Halswell children arrive at school each day with the idea that they are capable of becoming better learners, able to manage their own behaviour and take advantage of each day’s learning opportunities. They are able to work as self-directed-learners when not directly engaged in a workshop with a staff member, while ensuring those who they come in contact with are also able to succeed.

We believe creativity is as important in education as literacy and numeracy, and we should treat it with the same status. Halswell children are encouraged to use their creativity and develop talents across the breadth of the New Zealand Curriculum. They are active in learning musical instruments, involved in dance and drama and participate in a wide range of sporting activities. While at school, they are encouraged to act in a caring and empathetic manner and challenged to think and care about others. To become the best citizens they can, our children consistently apply themselves to learning, to learn and grow, while developing an inner determination to achieve. We believe that if we can help develop a positive attitude to all that we do and all with whom we come in contact with, then we are truly successful.

Our goal is not merely coverage, but actual learning, and developing ‘can do’ or ‘not yet’ thinking as we constantly challenge our children to become more resilient and improve their learning mindset. We believe that personal reflection, feedback and feedforward have a positive effect on learning with our children being better engaged and coping better with change – all attitudes we want to develop in our young people.

A constant question in our, and for that matter most educators lives, is what is the real purpose of education? If learning is the process of acquiring new knowledge and skills to fully participate in life’s journey; are we further stimulating the highly curious learning organisms we humans are, or is traditional schooling killing the creative and enthusiastic craving children are born with? Is it possible to predict what sorts of jobs many of your children will be doing in 10, 15 or 20 years? At Halswell we are developing a more balanced, creative and individualised approach to our children’s learning. More and more we are encouraging collaborative learning , while creatively developing the skills and knowledge for life.

A Halswell education must enable all of our learners to:

  • understand and appreciate their own cultures and to respect the diversity of others.
  • become active and compassionate citizens.
  • engage with the world within them as well as the world around them.
  • become economically responsible and independent.

We are pushing for more individualised and balanced creative approaches to educating children. We are focused on raising student achievement (including social outcomes). We aim to ensure that when our young learners move on from here they are on pathways to actively participate as citizens of the rapidly changing world and to enjoy good health and a high standard of living.

Bruce Topham ( Principal)