Term 2 2021 Newsletter to Kura

Term 2 2021 Newsletter

Kia ora koutou,
RTLB Cluster Vision: To ensure success for all ākonga through collaboration and inclusive education. He waka eke noa
RTLB Cluster Mission: We strengthen and empower kaiako to enhance educational outcomes. 
Values: Whanaungatanga, Manaakitanga, Rangatiratanga & Kotahitanga

We are over halfway through the term already. This newsletter is to let you know what is happening in the RTLB service. 

Overview of newsletter content:

  • Job descriptions & appraisals for Learning Assistants
  • Standardised Learning Support Register (Te Rito)
  • Whānau evenings
  • Dates for allocation
  • Waitlist reminder
  • Incredible Years Training (IYT)
  • Teacher Aide PLD Pilot Fund
  • Halswell Residential School update
  • Complaints & Compliments

Thank you to Kāhui Ako & Communities of Learning for inviting me to your hui. It has been a pleasure to work alongside you to improve outcomes for mokopuna. We have been involved in some SENCo/LSC hui by teaming up with Mana Ake and our Learning Support colleagues at the MoE.  Some of the latest discussions have been about how to develop job descriptions and ‘appraisals’ for learning assistants/teacher aides. We have invited Jacqui Pascoe to share her thinking and development on this. The other topical discussion has been around the upcoming Standardised Learning Support Register. We are aware that the Te Rito platform is being rolled out from Southland upwards. What can we do to prepare? Ensure we are familiar with the Learning Support Register. We understand that there will be a schedule released very soon from the MoE on when the platform will be rolled out along with more information and support from the MoE team. 
Mana Ake has also supported the Kāhui Ako/COL with whānau evenings and this has been highly valued and popular. 

Dates for Allocation of Requests for Support:
Week 6-Friday 11th June
Week 9-Friday 2nd July

We have 30 RTLB, 14 of them are studying this year. They will be completing the required training for all RTLB; Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Teaching. When our RTLB are completing the diploma they have a lower caseload to ensure they have time to complete their papers. Due to this reason, we may have a waitlist throughout the year. Your Liaison RTLB will work closely with you to help prioritise requests for support if this happens. 

Incredible Years Training (IYT):
Last week we held the fourth session for our local cluster kaiako. It is a pleasure to host two such positive groups.
Learning Assistant/Teacher Aides Incredible Years Training
We have been asked about learning assistants attending IYT. For a learning assistant to be included they must either: 
Be working alongside a teacher 

who is attending at the same time or

who has already attended

The teacher remains the person responsible for the collaborative behaviour plan.
The programme itself is primarily for teachers and we will carefully consider the inclusion of learning assistants. Funding for learning assistants can be applied for through the ‘Teacher aide PLD Pilot Fund’.

We have completed the first session of Mana Potential for our cluster schools and the second session will be held in Term 3. There was extremely positive feedback from this session and a few kura are looking at organising Angeline MacDonald to visit their whole staff.
We will be looking at offering some oral language professional development later in the year. Focusing on language acquisition, child development and an effective oral language programme. 
We are also trying to organise the opportunity for our cluster Secondary Schools to come together to network and share practice as well as a separate networking session for bilingual & full immersion kura.

RTLB Professional Learning & Development:
Mana Potential: Both the RTLB and SENCos/LSCs/kaiako, have the opportunity to learn about this bicultural strengths-based, relational tool. This tool has huge benefits for staff and our mokopuna. Upholding a person’s mana is a vital part of building and maintaining positive relationships as well as acknowledging their whakapapa and hapori.
Oral Language: We are ‘teaming’ up with the Speech Language Therapists from the MoE to upskill in the acquisition of language and the developmental stages for our mokopuna. This will enable us to be really clear on what makes a difference, especially practical applications for the classroom environment. You may see some of these strategies interwoven through the collaborative plans.

He Pikorua-MoE & RTLB Framework Terminology:
You may hear our practitioners (MoE & RTLB) referring to, or writing, the term ‘mokopuna’.
Mokopuna refers to the flow of new generations through connection to those who have gone before. Mokopuna carry the line of descent continuously from ancestor to ancestor down to the present. Our connection to our Tipuna (ancestors) and genealogy is our inherent birth-right. These connections are not exclusive to Māori and include all people.
The decision to use 'mokopuna' throughout He Pikorua arises from our commitment to making the child central to everything we do, within the context of their whānau.

‘moko’ (kauae)

an innate and direct connection to tipuna through whakapapa.


the flowing spring and refers to new life (birth).

Halswell Residential-One Pathway:
As many of you will be aware, the entry criteria for the three residential schools – Halswell, Salisbury and Westbridge – has changed.
The update has not yet appeared on the online documentation. The important change is to criteria 3 where it previously stated that local learning support needed to be ‘fully utilised’. This has been removed. This change means that schools can now position themselves as an earlier intervention rather than a last resort. The three schools are excited about this change, and the access opportunities it will provide to a wider group of students in need of the specialist and intensive support we can provide.

RSS Only Criteria
Criteria 1
The young person is in year 3 to 10 (aged 8-15) at the time of referral.
Criteria 2
The child/young person has behaviour, social and/or learning needs that are highly
complex and challenging (and may have associated intellectual difficulty) and requires
support at school.
Criteria 3
Local learning support services/support have been considered or tried. However, RSS
intervention is believed to be the best way of meeting the child/young person’s needs.
Criteria 4
The young person does not need an intervention in the home or community (the
child/young person does not need intensive services such as Te Kahu Tōī - Intensive
Wraparound Service, Oranga Tamariki or High and Complex Needs service provision).
Complaints and Compliments:
A reminder, if you have any concerns or complaints about our RTLB working in your school, please do not discuss this with other RTLB in your school. This places them in a very uncomfortable position. Addressing any issues with the RTLB concerned would be the first step, and then, contacting me if you feel it is not resolved. 

We are always looking at areas we can improve upon and your feedback is incredibly valuable. In the meantime, our Liaison RTLB is the person you can speak to about any of your schools/kura needs. You are always welcome to phone or email me at any time. 

Ehara taku toa, te toa takitahi engari ko te toa takitini
Success happens when we work together

Ngā mihi nui
Michelle Maule
Cluster Manager, RTLB34
Te Paeroa
Cellphone: 0272766713