Ian Kell - Winston Churchill Memorial Trust

 
Ian Kell - Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
Ian Kell
Ian Kell - Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
Copyright © 18 December 2019 by Ian Kell.

The moral right of the author has been asserted. The views and opinions
expressed in this report and its content are those of the author and not of
  the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust or it’s partners, which have no
            responsibility or liability for any part of the report
Ian Kell - Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
Contents
Preface 1.1................................................................................................................................... 5
   Acknowledgements 1.2 ....................................................................................................................... 5
   Introduction 1.3 .................................................................................................................................. 6
   About the Author 1.4 .......................................................................................................................... 6
Executive Summary 2.1 ................................................................................................................ 9
   Key Observations 2.2 .......................................................................................................................... 9
   Recommendations 2.3 ........................................................................................................................ 9
   Context 2.4 ......................................................................................................................................... 9
   Why Estonia, Australia and New Zealand 2.5 ................................................................................... 10
   Aims and Objectives 2.6 .................................................................................................................... 12
   Virtual Learning in Estonia 3.1 .......................................................................................................... 14
   Conclusions on Estonia 3.2 ............................................................................................................... 15
Virtual Education in New Zealand 4.1 ......................................................................................... 16
   Te Kura Auckland 4.2 ........................................................................................................................ 18
   Programme 4.3 ................................................................................................................................. 19
   Management Structure 4.4 .............................................................................................................. 19
   Management Model 4.5 ................................................................................................................... 20
   Evaluation of Student Performance 4.6 ............................................................................................ 21
   How are the goals achieved 4.7 ........................................................................................................ 22
   Learning Support 4.8 ......................................................................................................................... 23
   What are the aims of Te Kura 4.9 ..................................................................................................... 23
   Student Engagement and Participation 4.10 .................................................................................... 24
   Provision of H Q Learning, Evaluation 4.11....................................................................................... 26
   Who Does Te Kura Work With 4.12 .................................................................................................. 26
   Systems and Processes 4.13 ............................................................................................................. 28
   Staff Training 4.13.1 .......................................................................................................................... 28
   Student Engagement 4.13.2.............................................................................................................. 29
   Assessment 4.13.3 ............................................................................................................................ 30
   Case Studies 4.14 .............................................................................................................................. 30
   Primary and Early Years partnerships 4.15 …. .................................................................................. 31
   Role of Liaison Teacher 4.16 ............................................................................................................. 33
Te Kura Wellington 5.1 .............................................................................................................. 36
   Strategy for the future 5.2 ................................................................................................................ 36

                                                                           3
Ian Kell - Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
Student at the Centre 5.3.................................................................................................................. 37
   New Zealand’s first COOL 5.4............................................................................................................ 37
   Communities of Learning 5.5 ............................................................................................................ 37
   Pacifika Policy 5.6 .............................................................................................................................. 38
Preliminary Conclusions 6.1 ....................................................................................................... 39
Core Education 7.1 .................................................................................................................... 41
   Big Picture Education 7.2 …............................................................................................................. ..41
Open Polytechnic 8.1 ................................................................................................................ 43
Virtual School Victoria 9.1 ......................................................................................................... 44
   Curriculum and Pedagogy 9.2 ........................................................................................................... 46
   Learning Management System 9.3 .................................................................................................. 47
   Pedagogical Model 9.4 ..................................................................................................................... 47
   Engagement and Wellbeing 9.5 ........................................................................................................ 49
   Learning Advisor Role 9.6.................................................................................................................. 50
   Student Interviews 9.7 ...................................................................................................................... 51
   Victoria Language School 10.1 .......................................................................................................... 55
   Finigan 10.2 ....................................................................................................................................... 55
   S.I.D.E 10.3 ........................................................................................................................................ 56
   Darwin School of Distance Education 10.4 ...................................................................................... 56
Conclusion 11.1 ......................................................................................................................... 57
Recommendations 11.2 ............................................................................................................. 58
Glossary 12.1 …. ......................................................................................................................... 59
Appendices ............................................................................................................................... 60

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Ian Kell - Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
1.1 Preface

To have been offered the opportunity to travel on behalf of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
was an unbelievable opportunity. Moreover, to have been in receipt of this award has been one
of the most exciting honours I have received in my working life. It was a both a humbling
experience to recognise just how dynamic, innovative, and inspirational colleagues in my
profession are and a genuine honour to have been able to undertake this journey. I was proud
to have represented both the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and Shotton Hall Academy
during my travels. In addition, it was particularly gratifying to have made connections with
colleagues in Australia, New Zealand, and Estonia who are all working towards the same goals
as I would like to work towards. This report is a précis of my travels and research experience.
There are also recommendations which are aimed at my current workplace in particular and
hopefully to the wider education community as well. It includes a summary of potential
outcomes which I believe are achievable and will be implemented on a small scale initially, but
which could be expanded to reach a much wider audience.

1.2 Acknowledgements

I would like to offer my sincere thanks to;
    ● Mal Maciver at the Virtual School of Victoria
    ● Frank Merlino at the Victoria school of
       Languages,
    ● Sanjay Naidu at Te Kura in Auckland,
    ● Reagan Dooley and Ella Tavernor at Te Kura in Wellington.
    ● Anne White at the Northern Territories School of Distance Learning,
    ● Alina Siht at Kesklinna Gumnasium in Tallinn,
    ● Daniel Rattigen at Finnigan in Queansbyen .

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Ian Kell - Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
Thank you too, to Lizzie Barber in Wellington, Pat O’Boyle and Mary Boyce in Sydney for being
sounding boards for my ideas and who both have a shared their experiences of teaching in
Australia and New Zealand. I am grateful to Derek Wenmoth of Core Education in New Zealand
for helping me develop a list of contacts and supporting the overall aim of the project.

1.3 Introduction

“Travel to Learn Return to Inspire” is the
Motto of the Winston Churchill Memorial
Trust, yet in so many areas of life the gulf
between the slogan and the reality is as
wide as the ocean. In this case, the reality
and the ideal are the same. The
opportunity to travel to Australasia and the
learning that took place there is something
that I will not only remember forever, but I
returned personally inspired and fired up
with an almost evangelical passion to
convey that inspiration to colleagues.
This opportunity arose at the right time in
my career and personal life and I will
forever be indebted to the Winston
Churchill Memorial Trust and the
Academy at Shotton Hall. I have relished
every chance to discuss the findings, or
                                                             First View of New Zealand from the air
simply to regale colleagues with stories of
schools and organisations I have visited.
In the period between returning from the           1.4 About the Author
travels and starting to write this report a
number of meetings have been held in               I have been a Mathematics teacher in a
school regarding the potential of applying         face to face school since 1989 and since
distance learning methodologies                    1998 have been involved in European
witnessed in Australia and New Zealand             partnerships with schools across the world
to both the Academy at Shotton Hall and            using distance communication links.
the North East Learning Trust.                     These projects have come under the
Since returning I have applied to                  Socrates, Comenius, Erasmus and
University of Northumbria to pursue a              ETwinning programmes funded by the EU.
doctorate with the school of Education into        Communication within these programmes
Virtual Learning collaborations within UK          has broadly reflected the development in
schools. I hope this report will provide an        virtual education, originally linkage with
insight to future fellows and prospective          partner schools was conducted by
fellows of what are possible as well as            occasional telephone calls, a fax machine
potential pitfalls.                                and parcelling up student work into a jiffy
                                                   bag and posting off shared work at the
                                                   end of each week. Today there are a
                                                   plethora of platforms available for instant
                                                   communication, video calls, instant

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Ian Kell - Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
messaging. I passionately believe that             him, the success is measured in terms of
developments in communication                      grades.
technology should be seen as beneficial to         I have also been involved in managing the
the teaching profession. In discussions            school Duke of Edinburgh award
with other teachers about virtual education        programme, and have seen at first that
and virtual schooling, the ubiquitous              when young people are given ownership
comments from colleagues of all ages are           of their work, they do respond positively,
continuously expressed;                            the skills, the different sections are
                                                   performed by the young people with
“how is it possible?”                              guidance from teachers but minimal input.
                                                   I am aware this is a generalisation and in
“children need their teacher to be there.”         every school in the country you will find
                                                   teachers who do not conform to the image
“the social aspect of schools is as                I will paint. I fervently believe that teachers
important as their academic aspect.”               passionately want to give their charges
                                                   the “secret of their success”, they are
“I don’t want to be part of a profession           creative, intelligent, hard working and
which has no contact with young people.”           passionate about giving children the best
                                                   opportunities in life. But teachers are
“young people will not learn if they are not       products of the education machine which
supervised”                                        measure success in terms of grades
                                                   achieved, conformity to a an established
I don’t necessarily disagree with any of           system and following a balanced
these comments, at the beginning of the            curriculum determined by… well
Fellowship, I certainly did not have               determined by who exactly? In many
answers which contradicted these beliefs.          cases the secret of success is to become
On the other hand my life experiences led          part of the “machine”
me to suspect that we laboured within a
system, which on the one hand set the              I have over my career encountered many
principal of “every child matters” at the          adult former student who have flourished
very core of it’s philosophy but at the            after leaving school despite them being
same time demanded that the children in            “nightmares in the class”, often the
our care accepted conventional                     qualities which saw them flourish as
orthodoxies.                                       adults, were the qualities that made them
                                                   difficult to teach in school, As examples I
If we were to apologise to an eighteen             include barrister who was too
year old student on A Level results day for        argumentative in class, the staff nurse
an education which had failed him, as he           who was always getting involved in a
clutched his envelope confirming four A            classmates problems, and the “Jack the
star grades at A level to add to his equally       Lad” whose jokes and interruptions made
impressive GCSE tally, he would look at            him a classroom hero but a horror to the
us incredulously. He got the grades, he            teacher who went on to become a
got the university of his choice, never            decorated NCO in the parachute regiment.
mind that he never acquired confidence,            Perfect management would allow these
empathy, independence, emotional                   children to thrive, but in a class of thirty
security, never mind that he achieved the          children, who we have one hour a day, we
grades in subjects which did not interest          target the “average” child, we teach to the
                                                   median.

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Ian Kell - Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
I wanted to explore a methodology which allowed us as teachers to reach the widest
audience possible.

                                            8
Ian Kell - Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
2.1 Executive Summary                              high levels of autonomy and the
                                                   inflexibility of GCSEs made many of the
                                                   strengths of the New Zealand and
Between July and September 2019,
                                                   Australian models difficult to transfer to
WCMT afforded me the opportunity to
                                                   the English model. However, within multi-
study virtual school in Australia, New
                                                   academy chains these obstacles were
Zealand and Estonia. This was
                                                   ameliorated.
unquestionably one of the most exciting,
rewarding, and eye-opening experiences
of my career. Over this period I was able          2.3 Recommendations
to observe how virtual schools delivered a
curriculum to students unable to access            Schools should explore appropriate
face to face schooling owing to their              platforms for delivering on-line lessons;
unique barriers to school attendance. It           these could be synchronous platforms
also included students for whom virtual            such as Moodle, Adobe Connect or
education offered them the opportunity to          Teams. And staff and students alike
extend their curriculum opportunities or to        should be trained in participating in
maintain studies which would otherwise             lessons delivered this way.
have had to be abandoned.                          Schools should look at developing a bank
The object of the report was to identify           of asynchronous lessons using dedicated
methodologies which could be applied to            resources which can harness new
an English School system. Not all the              technologies and which can be delivered
strategies are relevant or transferable            via Vimeo, Youtube, podcasts etc.
between English and Australasian                   In cases where a school especially in rural
paradigms, but this research seeks to              areas has one teacher delivers a less
identify where it could be transferred.            mainstream subject, not only should an
Australasia’s geographical imperative for          entire year’s worth of asynchronous
virtual schools is not directly appropriate        lessons should be prepared, but teachers
to an English model, but it could still be         from within a Multi Academy Trust, Local
relevant to rural areas in winter and              Authority or Supply Agency able to deliver
therefore this was not ignored.                    synchronous lessons should be identified.
                                                   Even in cases where virtual learning is not
2.2 Key Observations                               expected to be a major part of the school
                                                   life, “emergency” virtual school resources
                                                   should be available as a “first aid kit” in
The scale of provision for students with
                                                   case of school closures due to severe
complex needs for whom face to face
                                                   weather, strike action, even in the
school is not an ideal environment and the
                                                   extremely unlikely event of things such as
opportunities offered for tailored education
                                                   flu epidemics.
packages focussing on individualised
student’s needs is something which offers
a rich potential to develop in England.
Estonian distance learning was interesting
but ultimately served as a bolt-on feature
to mainstream face-to-face school.
Academies as free-standing schools with

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Ian Kell - Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
2.4 Context

Literally travelling to the opposite side of        Newcastle which would involve a
the globe was an undertaking which                  significant daily commute.
required more than just a casual interest           My own doubts as to whether the
in the education systems provided by                traditional school system really met the
different countries. I have become                  needs of all students. My evidence was
increasingly interested in virtual schooling        anecdotal but followed discussions with
resulting from observations made within             students from the UK on Erasmus
my own working environment. As an                   placements at universities abroad. These
example, the talented linguists unable to           were all high achieving students who for
study Spanish and German at A-Level                 five (or seven) years would give the
because the teacher who taught these                impression to their teachers that school
subjects moved to a new school and these            was a stimulating environment which was
young women were faced with the choice              at worst lacked challenge, but who
of moving schools from their current                unanimously and routinely expressed the
establishment in North East                         view that school was a truly traumatic
Northumberland to a new school in                   experience (none of these students
                                                    attended either of the schools I taught in).

                                               10
These intelligent young men and women               opportunities. While “Not School”3 and
painted a picture of their schools offering         Doncaster’s Virtual School for Children in
real challenge and support only to                  Care, do provide some examples of
students who were very much in the                  alternative education in England, they are
mainstream, those students who could                far removed from the mainstream.
conform to the school’s expectations and            My research was rooted in curiosity as to
demands. I interpreted a complaint that             whether it was possible to provide an
where child was “different,” i.e. very              ongoing virtual dimension to school which
talented or socially awkward or of limited          allowed schools to address or consider
or narrow ability, the school’s priority was        the points rose above.
not to adapt to the needs of the students
but rather to try and manipulate the
                                                    2.5 Why Estonia Australia and
students into accepting the existing
template.                                           New Zealand?

During the severe winter which hit                  Currently virtual education is common in
England in 2018 (the “Beast from the                the workplace and university, but
East”) it was interesting to note how many          internationally that is not the case for
schools in England were closed. The bad             students in compulsory education. The
weather is rare enough not to make it               exceptions being the geographical
economically worthwhile to provide the              demands existent in Australia, New
systems used in Canada or Finland, but              Zealand, Canada, Chile and USA have
they occur frequently enough to demand              resulted in virtual schooling becoming well
some strategies which mean that sudden              established and cultural/ historical
severe weather does not need to paralyse            anomalies have led to Estonia leading the
the education system.                               way in virtual education in Europe. Of
Each year we have seasonal health                   these regions, I don’t speak Spanish
challenges, e.g. seasonal flu, winter               which functionally excluded Chile, school
vomiting as well as potentially serious             holidays in Canada and the USA are
threats, swine flu, bird flu, SARS which at         largely synchronous with English School
present have the potential to disrupt               holidays and so visiting these regions
schooling for many but thoughtful                   during my holidays would have coincided
development of quality on-line teaching             with these schools being closed, this
resources should be able to address this.           leaves Australia and New Zealand. These
Over my teaching career, I have been                were not the last resort destinations
seconded to a PRU1 and to a Studio                  indeed they are probably the first choice
School2, both of these schools catered for          destinations.
children whose needs were not really met
                                                    Today's virtual schools are descendants of
by the mainstream education system, on a            correspondence schools which began in
purely personal basis, I was unconvinced            Australia and New Zealand in areas where
that the traditional 4 walls face to face           low density population made schooling by
school offered these children the                   conventional means difficult and
opportunities for fulfilling educational            expensive to provide. In the Estonian
                                                    school visited virtual schooling is an
                                                    addition to the bricks and mortar face to
1                                                   face school and concentrates on
    Pupil Referral Unit
2                                                   3
    See glossary                                        A now closed Virtual PRU

                                               11
delivering lessons which deliver the
'Russica' set of subjects (Russian
language, literature, history, fine arts and
other subjects).

In 2008 both Australia and New Zealand              2.6 Aims and Objectives of the
researched retention rates in the
correspondence schools and found high
                                                    Research
dropout rates. Research showed that the             The principle aim of the research was to
pedagogical skills of teachers and the              look at the strategies used by experienced
quality of the resources were paramount             Virtual schools in Australia and New
to success, both in terms of learning               Zealand and to consider strategies which
outcomes and student welfare.                       could be adopted or adapted within an
                                                    English context. They have experience
Consequently, these regions invested a lot
                                                    and in the light of experience some of the
of time and effort in developing systems
                                                    methodologies used in the
raising the quality of both the
                                                    correspondence model or transferring
asynchronous and synchronous, socially
                                                    from the face to face model will not have
structured delivery models.
                                                    been so successful, if we are to apply this
The Australians established the first               model to an English model, which
correspondence schools in the 1930s and             strategies worked, which should be
these offered students an alternative to            treated with caution? The aims of the
the traditional brick and mortar meetings           research were to investigate issues
within a schoolhouse. These schools                 around the efficacy of learning outcomes.
utilized the postal service for student-
teacher interaction, or used two-way radio
transmissions, sometimes with pre-                  The primary objective of the research was
recorded television broadcasts.                     to be able to look at developing a model
                                                    for virtual schooling within an English
These two destinations were important,
                                                    school system. Initially, this would be to
because they have been doing it longer
                                                    offer students wider curriculum
than anywhere else, they have invested
                                                    opportunities or to maintain continuity of
significant levels of educational research
                                                    education for students.
and central and State governments have
long accepted virtual schooling as a
normal part of the state education system.

                                                    Learning Space in Finigan School of
                                                    Distance Learning Queansbyan

                                               12
Teacher’s Work Stations at Te Kura

The aims of the research grew out of my                           In addition to exclusions, no one really
personal interests in this area of                                knows how many young people never
education, but the opportunity to study                           attend school. Estimates range between 2
them would never have been possible                               and 10 % of the population never attend
without the support of the Winston                                school5 whatever the actual figures, when
Churchill Memorial Trust, the Fellowship                          we include students experiencing long
has offered me an opportunity to turn a                           term illness, there is a significant cohort of
dream into reality and hopefully at the end                       young people who are not receiving the
of my working life, this opportunity will                         full benefits of a formal education.
benefit a generation of young people. I
passionately believe that there exists in
English schools the opportunity to adapt
aspects of distance learning to the main
school curriculum. In my own personal
working life, I have seen students having
to abandon courses because staffing
changes have resulted in the school being
unable to deliver the curriculum. In reality
geographical isolation is not going to be a
major issue in English schools, but dual
enrolment is something which can expand
the curriculum for all students opening
study routes denied to them. In 2018 there
were 210 000 fixed term or permanent                              820773/Permanent_and_fixed_period_exclusions
exclusions in England and Wales4                                  _2017_to_2018_-_main_text.pdf
                                                                  5
                                                                   Sheppard 2009 Raising School Attendance
                                                                  https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/a41082e1-
4
 Dept for Education (25/07/2019)Permanent and Fixed period        5561-438b-a6a2-
exclusions 2017 to 2018 03/09/2019
                                                                  16176f7570e9/downloads/Sheppard.pdf?ver=158
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/governme
                                                                  4482855946
nt/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/

                                                             13
3.1 Virtual Education in                           were explored. In the end the model which
                                                   was agreed upon was identified as
Estonia                                            Schooling in Estonian, combined with
                                                   classes in the mother tongue in Sunday
                                                   schools or evening schools.
Chronologically Estonia was the final
place visited as part of the Fellowship but
it also marked the starting point of the           Since the 2011/2012 academic year,
study. Therefore a discussion on the               Estonian has been the language of
“Tallinn Kesklinna Vene Gumnasium” has             instruction in all upper secondary schools
been taken as the starting point of the            in Estonia. These schools can choose
report.                                            between an Estonian curriculum or
                                                   Estonian as a second language
Whilst attending an international meeting          curriculum. The transition from Russian to
of Mathematics teachers in Spain, the              Estonian language instruction in upper
conversation turned to our respective              secondary schools where Russian has
school systems and I was fascinated to             been a gradual one. However many
learn that the Estonian teacher worked in          students, parents and teachers still regard
a school which offered a significant               the Russian curriculum as being their
number of lessons via a virtual medium.            natural vehicle for teaching and learning
                                                   and the original demands to teach
The rights or wrongs of history are not            “Russica” in the evening or at weekends
relevant here suffice to say, history has          has been superseded by the freedom to
left Estonia as a bi-ethnic society, with a        teach these subjects virtually.
large minority possessing an identity
which is essentially Russian. There have           During the normal school day lessons are
been fundamental changes in Estonian               taught according to an Estonian
society since it gained independence from          curriculum but virtual lessons are
Russia and its education system has not            timetabled for all students within a
been immune to these. In the early years           Russian medium.
of the 20th Century, Estonian education
acquired a new focus. A unified education          The “Tiger Leap Project” initiated by the
system of education was introduced to              University of Tartuu has been developed
replace the parallel Estonian and Russian          several initiatives since the turn of the
systems that had been previously existed.          century. The prima facia objective of the
Educational reforms in Estonia took place          foundation is to advance the quality of
at all levels of the system, and were              Estonian education via the use of ICT. It
initiated by the Ministry of Education, and        concentrates on three areas which include
had an impact on all schools in the                not only hardware for schools but also
country.                                           developing quality educational software
                                                   resources and of course training.
The Russian schools in Estonia had
become a minority over a very short                With the help of The Tiger Leap project all
period of time, and the status of Russian          Estonian schools are connected to the
as the mother tongue had changed. These            Internet and have original educational
schools which hitherto delivered a                 software available for most subjects. The
curriculum based on the principles                 foundation also operates the Estonian
accepted in the Russian Federation. The            Schoolnet website www.koolielu.ee.
application of the new curricula with it’s
Estonian focus has necessitated reform of          Since 2004, Tiger Leap Foundation, has
the Russian schools.                               become a partner in the European
                                                   Schoolnet, and coordinates and funds
In the early 21st century a number of              several EC educational programs such as
models which could deliver a “Russica”             eTwinning.
curriculum to Russian speaking children

                                              14
The Estonian school is not a virtual school        3.2 Conclusions on Estonia
in the same sense as the schools seen in
New Zealand or Australia. It is primarily a        The Estonian School focuses on
face to face school which employs virtual          delivering a Russian education
tools to deliver a curriculum which is not         programme that cannot be accommodated
only desired by parents and students alike         during the normal school day. It offers
but is expected.                                   lessons in Russian as a mother tongue,
                                                   Russian Literature and Russian History
However since one aim of the research is           lessons.
to look at how virtual education provision         The content is supported by parents and
can enhance, develop the curriculum for            by students alike.
students in our own school, this is not a
negative. Certainly this is a method which         The school cannot be described as a
could support students from ethnic                 virtual school, it is a well established large
minority groups to access a curriculum             city centre bricks and mortar high school
which is in accord with their own heritage.        catering to Russian speaking students
                                                   who live in the city centre, but the use of
                                                   online education does facilitate the
The process of delivering virtual education
                                                   extension of a curriculum which was one
in Estonia was far more modest than the
                                                   of the aims of the research.
model witnessed in Australia and Ne
Zealand, with the benefit of hindsight, it         The support for the students comes from
would have been better to have started             teachers already employed by the school,
here rather than in New Zealand. It was            which in some respects defeats the object
following discussions with an E Twinning           of a virtual school, however emulating the
partner from Estonia that this Fellowship          same process in England could work if
idea was born and in many respects the             teachers employed by a Multi Academy
modest goals and procedures which the              Trust or an Local Education Authority,
Estonian school had with respect to                were appointed on a peripatetic basis to
delivering a tightly focused curriculum            support on line learning.
established a template which English
Schools could easily emulate and which
could see a significant level of interest
within English schools. Having already
visited the schools in Australasia and
having seen the sophistication of delivery
there, the far more modest delivery in
Estonia did not impress to the same
extent. But the model witnessed here is
something which is very relevant and
appropriate to an English context.

                                              15
4.1 Virtual Education in New                           The main secondary school qualification in
                                                       New Zealand is the National Certificate of
Zealand                                                Educational Achievement NCEA which
An Overview of The Education System                    has 3 levels – one, two, and three –
of New Zealand                                         corresponding to their respective levels on
                                                       the National Qualifications Framework.
Children start school between the ages of               Each level is generally studied in each of
five and six. All children must be enrolled            the three final years of secondary
in school or in some form of distance                  schooling, with NCEA level one in year 11,
education by their sixth birthday.                     NCEA level two in year 12, and NCEA
                                                       level three in year 13. Students can and
There are 13 years in the New Zealand                  do study across multiple levels.
school system. Schooling begins at
                                                       To pass each level, students must gain a
primary school - the first year at primary
school is referred to as ‘Year 1’. Primary             certain number of credits at that level or
                                                       above. In order to achieve this credit’s,
school covers Years 1 to 8 if it is a ‘full’
primary school, or Years 1 to 6 if it is a             students must achieve specific unit
                                                       standards.
‘contributing’ primary school. For children
enrolled in a contributing primary school,             Each subject is made up of multiple
they will attend an intermediate school to             standards- for example Mathematics at
complete Years 7 and 8.                                Level One is made up of 13 achievement
                                                       standards, including separate standards
After finishing primary or intermediate                for number, algebra, geometry,
school, young people will attend                       trigonometry, statistics and probability and
secondary school (also called ‘college’ or             students can be credited with passing
‘high school’) to complete their final school          individual standards even if they fail to
years (Years 9 to 13). This school could               complete the level.
be a traditional face to face school or it
could be in a virtual school. They may
leave secondary school before reaching                 For the purpose of this report, only the
Year 13, but not until their 16th birthday.            virtual schools will be considered.

All state schools follow the national                  Virtual learning has becoming increasingly
curriculum: This will be either The New                relevant and accessible to students in the
Zealand Curriculum (NZC) for English                   school sector. In New Zealand, the
medium schools or Te Marautanga o                      Ministry of Education’s Ultrafast
Aotearoa (TMoA) for Māori-medium                       Broadband in Schools initiative has
schools.6                                              ensured that schools throughout the
                                                       country have broadband Internet access.
The New Zealand Curriculum has eight                   In conjunction with this there have been
levels, numbered 1 to 8, and eight major               positive developments and collaborations
learning areas: English, the arts, health              between education providers to further
and physical education, learning                       develop the resources and support
languages, mathematics and statistics,                 networks across the nation. The impetus
science, social sciences, and technology.              to develop distance education has been
Te Marautanga o Aotearoa includes a                    partially driven by the challenges New
ninth learning area, Māori language.                   Zealand faces in terms of its geography,
                                                       which not only includes the physical
                                                       isolation of some communities but also the
6
 New Zealand Curriculum online 30/01/19                impact of natural disasters
http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/The-New-Zealand-
Curriculum

                                                  16
such as earthquakes and floods. There                     and secondary education. There are four
are also cultural factors which influence                 main types of institution that have adopted
the method in which education in New                      virtual learning:
Zealand is delivered.
                                                             ●   the Virtual Learning Network (VLN)
There has been significant research and                          These are e-learning clusters of
speculation regarding the education of                           schools that collaborate to teach
young Maori and the obstacles they face                          less common subjects;
attending face to face school7, however
the New Zealand Government have                              ●   Te Kura (Te Aho o Te Kura
adopted a policy which states that;                              Pounamu) which offers whole
                                                                 educational programs nationwide;
“The success of New Zealand depends
on Māori success, and the success of                         ●   Regional health schools to support
Māori depends on their success as                                students with health challenges;
Māori.                                                           (open Polytechnic)

It means that Māori culture is                               ●   Online courses offered by tertiary
recognised and validated and                                     institutions to secondary schools
incorporated into the learning process.
It means that personalising learning is
                                                          During the research, all four of these
happening and that the curriculum is
                                                          institutions were visited, research into the
relevant to Māori identity.
                                                          Virtual Learning Network was carried out
                                                          during discussions with Core Education;
We also must have an assessment                           Te Kura was visited both in Auckland and
system that helps foster success – so                     Wellington, Open Polytechnic was visited
that success breeds success and                           with a view of examining education of
mana8 builds mana. We must all step                       young parents and Takapuna Grammar
up to achieve Māori success and                           on the North Shore of North Island was a
realise the potential of Māori youth”9                    face to face school who offered blended
                                                          learning within a traditional environment.
This report will not look at the arguments
as to why so many Maori children prefer to
attend virtual school, except where it has
a direct bearing on the application of
virtual school to a UK model.

The combination of geography, history
and cultural factors have led New Zealand
to develop multiple programs, types of
programs, legislative and policy regimes
that affect the development of such
distance learning for students in primary

7
 Māori Achievement: Anticipating the Learning
Environment Mason Durie Rangitāne, Ngāti
Kauwhata, Ngāti Raukawa Te Kunenga ki
Purehuroa Massey University 2016
8
    Mana is Maori for respect, dignity or strength
9
 (Powell & Barbour, 2011; Davis, Eickelmann &
Zaka, 2013).

                                                     17
4.2 Te Kura Auckland                                    questions would be repeated to Australian
                                                        and Estonian schools at a later date.

                                                        The initial discussion via email generated
                                                        nine preliminary questions.

                                                              ●   What management/ teaching
                                                                  structures are in place in order to
                                                                  affect delivery of courses?

                                                              ●   How is the course content
                                                                  delivered by Te Kura.

                                                              ●   Are there connectivity/hardware
                                                                  issues which can impact on
Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu, to give the                             student’s accessibility?
school it’s full name, was formally known
as the correspondence school and                              ●   How is Student engagement
historically, it delivered it’s programmes by                     maintained?
post to isolated communities in New
Zealand. It is the largest school in New                      ●   How is the engagement of families
Zealand with approximately 25,000                                 maintained?
students on roll. It is a state funded
distance education provider which delivers                    ●   How is the work assessed and
a wide range of personalised courses                              how is it authenticated?
delivered mostly on-line. Students enrolled
at Te Kura range from those in early years
through to students following NCEA level                      ●   Do Virtual teachers require a
3. There are no age restrictions as long as                       different skill set to those
the students are still following courses up                       demanded of face to face
to and including NCEA level 2                                     teachers?

Although the main centre is in Wellington,                    ●   How do teachers and students
it has become regionalised with centres                           establish effective interpersonal
throughout New Zealand. I chose to visit                          relationships?
Auckland and Wellington because
Auckland is the largest city in New                           ●   How is the efficacy of the
Zealand; it was the airport of arrival and                        education students receive
visiting this centre, facilitated an early start                  evaluated?
to the research without the need to travel
further. The choice of Wellington was                   The objective of the research was to look
because this was the main centre for the                at adopting good practice relating to
school.                                                 Virtual Schools within an English system.
                                                        So each of these questions had been
Prior to visiting the Auckland school, email            developed after reading the OFSTED
communication between us, established                   handbook for assessing quality education
the initial general areas of interest. The              in schools. 10
methodological approach was to look at
the big picture first and progressively look
at more specific areas which were
interesting and which I thought could be
adapted to a UK paradigm. Many of the
                                                        10
                                                             School Inspection Handbook. HMSO July 2019

                                                   18
4.3 Programme

Ian Kell- Research visit to NZ July/August 2019

Tuesday 30 July- Auckland office
Host: Sanjay Naidu (Team Leader)
Venue: Level 6 & 7, 124 Vincent Street, Auckland CBD
Time     Staff                      Topic                                          Timing
9.30     Sanjay Naidu               Welcome/Overview/Visit Around the              15 mins
                                    Office
9.45     Kirsten Anderson           Consultation/Interview                         30 mins
10:15    Morning Tea                Break                                          15 mins
10.30    James Ryan                 Consultation/Interview(Learning Support)       30 mins
11:05    Thalia Henry               Consultation/Interview(Systems &               30 mins
                                    Processes)
11.40    Miriam Harward             Consultation/Interview(Media                   30 mins
                                    Studies/Curriculum)
12.15    Lunch                      Break                                          30 mins
12:50    Students                   Online Engagement/F2F, Skype or                45 mins
                                    YouSeeU
1.45     Lyndsey Bass /Emma         Consultation/Interview(Primary/Te Ara          45 mins
         Wild                       Hou)
2.35     Catherine O’Caroll         Consultation/Interview(Liaison Teaching)       30 mins
3:15     Marcos Aranda              Consultation/Interview(Physical                30 mins
                                    Education)
3:50     Sue Crozier                Consultation/Interview(Pastoral Care)          30 mins
4:25     Sanjay Naidu               Debrief                                        10 mins
END      OF                         DAY

Kaimahi
Sanjay Naidu                         Team Leaders(Secondary)
Kirsten Anderson                     Team Leaders(Secondary)
James Ryan                           Team Leader(Learning Support)
Thalia Henry                         English Teacher/Systems Support
Miriam Harward                       Media Studies/ Kaihautū Mātauranga (Social Sciences)
Lyndsey Bass                         Team Leader (Primary/Te Ara Hou)
Emma Wild                            Primary Teacher
Catherine O’Caroll                   Liaison Teacher
Sue Crozier                          Student Support Advisor
Marcos Aranda                        Physical education/Health Teacher

4.4 Management Structures                         rationale behind this was two-fold, in the
                                                  first instance it would help to contextualise
and Leadership                                    the school so that that by learning about
                                                  the management model, an insight into
The first interview was with Kirsten              the ethos and vision of Te Kura could be
Anderson who presented an overview of             achieved. There was also an assumption
the management structures of Te Kura              that the organisational structure of the
and the school’s vision for education. The        school would have evolved to meet the

                                             19
school’s objectives which in turn would be         engagement, the role the family had to
guided by the parameters set by the                play in young people’s education, the
Ministry of Education in collaboration with        physical methods of curriculum delivery,
educational research establishments in             and the process through which pupil
New Zealand. The study was never                   progress was monitored, how assessment
intended as a critique of virtual schooling        was undertaken and how collaboration
in New Zealand, rather it was to look at           with other schools was maintained.
how the methods employed could be
applied within a UK context.                       In the time allocated for the first interview,
                                                   I did not expect to get all my questions
As part of the discussion, the student             answered, nor did I expect to get the
population was examined, “who attends te           questions answered in depth, but the
Kura?” “Why do they choose virtual school          questions were going to influences
over face to face school,” “what do staff          subsequent questions, both during the day
and students perceive as the advantages            at Auckland but also to Te Kura in
of distance learning over the traditional          Wellington and the issues which arose
model?” “What were perceived as the                relating to educational research would be
disadvantages?”                                    developed during my later discussions at
                                                   CORE.
There was also a desire to identify
systems in place to ensure student

4.5 Management Model

                                                   teaching and learning, student
                                                   engagement and ultimately student
                                                   achievement.

                                                   In order to ensure that this research is
                                                   going to be applicable within a UK model,
                                                   the demands of OFSTED are always at
                                                   the forefront of the line of enquiry. The
                                                   processes with which Te Kura manages,
                                                   monitors, and evaluates student
The operation and performance area aims
                                                   performance and engagement was vitally
to ensure that the processes within Te
                                                   important.
Kura contribute to enhancing practices in

                                              20
4.6 Evaluation of Student                          presence, the wahanga expects to raise
                                                   the likelihood that students are able to
Performance                                        attain the NCEA and literacy goals
                                                   established as well as reducing the
Performance indicators of success are              number of students who are removed from
based upon the outcomes achieved by                the roll for non-engagement. This
students in the national examinations as           objective partially diverges from the UK
well as through raising literacy and               model, because in the UK students cannot
numeracy levels.                                   simply be removed from school rolls for
                                                   non-attendance.
The Operations and Performance
Wahanga11 of Te Kura has targets set to
increase achievement rates for NCEA
standards at all levels. The threshold
goals are based on the baseline
achievement of students achieved during
the previous academic year.

The targets for 2019 based upon 2018
baselines are:

Level 1 91%,

Level 2 87%,
                                                   12

Level 3 90%
                                                   Samoan being taught to dual registered students

With respect to improving numeracy and
literacy performance among its students,
Te Kura aimed to increase the proportion
of enrolled year 11-13 full-time and young
adult students who meet the Literacy and
Numeracy requirements. to 54% Literacy
and 47% Numeracy amongst it’s full time
students and for its part time young adults
educated at Te Kura it aimed to raise
functional literacy levels to 71%, and the
functional numeracy levels to 67%. These
figures are also based upon the baselines
assessed in the previous academic year.

Other performance indicators which were
agreed as part of Te Kura’s charter which
also apply within the UK model relate to
student engagement.

The teaching and learning methodology
aims to increase student presence and
engagement within the virtual learning
environment. (The VLE is called “my Te
Kura”) Through increased student                   12
                                                     Te Kura Link up Magazine April 2019 page 8
                                                   https://www.tekura.school.nz/assets/link-up/Link-
11
     Section                                       Up-2019-04.pdf

                                              21
4.7 How are these goals                                      work which is to lead into the students’
                                                             creative skill set.
achieved?
                                                             Teaching these skills is an on-going
Although Te Kura is a virtual school, all
                                                             process and they are achieved via My Te
students are assigned a learning advisor
                                                             Kura VLE, through face to face tutorials
who will visit the student and the whanau13
                                                             between student and learning advisor,
there is an expectation that all full-time
                                                             regular contact between teachers and
and young adult students engage
                                                             students and by on-line communication
regularly with their learning advisors in My
                                                             between student, whanau and Te Kura.
Korowai14
                                                             This section of the report has looked at
In order to monitor students’ engagement
                                                             the Operations and Performance
with their Learning Advisor, their contact
                                                             Wahanga, and has looked solely at how
via “My Korowai” is recorded. The VLE
                                                             Te Kura evaluates its own success and
platform “My Te Kura” records student
                                                             the processes aimed at achieving it.
presence and engagement. This includes
monitoring the frequency with which
students return work online.

Regular communication with the whanau
is maintained through on-line satisfaction
questionnaires, direct visit’s by learning
advisors, feedback via My Te Kura and
phone calls between teachers and
students. One area of specific importance
is to monitor the level with which students
feel that Te Kura teachers give helpful
feedback to them. Surveys assess
whether the feedback they receive from
their teacher helps them to understand
and improve their learning.

Learning Support plays an import role in
helping students follow courses
appropriate to their needs. This demands
that the learning advisors are able to
support students in determining the range
of learning opportunities available to them
and at senior level ensuring the breadth of
the curriculum is suitable for all students.
At the operational level learning advisors
are pivotal in helping students to acquire
the skills to use language appropriately in
their studies and to encourage the
development of students’ individual
capability for personal interpretation of

13
     Family or community
14
  Korowai is a Maori Cloak decorated with flax
tassels, in this case My Korowai reflects a “learning
environment”

                                                        22
4.8 Learning Support                               their prior achievement academically, but
                                                   also from their previous experiences, if a
                                                   potentially academically gifted and
The second interview was to look at
                                                   talented child who also has a long history
Learning Support.
                                                   of school refusal or who has a chaotic
                                                   personal life, the initial targets could be
The broad topic of learning support covers         about engagement and participation rather
several strands                                    than to achieve a particular NCEA level.
                                                   The baseline, and the subsequent targets
   ●   What are the aims of Te Kura?               are determined by the student’s situation
                                                   at the point of entry, and this is negotiated
   ●   What methodology does it employ             between student, wanau, named contact
       to meet its aims and ensure                 person and learning advisors.
       learners are supported?                     Academically the learning advisor is
                                                   guided by the curriculum area teacher.
   ●   How does it monitor the delivery of
       its programmes?                             4.9 What are the Aims of Te
                                                   Kura?
   ●   How does it evaluate the success
       of its programmes?
                                                   Te kura is founded on a “one size fits one”
                                                   model of education. It aims to deliver an
   ●   Is it transferable to an English            individualised programme of study to all
       model?                                      students who attend the school. It is this
                                                   characteristic which it believes sets it
The big questions in this interview were           apart from more traditional methods of
about supporting the student’s learning. In        education.
England target setting is fundamental to
raising achievement and providing a                The charter established with the NZ
measure through which a school’s                   government is re-evaluated on an annual
performance can be evaluated. It would             basis to cater for changes in society and
be interesting to investigate the                  to address issues relating to the changing
methodology used in N Z to establish               demographic of NZ. However the constant
base lines and generate targets and could          feature is it’s role as a distance education
they be applied in England. This also              provider. It was established in the last
considered procedures to ensure inclusion          century as a correspondence school and
for all students, how individualised               its roots were firmly in delivering education
education planning was implemented and             to young people who lived in remote or
the role played by external agencies and           isolated communities. With the advent and
how inclusion is monitored.                        evolution of communication technology,
                                                   the correspondence aspect and the
The target setting process has two                 associated postal limitations have become
aspects; on the one hand targets are               obsolete. With this structural change, the
determined by the students themselves.             characteristics of the student population
They are encouraged to take responsibility         have changed and the methodology of
for their own learning and the process of          delivery has also changed.
target setting is the product of not only

                                              23
The charter with the NZ ministry of                     Nationally there are targets which have
Education has determined the school’s                   been set which the school aims to meet
strategic targets. These institutional                  and ultimately these targets are
targets determine the organisational                    transferred to the students as well.
nature of the school, as well as the
academic targets which are both                         The principle demands are to ensure
nationally and regionally imposed and the               student presence, student engagement
learning support it offers its student reflect          and student achievement and the success
the demands established by the ministry                 of these rests on five key areas of
of Education.                                           measurement:

As a product of its history, Te Kura                    1. Provision of a high quality early
delivers a curriculum to students who do                childhood education service
not attend a physical “bricks and mortar”
school for five days a week during term                 2. Lift student presence and engagement
time. It does not necessarily see its
students on a day to day basis and in this
                                                        3. Lift achievement in NCEA
respect it differs from all mainstream
schools. Te Kura’s focus is to put
students’ individualised learning at the                4. Provide high quality online learning
heart of it’s raison d’être, the freedom from           resources and outstanding service to it’s
the limitations of a face-to-face school,
(e.g. classroom management, timetables
or the limitations of an 8:30 to 4:00 day),
means teaching ‘one student at a time’ is
the starting point for the delivery of
education. But it does have a large
student base with a wide range of
circumstances and needs. The removal of
traditional constraints does demand the
delivery of a differentiated approach to
education. The characteristics of remote
teaching creates new challenges relating
to the quality of on line resources, the                students
availability of teachers, the role of the
teacher is different to the traditional                 5. Ensure school efficiency and
didactic approach is not appropriate and                effectiveness.
so the teacher’s role is far more that of a
mentor or facilitator who guides the                    Only three of these points were relevant to
students on their own personal learning                 the English context.
journey.

The success of the school is predicated
on its ability to fulfil the goals agreed in the
learning charter.

4.10 Student Engagement and
Participation

The student VLE “My Te Kura” has been
designed in such a way that is student                  online learning environment. It also a
friendly and thereby it aims to lift their              vehicle for quantifying the frequency
presence and engagement within the                      students engages in their work.

                                                   24
In a mainstream school, an inspirational           29% and to reduce the number of adults in
teacher who motivates students and                 that category to 36%
delivers the curriculum with clarity,
passion and panache will still have                It was also expected to increase the
occasion to remonstrate, discipline and            proportion of Full-time and Young Adult
cajole students who for whatever reasons           students with credits to NCEA level 271%
do not share that passion or motivation            for full time students and for young adults
and similarly in a virtual school student          to 64%
engagement can not be left solely as the
responsibility of the student. The learning        In order to meet this demand, the method
contract does involve key persons within           of delivery relies on the quality of the
the young person’s whanau, family or               course materials available to the students.
support mechanisms. Responsible adults             Although the school started as a
are always expected to play an active role         correspondence school, it is not enough to
in the educational process.                        rely on a historical context of sending out
                                                   work sheets and answers lifted from a
There are inevitably cases arising where           textbook. Methods which can be seen in a
even the most committed supporters of              non-virtual school curriculum. Raising
the young person require support and               achievement is based both on the quality
advice, to meet this demand, learning              of the teaching platform and the feedback
advisors employed by Te Kura will actively         and mentoring offered by tutors.
visit the students on the students’ home
ground. This will often be in the home, but
                                                   Provision of High Quality Online
could also be in any agreed place, e.g.
                                                   learning
library or youth centre to support the
student engagement.
                                                   This is an important feature of the
                                                   methodology for planning for inclusion
Lifting Achievement in NCEA
                                                   because it describes how the school and
                                                   the students interact and ultimately how
The targets for lifting achievements in            the goals for raising achievement and
NCEA roughly NCEA level 1 equates to               engagement are met. The mode of study
Key Stage 3 performance, Level 2 with              is not restricted to online lessons which
GCSE and level 3 to A Level                        follow the format of the school day. They
                                                   are not delivered via a timetable where at
The base line indicators are based on the          a specific time on a specific day the
performance in 2018 and so the school              students will follow a specific curriculum
was set a target of ensuring that it               delivered synchronously by Skype or
reduced the number of full-time students           adobe connect.
who failed to achieve an NCEA level 1 to

The content and format of course                   organisation not only to generate
materials are customised to the student’s          meaningful study programmes, but also to
needs. While this does not exclude the             ensure teaching staff are fully trained in
use of synchronous lessons, nor does it            the demands of an online learning
prohibit face to face contact between the          environment.
learners and their teachers, the course
materials and assessments need to be               The online learner-centred content which
developed in a uniquely customised                 is developed for Te Kura has been
format to address the learner’s needs with         designed to be relevant to the specific
the facility for almost immediate feedback         learners’ needs, roles and situations.
between tutor and student. The feedback            Within the design the skills, knowledge
needs to be formative, clear and thorough.         and information has been developed to
In this respect, there is an onus on the

                                              25
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