Explanations of common terms we use at Ao Tawhiti

At Ao Tawhiti all students, from new entrants to Year 13, are able to direct their own learning so that the enthusiasm and love of learning is retained.

The name for what most schools call a teacher. LA moves away from the notion that a teacher teaches and a student learns. We believe that everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner

This is where a group of children are based for meetings and where they keep their things. Children choose a group of children they wish to learn with as well as an Learning Advisor. The Homebases are usually spread across 3 to 4 year levels.

Several Homebases together form a Community. Communities create a sense of belonging for all, are the basis for strong and supportive relationships, and also help encourage all members to contribute, participate and collaborate in their learning. The role of a Community Leader is similar to the role of a dean. 

Students/families can choose to do OSL instead of coming into the Homebase. Some may choose this once per week, others may have an OSL day every so often and some have them rarely – it is up to each family. OSL provides the students with the flexibility to learn in places and ways beyond the Homebase. These will need to be agreed with the Learning Advisor in advance.

This is a time when the school gets together and celebrates the learning that has been happening across Homebases. There are usually several COL events during each term where students can showcase their talent, creativity and engagement. Families are welcome to attend COL events.

This programme allows for the passions, interests and needs of both children, staff and parents to be met by either LAs, outside experts or community members. The school offers opportunities and designated time for students to pursue advertised passions, interests and needs.