Learning Environments

Learning Together - Collaborative Teaching & Learning

Over the past two years we have introduced the concept of collaborative learning environments with our Curious Kiwis, Creative Critters and Unstoppables currently learning together with teams of teachers. While this model is relatively new to our school, it is exciting to have the support and trust of our community as we look to make our ACHIEVERS more independent in a flexible and responsive learning space where they can flourish. 

For our ACHIEVERS the benefits of collaborative learning are as follows:

1. Having multiple teachers allows for the strengths of different 

teaching styles and personalities to impact on the learning of the 


2. Multiple sets of eyes taking ownership for a child’s learning.

3. Flexible learning spaces enable personalisation to different learning styles.

4. More opportunities for personal feedback and focused learning.

5. Research identifies a significant improvement in children's attitude 

towards learning in a collaborative environment.

For our TEACHERS the benefits of collaborative teaching are just as 


1. Professional Learning: Working in a team builds teacher knowledge 

through constant modelling, mentoring and moderation of practice. 

2. Collaboration breeds creativity. Single classrooms can be isolating, 

while working in a team creates conversation, new ideas and 

shared goals.

The three dimensions that build our learning environments include:

1. Flexible Learning Spaces

2. Multi-age & Co-teaching

3. Digital Technologies

Our Collaborative, Multi-age Learning Environments Include:

Here at Te Puke Primary we offer the following learning environments:

* Two teams with Years 1, 2 and 3 students. These teams are the Creative Critters and Talented Tuis.

* Two teams with Years 4, 5 and 6 students. These teams are the Future Force and Unstoppables.

Each of these teams above has 3 teachers and the equivalent number of students in 3 single cell classrooms, and a learning assistant.

* One class for new entrants who need more time in an exploratory learning environment developing further their social and emotional skills. This team is called the Curious Kiwis and has one teacher and a learning assistant.

* One class of students from new entrant to Year 6 students. This team is called Ngakau Mahaki (meaning humble and kind hearted). The teaching and learning philosophy is centered around Maori values and customs using tikanga as a learning mechanism. Te Reo is taught but students do not need to be fluent to be in this team. Ako or reciprocal learning for students and teachers is encouraged alongside a teina, tuakana relationship between the students, where an older student looks after and guides a younger student.  There are 3 teachers and a learning assistant in Ngakau Mahaki.