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St Mary's School Reflects: "How do you shift teacher practice in terms of utilising ICT's to promote learning?"

Rotorua Town and Country ICTPD Cluster

Milestone 3, Goal 5, Reflective Summary

Cluster Goal 5:

Inter-school and across school collaboration within the cluster extends professional learning and enhances pedagogical practice and culminates in a series of e-presentations for a national audience.


2010 ESTABLISH - ALL teachers will be introduced to using e- learning and SOLO taxonomy to support and enhance student achievement.


2011 IMPLEMENT - Teachers are using e-learning and SOLO taxonomy to support and enhance student achievement.


2012 SUSTAIN - Students are using e-learning and SOLO Taxonomy to support and enhance student achievement.

Example Contributed by Anne Cato, Lead Teacher, St Mary's Catholic School, Rotorua.


Setting the scene: 

St Mary’s Catholic School, Rotorua, is a state integrated contributing primary school for boys and girls offering a Catholic Education through a range of classes from Year 0 to Year 6.  The School was opened at the present site in 1924.  On 1 March the school roll was 385 and we have a maximum roll of 400.

Families from right across the socio-economic spectrum and from a wide cross section of cultures are attracted to the school.  St Mary’s School is categorised as a Decile 5 school.

All members of the Senior Management team are new to the school since 2008. Since 2009 St Mary’s Catholic School Rotorua has moved from a school with one suite of very old computers to a school where every classroom is equipped for 21st Century Learning. The change has been very rapid and has required a shift in the way teachers do things.

Some people don’t like change and others can’t see the need for change so why have we worked hard on getting teachers to work towards creating 21st century classrooms? How have we gone about making this happen? What strategies have we found successful in shifting teacher practice?

Basically these, in order of priority have been:

  1. Having the vision to understand why we need to change and working towards this despite some staff feeling they don’t have the skills or weren’t ready.
  2. Ensuring the infrastructure is put in place. We couldn’t see the point of getting the teachers upskilled and enthusiastic then having the infrastructure fail them so this took top priority.
  3. Upskilling teachers by providing professional development and specilised training
  4. Having trial groups, leaders identifed within each teaching team and enthusiastic risk takers to experiment then help lead the way.
  5. Providing support on an “as needs’ basis for “just in time’ learning.
  6. Setting up systems to scaffold and support staff.


The ICT PD contract has assisted us with this. The goals for the contract have helped us to focus on:

  1. Ensuring our students become successful digital citizens
  2. Leading elearning within our school at a number of levels – schoolwide, team leaders, teams, classes and our geek force of student helpers
  3. Being involved in our cluster
  4. Teachers integrating elearning effectively into their practice and creating an innovative and exciting learning environment for their students
  5. Involving family in student learning through KnowledgeNET
  6. Sharing our learning


View the videos from this resource below: