Tārai Kura Online Series #1 – Leading Change: Journeying with Teams and Communities through School Transformation

By Diana Wilkes

Save the date: Wednesday 15th June, 4-5pm – Zoom session


The Tārai Kura Online Series is for school leaders of redevelopments and new school builds. The focus is on sharing innovation, provocation and current, future focused topics. This series features a flipped approach. To allow time for interactive discussion with our speakers and each other, you will be provided with a short 10 minute video reflection from our speakers to view prior to the event. 


Wednesday 15th June, 4-5pm – Zoom session

What to expect?

In the first event of our online series we will be joined by four extraordinary school leaders who have led their school community through school transformation – whether a rebuild, redevelopment or a new school build. 

You will have the chance to hear from the speakers in the provocation ‘pre-video’ about how they journeyed with their staff and communities during this change process. This video will be sent to you before the event.

The event will be a chance to delve deeper through facilitated discussion, with time for Q & A. Join us and our incredible speakers as we learn from each other and reflect together on these questions:

What strategies and approaches have you used effectively to support staff and/or community through school transformation? 

  • How did you gain commitment from staff?
  • How do you maintain or refresh staff culture through a change process?
  • What were the processes used to bring the community with you on the change journey?
  • What were some of the challenges of engagement and how did you overcome these?

         Click here to REGISTER.

Meet our speakers

Ben Witheford, Tumuaki, Shotover Primary School

Prior to his role as Foundation Principal at Shotover, Ben was principal of Otautau School in Western Southland. With over 25 years in the education game and the last 16 as principal, Ben has a keen interest in creating environments that enable professionals to do their best work. His work in recent years has been concentrated around building effective teams, cultures of coaching, authentic curriculum design and building coherent learning focused cultures. 

Ben is available to assist you, your leadership team, staff or Board in moving forward with your ideas to build a great school. If you are keen then please feel free to reach out: ben@thinkdifferent.nz; mobile 027 22 11 764. 

Ivan Davis, Principal, Western Springs College

Ivan Davis is beginning his sixth year of principalship at Western Springs College. Prior to becoming the principal, he held the positions of Associate Principal and Deputy Principal at Western Springs College. Previous teaching roles were at Takapuna Grammar School where he was Head of the Social Sciences Department, and at Long Bay College where he taught Social Studies and Geography. He has been involved with the Springs’ rebuild journey since 2011 when visits to new schools across the upper North Island introduced him to the thinking and concepts informing innovative learning environments (ILE) and associated pedagogies.

Mike Anderson, Tumuaki, Waimairi School

Mike Anderson is the Principal of Waimairi School in Christchurch, NZ. Mike has been a principal for 17 years. He has recently focused on the impact of the built environment on the lived experience of its occupants. Waimairi School was rebuilt after the Canterbury earthquakes and Mike led the school on two interconnected design processes: 1. Design of rich and personally transformative pedagogical approaches (soft systems) 2. Design of physical learning environments which support the school’s adopted pedagogies (hard systems). Mike’s work is informed by a body of international literature on this topic, some not commonly found or applied in New Zealand settings.

“It is often because people do not understand, that they resist change. Teachers and parents, as soon as they understood the ‘why’ – the reasoning behind teaching and learning environment decisions – they started to share ownership.” ~Mike Anderson – Principal (read more here: MOE Case Study)

Mel Bland, Tumuaki, Te Uho o Te Nikau Primary School

Mel feels incredibly privileged to be the Foundation Principal at Te Uho o te Nikau Primary School, alongside the challenge as a first time Principal. Some might call her crazy but her mentor calls her passionate. With a school doubling in size each year in a new area of Tamaki Makaurau, Mel’s initial focus has been on growing a sustainable school community, systems, processes and culture – no pressure! Having grown her own leadership experience within the NZ and international school environments she has worked in, Mel treasures the richly diverse community she leads and the endless opportunities for learning focused partnerships.

          Click here to REGISTER.