Manurewa Central School

Innovative Learning Environments (ILEs)

What does this mean for learning at Manurewa Central School?

Our school is really proud of our new learning environment - both inside and out. Manurewa Central School has a long tradition of excellent academic achievement whilst maintaining a safe, inclusive and happy school ethos.

Although most of our buildings have changed, our commitment to providing high standards in everything we do has not.

The buildings are designed to provide flexible learning. They meet the demands of current thinking and research in modern learning pedagogy.

We appreciate that the classrooms look very different to those we experienced during our own school days. But then the world is a very different place!

We have 6 new pods each providing accommodation for the equivalent of three single cell classrooms. Pūriri remains as a two teacher classroom space, and we have four single cell classrooms in Tōtara for our New Entrant learners.

The new pods are flexible in design to ensure maximum use of space and adaptability in learning programmes.

There is a large central space, a large 'break out' room, a wet area, a small 'break out' room for individual/small group work, and bathroom facilities.

Each pod has three teachers and at least one learning assistant. The children have a whānau teacher responsible for their pastoral needs but may also be taught by any teacher in the pod according to the curriculum focus.

What do we mean by Innovative Learning environments (ILEs)?

ILEs are new and transformative environments in education. Sometimes they are referred to as Modern Learning Environments (MLEs) or Flexible Learning Environments (FLEs).

In these spaces the 'learning environment' refers to all aspects that influence learning i.e. the physical space, teaching and learning practices, and social interactions.

An ILE is capable of evolving and adapting to meet the future focused priorities of education. It supports strengths based teaching and learning to ensure an inclusive approach and personalised experiences. Teachers work collaboratively sharing expertise, skills and passions with a focus on continual improvement and student progress.

Children are encouraged to take more responsibility for themselves and their learning and are supported to do so. Different learning zones can be set up across the space to provide quiet, focused areas of activity, or collaborative group work and hands-on learning.

The Physical Space

  • Due to the number of children on our roll we have some classes grouped by single year level, and others as composite groups (two year levels combined). This changes each year.

  • As the learning space is flexible, we use a variety of furniture to suit the activities being offered.
    We have furniture of varying heights e.g. kneelers, tall tables, group tables, single desks and seating and the option for standing tables in the wet area. This means there is no formal seating plan.
    Children move around the space choosing where they sit to complete tasks when not having direct instruction from the teacher.

  • Our pods are built to high standards of ventilation and sound proofing. The flexible spaces allow for 'louder' activities to be carried out without interfering with the rest of the pod's learning.

Curriculum Focus

  • Our focus on the core subjects of reading, writing and mathematics has not changed. Children will still experience instructional teaching in these subjects, at their level, daily.

  • Inquiry learning is enhanced through the use of flexible spaces. The skills children need to acquire to investigate, problem solve and collaborate are more easily accommodated in an ILE. Children's experiences are enriched by exposure to different teachers' passions and curriculum strengths.

  • Our Learner profile - He Manu Rere supports children to develop dispositions that give them confidence as a learner. These dispositions are woven through our curriculum delivery as well as being taught explicitly.

  • Each of the spaces connects to the outdoor environment allowing even more flexibility in teaching space.

Tracking My child's Learning

  • Teachers have a shared responsibility for all the children in their pod but their whānau teacher is responsible for pastoral care and is the first point of contact for parents.

  • Teachers meet regularly to share outcomes of learning across all curriculum areas. Individual children's progress is tracked and teachers pool their expertise to make sure teaching and learning strategies meet the needs of the individual. Teachers plan collaboratively and share the responsibility of achievement for all the learners in their pod.

  • Direct teaching occurs for all children daily. This may be in large or small groups, or conferencing on a one-to-one basis with the teacher.

  • Whether your child is in a single year level pod or a composite group, teachers have a strong grasp of curriculum progression and differentiate according to the level your child is working at. Our teachers have the knowledge to personalise learning so that next steps are relevant and challenging.

  • Children are supported to develop self management skills and become more independent in their learning.

  • The advantage of an ILE environment is that there are more adults available to assist children to stay on task and avoid distractions. Children have an opportunity to find a teacher whom they relate really well to too.