Restorative Practices and Positive Behaviour for Learning

Restorative/Positive Behaviour for Learning School

  • Building and maintaining strong and connected relationships is key to a positive education.

  • Underpinning this at Ōtaki College are Restorative Practices, PB4L, Te Kawa o Te Ako and wellbeing.

  • Restorative practices are about further developing a culture of care at Ōtaki College. This recognises and preserves everyone’s mana and dignity and creates a learning environment with positive relationships, where diversity is respected.

  • When relationships have been harmed this approach focuses on ‘making things right’ and putting strategies in place to minimise the chance of the behaviour being repeated.

  • School-wide PB4L is about creating a solid foundation for collaborative and productive relationships. Restorative practices sits within the PB4L school-wide framework developed at Ōtaki College; Respect, Ōtaki College Pride, Active Learning and Responsibility – ROAR.

  • Wellbeing will be further enhanced through a positive education curriculum that is currently in development.

Please watch our PB4L Video (6 min)

Te Reanga Ipurangi Ōtaki Education Trust

Te Reanga Ipurangi Ōtaki Education Trust works in partnership with Ōtaki College and the kura and schools in Ōtaki. The Trust was established to strengthen education opportunities in our community. In 2013 the two kura initiated discussion on ways to make digital devices available to their learners. To support this initiative Te Reanga Ipurangi Ōtaki Education Trust (TRIO) was created. The trust, whose establishment was sponsored by the Ōtaki and Porirua Trusts Board, was set up to enhance educational attainment in Ōtaki.

Its first initiative was to support the purchase of digital devices by all students attending schools and kura in Ōtaki. This has enabled students to have access to digital devices (chromebooks) at affordable prices. About 1500 devices have been purchased and there has been support for those unable to pay. The kura and schools have responded to this initiative by shifting their delivery of the curriculum to make greater use of this technology. Access to and the use of technology is now an important part of education. Ōtaki students were better prepared than most to shift to learning from home during the 2020 lockdown.

Other activities initiated by the trust include:

  • a whānau education planning tool

  • workshops for whānau on cyber security

  • in partnership with Computers in Homes whānau have had access to computers and training on their use.

  • in partnership with Manaiakalani, kura and schools have services of two professional development leaders: one for Māori medium, one for English medium. This service is until 2020, though may extend to 2021.

  • the development of local curriculum resources to support Māori medium education.

The trust plays an important role in facilitating collaboration across the kura and schools in Ōtaki. Currently the trust is leading the formation of a Kahui Ako or Community of Learning for our community.

The Trustees are:

Rachael Selby-Chairperson

Jim Matheson

Katherine Tegg

Kim Tahiwi

Moko Cooper

Awhina Gray

Bill McClellan

Learn, Create, Share - the Manaiakalani Outreach Programme

Learn, create, share

Learn something, Create something to show or practise what you have learnt, then Share it with others.

The Manaiakalani pedagogy ‘Learn, Create, Share’ puts our young people at the very centre of their learning.

Teaching and learning is the umbrella mechanism to activate and sustain the pedagogy, which is essential for learning, whānau engagement and device readiness. This pedagogy drives toward visible and ubiquitous learning, strong learner agency and connectedness to grow knowledge.

Reading and Writing Programmes

Recognising a need to focus on raising our student writing skill levels we engaged the services of Dr Ian Hunter along with his team at Write That Essay. Since 2017 we have participated in professional development focusing on writing. Students have, at times, had WTE facilitators in class demonstrating teaching of writing skills and had access to the online WTE programme that has instructional, planning for writing, and feedback functions.

From 2020 our next key focus across the College will be in lifting student reading skills. Recommended key elements in subject and general reading to support subject content will be developed in class programmes.

Going forward we will continue to work with the researchers at the Woolf Fisher Research Center and draw on their recommendations for lifting achievement. Through our partnership with our Ōtaki Cluster schools and kura under the Te Reanga Educational Trust along with being a Manaiakalani Outreach Cluster we have access to expert data analysis through the Woolf Fisher Research Center.

Woolfe Fisher recommends that students use authentic texts rather than texts that have been abbreviated, simplified or adapted for their level. They believe if students are not challenged by authentic texts early, then when they meet them later they will not have the skills to understand and find the information they need from them.


Ōtaki College has been running the DMIC (Developing Mathematical Inquiry Communities) since early 2019. DMIC involves:

  • A whole-school commitment to transforming mathematics teaching and learning by adopting research-based, culturally sustaining practices

  • Engaging all children in rich, challenging mathematics, reasoning, and discourse

  • Professional learning days and dynamic inclass mentoring conducted by DMIC staff

  • Emphasis on equity, social justice, disrupting deficit or 'fixed mindset' thinking, and linking mathematics to students' cultures and lives.

Whilst schools using the DMIC approach have shown increased achievement levels, the more important focus has been on other valued outcomes including an increase in student voice and agency, increased pro-social skills, enhanced mathematical dispositions and the valuing of the mathematics within the home and cultural context.

Kahui Ako

Over recent years the local primary schools, kura and Ōtaki College have been working together as a collaborative education hub in Ōtaki. Together, we have worked with Te Reanga Ipurangi Ōtaki Education Trust to set up a system whereby all students have access to chromebooks for their learning. Leading on from this we joined the Manaiakalani Outreach Programme in 2018. Manaiakalani focuses on increasing achievement through the Learn, Create, Share model, utilising digital teaching and learning methods. The professional development that our teachers had undertaken with Manaiakalani over the last two years provided an invaluable platform from which to launch whole-school on-line learning during Alert Level 4 of COVID-19.

As a group of schools we are now looking to formalise our relationship by becoming a Kahui Ako - Kahui Tokotoko o Ōtaki.