Rural Schools – a case study with Ngamatapouri School

Principal of Ngamatapouri School Tracy Wizgell and her students share their experiences of learning online with Kōtui Ako VLN.

An hour down a narrow, windy road off SH3 on the Taranaki side of the border, and 90 minutes from Whanganui is the small community of Ngamatapouri. Late in 2023, we visited to find out how this school engages with Kōtui Ako VLN and the difference it makes for their learners. Their discussion is summed up in the bullet points below. Watch their story for insights and tips for learner success. 

Why Kōtui Ako VLN? 

  • Passionate eTeachers. 
  • Engage with new curriculum. 
  • Explore new learning styles and subjects. 

Choosing programmes: 

  • Grouping students for less disruption. 
  • Mix of teacher & student led selection. 
  • Peer support – group leaders. 
  • Test-dummies try out programmes. 

Becoming a great online learner: 

  • It’s a continual and unique journey. 
  • Learn how to engage with technology and each other.  
  • It’s a joint effort – students, teachers, schools and VLN. 
  • Schedule time for Zoom AND independent learning.  
  • Teachers are engaged with VLN learning. 

Differences & diversity: 

  • Different personalities can thrive with online learning. 
  • Teacher aide or peer support is critical for some students. 
  • VLN and schools work together for students. 
  • Provides leadership opportunity for senior students. 

Benefits for rural schools: 

  • Connecting with principals. 
  • Sharing ideas between schools. 
  • Learning with other kids.  
  • Rural kids camp – country meets the city!

It suits our community:

  • Target strengths & interests. 
  • Flexible & adaptable. 
  • Apply and value the key competencies.

Thanks to Kōtuitui Network of Expertise for funding this case study.