Building Effective Professional Learning & Support Networks

The Hereora Supporting Learners Team provides our special educational needs coordinators, teachers and teacher aides the opportunity to meet together each term to both develop their professional learning and to continue to build effective support and guidance networks.  

This group is highly effective for addressing the complex needs staff face in their schools and centres. We have an impressive network of teacher expertise and experience in the Hereora Cluster and are enthusiastic about working together collaboratively to share ideas, expertise and resources. 

The key purpose for this group is to build professional knowledge to better meet the learning and social needs of our priority learners by: 
Developing strong collaboration and support networks across the Hereora Cluster, agencies, community & whānau.
Sharing expertise, resources, experiences, ideas and learner information.
Developing consistency across our cluster with information sharing, data, systems, and support resources and programs to support transitions. 
Providing opportunities for students to collaborate with like minded learners.

Supporting Learners Team 2016
Supporting Learners Team
Week 6, each term
Tuesday @ 3:30 - 5:00pm
Locations rotates across all schools
Teachers, SENCO & T.As that work with & support learners needs & abilities
Discussion, collaboration, sharing, problem solving
Guest speakers from relevant support agencies

Supporting Learners PLG                                                     
Term 2 - 2017
Meeting Details    
Tuesday 6th June 3:30pm @ Harewood School
Teachers, SENCO & T.As that work with & support learners needs & abilities

Mental Health in schools team are invited to share with this group. Sharing what they do and how they can help us with our higher needs learners. 
The team will also discuss and start to organising some some Hereora parent sessions and future T&I opportunities.
Members of the School Based Mental Health Team (CDHB) Kaye Wolland, Ursula McCulloch, and Megan McMahon met with us for our June session. They shared what they do and how they can help us with our higher needs learners in the school community. We were able to have a Q & A session at the end.
They are based at the Whakatata House building, Cashel St and they were set up after the earthquakes. They are allocated to schools who have requested input from their team; and work in pairs if they are running workshops.  A member of the team can attend pastoral care school meetings providing a discussion forum and also advise about which agency to access for particular needs. They can offer professional development, group consultations, relaxation skills, tummy breathing and run workshops on topics such as attachment, anxiety, de-escalation and positive parenting.  They also provide resources, run cluster projects, and they send out a newsletter once a term. When school’s identify a need, they work out how they can help us.
The team has also have been involved in producing Sparklers  These are web-based activities that can be used by teachers, and are Key Competency based for year 0-8 students. Parent and teacher guides are also available such as ‘How to help children manage worries’. 
The team do a little individual work with children with mild-moderate mental health needs.  Referrals for this work is more informal via discussion within pastoral care meetings.  Children with higher mental health needs can be formally referred through to CAFLink North or South Teams (Child, Adolescent and Family) or CAF Emergency. Those who have been referred are usually seen within 3 weeks.  This appointment is an initial triage appointment to screen whether further mental health assessment will be required.
We found the session informative and allowed us to see what they have to offer.  
Julie Argyle
Harewood School

Supporting Learners PLG Report                                             
Term 1 - 2017
Meeting Details    
Monday 6th March 3:45pm @ Wairakei School
Teachers, SENCO & T.As that work with & support learners needs & abilities
Clarifying the Role & Purpose of our Hereora Supporting Learners Team. 
Exploring Talent & Interest Opportunities for our Hereora learners and Whānau Partnership opportunities for 2017.

The SLT team met on 6 March and started the year by revisiting and clarifying our purpose of this professional Learning Group. 

It was great to have a catch up and to greet some new comers to our group. The topic of the day was what opportunities we could offer our learners this year. We felt strongly that the Tuakana Teina model of the older child guiding the younger child was a way to involve all our learners (from High School to ECE). Some of the things discussed were possibly a cluster art project and a Dance group.

Another one of our main focus was the Whanau engagement and how we can be supporting them better. The Incredible Years Parenting course was one of the ideas with a view to this being based in one of our schools. Under this topic was also a discussion around having some speakers in to talk to the parent community on issues of the day e.g. attachment, anxiety etc and some behaviour strategies to support these issues.

We are hoping to have the Mental Health in Schools Team come and talk to us about what services they offer and how they can help us within our schools, at one of our meetings. 

Lots coming up so watch this space…
Browyn Harding, SENCO & DP, Wairakei School