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Each student is part of a smaller Ako group of up to 26 students who meet 4 times a week for 75 minutes. Their Ako learning coach monitors their progress, develops their personalised inquiry programme and monitors their learning, achievement and wellbeing. Ako groups have learners from years 9-11, enabling the senior students to guide and role-model for the younger students under the principle of tuakana–teina. This ‘check and connect’ pastoral care provided during Ako time is a unique and special feature of learning at Rolleston College.
R2L is our positive behaviour for learning programme within our school. We reward behaviour at junior levels with our R2L click system where learners in years 9-10 are acknowledged for positive behaviour within our school. Our seniors are able to gain badges which unlocks privileges for them. In Ako we teach our school values ‘The Rolleston Spirit’ and teach our school wide expectations. A big part of our Ready to Learn programme in Ako is goal setting, tracking and learning conversations.
In Ako there is dedicated learning time for Health education, Check and connect time and the development of Whānau. We cover the health curriculum from years 9 to 10 and our year 11 learners take part in NCEA Health achievement standards. Check and connect is done during every Ako class and learning conversations are had throughout the term to check in on learners academic progress and wellbeing. At Rolleston College we have 4 Whānau Kōanga, Raumati, Ngāhuru and Hōtoke. There are 9-10 Ako groups in each whanau. Our focus in our Whānau is to create a sense of belonging and identify within our school. We have inter-whānau competitions, Hui and celebrations.
Learners create passion projects known as Quest Projects, this is a time of the day for learners to complete their own individualised research into any topic that interests them. This could be anything ranging from deeper learning of a language or musical instrument, researching family history, creating and selling candles, developing musical or artistic skills, or perfecting sports skills. Passion Projects are supervised by Ako Learning Coaches and each learner presents their progress to the Whānau at the end of each term. As part of our Ready to Achieve aspect of Ako learners develop their skills in Digital Tikanga and Te Ao Māori.
Some of our learners made the above video which outlines the creativity and individuality expressed during Quest time.