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Rangiora High School - David Newsham-West

2020 | Cultivating vocational pathways into agriculture

School: Rangiora High School

Host: AgResearch, Lincoln

Region: North Canterbury 

By initiating the program in the first half of the year, it will assist in developing the science pathway program that is being queued to begin in 2021. This will be a significant shift from the standardised “Core” approach of science as it will focus on student centered pathways, which will be centered around enriching the learner in areas of interest while developing the Nature of Science and Key Competency skills.

While this will focus on the science curriculum in the school and surrounding learning centers, it will also be integral in the changes and development of the overall learning transition and pathways that is being developed within the local Kāhui Ako.

Due to the nature of science, and its broad reaching connectedness, science plays a central role in a collaborative and connected curriculum. With this, developing leadership roles within this field of learning, would have broad influence and development of leadership in other learning areas.

The science learning area at school is already developing learning pathways from enrichment programs at years 8 through to individual learning pathways in the senior sciences. The Leadership program would be instrumental in developing a broader influence of science in connected learning areas and the wider community (eg. Agricultural and Horticultural, Design and Technology, Environment and Sustainability). This program would assist in embedding strong leadership and establishing continuing professional development in the Kāhui Ako.

The program would also be useful in developing clear pathways through the sciences with student agency, ensuring the Kāhui Ako has strong year 7 to year 13+ and transitions which is a Kāhui Ako strategic plan

The leadership program would also allow a broader community awareness of science education with the integration of community based vocational experiences and learning pathways that should be integrated with the school’s learning programmes.

The Nature of Science and its direct application with the Key Competencies allows the learning area for learners to develop the essential capabilities that will underpin student agency and purpose while in an applicable and tangible pathway.

The Science Teaching Leadership Programme has been a time of exploration and focused reflection for David.  The Nature of Science and the integration of these capabilities in the planning of secondary school programmes and transitions has been a primary focus, one that ensures links to the local community and explores authentic learning opportunities.

The programme has given David the opportunity to work closely with primary sector teachers, building a deeper understanding in the wider education system and the pivotal transition points of a learners journey.

He has also explored areas that have involved the global OECD education goals and aims, innovative pedagogy and mechanisms for student self-review and learning assessment. As a result he has established a deeper and stronger understanding in these areas that will make him a more informed and aware leader in the planning and organising of science.

David is looking forward to establishing programme links with AgResearch and other opportunities to bring the community into the education environment. He has a keen interest in developing a system that is flexible but robust in simply integrating the complex world that is the scientific community with the dynamic world that is education.