strengthen their literacy, but also their numeracy. We introduced a new diagnostic tool this year to aid the identification of students with learning needs. Lucid is a computer-based programme which is widely used to build a cognitive profile of students. Data gathered from Lucid is acceptable to the NZQA when being used to make an application for Special Examination Assistance. We have used this information to make several successful applications this year. While the information gathered from Lucid is very useful, it does not give us the in-depth profile we receive from an educational psychologist’s assessments. We are fortunate to have registered psychologist Sharyn Gousmett come to College and assess students for us. It is ideal to have the boys tested in their own environment and it has enabled us to develop a constructive working relationship with Sharyn. We have also continued with the Cogmed programme. Cogmed working memory training is an evidence-based method developed at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, designed to improve core attention and learning skills. We are one of only a few schools in New Zealand to offer Cogmed and are grateful to have such a successful programme available to us. Many of our boys have made wonderful gains, and a Year 13 student recently said, “Everything changed for me when I did Cogmed.” The Learning Centre is a comfortable environment for our students, and those who work in the department ensure their students all have the support they need. We see the boys grow in confidence and often achieve things they never thought possible. A highlight for us this year was Josh Murison being awarded the Top Scholar Award in Economics in New Zealand. We congratulate Josh, who used examination assistance throughout his time at College. He is the perfect example of what can happen when students with learning differences are provided with the
tools they need to realise their potential. I would like to thank the Learning Centre staff for their passion and dedication; this is what makes a difference in the lives of our students. Lesley Anderson-McKenna HoD Learning Centre & ESOL LIBRARY “I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.” (Orhan Pamuk) I saw this happen this year. To a boy! A Year 9 boy in Harper House. A boy called Zach Adams. There is nothing special about Zach. This is not being unkind, it is just that he is a normal Year 9 College boy, doing normal schoolboy things. That is, until he discovered books. Now, every time I see Zach, he has a book. And he is reading the book, whilst everyone else around him are on computers or talking and sometimes even sleeping. Zach is in my mentor group, so I see him every Thursday. And every Thursday he has a book, and now he often asks if he can go and get another book as we are based in the library.
Junior classes love Free Book Friday. It keeps them coming back week after week, quietly reading, and hoping their name comes out of the bag. The most enthusiastic classes this year have been Zac Knight’s Year 9, Alex Robertson’s Year 9, Caroline Black’s Year 9 and 10 classes, and Emma Bracken’s two Year 10 classes. I would like to thank each of these teachers for bringing their classes to the library every single week and allowing me to steal their students to introduce books and teach them to love reading. I am guessing that in these classes there were several Zach Adams – boys transformed by reading a book. My Teachers’ Reading Programme also took off in 2019. The small library of recently released books I keep upstairs in the common room needed to be replenished frequently. I added self-help books this year, health books, inspirational and biological. These proved to be as popular as crime and thriller novels. Maybe this will encourage the staff to make their way to the real library they pass every day. Several new areas were created in the non-fiction section of the library. This is part of my ongoing policy of adapting the Dewey Decimal System to both reflect the New Zealand curriculum and also support the topics College students are studying. In 2019, assistant librarian Lyn Feterika and I created a new section for the New Zealand Land Wars and the Treaty of Waitangi – both now sitting next to the Te Reo section. Previously, they were scattered throughout the New Zealand history section and were fairly difficult to find. Whilst there, I also undertook a massive weed of the New Zealand history books, enlisting the help of the librarians at Tu ¯ ranga before I decommissioned a book that may just be a rare find. Research in the library, as has been the case over the last five years, grew to the point that I was often teaching three periods out of six. The Biology department was one of my best
It is a perfect partnership.
Zach’s life has changed visibly. He has found the ability to disappear in a room full of people; he shuts them out as he enters the world brought alive by the book. This has been the highlight of my year and if there was a magic formula I could bottle it up and make a fortune. I spend much of my time in the library pondering and then actioning a variety of projects to engage boys in reading. 2019 has been no different. Free Book Friday has to be my most popular project to date. It is quite simple. I have a box of books and if a class comes to the library to read, I pull a name out of their class photo bag and that boy gets to pick a book – to keep.
Christ’s College Canterbury
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