Focus, concentrate. And breathe.

Focus, concentrate. And breathe.

A video update on the build of OJC

With thirteen new staff members, our first week back has been all about getting to know each other and building relationships. We will all be working very closely with each other so it has been important to focus on developing empathy and understanding right from the start. A variety of activities encouraged the staff to deepen their understanding of what ‘relationships’, ‘integrity’, ‘excellence’, ‘innovation’ and ‘inspiration’ meant to them individually, as a collective and what this means for OJC.

Kat introduced (and in some cases re-introduced) Design Thinking to all the staff.  We had a great time working through the process with our final goal being to design something that met the needs of another staff member.  Stuart has been extending our knowledge when using devices, providing us with shortcuts, tips and new apps.  It has been great having someone with such a huge amount of knowledge readily available.  Jan has run activities for all staff in which we explored our creative sides.  Just as we would ask our students to get ‘hands on’, we all got involved, shared, reflected, and adapted.  Check out some creations within a strict criteria and limited materials.

 Empathy (through e.g story telling) is a major component in the design thinking process. 

Empathy (through e.g story telling) is a major component in the design thinking process. 

The most exciting thing to have come from all the activities is the rich conversation.  Everyone has arrived with a range of experiences and the learning conversations have highlighted how powerful collaboration is.  Our journey is on the way moving from “I believe…” to “We believe…"


Week 1, Term 4 and our great team of educators are on board! Over the next few days profiles will start to go up on the website, so keep an eye out. We are very  happy to welcome to the team Tracey, Rewi, Bonnie, Asha, Cilla and Sylvie alongside Fred, Jan and Kelly who started with us last term. This term Stuart, Lisa and Mel will join us part time to develop our skills and add to the depth of the team. Watch for some very skilled and passionate educators as we start to ready the school for 2017.

Luke is still meeting with newly enrolled students and their families as our student body numbers start to climb. Luke, John, Kat and Viv are heavily involved with team building, school build purchases and meetings with specialist technicians as we start to make decisions about areas within the school around internal rooms and specialist areas.


We were lucky enough to visit the site on a beautiful day and the natural light poured in. The new staff were overwhelmed with the size and space and it was exciting going from seeing architecture’s sketches on paper to seeing it in reality.  Things are well on the way and it is easy to start imagining what each space can be used for.  When you drive past you will notice that the colours are up on the outside of the building and both inside and outside spaces are definitely starting to come together.

When looking for meaningful ways to name the spaces within OJC, the local iwi, Ngai Tai, gave us an insight into the history of the area.  An overriding theme was navigation which aligns quite nicely with Flat Bush being a ‘new’ settlement where people have migrated to.  The fact that OJC can be classed as a transition school - students passing through - where students will be explorers and navigators in their learning, also made navigation the perfect theme.  It was really important to us that OJC, whilst being a new school, still had links to the local area, its past, its present and its future. With this in mind, Ngai Tai were generous enough to gift OJC the use of some of their tipuna to name different spaces around the school.


The team is in action!! Induction, many collaborative and collective intelligence discussions, activities and relationship building are happening. We move to week 2 of our induction phase with a great team. We are all looking forward to a 3 day retreat next week where we aim to start unpacking and holding some serious conversations around our visions, values and beliefs, as we look to the curriculum and planning for 2017! Keep an eye out for upcoming blogs in which we will continue to develop our learning/growing and sharing of ideas and updates of the school build.