Learning in Action

In 2017 we completed the main elements of the Ministry of Education’s Christchurch Schools Rebuild (CSR) Programme, excluding the retrofitting of the second level of the two-storied block. This building programme was a Government initiative managed by the Ministry of Education. Following the Canterbury earthquakes the educational landscape shifted and St Albans School was allocated $4.9m to retrofit and build learning spaces.

Why the Change? Most New Zealand schools were built in a time of ‘factory-style’ learning, where all students of the same age learned the same things, at the same time, by direct teacher instruction. We have now moved to a model of collaboration and co-teaching. Multiple layers of collaboration are now a component of our practice, including:

  • 1: many
  • 1 : home base
  • 1 : group
  • 1 : 1
  • Co-operative groups
  • Extension

Benefits of collaboration

  • The power of two or three…
  • Two heads are better than one
  • More ideas
  • Shared responsibility
  • Building on teachers’ strengths
  • Catering to wide range of needs

Outcomes for learners

  • Improving hauora – wellbeing
  • Better learning outcomes
  • Challenge… mistakes… the power of ‘yet’
  • Moving from teacher centred learning to learner driven, as required for learning in future educational settings
  • Developing the skills required by ‘future employers’


Students will be in a home base with a home base teacher (this replicates the previous class teacher model). However, they will now also be a part of a hub of two or three other home bases. Our model acknowledges the importance of students and whānau having a strong relationship with one teacher in the shared space while developing meaningful connections with the other teachers.

All environments at St Albans School are collaborative, meaning there is a greater likelihood of teachers other than the home base teacher teaching your child, enabling us to use teachers’ strengths to get the best for all learners in a collaborative setting.


Hub Year Group
Ngā Kiwi Year 0 and Year 1
Tūī Year 2 (with one Year 1/2 home base)
Kahikatea Year 3/4
Tōtara Year 3/4
Ōtākaro Year 5/6
Waimakariri Year 5/6
Te Tikanga Rua Reo Tipu (Year 1 – 3) Rea (Year 4 – 6)

At the end of the year we use an approach for our composite groups that see them working within the same home base and hub for two years, e.g., Year 3 students will stay with the same teacher and group in Year 4. Some exceptions will be made in consultation with whānau and staff, or if teachers leave or change levels.