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EOTC - Experiences outside the classroom. Ministry of Education.

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Board voices

Interview with two Board of Trustees members

What is your understanding of EOTC as a learning tool?

What are they learning? Why?

One of the main things besides curriculum is the key competencies and fostering those. It’s about self management for children, about setting goals and achieving challenges. It’s about taking them out of the comfort zone of the school where they feel nurtured and safe and putting them in situations where they are encouraged to be using those skills and transferring them to a totally different environment. For a lot of our kids they don’t get a lot of opportunities to leave Foxton. So we try to make sure that a lot of these activities are extending them for different reasons.

It’s a lot about bonding between the teachers and the kids. The respect between the two.

What is your understanding of the board’s responsibilities around EOTC?

I think it’s the OSH side of things. When there’s a camp coming up Richard comes to talk to us about it. Then there’s always the funding side of it. No child ever gets left behind. They all go whether they can afford it or not.

We have the responsibility to check off all the paperwork and sign it off. Some BOT members don’t realise just how important it is for us to know that we have the ultimate responsibility for this.
We need to check that the ratios are okay for water and for transport. But we try not to let the scary part of it get in the way of the school being able to do this. We don’t want it to be a barrier but we need everyone, including the kids, to know what we need to be responsible for and why we need to do that.

What role does the board play in EOTC at your school?

Supporting and encouraging that all our children get as many opportunities as they can. That’s not just those big trips like camp but all the short little visits everywhere too. There’s always discussion around kids not being able to afford to go but we need to be clear about why we see it as important that everyone is able to participate. So really we are communicating that to our wider community.

Describe a recent successful EOTC activity at your school. How do you know it was successful?

Why was it successful?

The last camp was at Matahika and we normally get a report afterwards from the staff about it. A lot of it’s also about parent feedback when they’re here picking up their kids and just talking to the teachers. The parental support is great, they all get involved. It’s not a formal thing it’s more communicated through Richard and if there were any issues it would come up through him.

What kinds of things have you done at Coley Street to get parents in to the school and become involved?

Sport is definitely one big way we get them in here. We have regular sports events like athletics day. We have a Right Choice half day every five weeks. For that we do a lot of stuff away from the school. This involves the whole school and could be something like going to the pools or the adventure playground. We get a lot of parents coming along to those days. They come and coach netball, cricket, hockey and rugby. We also have a cycling team and one of our coaches for that is a parent.

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