Our Current Programmes
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Aspiring Middle Leadership Programme

The Aspiring Middle Leadership Programme takes place in Terms 1 and 2. It is intended for anyone who has an interest in developing their middle-leadership potential at a pastoral or academic level. The programme has a personalised leadership inquiry-based style, over a period of six months. With a combined approach of educational research, reflection, and discussion forums each term, our intent is that the group will conclude their key findings of their inquiry focus with a presentation at the end of the programme. 

Topics covered in the programme include: self-awareness, leadership styles, team building, open to learning conversations, growth coaching, mentoring and supporting staff.

Provisionally Certified Teacher Programme

The PCT programme runs weekly every Tuesday morning before school for all first- and second-year teachers. Aligning with the professional teaching standards, the sessions provide our PCTs with extra support with a clear focus on the Westlake context. There are a variety of staff presenters, but the programme is organising and overseen by Joe Cachopa, Kelly Easton and Jude Arbuthnot. 

Topics covered in the programme include: knowing your learners, teaching standards, digital technology, behaviour management strategies, boys’ education, supporting students emotionally, pastoral care, report writing, supporting international students, pedagogical approaches. 

Group mentoring of Provisionally Certified Teachers

Four years ago, WBHS moved to a group mentoring approach for our teachers new to the profession. Once a week, teachers meet in the centre in a small group of 2 or 3 with their mentor teacher. The philosophy behind this approach is a wrap around support system from an experienced teacher mentor and other beginning teachers. Time is dedicated in the timetable to this programme, and it has been a huge success in developing the capabilities and confidence of our PCTs.  Lead mentor is Jude Arbuthnot, with Kelly Easton and Joe Cachopa also mentoring one group of PCTs each. 

Weekly Late Start Whole Staff Professional Development

In 2021, changes were made to the teaching timetable to allow for weekly professional development for all staff. In 2022, this time is on a Thursday morning. Every Thursday the students begin their school day later so that staff have dedicated time to focus on their professional learning. The whole staff PD is co-ordinated by Casey de Wit and runs with four strands throughout the year. These strands link to our school strategic intent. This year, they are: Mixed Ability Teaching and Learning, Bi-Culturalism, NCEA changes and Faculty goals. Each session has a clear focus, allows for discussion with colleagues and gives staff practical ideas that they can implement in the classroom immediately. 

Bite-size Professional Development

Bite-size PD is making a comeback in term 2 of 2022. The popular, short, and voluntary drop-in sessions run after and before school in the centre. The sessions are run by staff for staff and often have a practical implementation. Casey de Wit co-ordinates these sessions which are run by staff who often have a passion for a specific area of pedagogy or who may have recently been on a PD course outside of Westlake and want to share their experiences and ideas. Upcoming sessions include: Te Reo Maori pronunciation, Universal Design for Learning, and Engaging Student Leadership. 

Action Research

Prior to 2020, the centre embarked on an Action Research programme for staff. Closely following the programme run by the International Boys School Coalition, a small group of staff began their research with their students with the Leaders of Learning in the centre mentoring them through the process. Unfortunately, lockdowns and subsequent events did affect the competition of these projects. Charlie Meredith and Lucy Anderson did however manage to complete their Action Research and their findings can be found here. 

In term 3 of 2022, we will be relaunching the WBHS Action Research scheme and will be looking for interested staff to begin new projects. Conor Pearson and Andrea Dawber are currently undertaking Action Research with the IBSC and will be presenting their findings at the IBSC conference in 2023. Jude Arbuthnot is currently mentoring them through this process. 

As future staff complete Action Research we will share their findings here. 

Growth Coaching

We have seventeen staff who have been trained as Growth Coaches. In previous years, these staff have supported our Aspiring Middle Leaders on their leadership journeys. In 2022 however we have opened this opportunity to all staff. Any member of staff who would like to go through the process of growth coaching can now directly approach a coach. Casey de Wit has co-ordinated this, and we hope that the initiative will further support our teachers professionally.

Prefect Development

This year Casey de Wit and Tracy Houzet are working with the prefects of 2022 to develop their leadership skills and potential as leaders. We felt there was a real opportunity to develop our students as well as our staff and that their growth is just as important as our staff’s.

The PD for Prefects is aimed at developing their leadership journey, looking at how they can accomplish the goals they set, having a strong connection with the junior school and hearing from leaders outside of a school context, so that they can leave with the honour of making an impact on our school.


Great Teacher Toolkit (Evidence Based Education)

Westlake Boys have been working with Evidence Based Education, a research-driven educational organisation in the UK for several years now. Their mission is to improve educational outcomes for students around the world, hence Westlake Boys is a conduit for their professional development tools to support our teachers with the aim of further enhancing the quality of teaching and learning occurring at the school. At present we have a number of Teachers engaged in one of EBE’s tools, called the ‘Great Teacher Toolkit’ (GTT). The intention of facilitating this Professional Development at Westlake is to raise the quality of teaching with an evidence-based focus for teacher learning, support with specific courses to enhance elements of Great Teaching practice, and to use the tools and instruments to provide feedback for professional development over time.