Manaiakalani - English across high schools

Nau mai haere mai, welcome to the Manaiakalani online resource hub for teachers of English and Media Studies.  

Our Department Discussions are running again in 2024, so if you're a teacher interested in high school
English and Media Studies, we'd love you to join us.  This is an opportunity to network with specialist subject teachers across the country, to collaborate and share best practice.  

Click here to register and we'll keep you informed of any upcoming events. 

Upcoming Meeting Dates

It's becoming increasingly evident that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to disrupt the classroom experience in more ways than one.  How we harness the benefits of AI while negotiating the potential drawbacks are questions that are top of mind for many of us.  

Our guest presenter at this Department Discussion was Tashmere Mohammed.  An English teacher at Waitakere College and Masters of Education student with the University of Auckland, Tashmeer shared valuable insights from the early stages of his research into how AI platforms are currently being used by teachers.  Tashmere also gave a brief introduction to AI apps, ChatGPT, Magic School, and Twee.   

An Intro to AI
Manaiakalani Department Discussion: An intro to AI (2024-03-07 15:30 GMT+13)

Our last Department Discussion for English teachersin 2023, was focused around developing literacy across the curriculum.  

Meryn Penno one of our Taranaki based facilitators, shared the work she has been doing with foundational teachers at Waitara High School to contextualise Smart Footprint for year 9 students.  Meryn's highlighted  the key elements that made up this lesson and how it draws on developing students' vocabulary, skim and scanning strategies.

Our second speaker was Donna Price who explained how her school decided to teach Literacy and Numeracy as stand alone courses a couple of years ago.  The school has learned a lot from taking this approach and it's put them in good stead for the changes happening with the new literacy standards.  

Donna is also involved in the design and development of Manaiakalani's RPI or Reading Intensive Programme. This is a valuable component of professional development, offered by the Manaiakalani Research team that was highly successful this year, for years 4 to 8. In 2024 this will extend to Years 9 and 10.

To learn more about the program and how you can be involved click here.  

* English Term 4 2023 - Department Discussion
English: Manaiakalani Department Discussion for teachers of English (2023-11-14 15:29 GMT+13)

Deep Learning with Learn, Create, Share

In this Department Discussion, Jess Torley from Ōtaki College was our guest speaker.  Jess is the Curriculum Leader (English) at Ōtaki College and is a Lead Teacher for the implementation of NPDL (New Pedagogies for Deep Learning).  Prior to becoming a teacher, Jess worked for the Ministry of Education for 15 years in a variety of roles including qualifications and assessment, corporate services, and policy roles in student loans and allowances, tertiary and secondary funding.  

Jess shared with us the amazing work that she has been doing on an extended text unit she ran with her Year 10 English class last year.  This was based on the Holocaust memoir Night, by Elie Wiesel. The curriculum focus was to read and understand the memoir in its historical context and write a response to text essay. The Deep Learning goal was to develop the Character Deep Learning competency dimension of 'Empathy, grit and compassion'.

Jess is planning to run this again in term three with another group of students and has extended an invitation to work with other teachers who may also be teaching the Holocaust in term three.  She would like to engage her students with some reciprocal blogging across schools.  This is a great opportunity for students to learn from one another and debate their ideas through guided forum style commenting.  

If you are interested and would like to get involved, please contact Kerry Boyde-Preece at 

Term 2 English Department Discussion
Jess Torley - Made with Clipchamp_1657516154601.mp4

 English Student blog posts

2022 Google Meet Recordings slides and resources 

Jess Torley - Made with Clipchamp_1657516154601.mp4
CREATE - English & Media - Manaiakalani Secondary School Department Discussions
English & Media Studies - Department Discussions (2022-02-21 18:35 GMT-8)
English Department Discussion