Manuka leaves and the challenge ahead…


Kua takoto te manuka
The leaves of the manuka tree have been laid down.

This Whakataukī relates to the challenge ahead. The challenge of starting a new school from scratch with a visionary curriculum in mind is getting closer. An inspiring term of vision development, hacking the curriculum and developing a dispositional curriculum that will be integrated in a cohesive manner from the get go. We are well down the track to seeing this in practice for 2014 when our foundation learners begin their journey with us here at HPSS.

The dispositional curriculum is almost there… this is our model for dispositions which involves both the Hobsonville Habbits and quadrants that will insure rigour of learning occurs concurrently with the Habbits in action.


We are using advisories as a vehicle to ensure that both the dispositional curriculum and the personalised pathway using the NZC are implemented and allow for the structure and support required for co-constructed learning to occur in a flexible manner. With the advisor seen as that “warm and demanding” guide on the side, who develops the knowledge and relationship with the learner that has on occasion been amiss in Secondary Education in the past. This is not to make the assumption that these relationships with teacher and learner have not been developed or present. More, that the environment and institutions have not ensured that “every child has that champion”. We want to ensure that occurs.

Here is a diagram that the Learning Team Leaders have developed to show the type of processes and structures that will be involved in our ‘Hubs’ to ensure that this is achievable. With advisory time everyday as well as flexitime, time for passion project development and big project time we are shifting education at HPSS in a way that primary have optimised learning for some time.

Learning Hubs2

Our Senior Leadership Team of Maurie, Lea, Di and Claire has been awesome at both leading and allowing for collaboration and voice from the Leaders of Learning. It really feels like an environment of distributed leadership, with a high level of relational trust in action. Not just a team proclaiming to do this, but a team who is putting this into practice. I feel lucky to be a part of this team. It is exciting times, as the new members of the team come on board on Monday and we gain from their expertise and develop our vision further. With only one term until the foundation learners become the further dimension of the HPSS community. I time I wait for with excitement and nervousness.

Can we give every child a champion?

Can we allow true co-construction to occur?

Can we give as much kudos to the dispositional curriculum?

Can we hack silos?

Can we stop a hierarchy of knowledge and valued knowledge from occurring?

Can we be flexible enough, but supportive enough for truly personalised learning to occur?

Can we ensure that authentic, real world learning is occurring both in and outside the classroom walls?

Can we stop framing knowledge so tightly that the power is with the teachers and give that power back to the learners?

The leaves of the Manuka tree have been placed as a challenge, at HPSS we all come as friends (in collaboration) and accept the challenge. I look forward to the final term of preparation and foresee more invigorating and stimulating discussion and dialogue and action as we pick up the Manuka leaves as a team and move forward.


3 thoughts on “Manuka leaves and the challenge ahead…

    1. Hi Ricky, thank you for your comment! It is a very special time at HPSS. I really feel like we are developing something special for our learners. We are digging deep into the why? Thank you also for your link, I will have a close look.



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