On this page you will find a range of information which has guided us in our aspirations for Hinuera School to have Future Focused Learning Environments.


Innovative Learning Environments 

Modern Learning Environments 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Future Focused Learning Environments?

The majority of NZ school buildings were built between 1950 and 1970.  Since then, teaching practices and the needs of students have drastically changed.  Technology and building materials enable learning spaces to be new, vibrant and well connected.  All students deserve to benefit from these environments and the teaching practices that go alongside them. – Ministry of Education

Future Focused learning environments are innovative, modern, creative, inspiring and inquiry driven fro both teachers and students.  Future Focused Learning Environments are an ecosystem that takes into account learners, educators, whānau, communities and content.  It also considers resources like property and technology.  It is about everything working together to support teachers and learners and ensuring our young people are confident, connected, actively involved, lifelong learners (NZ Curriculum).

Why change to Future Focused Learning Environments?

As per Ministry of Education requirements, Hinuera School is required to be an innovative learning environment by 2020.  This refers to buildings and learning spaces.  Future Focused Learning Environments also refers to the teaching and learning pedagogies that work best in the innovative spaces.

The building and learning spaces were designed in an industrial age and suited learning at that age.  What we know about how people learn best has changed, but our environments have predominantly stayed the same.  What we are aiming for is our environments rising up to meet the amazing 21st century teaching practices that are developing at Hinuera School.

Is this the same as what happened in the 1980’s?  Didn’t that fail? 

In the 1980’s when schools went through an ‘open plan’ stage, there was no deep understanding about how people learn best.  At Hinuera School we have been extensively developing this understanding and continuing to do so in order for our environments to need to meet our teaching practices.

What are some of the key benefits to a Future Focused Learning Environment?

  • Increased collaboration between students
  • Increased collaboration between teachers
  • Teachers sharing their strengths with each other
  • Student agency is developed
  • More choice in what and where to learn
  • Key competencies are encouraged
  • Inquiry is fostered
  • Works on a strengths based approach

What does this mean for teaching and learning?

We continue to use the NZ curriculum and the Hinni Highway to guide our teaching and learning practices.  We intend to review the Hinni Highway and bring it up to date with more Future Focused teaching practices.

You might see more collaboration between teachers and students.  Innovation, teachers trying different approaches and utilising their strengths.  Teachers working closely with one another.  You will continue to see teachers working with groups, ability based and mixed ability also.  Children working independently and self direction at different levels.  Whole class teaching and students working flexibly around the room will also be apparent.

Are the class sizes larger now?

No, Hinuera School is guided by the Ministry of Education staffing ratios.  Class sizes vary year to year and class make ups vary depending on numbers in year levels and enrollments.

Because some classes have more than one year level won’t it be harder for teachers to teach my child at their level?

Students are taught based on their needs, not on their year level.  There is a range of evidence that suggests mixed age and ability students learn best from one another.

Are other schools running Future Focused Learning Environments?

There sure are!

In the past the term “Modern Learning Environments (MLE)” was used.  The Ministry of Education often use the term “Innovative Learning Environments (ILE)” as it has greater international recognition.  We have chosen to use the term Future Focused Learning Environment to emphasize the difference with MLE and ILE for us at Hinuera School.