Collaboration Plus

The Problem

Sharon thinks it is unacceptable that her school is not developing the whole student. Unfortunately, at the start of her program 26% of students felt that learning was irrelevant to their lives, 21% of students said that school was not helping them to become who they wanted to be, and according to FYA (2016), the average 12 year old will have 17 different jobs in their lifetime, across five different industries. The problem is that schools are not developing students who are ready for the future and Sharon believes in a school that develops collaboration, team work and resilience, where students are encouraged to become the best version of themselves and where they leave prepared to engage and lead in the 21st Century.

Sharon’s Solution

The key to Sharon’s initiative is developing 21st Century skills and confidence in decision-making in students through increased cross-curricular collaboration. Although the project is ongoing, Sharon anticipates it will have a major impact!

The first part of Sharon’s initiative is a collaboration showcase. The Music, Drama, Dance, Maori and History departments are working together to develop a performance on two main themes: Life in Aotearoa and Parihaka. Music students are composing pieces, Drama students are devising scenes, Te Reo students are delivering speeches. Students and teachers collaborate in the planning and production of the event with the aim of enhancing 21st Century Skills such as collaboration, critical and creative thinking, communication and leadership, and enhancing student learning with a real world context.

The second part of Sharon’s initiative is ‘Cup of Tea’. This is a real world collaboration involving all Year 13 students, who are tasked with designing, arranging and producing a ‘thank you lunch’ for all staff. This is likened to a ‘flatting’ situation, engaging organisational skills, collaboration, budgeting, thinking creatively and producing an outcome.

Sharon’s Impact

Part 1 of the initiative is positively impacting all Year 11, 12 and 13 Music, Drama, Dance, Maori and History students. Part 2 will likely positively impact all of the Year 13 cohort, but this has not been completed yet.

“A big question we have is: how can we showcase the learning and skills of our students beyond the classroom? We are so excited for the showcase on the 10th September and will be able to reflect on the success stories to share after this!”

Like the idea?

Sharon would love your support for Collaboration Plus, or for you to start a similar program in your school, and she’d love to hear about any ideas you have or lend a hand where she can. Shoot an email to if you want to get in touch with Sharon and we can connect you. Feel free to cheer her on in the comments below as well.

#WhatChangeLooksLike #ECStories #EduChange

Developed in collaboration with our epic partner, 21c skills lab.

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