We continue to grow our social media community - we have now reached over 500 followers on our Facebook Page and 250 on Instagram. We have been seeing a lot of engagement with our posts over the PledgeMe crowdfunding campaign. We continue to reach out and meet with influencers in our local community - Bronwyn recently met with Vicky Barrie, Principal of Northcote College and Leader of the Northcote Community of Learners (NCOL) and we will look to meet with other local school principals in the new year. There is a lot of potential to collaborate and learn from each other.
We have also met with local MP Dan Bidois and Associate Minister of Education and Minister for Children, Tracey Martin and we will continue to look for other opportunities to make school and political leaders aware of us and the research behind our approach.
Bronwyn has also joined the committee of the International Play Association (IPA) Aotearoa NZ. The IPA is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961,with members in 50 countries. IPA’s purpose is to protect, preserve and promote the child’s right to play as a fundamental human right. If you would like to support the work of the IPA, please consider becoming a member. See here for more details.
The Hinatore Learning Community, who are looking to start a new democratic school in North West Auckland have renamed themselves to Whakamanawa Learning Community. Whakamanawa refers to inspiration, and heart based action and understanding. They had 175 responses to their demand and affordability survey. Based on that feedback they have decided to focus on incarnating a school for Year 1-13 that will begin as a full primary and potentially early secondary, and will grow into a full secondary school as the children grow. At this stage, they have set a goal to start with around 50 pupils at the beginning of 2020 (or earlier if possible, but this seems most likely at this stage). They are intending to be State Integrated if possible, as that is the only affordable option for families.
We had another meeting of the Ed Innovators group in November as Meraki Montessori in Wainui. There was discussion of perhaps organising an ‘Alternative Ed Expo’ sometime next year. We have also discovered another Facebook group has been set up by teachers within mainstream schools that want to celebrate innovation and disrupt things - DisruptED.