VLN Primary School 
Term Three Update 2015
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VLN Primary School

Kia ora koutou

Thanks for reading our VLN Primary School newsletters. Our goal is to:
 Connect Schools for Enhanced Learning Outcomes.

In this newsletter we update you on the activities of our connected learners and teachers, share some of their feedback, welcome our new schools and teachers, and keep you informed on whats coming up for the VLN Primary.
It would be great to see that Spring has Sprung! but unfortunately we are still not quite there yet. It has been an extremely busy winter term in schools around the country and also for the VLN Primary School. Although we have some interruptions with winter sports and illnesses, students are now well settled into their second semester classes and making the most of their learning opportunities.
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How's it Going?

Recently we asked our students for some feedback. The responses overall were very positive about the challenge of their new learning and the support of their eteachers. Some of the drawbacks mentioned involved timetabling, when classes cut across break times or sports times; and occasions when technology wasn't running smoothly. Here are a few of their quotes:
Thumbs up Students
'I love Maori because i am learning more of my culture that i didn't know about.'

'I think French is going quite well and I'm having a blast.'

'In vln te reo Māori its really good for me to learn my culture and its also good to learn the basic's. I think vln is good and its fun to skype people almost around the world,  i've learned  a few things that i did not know so yeah vln te reo Māori is m
y kind of thing.'

'Very fun and challenging new experience because things in the classroom just come so easily to me and it's nice to have a challenge.'

A big thank you to all our wonderful eTeachers who have stepped up to the challenge of learning to teach online to provide these classes for our students. Kino ke koutou! 

Welcome to

New schools joining us this Semester are Wairaki Primary School, Maraetai Beach School, and East Tamaki School. Also great to have Te Miro School return with students participating in many different classes.

Welcome also to new eTeachers Shine Kelly and David Pirie.
Shine is an experienced classroom teacher living in sunny Nelson and is teaching Astronomy. She is passionate about the environment, loves hiking and geocaching; also playing Minecraft and Lego. Shine places a high value on equality in education, promotion of student directed learning and collaborative learning. Shine has been an environmental educator, with strengths in Science and eLearning. 

David is based in Dunedin and is taking over from Rick in teaching one of our Extension Maths classes. David comes from a diverse and innovative background as a teacher, Principal, Educational Technology Consultant and Educational Tutor. He is interested in the application of technology in teaching and learning; particularly in Instructional Design - the leveraging of new technologies to enhance systems and learning, involving creating learning content that is effective, engaging and vibrant, and that promotes understanding. David is keen to develop his skills as an eteacher.

We are very excited to have both Shine and David join our eteaching team, we will have lots to learn from them.

Congratulations to 

Stephanie Michel who not only attended her first German teachers conference in Wellington in the recent school holidays, but was also invited by GANZ (German in Aotearoa NZ) to present a workshop on her experience teaching German online. GANZ has offered free German posters and resources to schools learning German with the VLN Primary School.

Stephanie has been teaching with us since we first started up and is passionate about the German language and sharing her knowledge with students. She has maintained her commitment to teaching online even through the recent devastating floods which have caused chaos on her and husband Hans,Tarata farm. Stephanie & Hans recently featured on Country Calendar.

AFS Teacher Exchange

Over the month of August we hosted Yaju Cheng from China through the AFS teacher exchange. Yaju travelled the length of NZ to spend a week each with four of our schools who are participating in the Asian Languages Project - Moanataiari, Oakura, Apiti and Halfmoon Bay. Yaju and the hosting schools kept a blog of her visit at
Kath from Halfmoon Bay School writes 'It was so interesting to live and work with someone from a completely different culture for a week...Yaju teaches in a school of over 3000 students in Beijing, China and her life is so completely different from mine that it was mind-blowing.' Read more on Yaju's visit to Stewart Island here.
It was a fantastic learning experience for our schools to host Yaju and we will definitely be partnering with AFS again next year.
Look out for the VLN Primary School at ULearn in October. We will be running workshops on our Asian Languages Project and our Rural & Remote Schools Project.
If you are coming to conference please make contact & introduce yourself to Rachel.

Coming Up

The VLN Primary Governance Group meets soon to develop our strategic thinking and plan the way forward in supporting schools to extend learning opportunities for our students. The Asian Languages Project team will also be meeting to plan out the details of how our project will operate over the next two years. 
Keep an eye out for our next newsletter which will update you on these developments, and have information for schools preparing to participate in 2016. We will also follow the Rural & Remote Project students as they prepare for their camp to Wellington.

The VLN Primary School is available to all NZ primary schools providing:
  • support and leadership for virtual learning,
  • effective coordination of virtual learning programmes,
  • professional learning to enable quality online teaching and learning programmes,
  • personnel to advocate for virtual learning initiatives.
Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and school communities.

Ngā mihi nui

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2015 VLN Primary School.

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