this new way and to help you meet your achievement challenges and deliver personalised learning pathways for all children and young people. Find out more about the toolkit and developing personalised pathways for your learners.
  • Information for principals and school leaders  – the Education Services website provides information on applying for and accessing centrally funded professional learning and development (PLD).

Investing in Educational Success (IES)

The Investing in Educational Success  (IES) programme is the over-arching policy initiative. 

Communities of Learning:

  • are the "engine room" of Investing in Educational Success (IES). Groups of schools and kura will come together into groups of around 10 schools which will represent the pathway for students from primary to secondary school.
  • with the involvement of Boards of Trustees, parents, students, whānau and staff, will set their own shared achievement goals based on their children’s and young people’s educational needs.
  • will be funded to allow teachers the time to work with and learn from each other, supported by the new teaching and leadership roles.

Teacher-Led Innovation Fund (TLIF)

The Teacher-Led Innovation Fund (TLIF) is a 3 year fund for teachers to work together with external experts to innovate around a "puzzle of practice" and develop next practice. Groups of at least 3 teachers (within or across schools) can apply for the funding.

The fund will allow teachers to:

  • undertake inquiry into practice with other teachers to find ways to help individuals or groups of students succeed
  • work in partnership with experts/specialist support
  • share what works with schools and other educators across New Zealand.

Visit the Ministry of Education website to look at the The Teacher–Led Innovation Fund – IES Information sheet

Communities of Learning: What do you need to know

Mark Potter, principal Berhampore School outlines and expands on the four phases for forming a Community of Learning.

  1. Forming relationships
  2. Developing a collective purpose
  3. Planning for the change you are trying to achieve
  4. Collective action

He points out this process takes time and commitment. Time spent building quality relationships supports the success of the community functioning and achieving its goals.

Local Curriculum Design Tool

Three tools are available:

  • Rapua Te Ara Tika (seeking the right pathway) – promotes a Māori approach to curriculum development, teaching and learning
  • Collaborative Inquiry Tool – provides a system for establishing focus areas, developing inquiry proposals, monitoring progress, and sharing findings
  • Relationships for Learning Tool – helps Kāhui Ako focus on the community relationships that can support them. 

The Coherent Pathways Tool and the Planning Rich Opportunities for Learning Tool will be ready in early 2018.

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Building Relationships

School leaders explain the importance of building relationships within your Community of Learning, this includes outside experts – it is a move from "me and my school to us and our network or community" explains Jill Farquarson, principal of Auckland Normal Intermediate. Taking time to listen to and understand each other's perspectives is an important part of this process. 

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Sharing Best Practice

Principals and lead teachers from Communities of Learning share how they are building positive relationships and sharing best practice so that tamariki can benefit from the collaboration.

Key resources
Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako Toolkit

Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako toolkit

This set of Curriculum Planning Tools has been designed to help Kāhui Ako facilitate conversations, capture decisions and share their learning. There are five tools that work together. They support and enrich one another. Information about accessing the tool for your Kāhui »

Community of Learning: Guide for schools and kura

Community of Learning: Guide for schools and kura

This Ministry of Education guide will walk you through what a Community of Learning looks like, what is required to become a Community and how to get started. It also discusses how a Community of Learning will work in practice and explains the available support and advice you may need along the way.

Community of Schools: Tips and starters - working together

Community of Schools – Tips and starters: Working together

This document is a supplementary document to the Community of Schools Guide for Schools and Kura. It provides tips and starter points on working together: best practices for collaboration, how to approach setting your first achievement challenge, and your Community of Learning structure.

Collaborative practice 

Creating a culture of collective responsibility is at the heart of how an effective Community of Learning operates.

ERO, 2017 

Key resources

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Collaboration to Improve Learner Outcomes

This publication is designed to support Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako by bringing together research findings about effective collaboration in education communities. It is supported by the publication Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: working towards collaborative practice. These resources can be used in conjunction with School Evaluation Indicators: effective practice for improvement and learner success (2016) and Effective School Evaluation: How to do and use internal evaluation for improvement (2016).

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Working towards collaborative practice

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Working towards collaborative practice

This resource is designed to support Kāhui Ako as they work towards effective collaborative practice. It is framed around key questions in each of the seven effective practice areas and is able to be used both as evidence-based progressions and as a useful internal evaluation tool.

Teacher opening book

Developing an action plan and strategic framework

Rotorua Central Kāhui Ako leader, Nancy Macfarlane explains how their community of learning developed their action plan and strategic framework.

Teacher looking at data

Implementing PaCT across the Rotorua Central Kāhui Ako

Rotorua Central Kāhui Ako leader, Nancy Macfarlane explains their staged process for implementing the PaCT for writing, reading, and maths.

Teacher speaking

How evaluative practice and theory of improvement inform Rotorua Central Kāhui Ako direction

Kāhui Ako leader, Nancy Macfarlane and Hinemoa Anaru, Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru Education Trust, explain how they have used evaluative thinking  and developed theories of improvement to provide direction for their community of learning.

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Key resource
Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako Toolkit

Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako toolkit

The toolkit, developed by The Ministry of Education, contains information about the tools, resources, and services available to support Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako to meet their achievement challenges and deliver personalised learning pathways for all ākonga.

The tools are arranged into six domains. Each Kāhui Ako will be at different stages of development in key areas within these six domains. The Development Map is designed to help each Kāhui Ako identify potential future development areas under each domain.

Getting started

Community of Learning: Guide for schools and kura

Community of Learning: Guide for schools and kura

This Ministry of Education guide will walk you through what a Community of Learning looks like, what is required to become a Community and how to get started. It also discusses how a Community of Learning will work in practice and explains the available support and advice you may need along the way.

Community of Schools: Tips and starters - working together

Community of Schools – Tips and starters: Working together

This document is a supplementary document to the Community of Schools Guide for Schools and Kura. It provides tips and starter points on working together: best practices for collaboration, how to approach setting your first achievement challenge, and your Community of Learning structure.

Education services

VIDEO: Accessing PLD for my school, kura or Kāhui Ako

This short video steps you through the basics of putting together a PLD proposal, and what to do when you are allocated PLD support. The Education services website also provides information for principals and school leaders  to support accessing centrally-funded PLD.

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

The Ministry of Education's website contains information and resources to support and inform Communities of Learning.

Working collaboratively

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Collaboration to Improve Learner Outcomes 2016

This publication is designed to support Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako by bringing together research findings about effective collaboration in education communities. It is supported by the publication Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: working towards collaborative practice. These resources can be used in conjunction with School Evaluation Indicators: effective practice for improvement and learner success (2016) and Effective School Evaluation: How to do and use internal evaluation for improvement (2016).

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Working towards collaborative practice

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Working towards collaborative practice 2016

This resource is designed to support Kāhui Ako as they work towards effective collaborative practice. It is framed around key questions in each of the seven effective practice areas and is able to be used both as evidence-based progressions and as a useful internal evaluation tool.

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako: Working towards collaborative practice

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako in action 2016

The first of a series of iterative reports which draw together what ERO knows about Kāhui Ako, as they move from establishment to implementation.

Collaboration framework

A five part framework with questions to support learning communities to review their collaborative practices. This has been developed by CORE Education.

Te Rāngai Kāhui Ako ā-Iwi

A resource, under development, to spark community engagement in developing strong, sustainable pathways in Māori medium education.

Tools and resources to support developing your action plan

Local curriculum design smart tool

The Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako Local Curriculum Smart Tool helps communities build a shared local curriculum, focussed on supporting learners along their entire pathway. The tool will be progressively available to all Communities of Learning from April 2017.

The tool contains four areas to support developing:

  • shared learner profiles
  • rich learning opportunities
  • community relationships
  • collaborative inquiries

Connected Learning Advisory

The Ministry of Education’s Connected Learning Advisory is committed to supporting schools and clusters as they plan for, manage and use digital technologies for learning.

Inclusive practices toolkit

The Inclusive Practices Tools are designed to support primary, intermediate, and secondary schools to engage in a review process. The aim of the review process is to support schools to engage in an ongoing journey towards building inclusive practices for all learners (including learners with extra support needs).

Wellbeing Toolkit

Wellbeing toolkit

The Wellbeing@School tools are designed to support primary, intermediate and secondary schools to engage in a review process.  The W@S self review tools explore how different layers of school life contribute to creating a safe and caring climate that deters bullying.  The aim of the review process is to support schools to engage in an ongoing journey towards building inclusive practices for all learners.

The Starpath Project Toolkit

An online resource for secondary schools implementing Starpath’s strategies to raise student achievement.

Achievement Retention Transitions (ART 2013-17)

The Achievement Retention Transitions (ART 2013-17) initiative works in partnership with secondary schools to identify young people at risk of not achieving NCEA Level 2, with a particular focus on Maori and Pasifika students.

Positive behaviour for learning

Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) initiatives help parents, whānau, teachers, early childhood centres, and schools address problem behaviour, improve children’s well-being, and increase educational achievement. PB4L is a long-term, systemic approach involving ten initiatives. These include whole-school change initiatives, targeted group programmes, and individual student support services.

School Evaluation Indicators: Effective practice for improvement and learner success 2016

This version of ERO's School Evaluation Indicators reflects a deepening understanding of how schools improve, and the role that evaluation plays in that process. It also reflects a strengthened relationship between ERO’s approaches to evaluation in English-medium and Māori-medium settings.

Effective School Evaluation: How to do and use internal evaluation for improvement 2016

This guide to using internal evaluation for improvement purposes is published jointly by ERO and the Ministry of Education as a companion to School Evaluation Indicators: Effective Practice for Improvement and Learner Success and is supported by Internal Evaluation: Good Practice.

Internal evaluation: Good practice

This good practice report, by ERO, showcases 13 schools and how they've used internal evaluation to change their practice to support students to achieve.

Educationally powerful connections with parents and whānau, Nov 2015

In this report, the Education Review Office (ERO) evaluated how well 256 schools worked with parents and whanau to respond to students at risk of underachievement. They provide examples where schools specifically worked with parents and whānau to accelerate and support progress and improve achievement.

Transitions – managing times of change

This guide helps you plan a collaborative and more personalised transition for students who will benefit from a longer-term orientation programme geared to their individual needs. The strategies can be applied to any period of transition and are not defined by stage or setting.

Preparing students to leave school

This guide supports schools to personalise the curriculum for students in their secondary school years. It highlights the need for flexible approaches to meet the variability of students’ practical, learning, and emotional needs.

Supporting Māori students

This guide focuses on inclusive teaching and learning strategies that can be used in the classroom to create a more effective learning environment for all Māori students. Strengthening the self-identity and self-esteem of students who may need additional support to learn is a central theme.

Supporting Pasifika students

This guide focuses on inclusive teaching and learning strategies that can be used in the classroom to create a more effective learning environment for all Pasifika students. Strengthening the self-identity and self-esteem of students who may need additional support to learn is a central theme.

Partnering with parents, whānau, and communities

This guide provides stories, resources, and links to research to support schools to develop and strengthen effective partnerships with parents, whānau, and communities. It emphasises the value of building close community networks to support student learning and wellbeing.

Professional learning on Enabling e-Learning

Teacher inquiry

Information and examples of practice to support developing teacher inquiries.

Spiral of inquiry: Leaders leading learning

This resource promotes the leadership of collaborative, evidence-informed inquiry in ways that keep learners’ progress at the centre. It provides field-tested tools and ideas to support leaders and teachers to apply spirals of inquiry, learning and action with their learners.

Tools to support data gathering and teacher planning

Teaching and school practices survey tool

This online survey tool is designed to provide useful information for school inquiry, review, and development. It can provide your school with important insights about teaching practices, school practices, and leadership.

Learning Progression Frameworks

The learning progression frameworks illustrate the significant steps that learners take as they develop their expertise in reading, writing, and mathematics from years 1 to 10. Year 9 and 10 teachers can use the frameworks to identify students’ reading, writing, and mathematics knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Teachers can also use the frameworks to plan programmes that provide learning opportunities which will enable their students to succeed at secondary school and beyond.

Progress and Consistency Tool  (PaCT)

The progress and consistency tool provides learning progression frameworks that break down mathematics, reading, and writing and illustrate the stages of learning. It "captures" teacher judgments on aspects of mathematics reading and writing and recommends an overall judgment that a teacher confirms or reviews.

Integrated Education Data (iEd)

Integrated Education Data is a system wide information management programme that is being developed over the next five years, 2017-2022.

e-Learning community discussions

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