Learning at SS
Info 4 Whānau

Stonefields School Vision for Learning


At Stonefields School, we take the business of causing learning seriously. We embrace ongoing research, theories, and best teaching practice to ensure we meet each of our learners' needs.


The school has established and continues to develop an innovative vision underpinned by four principles:


1) Building Learning Capacity is about growing the foundation knowledge that is essential for further learning. It is about having a strong sense of identity and actively growing Hauora (wellbeing). It is also about learning to be resourceful and understand how to get out of the learning pit when stuck.


2) Collaborating is about building positive learning relationships to contribute to a range of collaborative activities and build positive relationships. It means knowing and practising problem-solving strategies and social skills. It also means learning when to seek other's ideas, empathise, and take perspective to achieve a more significant outcome.


3) Making Meaning refers to knowing and using a learning process to think deeply about the world around us. We use the Stonefields learning process to develop thinking skills, build on previous learning, and arrive at new knowledge.


4) Breaking Through is about taking action. We provide opportunities for learners to discover and pursue interests, passions and strengths. We then use that learning to help them take positive action in their own life, community, and beyond.


We have worked in partnership with our community to understand what learning is most important. Our curriculum, across eight years, reflects this. It weaves together two things:

Things that are critical to learn, such as thinking skills, collaboration and wellbeing; and things that at critical to know, such as foundational knowledge in literacy and mathematics and key conceptual understandings.


This video outlines our vision at Stonefields School and how we work to achieve it.

The Language of Learning at Stonefields School

A decade of experience has shown us the power of having a shared language of learning at school. It helps teachers teach better and helps children learn.

It allows children to describe 'what to do when they don't know what to do'. As a parent, you will become increasingly familiar with this as your child goes through school. It may well help you to have conversations about learning at home.

Learner Qualities

The learner qualities are a set of attitudes and dispositions essential for learning: question, be determined, think, be self-aware, connect, wonder, and reflect. The language of learner qualities helps children describe how they approach their learning, what they are aiming to do, and what they are noticing. Teachers introduce this at an early age. As learners advance, they can give examples of how they apply the learner qualities in their learning.

Learning Pit

Getting stuck in learning is a natural part of the learning process. At Stonefields, we call this 'getting stuck in the learning pit", and learners benefit from recognising that 'being in the pit' is okay. Making mistakes, failing, and not knowing are essential parts of the learning journey. Being comfortable moving in and out of the pit is also critical so that learners experience a suitable stretch and challenge level. Often the best learning comes from being stuck!

Learning Process

The learning process helps learners investigate, problem-solve, make informed decisions, and advance their learning. It steps them through three key stages of learning - Build Knowledge, Make Meaning and Apply Understanding. Doing so aims to demystify the learning process, helping learners know what to do next. We teach specific thinking skills to draw upon at each of the three stages.