Southland Boys’ High School has a firm focus on its core business – education. To ensure that we attain the best possibile opportunity for our boys, we are involved in a range of professional learning designed to continuously develop teaching practice across the school to include more student centred approaches with authentic (real life contexts) and connected (local, national and global issues and the future focus of careers) curriculum differentiated to the specific needs of our learners.
As a school with a passion for supporting boys to be life-long learners, we have become involved in a range of professional learning both within the school and through contracts with outside agencies.
At Year 7/8 we run a full instructional reading programme in every home-room class that ensures that every boy continues to develop his reading, writing and spelling skills. Maintaining and building on these is essential for boys as literacy skills are the key to accessing all learning areas. Increasingly, curriculum areas are now identifying aspects of literacy that are specific to them. As students progress through the year levels they will become increasingly adept at managing the literacy aspects of all curriculum areas including Science and Mathematics. Year 7 and 8 teachers have an ongoing focus on literacy. Literacy targets are set regularly and classroom observations ensure that each teacher receives feedback and feed forward in their practice. All instruction is tailored to the individual needs of each student at their level of challenge.
Secondary Literacy Programme – Years 9 and 10
2011 was the last year of our formal participation in this professional learning contract, but we have continued to sustain this work through workshops, observations and the use of explicit literacy techniques to help students access the curriculum. Areas for particular focus are Science, Mathematics and Health and Physical Wellbeing, to ensure that students can excel in both the practical and theoretical aspects of these subjects. This work will continue into 2013 and beyond.
Kia Eke Panuku (Building on Success)
Māori students, as group, consistently under perform in national educational statistics. While all statistical data at Southland Boys’ High School shows upwards tracking, and while our Southland Boys’ High School statistics show that we are working above the norms for boys in Decile 4 schools, we acknowledge that we have room for improvement in supporting our Māori students in their learning. This contract is more specifically targeted on classroom practice.
He Kākano focussed on professional development for school leaders that focused on improving culturally responsive leadership and classroom practice to ensure that the Māori students at SBHS achieved educational success as Māori. The meaning of the metaphor, He Kākano – the seed – enriches the notion that from the seed, the mature plant can blossom and thrive – it reflects the notion of all āko: (learners), staff, students and parents being life long learners.
Southland Boys’ High School has, as part of its Charter, the aspiration and intent to fulfil its obligations to New Zealand’s bi-cultural heritage and its partnership to the Treaty of Waitangi.
Building on Success is a classroom based professional learning contract that continues the development of relational and culturally responsive teaching practice. This professional learning continues the work we have previously done in developing formative practice.
GATE (Gifted and Talented Education)
Southland Boys’ High School is the anchor school for a Gifted and Talented Professional Learning and Development initiative funded by the Ministry of Education. Joining Southland Boys’ High School are contributing schools: Donovan, Fernworth, Salford, Waihopai and Waverley Primary Schools.
Together these schools form one of five GATE clusters established in the South Island by Te Tapuae o Tehua, a consortium of Ngai Tahu and the Universities of Canterbury and Otago. The other clusters are situated in South Dunedin, Shirley (Christchurch), Hokitika and Picton.