Experienced, motivated teachers and a wide range of resources and extra-curricular opportunities prepare the way for the best in teaching and learning at TAS. With programmes tailored to suit specific learning styles and each teacher planning differentiated courses to cater for students with individual needs, our aim at TAS is to inspire our students to “be the best they can be.” Teachers provide the students with a structured learning environment in which independence, collaborative work, critical thinking and curiosity are all encouraged and celebrated.
Students are encouraged to lead their own learning at TAS; a process which begins in Term 1 with the students being responsible for creating their own learning goals in Reading, Writing, Mathematics and Independence skills. These goals are then shared with parents and teachers in the student led conferences. These goals are informed, in the middle to senior parts of the Primary School (Years 3-6), by initial assessment data and the learning needs that these results highlight to teachers and students. Progress towards the achievement of these goals is reported to the parents in the Mid-Year reports at the end of Term 2. Judgements against the National Standards for Reading, Writing and Mathematics are reported to the parents by the teachers, who use assessment data, everyday observation and class work to make these judgements.
A great deal of teaching in the Primary is thematic with subjects often integrated with inquiry based learning. There is a strong foundation of literacy and numeracy at the centre of the TAS curriculum, which is balanced out with a diverse range of learning areas taught in authentic contexts. Every day begins with some physical exercise for all primary students and this takes a variety of different forms like skipping, jump jam, running and circuit training. Inquiry topics with a social studies and science focus are taught throughout the Primary along with Health, P.E., Te Reo Maori and Technology.
Difference is celebrated at TAS. Gifted students are extended with differentiated programmes in class, whilst students who may need extra assistance are catered for with specialist support from our Learning Support Unit. Reading Recovery is offered to year 2 level students who are falling behind in Reading, whilst there is a successful Accelerated Learning in Literacy (ALL) programme which supports students who are struggling with their writing. A numeracy specialist is also employed by TAS to accelerate students’ learning of basic facts and numeracy strategies.
National Standards at T.A.S.
What are National Standards?
From 2010, all schools with children in years 1-8 will be using National Standards in reading, writing and maths.
The standards are a description of what all New Zealand children are expected to be able to do in reading, writing and mathematics in years 1-8. They have been developed by the Ministry of Education and subject experts.
The standards give teachers, your child and you a clear idea of where your child is at in reading, writing and mathematics, and what they have to do next in their learning.
Doing well in reading, writing and maths will give your child the skills and knowledge they need now. Working at or above the standards during years 1-8 means your child should be on track to finish secondary school with a worthwhile leaving qualification – NCEA level 2 or similar.
The reading, writing and mathematics standards are used by teachers to:
- plan and teach what your child needs to learn in reading, writing and maths across all curriculum subjects
- work out where your child is at
- work out your child’s next learning steps and set goals for learning, together with you and your child
- report clearly at least twice a year to you about your child’s progress and achievement in relation to the standards.
How will the teacher judge where your child is at?
At Tauraroa Area School the teacher uses a diverse range of ways to find out what level your child is at in reading, writing and mathematics. This includes:
- using a range of formal tests / assessments / book work
- observing your child working in the classroom
- talking with them about their learning
- your child assessing their own and each other’s work. (peer and self assessment)
Some children will need more time and support to work towards the expected standard. The teacher will work together with you and your child to help them to achieve their next learning goals.
What if my child is achieving below the National Standards?
You have an important role to play in your child’s learning.
Having a good relationship with your child’s teacher, clearly understanding where your child is at and working together to support your child’s learning will help them do their best.
It is important to check that your child is making progress towards the National Standards. You will be informed of progress made by your child in two written reports (mid and end of year) to parents and a student led conference early in Term 1.
However at Tauararoa Area school, if a child is below the national Standards and not making any progress, teachers will:
- Endeavour to contact parents and arrange a meeting where the child’s lack of progress can be discussed in a supportive environment.
- Suggest support systems for the child where learning may be accelerated / progressed e.g. A.L.L. – AcceleratedLlearning in Literacy programmes; A.L.I.M. – Accelerated Learning in Mathematics; Reading Recovery programme; extra reading help; L.S.U. – Learning Support Unit help.
- Suggest ways in which parents can help the child progress their learning at home.
- Invite parents into the classroom to support the child (Tauraroa Area School has an open door policy)