While some were sitting at the beach relaxing in the sun, local Tamatea High School Principal, Robin Fabish, was in Australia at Sydney University taking a Harvard University course in Educational Leadership.
Fabish said that “I was very fortunate to receive a $5000 scholarship that covered the course fees and accommodation at St Pauls College which allowed me to join 170 other school leaders. Most of the other participants were from Australia and there were about a dozen from New Zealand.”
This year was the first time that the Boston, USA based Harvard University faculty travelled to Australia to run their programme.
“Learning ways to keep improving our school is so important to me” says Mr Fabish. The key learning for him was the need for school leaders to spend time in the classrooms to help improve the learning that is happening between teachers and students.
He added that finding meaningful ways to engage families to support learning is also very important. “Too often at High School level caregivers are told ‘leave it to us, we’re the experts’ - but the reality is that caregiver support is critical to young people’s success. At Tamatea are building on the programmes that we already have that include whānau in the learning journey of our young people.”
For the last 7 or 8 years Tamatea High School has been going from strength to strength. Fabish says “We’re so lucky to be a small school of 300 students – it means that our teachers have smaller classes, can take the time show their caring and really help our students. Therefore we avoid students falling through the gaps.”