Students at Ilam School in Christchurch develop key competency skills, such as
thinking, self-managing, participating and contributing, and relating to others,
in an effort to become successful lifelong learners in a global community.
community: to learn and to help others learn. During our visit, the whole
school was engaged in activities to
consider questions such as:
• What is a learning community?
• What makes a group of people
• What makes someone a good
Strategies included students observing one another and collecting data to
track how many times they demonstrate
what is at the heart of the learner. Later
in the year, they conducted the same intense investigation of what’s at the heart
of curriculum by examining questions,
questioning techniques, and exploring
the thinking behind decision making.
In one class we visited, students
interviewed a relative about these two
obligations and asked them two questions: What makes you a great learner,
and how do you help others learn? The
students also asked us to respond to
these questions, which caused us to
reflect on how effective questioning
fosters metacognition and inquiry-based learning. Giving students examples of how others learn promotes
self-monitoring of their own learning
and creates a context for accepting
their role as members of a learning
community who help others learn.
We also saw student leadership in
performance assessment practices.
At Ilam School, students often lead
parent–teacher conferences. The
student presents his or her progress
and learning goals, which focused on
Students and staff at Viscount School embrace the obligations
to learn and to help others learn as part of a learning community. The school’s motto is BEST, an acronym for better every
single time. The underlying concept is that the learning community will provide the best teachers, the best resources,
and the best learning environment.