Oaklynn is a specialist school and resource centre that caters for students with learning difficulties and disabilities aged 5 to 21 years. We hold student learning and wellbeing at the heart of everything we do. We understand that students with learning disabilities need a curriculum tailored to their specific needs. Oaklynn teachers work in partnership with its own therapy team to personalise each student's learning plan to meet the needs, skills and interests as determined by the family/ whānau and student. Oaklynn School is located in New Lynn, has 4 classes at the Base School and satellite classes in 7 local schools - Arahoe Primary, New Lynn Primary, Chaucer Primary, Glen Avon School, Avondale Intermediate, Green Bay School, and Green Bay High School. The satellite model provides students 'the best of both worlds' where students are located in local schools and are supported by specialist teachers and therapists. Oaklynn also has a New Zealand's first special school tertiary learning centre for 18-21 year olds called OakTEC. This learning environment is located in New Lynn business centre and students use the local community as their 'classroom' accessing the local facilities such as Les Mills gym, the library, mall and businesses for work experience. Oaklynn also runs a Specialist Teacher Outreach Service that supports ORS funded students in 15 local mainstream schools. The schools value this service that focuses on building the capability of the team around the child along with supporting the individual student. Kōtuitui kāhui ako provides Oaklynn the opportunity to be a fully engaged with the local education community. Special school staff are at risk of being isolated from the wider education community and so Kōtuitui provides our staff with a network of other educators who they can learn with and from. Oaklynn also sees itself as playing a pivotal role in supporting schools in the area of Learning Support. Supporting students who are learning within Level One of the new Zealand curriculum (whether they be 5 years old or 21 years old) is our 'bread and butter' and we have a lot to offer our colleagues. We are hoping that being a part of Kōtuitui will open doors for our students and their teachers.
This is my Oaklynn in-school Community of Learning team:
The focus of my inquiry is how to unpack the huge amount of qualitative data we collect, and create a way of transforming it into meaningful, quantitative data which can both be used to report to Ministry of Education, and to inform teachers of progress and achievement. This will aid with planning, assessment and reporting. The initial strides into this also started me looking at Progress v Achievement. I am also going to explore the possibility of PiVATS as a tool to help me with my inquiry.
“People obsess with achievement because it is seen to be objective and it seems that progress is seen as merely a subjective ‘feeling’. If we could change that, if we could find ways to recognise progress in a more sustainable and systematic way, then I think we could start to shift people’s attention and focus more onto progress…...It would change our (teachers) focus and it would change our conversations” James Nottingham
Kia ora! The focus of my inquiry is ‘What does literacy progression look like in our Special School?’ Our learners are so complex and diverse that literacy looks very different depending on what area of the school you are looking at. We’re starting to wonder how do we create some consistency and progression? How do we track our learners? Can we implement a formal phonics/reading/writing programme
Kia ora! The focus of my inquiry is how to promote the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand in a meaningful way that reflects the aspirations of our community. Being a special needs school, this not only includes our kaiako, but a diverse range of therapists from all over the world. He aha te mea nui o te Ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata!