September 15, 2019

The government's Learning Support Model identified the need for Learning Support Coordinators to be installed within schools to support the learning needs of our students. The fundamental ethos of the model was to support those students with moderate to low needs.  

The addition of the Learning Support Coordinators to the Kāhui Ako model is a major asset and will make a huge difference across the region. There are however a number of challenges that the Kāhui faces in order to ensure this is a smooth and effective addition.

The urban schools have vastly different learning needs from those found in the rural setting. The challenge is ensuring Learning Support Coordinators operate in the best way possible to meet the need of our Kāhui Ako. This was reiterated during my meeting with Katrin...

July 22, 2019

The initial posts within this site have focused on my sabbatical and the discoveries and experiences that provided. Now this site will shift and focus on my own professional development and also the journey of our Feilding Kāhui Ako.

The Feilding Kāhui Ako is gaining momentum.  Whilst there has been widespread disillusionment with the processes and structures of Kāhui Ako the fundamental ethos underlying this initiative, collaboration, is both a desire and a necessity in education.

Last term we completed our review of the first year of the Kāhui Ako.

The progress of the Kāhui is steady presently. However, with the employment of our Across School Leads (ASLs) and also our Within School Leads (ASLs) has given us some real impetus. The future is looking bright and exciting. 

June 10, 2019


Whilst I was on sabbatical in the United Kingdom I came across a school in Kensington, London which was focusing on Trauma Informed Practice for Schools.  This reading from the Australian Childhood Foundation is a very useful summary for educators.  I have been working through this with my Senior Leadership Team.

Experiences of elevated, prolonged stress or trauma rock the very core of children and young people. The internal reactions that race through their brains are often overwhelming.This leads to their survival instincts kicking in. They shut down. Push away pain and avoid trusting others.

Children suffering trauma have little space for learning. This constant state of tension and arousal can leave them unable to concentrate, retain and recall new information. The traum...

April 30, 2019

As part of my sabbatical I included attendance at the World EduLead Conference in Singapore. This is a world conference run by Intase - an inaugurated group of professionals with a strong passion of amalgamating the best international experts, researchers, policy makers, practitioners, academics, thought-leaders and industry partners in the area of education around the world.

The conference was held at the Big Top Venue in western Singapore and ran for two days. There were masterclass sessions earlier in the week but I was unable to attend those. 

There were a range of speakers from all around the world. 

The brief of the speakers is included in the PDF link to the right.  LINK  

The conference write up is included in detail in the Blog section of this website under 'Personal Blog'.

April 26, 2019

The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework (LINK) is a document that supports Australian schools to provide each and every student with the strongest foundations to reach their aspirations in learning and life (ASWF:P2). 

April 26, 2019

Recently a range of images were released that examine results from the an array of resources - PISA results, Wellbeing@School surveys and Ministry of Education publications. These make for extremely interesting reading in relation to Wellbeing.

March 14, 2019


Luke Sumich is the principal of a brand new junior high school in East Auckland. The school is a private-public Partnership (PPP) school. Morrison’s are the private entity that own the property. They conduct the maintenance and the Ministry of Education rents the building off them. 

The school is structured in whānau groups of all ages. These groups work in PODS with a Learning Designer,

Head of pedagogy. These are experts on education delivery.

Each child has a Mentor Advisor Coach (MAC). 15-16 kids form their group and they spend 4-5 hours per week together. This role is given the highest value in the school. Relationships are considered critical within the school. Every teacher is a MAC. The focus here is on academic, social and emotional progress. The rel...

March 11, 2019

Recently I attended the forum held at Sancta Maria College in East Auckland. This was a two day event hosted by Infinity Learning. The main speaker was Charles Fadel - a renowned researcher and theoriser on the educational attributes that our young people require to be successful learners in the future.

Fadel's work has been summarised in full later in this website - CLICK HERE

In essence Fadel outlines a framework that our young people require to be successful. This framework includes Knowledge, Skills, Character, and the Meta-Cognitive ability to be able to  apply and link all these aspects.  

In my view this is an accomplished piece of work but somewhat obsolete. In my mind these are concepts that have been banded around the education sector for decades, concepts...

February 10, 2019

Recently I have become interested in a group called the Design Council from the UK. The Design Council is recognised as a leading authority on the use of strategic design. This group uses design as a strategic tool to tackle major societal challenges, drive economic growth and innovation, and improve the quality of the built environment. Their approach is people-centred and enables the delivery of positive social, environmental and economic change. Design Council address all aspects of design including product, service, user experience and design in the built environment actively working to improve people's lives through the use of design.

In an article, dated September 2018, it begins by describing how 65% of children entering the education system will have jobs that we don't even kno...

February 3, 2019

Attached is the flyer for the upcoming EduLead conference in Singapore. Blog posts will follow during this conference.

Conference Flyer.

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Who's Behind The Blog

Ben Ward-Smith


Lytton Street School, Feilding

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