Oxford Area School

OxfordToday was the first school visit for the term and we started with Oxford Area School in North Canterbury. Oxford is a school of 500 or so students and caters for year 1 – 13. Like many of the Area Schools it is a beautiful setting with a lovely, quiet environment.

The Principal, Bob, is one of the lead princials in the cluster and is extremely enthusiastic about the whole project. There is no doubt that Bob’s enthusiasm is reflected in his staff, many of whom are very keen to get on board with the whole elearning thing. I potentially had up to eight or so teachers who would like to become part of the elearning team across the cluster. The aim is to have one or two from each school, so we are going to have to cut down numbers for the training, but there is nothing to stop many of these teachers training themselves with a little help. I was really impressed with the willingness amongst many of the staff in this school – it seems a great place to work.

I also met with the site supervisor / eteacher at the school who is one of the old hands in Cantatech. Trevor has been doing the distance learning thing since Canatech’s inception in the nineties. He had some great insights on what needs to be done to move Cantatech forward. One issue we have is that while our financial will sustain Cantatech distance learning at its current level, it won’t grow it. This means that some schools will not have the needs of their students met. We really need to find some way of broadening the amount of courses available to students.

Certainly a great way to start my ‘tour’ of the schools for this term.


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