Manaiakalani Secondary Connects 

Secondary Connects are online events where Manaiakalani teachers, principals and academics come together to discuss effective strategies to turbocharge students’ learning.  

If you are interested in learning how these professionals are positioning themselves ahead of the curve and would like to find out more about how Learn, Create, Share pedagogy can influence student engagement and learning outcomes, join us at future Secondary Connects.  


AI for Educators: Monday 10th June 3:30 pm - 4:15 pm | Click here to register

AI for Educators: Prompts, Platforms and Pedagogy

Dr Craig Hansen shared with us how AI can revolutionise teachers' practice in a variety of ways.  He explained the differences between curriculum and pedagogy-driven platforms versus productivity platforms.  Craig suggested that understanding the purpose of each platform is crucial for their effective use in educational contexts.

AI tools like Brisk, Magic School, Diffit, ChatGPT, Eduaide.AI and TeachAid are valuable tools to add to your kete.  To view the full recording click here.

Dr Craig Hansen

MOE Facilitator, 

Professor of Flight, 

Summit Institute

Differentiated Learning at Hornby High School

We began our first Secondary Connect for 2024 with Alexandra Aitken, the Head of Health at Hornby High School, who shared how her department has observed a significant increase in student engagement and academic performance by implementing a differentiated learning approach.

The Health Department at Hornby High School redesigned their curriculum units to address students' varied learning needs by offering choice and fostering a collaborative learning environment among peers. To watch the recording and view Alex's slides, click here.

Our next presenter, Kerry Boyde-Preece, showcased various learning apps aimed at enhancing engagement and students' digital proficiency in readiness for NCEA.

Alex Aitken

Head of Health 

Hornby High School  

Kerry Boyde-Preece

Manaiakalani Secondary Specialist


Manaiakalani Innovative Teachers 2023

Jayne Abernethy from Hornby High School was one of the Manaiakalani Innovative Teachers for 2023.  Working with the Manaiakalani Innovation team, Jayne used design thinking process to develop a comprehensive resource, The Secondary Literacy Hub aimed at supporting high school literacy.   Click here to view Jayne's presentation and recording.

Matt Goodwin, our Auckland based facilitator, talked about the upcoming Manaiakalani opportunities for 2024, including how you can apply.

Click here to learn more about the Manaiakalani Innovators programme. 

Jayne Abernethy

Head of Science 

Hornby High School

Matt Goodwin

Manaiakalani Facilitator


Connected Learners Share

For our Secondary Connect in term three this year our presenter was Fiona Grant, the senior Facilitator from the Manaiakalani cluster in Tamaki, Auckland.  

Fiona shared with us some ideas on how we can leverage the potential of Share with high school students to improve learning outcomes and engagement.  

Connecting with the Manaiakalani Cybersmart and Smart Relationships, Fiona's presentation discussed the positive impact Share can have for students enabling them to connect with an authentic online audience and empower student voice.  

Click here to view Fiona's slides and the recording

Fiona Grant

Manaiakalani Facilitator


Manaiakalani Innovative Teachers 2022 

At our last Secondary Connect for 2022, we had two exceptional presenters Pip Gorrie-Lawn from Coastal Taranaki School and Anusha Soupen of Papakura High School.   Both were Manaiakalani Innovative Teachers in 2022, who worked tirelessly throughout the year on their design inquiry research.  

Pip's inquiry focused on how to support disengaged readers in her year 9 and 10 classes with literacy.  Using Skim, Scan, Read and Question, Pip designed a methodology that enhanced students' engagement and understanding.  

Anusha's presentation focused on how using student-selected themes from contemporary topics like the black lives matters movement and the Dawn Raids aided students' interest and motivation to learn in her combined Yr 11 - 13 Mathematics, Statistics and Commerce class.  

To learn more about their inquiry, click here to view the slide deck and video recordings.

Pip Gorrie-Lawn

Year 9/10 English Curriculum 

Coastal Taranaki School 

Anusha Soupen

Head of Maths 

Papakura High School 

Teaching Aids to Support NCEA Literacy

Our first Manaiakalani Secondary Connect for 2023 was held on Wednesday, 8th February.   

Developing students' reading skills for secondary school students is a key priority in 2023 with the focus on preparing them for the new literacy assessments which includes the recently released, literacy pedagogy subject guides. 

This session highlighted the benefits of ensuring students have a toolbox of reading strategies they can be applied to any text and any genre or subject area.  To see the recording and slides click here 

Pip Gorrie-Lawn

Year 9/10 English Curriculum 

Coastal Taranaki School 

Share to Learn: 

Empowerment through connections

We had two exceptional educators share with us how they have embedded regular blogging into their classroom practice.

Ruth Hills, Head of PE and Health at Bay of Islands College will share how she has fostered a class culture of whanaungatanga, manaakitanga and aroha that extends into the online environment with students’ publishing their writing through a class blog.

Using a Growth Mindset approach, students are supporting one another to build confidence in expressing their ideas through writing.  This is enabling students to feel more prepared for their written NCEA assessments.  

Rowena Clemence, Head of Art at Hornby High School has mastered the technique of regular blogging with her students, as an aid to help them verbalise their thoughts, articulate ideas and illustrate their comprehension.  Students share their progress online throughout the year and this is proving to be a useful tool to moderate NCEA internals, while providing a running record of their learning.  

Click here to view the presenters' slides and recording.  

Rowena Clemence

Head of Art /E-Learning leader/Year 12 Dean

Turbocharge learning for high school students by developing Create opportunities

In term two, the Manaiakalani programme focuses on how Create activities can engage students with their learning which leads to a deepening of their understanding and knowledge.  

Hornby High School is a college that prides itself on being A Centre For Creative Excellence.  The principal Robin Sutton, encourages his team to foster creativity in every learning opportunity to enhance students' academic experience. 

At this Secondary Connect event, Robin Sutton shared with us his thoughts and ideas on leadership qualities that help to motivate creativity and innovation. 

His presentation was followed by the school's Head of Technology, Uai Liu who showcased innovative learning with projects like Grow Waitaha, Taro Project - 4C Makerspace and Designer in the Classroom. 

Lockdown Learning

What can we learn from Lockdown learning?  Principal, Edith Painting-Davis from Bay of Islands College, shared with us some of the challenges and triumphs the school experienced during their time of distance learning.  Student insights were shared, and new systems were developed to help streamline teachers' workflow and engage students.  

Tim Shawcross from Westland High School shared some highly effective literacy strategies from his own teaching practice.  Tim, a teacher of Music and photography explained how he improved students' achievement outcomes in theory and analysis based NCEA music standards

Engage with Create

 The intention for term two's Secondary Connect for 2021 was to discover how our schools engage students with creativity.   We heard from Karen Ferguson at Tamaki College, Stephen Aitken at Ōtaki College and Marc Milford, the literacy specialist at Tamaki College.  We also heard from the Manaiakalani research manager, Georgie Hamilton, about this year's classroom observation tool and the alignment to the new literacy standards.  

Georgie Hamilton

Manaiakalani Research Manager  

Manaiakalani Research

Stephen Aitken

HOD Digital TechnologiesDigital Media Teacher

Ōtaki College

Reading Strategies at High School

At this Secondary Connect, we were fortunate to have Associate Professor Aaron Wilson, Dr Yannie Van Hees and two high school teachers present.   Anne Sinclair followed on with a vibrant discussion that left educators feeling inspired and motivated for developing reading strategies within their classes.   

Recordings and slides from our presenters are available below with the full unedited recording available here.   

Anne Sinclair

Manaiakalani Professional Supervisor 

Manaiakalani Outreach Specialists Team

Jayne Abernethy

Teacher of Science, 

MIT Scholar 2023

Hornby High School 

Dr Jannie van Hees 

Literacy Specialist

Tamaki College 

Learn, Create, Share in Social Sciences 

There is some amazing  work being done in the Social Science departments across the country.  In this Secondary Connect, we heard from Amy Honey and Lauren Taylor from Mairehau High School and the extensive work they have accomplished over the past three years.   Dot Apelu from Tamaki College shared how she developed relationships with students and whanau during lockdown and provides with  an overview of the online tool Miro.  Angela Seyb from Greymouth High School talked about the enhanced engagements with her students using  digital storytelling and interactive mapping with the online app ARCGIS.

Amy Honey

Head of Humanities

Lauren Taylor

Teacher of Humanities Mairehau High School

Angela Seyb

HOD Mathematics 2020 HOD Social Science 2017-1019

Greymouth High School 

Blogging at high school 

Teachers at Hornby High School in Christchurch are turbo-charging students' learning through regular blogging.  Supporting students to share their learning on their blogs, forms the basis of student's evidence for their achievement standards.   

Click on the presentation links to view the rewindable learning resources including presenters slides and videos.  

Rowena Clemence

Head of Art /E-Learning leader/Year 12 Dean

The Benefits of Individual Blogging

Sarah Handley

English/Classics Teacher, Yr 10 Dean

English and Literacy 

With this month's focus on English and Literacy at secondary school, our presenters offer a deep perspective on developing student's literacy.  Scott Aitken reflects on his findings from his recent Masters study.  Willie Yuile shares some tips and tricks around rewindable learning and Dr Aaron Wilson explains how various strategies can be used to increase students' critical thinking  through T-Shaped literacy .

PE and Health

In the first of our Secondary Connects we hear from three high school teachers who are utilising digital technologies to help students produce evidence for their achievement standards.   Ruth Hills discusses  her view on students' blogging through a culturally responsive lens.  Jason Borland shows how student's videos can improve student's evaluation and Kata O'Donnell shares some great brainstorming and rewindable learning ideas.  

Kata O’Donnell

Teacher in Charge of Health, Class-on-air teacher 2020