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Gordonton School - Katrina Bankier

2019 | The importance of honey bees and pollination

School: Gordonton School

Host: Plant and Food Ruakura – Pollination and Apiculture team

Region: Waikato

Gordonton Primary School is very excited to be part of the Science Teaching Leadership Programme for 2019. Historically the New Zealand curriculum was compressed under the framework of National Standards with a focus on reading, writing and maths. This has meant that areas such as the arts and science have not always been given the priority they deserve. Once Katrina returns to school, she will be deployed across the school in the role of specialist teacher of science. This will mean every learner at Gordonton School will have the opportunity to learn under a specialized curriculum from an expert teacher, and over the course of their time at the school will be best prepared for their future learning. Gordonton School believes that the flow-on effect of this learning will be the development of a passion for science in students, positioning them to contribute in meaningful ways to their communities.

Katrina has 19 years teaching experience. She has been teaching years 0-2 for the past six years and has worked with children from years 0-8, from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. She believes that it is important for students to have opportunities to learn through real life, hands on experiences and situations. She is passionate about the integration of science across the curriculum and extending students’ knowledge and skills in the Nature of Science and especially the links between science, technology, maths and literacy and the new digital technologies curriculum. Coming from a farming background, she is interested in broadening her science knowledge and thinking, to inspire students to develop their own passions in science.

Katrina’s placement will involve her in the research activities conducted by the Pollination and Apiculture team at Plant and Food Research, Ruakura. Katrina will be working with a range of team members in a variety of projects both in the laboratories, facility workshops and on field trips. Katrina’s placement will include contributing research on kiwifruit and avocado pollination and control of Varroa mites on honey bees.

Katrina’s ‘learning about science’ goal is to lift the profile of science and to gain skills to enhance the teaching of science across Gordonton School and to develop partnerships and networks to support the teaching of science and students’ learning.