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Hagley Wins Diversity Award

October 15, 2015
By Sarah Denny

Yong Ho Kim and Parisa Abbasi, Hagley ELL students.

Yong Ho Kim and Parisa Abbasi, Hagley ELL students.

Hagley recognised for outstanding provision for culturally diverse learners.

Hagley has just received another national award for the outstanding work that it provides for refugee background learners. The award was presented at the Refugee Conference held in September in Auckland and recognises Hagley’s “contribution to the educational development of the refugee communities throughout New Zealand.”

At the conference Lesley Cowie (Manager of ELL) presented our Learning Communities model to a national and international audience.  This showcased the depth of Hagley’s whole school and community approach to positive educational outcomes for refugee background learners. The award complements the prestigious New Zealand Diversity Action Awards Hagley received from the Human Rights Commission in 2010 and 2014.

What makes Hagley’s model so unique?

Unlike other programmes in New Zealand, Hagley offers a whole family literacy model. This builds on international research that shows how learners and families best learn English through communities engaging in ‘funds of knowledge’, such as learner experiences, cultures, intellectual resources and languages. Hagley’s Learning Communities philosophy is learning anywhere, anytime. In this way, Hagley offers English language learning programmes during the day, community languages programmes in the weekend, an after school homework and study centre and After 3 and evening community responsiveness programmes such as Computing, Nutrition and Well being. This means that while adolescents are sitting NCEA Level 1 in Science their parents might be sitting in English Language Learning classes, working towards a National Certificate of English Language.

A focus of parent education workshops in various languages also promotes our philosophy, which is that parents are the first teachers of their children. Parents are upskilled to then become teachers in the weekend community home languages programmes. All the families together participate in major community events hosted by Hagley, such as World Refugee Day, International Day and Refugee Women’s Day. As part of whole school and community participation, Learning Communities staff also facilitate capacity building and professional learning for other education and community organisations across Canterbury.

Hagley invests in learning that has real life outcomes. For one example of this, listen to Hagley Culture Chat on Plains FM and hear our students who won the Young Presenters award broadcast live to the Christchurch community: ‘The faces and voices that make up multicultural Otautahi.’

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