Teaching and Learning

At Forrest Hill School learners show respect make connections and accept challenge

At Forrest Hill we believe that by understanding how language works, students are then equipped to make appropriate language choices and they can then apply this understanding in a range of contexts. Our students learn to deconstruct and critically interrogate texts in order to understand the power of language to enrich and shape their own and others’ lives.

Students appreciate and enjoy different forms of texts that are connected to authentic learning experiences. We study New Zealand and world literature to contribute to our students’ developing sense of identity, their awareness of New Zealand’s bicultural heritage, and their understanding of their place in the world.

We believe that success in English is fundamental to success across the curriculum and presents students with opportunities to engage with and develop the key competencies in diverse contexts.

The delivery of English is structured around two interconnected strands, each encompassing the oral, written, and visual forms of the language.

  • Making meaning of ideas or information they receive (Listening, Reading, and Viewing)
  • Creating meaning for themselves or others (Speaking, Writing, and Presenting)

At Forrest Hill we carefully monitor and report on the progress that our students make within each strand. Using a set of underpinning processes and strategies, students develop knowledge, skills, and understanding related to:

  • Text purposes and audience;
  • Ideas within language contexts;
  • Language features that enhance texts;
  • The structure and organisation of texts.

At Forrest Hill we believe that studying Mathematics gives students the ability to think creatively, critically, strategically, and logically. Our students learn to structure and to organise, to carry out procedures flexibly and accurately, to process and communicate information, and to enjoy intellectual challenge.

By learning mathematics and statistics in authentic context students develop other important thinking skills. They learn to create models and predict outcomes, to conjecture, to justify and verify, and to seek patterns and generalisations. They learn to estimate with reasonableness, calculate with precision and when they must be interpreted with uncertainty.

The achievement objectives are presented in three strands. The students at Forrest Hill see the connections within and across these strands.

Number and Algebra – Number involves calculating and estimating, using appropriate mental or written methods in flexible ways. It also involves knowing when it is appropriate to use estimation and being able to discern whether results are reasonable. Algebra involves generalising and representing the patterns and relationships found in numbers, shapes, and measures.

Geometry and Measurement – Geometry involves recognising and using the properties and symmetries of shapes and describing position and movement. Measurement involves quantifying the attributes of objects, using appropriate units and instruments. It also involves predicting and calculating rates of change.

Statistics – involves identifying problems that can be explored by the use of of appropriate data, designing investigation, collecting data, exploring and using patterns and relationships in data, solving problems and communicating findings. Statistics also involves interpreting statistical information, evaluating data-based arguments, and dealing with uncertainty and variation.

Being an increasingly diverse school with a huge range of multicultural backgrounds, our ESOL programme is a flexible one which reflects the needs of students. ESOL students across all year levels have specifically designed programmes to help support the acquisition of English as an additional language in reading, writing and oral language. In addition, we have employed learning assistants from a range of cultures to help support the cultural needs of students and their whanau.

Forrest Hill School has a specialised teacher of Music. Mrs Jacquie Webster works in the school 4 days a week as part of our Classroom Release Timetable. Every class at school receives a music lesson a week for 2 terms. We believe that the Arts are a powerful form of expression that recognise, value, and contribute to the unique bicultural and multicultural character of Aotearoa New Zealand, enriching the lives of our students.

Through movement, sound, and image, the arts transform people’s creative ideas into expressive works that communicate layered meanings.

Through lunchtime options we have students involved in Choir, Ukulele, Orchestra, and we have our own Chamber group. We also work with an outside provider to offer a wide range of musical instrument instruction and drama classes.

Our school is proud to be one of the first schools on the North Shore to be a Garden to Table School. The Garden to Table programme aims to build skills for life through highly practical hands-on child centric classes – not only teaching growing and cooking skills but also building awareness of individual and collective responsibility for the environment, healthy eating and community connectedness. It is an opportunity to allow children to get their hands dirty and learn how to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal food.  As well as learning gardening and kitchen skills, students in Year 5 will experience and learn through the New Zealand Key Competencies which are; Thinking, Managing Self, Relating to Others, Participating and Contributing and Using Language, Symbols, and Texts.  

Already a strong Enviro school, the Garden to Table programme complements the culture of our school.  Our Garden Specialist Teacher, who is passionate about growing and adding to our already beautiful school gardens plans authentic experiences that teach students about gardening and planting, growing and harvesting food.  We have a modern, well equipped kitchen that our pupils enjoy as they learn to prepare and cook meals under the guidance of a Kitchen Specialist Teacher. Students cook with the plentiful supply of sustainable school seasonal vegetables and herbs that have just been harvested from our school’s organic garden.

If you would like to be part of this programme and volunteer your time, please contact the school office for further information about the programme.

For more information about Garden to Table visit: http://www.gardentotable.org.nz/

Our Forrest Hill School vision is to Respect, Connect and Challenge with each other, our community, our country and the world around us.  This starts at school as we build a learning community of students that are enthusiastic and engaged with their learning – driven with the need to want to know and learn more.

Our Tuhononga Days held twice a year provided opportunities for all of our students to have enriching experiences that were interest driven.  All students from year 2 to year 6 participated, giving them opportunities to respect each other, connect with other levels of children and face personal challenges with opportunities to overcome these.  

As the photos show these days were successful and engaging!

At Forrest Hill School we pride ourselves on providing innovative and timely intervention programmes to help students with their learning across all year levels.  These programmes range from giving specialist 1 on 1 support to small group intensive programmes.  We work closely with outside agencies  to continually review these programmes and seek further support.

Albert Einstein once said, “Play is the highest form of research” and children have long proved to be expert researchers in the area of play!  We know students are engaged and motivated in their learning when they are interested and drivers of the Learning. 

Our Learning Through Play programme focusses on developing students existing interests and strengths and enables them to develop their understanding and learning further in the classroom environment through play.  Learning zones are designed each term within the classroom and further developed throughout the term according to the input from the students.  Teachers work alongside students to develop authentic writing opportunities through the learning zones and the “play”.

Our programme encourages students to grow a love of learning and see its purpose from an early age.  This helps them to develop a variety of life skills that will help equip each student for further learning as they progress through the different year levels and into adulthood.

At Forrest Hill School digital learning is integrated with the New Zealand curriculum. The junior school use iPads as their core device and the focus is on a play based approach. The middle and senior school use chromebooks and the Google Suite as their main platform for learning. Google Classroom is used by our Year 5 and 6 one to one classrooms. Mr James Robson our specialised teacher takes classes in the Digital Learning Centre where students develop the core digital skills. All children take part in learning about Digital Citizenship.

During lunchtime we run a Computer Club. Currently we are focusing on coding.

As a school we regularly take part in international events and projects such as Scratch Day, World Museum Project and Hour of Code.

For information on BYOD click here.

The Forrest Hill School Library its own website. Powered by Oliver and Orbit. You can now search our catalogue online and check out the latest books. We are looking at adding ebooks and children stories in the future. Pauline Hall our school librarian has added a book review on Orbit. THE DRAGON DEFENDERS its a story by our last visiting author James Russell.