School stories

We asked each of the schools we visited to tell us how they went about engaging their students in 21st century learning.

  • Why they started on their journey?
  • How they set the conditions for success?
  • What informed their decisions?
  • How they managed change?
  • What difference had it made (for example, to teaching and learning, use of spaces and digital technologies, student outcomes)?

The leaders in these schools told us about the challenges they had faced and how they had overcome them. They also had advice for other leaders who were looking to make major changes.

Each school began its change journey at a different point and in response to a different trigger, and each went about transforming teaching and learning in a different way. However, every school found that internal evaluation underpinned by powerful data was crucial for monitoring the impact of innovations and informing refinements.

The stories that follow do not attempt to give the whole story. Rather, our aim has been to focus on how leaders have supported change by aligning school culture, systems and resourcing to the school vision.

In the stories readers will see evidence of all the key characteristics of effective schools identified earlier, as well as examples of how schools have developed their curriculum, strengthened partnerships with community, parents and whānau, and changed teaching and learning practice to take advantage of digital technologies and flexible learning spaces (FLSs). 

Ngatea Primary School

Golden Sands School

St Thomas of Canterbury College

St Clair School

Pakuranga College

Mountview School

Raroa Normal Intermediate School