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Kaharoa School – Leanne Hale

2016 | Insight into New Zealand flora and fauna

SchoolKaharoa School

HostDepartment of Conservation, Rotorua

RegionBay of Plenty

Leanne is passionate about delivering a quality science programme to all children at Kaharoa School. She is keen to use her new learning to nurture curiosity and encourage students to think like scientists through authentic science experiences.

Leanne has gained a better understanding of how scientists work in a range of settings, and has had practical experience allowing her to see how the Nature of Science works from a scientist’s perspective in the real world. The experiences that she has gained have been incredibly valuable, allowing her to make links between teaching Science and how the Nature of Science works in the real world.

Hosted by the Department of Conservation (DOC), Leanne worked alongside DOC staff, whose ‘hands on’ approach enabled her to make connections between learning about the Nature of Science and how science could be successfully integrated into the classroom setting.

During Leanne’s time on phase one of the Science Teacher Leadership Programme, she experienced a number of learning opportunities. These included:

  • Setting traps to catch koaro to monitor their growth and numbers
  • Pest control on Mokoia Island, setting, baiting and checking traps
  • Looking for Powelliphanta in the Mangorewa Gorge
  • Pest control around Sulphur Point
  • Dactylanthus monitoring on Mokoia Island and Te Kopia in both predator free and non-predator free native bush areas
  • Didymo sampling to monitor water health in BOP
  • Dab chick survey. Collating data from surveyed Rotorua lakes in order to determine the status of the population
  • Visiting other schools to observe previous STLP teachers
  • Learning about the five capabilities and Nature of Science and seeing them in action through projects involved with at DOC

Leanne looks forward to sharing a deeper understanding of the science capabilities and Nature of Science with her colleagues and students when she returns to Kaharoa School. She has had time to reflect on her science teaching and plans to facilitate professional development to help bolster teacher confidence in engaging with and teaching science. She intends to draw on knowledge and expertise from DOC staff, programme coordinators and teachers of the STLP when implementing the next phase of the programme. She plans to enable students to get involved in citizen science projects where they will be making real contributions in the community.

Leanne found the leadership learning in the programme was particularly valuable for her. It has allowed her to develop and understand her own leadership skills and encouraged her personal growth as a leader. Leanne now feels confident and capable to lead science teaching and learning when she returns to school.

Leanne would like to extend a thank you to her host, Rhys Burns, for his time and knowledge. She is most appreciative to all the staff at DOC who generously shared their time, knowledge and passion to make her experience at DOC such a memorable one. Leanne also wishes to thank her fellow participant teachers for their friendship, collaboration and support.

She is incredibly thankful for the generous opportunities she has been offered through the programme and would like to acknowledge the Royal Society of New Zealand and Ministry of Business and Innovation for their generous expertise, guidance and support. The value of the Science Teacher Leadership Programme is immense and Leanne would like to recommend to fellow teachers to take the opportunity to apply to be involved in the programme.