Changing students' lives by redesigning the curriculum.
The driver for change is the curriculum, so changing students' lives by redesigning the curriculum is a strong focus for Barbara Cavanagh.
Barbara Cavanagh has more than 20 years of experience as a principal, and after nearly 12 years away from the region where she was born and bred, the former principal of Ngāruawāhia High School and Te Awamutu College, has returned to Waikato to lead the team at Huntly College.
The focus for the college is to create a learning environment where all students thrive and develop confidence as learners. The new curriculum design is giving students more access to learning that matters and more choice about learning in an area of interest and passion. Barbara believes, “Every child at school deserves to be nurtured and respected as a learner. Every child deserves a chance.”
While Barbara was at Te Awamutu College, she lifted Māori achievement from 19 percent to 61 percent, from one year to the next. The impact was positive, with those students continuing on to complete NCEA levels Two and Three.
The question she poses for every school is, how do we create an environment where every student feels the same sense of entitlement and the same sense of value, as a learner.