In 2015 the major rebuild of our school and hall, refurbishment of two remaining freestanding classroom blocks and extensive landscaping was completed.
In July 2022 we will celebrate 7 years of being in our new school, and new collaborative learning spaces.
Flexible Learning Environments (FLEs) allow students to work on their own; to work with their teachers and peers in groups of flexible sizes; encourage students to be independent learners, and they facilitate students developing the skills they need to collaborate with others. Teachers are checking in to ensure all children are fully engaged in their learning tasks, and intervening to support and redirect. When a teacher is working with a small group they can fully concentrate on that group as the other teachers in the space will be checking on the rest of the students.
The Ministry of Education website states “the real business of FLEs is to shift teaching and learning to a model that truly enables students to become confident, connected, life-long learners”.
The success of the education Bayfield provides stems from the way teachers work together. Good teaching, and the quality of teachers, is “inextricably linked” to better student outcomes (Unicef, 2016). The spaces allow a team of teachers to work together, rather than on own their own. Teachers work and support each other with planning, delivering the curriculum and assessing each child’s progress.
What the Children Say
"I really enjoy being trusted with my learning and being able to make choices"
"I like that when you’re stuck there’s always a teacher to help you, even if my usual teacher is teaching a group at the time"
"I enjoy having lots of space to work in and different furniture"
A huge advantage of the flexible learning environments is that children are more likely to be all their friends. Having the children in one space has eliminated the yearly angst around split friendships and teachers preferences which happen in single cell schools.
What the Parents Say
“We have friends with children at all the local schools and when I hear them talk about their schools I feel so lucky that my children are at Bayfield in their awesome classrooms. We don't have any of the problems that the single cell kids have - their parents and the children are always worried about getting the best teacher and hoping they are with their friends. We just don't have those worries at Bayfield”.
What the Teachers’ Say
“The kids get the best of every teacher and the teachers have ongoing professional development from their colleagues.”
“Teachers are constantly talking about the children and the best ways to support and extend their learning. Bouncing ideas off each other helps to cater to individuals and tailor our programs and scaffold learning for each child.”
“It is great to be able to group children for their specific needs, and change them if we need to - children don't learn at the same pace and we do a better job having fluid groups that very carefully target very specific needs.”
“I wouldn't have 'it' any other way, I love it! As a beginning teacher it is an incredible support network.”
Collaborative teaching encourages attention to teacher performance, every day. Working together taps into teacher strengths, meaning the children are getting the best of the individual teachers. It ensures shared responsibility by the teachers for all the students in the team. In practice, this means that two or three teachers work with the children not just one, encouraging combined problem solving about students’ needs.
How Student Achievement Has Improved
Since moving into the new and modified buildings, achievement data in core areas of literacy and mathematics has shown an exciting incremental increase.
We believe the steady increase can be attributed to the collaborative models of teaching and learning in our new flexible learning spaces.
The teachers work together to create opportunities for student leadership, choice and agency and provide opportunities for students to build confidence around taking risks with learning. Effective and beneficial feedback to all students throughout the day is at the forefront of teaching programmes.