Pakuranga College are a future focused school. To develop lifelong learners who are comfortable with digital technologies, they are developing a programme that will prepare students for future careers. They recognise the new digital technology strands are going to have a significant impact on how they deliver the curriculum, particularly in the junior school. By building on their senior school NCEA programme to provide an introduction to 2D and 3D programming at years 9 and 10 they are developing a seamless learning pathway. Currently, VR is an extension opportunity and a way for students to develop coding skills. Their aim is to build capacity within the school to bring VR into the curriculum and the timetabled classes.
Charlie Smith: We’ve seen the future and it is virtual reality, or at least a part of the future anyway. It’s a really interesting technology and it’s definitely going to grow. We want lifelong learners who are going to be really comfortable with the technology that’s out there. So we’ve really tried to grow our programme and we’ve tried to grow it in ways that are going to be applicable in whatever careers students get into. We’ve been running a programme for a few years of senior school, 11, 12, and 13, running through the NCEA standards as most schools do.
About five years ago we decided that that wasn’t working out well enough, students were just coming out cold at year 11, so we’ve now developed a programme at year 10 and we’re developing a programme at year 9 to try and develop a culture that actually works all the way through. The new digital technology strands are going to have a really significant impact on how we deliver our curriculum, particularly in the junior school. So we’re really looking for authentic contexts that students can address the six new strands.
Tyne Crow: We’re expecting to have a lot more students engaging with digital content, learning about computational thinking and programming. So we see the virtual reality fitting in several places in the school.
Charlie Smith: Virtual reality as a mainstream curriculum tool isn’t there yet. So what we see it as currently, is a wonderful extension opportunity and a way for students to really build their way into the world of coding, generally.
Tyne Crow: Yeah we’re really expecting that to build the capacity within the school to eventually bring it into the curriculum and the timetabled classes.
Charlie Smith: We have our mainstream classes that do learn gaming concepts and of course they do all the digital technology standards and programming and media creation. So they get to, in a really authentic context, apply those skills and make some meaningful headway towards something that will be part of our future.