Agency, self-directed learning, rocks, and learning pits.  These are not the words you might typically hear to describe an elementary school on the North Island of New Zealand, but after listening to today’s guests, Gina and Jana, it will all make sense.

The Stonefields school located outside of Auckland is a unique, highly collaborative learning environment designed to bring independence and more to students in years 1-8. Gina and Jana discuss the details of the school, the foundations of its values and learning the culture.


BIO for Gina Harduar

Gina Harduar is an Associate Principal at Stonefields School. She started her teaching career 19 years ago and in that time has led Junior School teams in a variety of low and high decile schools. Gina is in her fourth year at Stonefields School. Her role as an Associate Principal is overseeing the data and assessment portfolio, inducting new to Stonefields teachers, and growing Teacher Effectiveness. This involves supporting teaching teams across the school to grow teacher capability to delve deeper into their data and reflect on next step strategies, to cause shift in learner outcomes. Gina believes all learners to be  ‘at the heart of the matter’ and she is passionate about how teachers use data to practice strategies to cause shifts in learners’ achievement.


BIO for Jana Benson

Jana Benson is a part of the Leadership Team at Stonefields School and works across five schools in their Community of Learning.  Jana works with teachers and schools to establish and develop a shared language of learning and believes this is fundamental for learners’ agency and their assessment capability. She is currently undertaking her doctorate in this area. Jana’s role in Stonefields is overseeing the Learner Agency and Designing Real Learning pieces of our Strategic Plan.  This role involves supporting teachers across the school to think differently about their learning design to ensure that it is rich, real and relevant for our young people today.