At Viscount we teach Inquiry. All other activities
support this endeavour. The Inquiry Model helps our students
to develop good judgement in every day life. Our students
think critically and creatively, using these strategies to
solve authentic problems to improve their lives and the lives
of others. Reading and mathematics are taught explicitly and with rigour. Attaining high
levels of skill in these areas is essential for achieving competence in Inquiry.
The school motto 'BEST' is an acronym for 'Better Every Single Time.'
The underlying concept is that Viscount Learning Community
will provide students with the best teachers, the best resources and the best learning
environment, consequently expecting the best results. Our school's successes are largely
the result of these expectations.
Models of success are important for Viscount students.
Sports, music, visual arts and dance/drama are ideal mediums for our students
to express themselves, and in which they may experience success. Our students
are still predominantly the progeny of immigrant families, if not immigrants
themselves. They need opportunities to express their talents and ideas through
pursuits that do not always demand a deep mastery of English, which is, for most
their second language.
Viscount has clearly been a ‘high performing’ school in the sporting arena for
the last 10 years. On the Auckland scene, and in national competitions, our
students challenge themselves to excel against the best. The confidence and
real sense of self-esteem that flows from these exploits, is transferred continuously
to other learning activities. The models for success that students learn in sport,
are also capitalized on by teachers and impact significantly on students learning and lives.
Music and Visual Arts are also dealt with by expert specialists,
increasing the chances that the creative aspects of our students are developed,
challenged and extended as far as possible. Students get opportunities to become
confident and accomplished composers, singers and musicians, performing and
recording their music in many forums. Viscount students took part in the annual Storylines Festival.
They performed a play they adapted from Tim Tipene's "Taming the Tanihwa" (August 2012) at the Aotea Centre.
Visual Arts has become a real focus for our students, with art work being displayed around
the school and community, extension groups of talented artists emerging and real
confidence developing amongst many students who previously did not have such
quality opportunities to express themselves.
In order to give our students the best teachers we have invested substantially
in a Teacher Development Centre. This centre is used for the professional development
of the staff. Professional development may be taken by staff members with some expertise,
or by consultants brought in from other educational spheres. This is seen as the
teachers learning room, reinforcing the idea that in a learning community we are all learners.
The inservice provided in the Teacher Development Centre is school-wide and
aligned to the school vision. This centre has been used by 23 different educational groups
during 2008, for whom we have provided professional development. The last few years we
also hosted and provided inservice for large groups of teachers from the United Kingdom,
the United States and Australia.
We continue to build an inclusive learning environment where ICT is used with discretion
and skill. The learning is nurtured and owned by all members of this learning community.
Students make decisions alongside teachers about the learning contexts so that at times
the learner becomes the teacher and the teacher becomes the learner.
In this atmosphere of constructivism, Inquiry learning helps students become problem-solvers,
questioners, thinkers, researchers and wise members of human society.
Management Team (2012)