We are committed to working with our people to create personalised professional development programmes on both teaching, and non-teaching levels.
We invest in significant development opportunities for our people, such as the Margaret Myers Fellowship, a fund set up by Sir Douglas Myers (School, 1952-56) to enable King’s College teachers who apply and are successful, to attend study courses at overseas institutions. In addition, funding is made available to enable outstanding educationalists to attend the College to conduct seminars, lectures or workshops for staff, students and the winder King’s community.
This is just but one example of the professional development opportunities at King’s.
Case study: 2015 Margaret Myers Fellowship
Jules Robson - Head of Biology
Head of Biology Jules Robson experienced a year of travel, study and conferences across a wide range of specialist subject areas including environmental citizenship and sustainability, ecology, marine science and leadership.
As part of his sabbatical year, Robson relished having series of personal growth experiences and has returned to King’s with a “refreshed pedagogical perspective and many new ideas” to support his classroom teaching as well as the wider New Zealand Biology educational community.
“King’s is incredibly lucky to have benefactors that so generously support our dedicated and long-serving staff and I am sincerely grateful to the Myers for their investment in me. Words cannot adequately express my gratitude.”
Robson visited Glenlyon Norfolk School on Vancouver Island, British Columbia which is a global leader in implementing environmental initiatives and, like King’s, is part of the Round Square programme.
There he was able to see these initiatives in practice and discuss the Canadian school’s 2015 Environmental Audit which looked at how green initiatives could be promoted across all aspects of an academic community. He also visited ‘passive housing’ building projects, as well as a range of ecological restoration projects. In Colorado, in the United States, he visited an “exquisite haven”
for wildlife high in the Rockies and in Germany he met ecologists responsible for the reintroduction of beaver into Saarland rivers.
Along with his specialist area of teaching he attended a number of new leadership programmes that allow the lessons learned through martial arts training which are transfused into personal development programmes. “These ‘quiet confidence’ courses empower young people to develop skill sets for emotional intelligence and selfreliance. In November 2015 we incorporated this material as part of our King’s new Year 12 Leadership programme.
In the Term Three holiday period he attended Cambridge University’s Marine Science training in Florida where he was able to meet the CIE Chief Examiner as well as other subject leaders for this new course.
In November 2015, Robson was able to share a wealth of resources gleaned overseas with other New Zealand schools at a professional development day hosted at King’s which he said helped to bring the syllabus alive by adding specific case study contexts for students.
May Meng, Deputy Head of Mathematics
King's College is currently the only secondary school in New Zealand offering Further Mathematics and it is this specialised area of teaching which Deputy Head of Mathematics May Meng was keen to explore further when she was awarded the Margaret myers Fellowship to travel to Europe and the United States last year.
Further Mathematics is a Year 13 subject for our top Mathematics students who have worked at an accelerated level having completed A2 Level (Cambridge) at Year 12. Further Mathematics offers them a range of topics including pure Mathematic, statistics, and mechanics.
It is also a prerequisite for those students looking to gain entry at top universities in the United Kingdom to obtain a good pass in Further Mathematics to qualify for engineering and science degrees.
Meng visited five leading independent schools (Eton College, Westminster, Latymer Upper, Philips Academy - Exeter and Winsor), and three top universities (Cambridge, Harvard, and MIT) in the UK and US and attended a conference in Turin, Italy, on the History of Mathematics Education.
She also spent time with a CIE IGCSE Examiner sharing valuable insight and gaining better perspective of the marking procedure.
The study trip helped her develop strategies and insights into ways of teaching Further Mathematics in line with the new syllabus.
"The Myers Fellowship has given me the perfect professional and personal development opportunity to expand my enhusiasm for mathematics," says Meng. "I'm confident that our students will benefit immensely from this experience as will the Mathematics department."
In Boston, at the Phillips Academy (Exeter), her experience and obeservation of Mathematics classes in actions was "a real eye opener." The school's collaborative Mathematics programme follows the Harkness philosophy of learning which is based on smaller classes where 10-14 students work on whiteboards placed around the perimeter of the room while the teacher encourages student-led discussions to find solutions to problem sets.
"What struck me was how engaged and motivated the students were," says Meng. "The teacher acted as more of a mentor, challenging the students to solve the problems themselves or with each other. Class selection was critical so that students were working at the same academic level, so they talked the same language and were able to have meaningful peer-to-peer discussions."
"Seeing this teaching method in action has meant a fundamental shift in my thinking about what it is to be a teacher. As a result, from what I observed on my trip, I'm now encouraging the students to find the solution themselves. I used to like to 'control' the class through my teaching process, but now I guide the students - it's much more powerful and inspiring for them."
Meng has taught at King's College for more than seven years and has also been a five time New Zealand International Mathematical Olympiad Team Manager since 2007.