Latest News & Updates

We have some VERY EXCITING NEWS....

We are thrilled to announce that the Stonefields Collaborative Trust (SCT) has secured an investment partner in the Hugh Green Foundation (HGF) which will enable us to continue to GROW as an organisation and provide more offerings in the years to come.

The impact partnership is breaking new ground in the education sector and has the promise of both social and educational impact, as well as delivering commercial sustainability.

As a result and to enable our continued development and expansion , a new entity has been formed called Te Kete Hono - SchoolTalk.

A vision statement of: "Powerful collaboration drives educational improvement and equity" is shared, and will continue to guide all the activities and mahi of the Stonefields Collaborative as well as Te Kete Hono - SchoolTalk.

To learn more about Te Kete Hono and keep up to date - join them on LinkedIn here.

February 2022

December 2021

2021 Annual Report available now!

We have spent much of 2021 getting SchoolTalk ready for growth. SchoolTalk is a cloud-based digital app which is able to synthesise the achievements and gaps across all learners in a class or hub and identify next steps for each learner.

It efficiently provides teachers with the evidence for differentiating and personalising the learning and clearly links progressions to the learning design: learners upload evidence and progress is visible to them and their parents and whanau.This has enabled agency and created cohesion of data, planning and reporting which provides real time, visible learner progress reporting, engaging parents in a learning partnership.

Our report provides insight into our professional learning offerings and their impacts as well as the achievements of teachers and learners at our subscriber schools.

November 2021

As this year has progressed we have seen an increasing number of schools consider improving their digital learning capability and learning outcomes. We always emphasise the importance of making decisions based on actual data, which is supported by rich evidence. Recent testimonials about SchoolTalk are continuing to highlight that teaching effectiveness can be significantly improved when teachers are supported by technology that makes learning visible for all.

Professor John Hattie recently commented on SchoolTalk, stating:

"Leading schools is always a challenging, busy, and rewarding venture, requiring considerable depth of expertise and care for others. Teaching in Innovative Learning Environments entails working closely with so many other teachers and leaders, much more than in the typical walls of many classrooms. SchoolTalk is an exciting tool to assist in the leading, the teaching, and the learning for all in schools. An impressive aspect is how it has grown out of real-school issues, is still growing, but is simple to use, reduces workload, and is obviously welcomed by all in schools.

Of all the LMS and similar tools I have reviewed, School Talk has the greatest probability of truly making life easier, learning deeper, and work more transparent. When I claim we need to “Know Thy Impact” it is in your face when using this tool – and all in the school are beneficiaries.”

Professor Hattie, ONZM has been a professor of education and director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, since March 2011. His research interests focus on evaluation in education, as well as creativity measurement and models of teaching and learning. He is a proponent of evidence-based quantitative research methodologies to inquire into the influences on student achievement. He led the team that created the Assessment Tools for Teaching and Learning which is currently deployed by the New Zealand Ministry of Education for use in schools. He has also previously been a member of the independent advisory group reporting to the New Zealand's Minister of Education on the national standards in reading, writing and maths for all primary school children in New Zealand.

He has become widely known through his ground-breaking books on Visible Learning. According to Hattie's findings, visible learning occurs when teachers see learning through the eyes of students and help them become their own teachers. He uses evidence to construct a model for teaching and learning based on setting challenging learning intentions, sharing success criteria, and understanding which factors make the most impact on student learning. He continues to publish prolifically and remains at the forefront of thought leadership in the field of effective teaching and learning.

Here at the Stonefields Collaborative Trust, the team has spent the last year strengthening the back end of the SchoolTalk app to make it suitable for scaling and security. Three years have been dedicated to testing the app in our group of pilot schools using both ILE and traditional classrooms, in both New Zealand and Australia, along with researching the impact on student learning outcomes.

We are convinced by the evidence that the end to end codification of the teaching, learning and assessment cycle in the SchoolTalk app has a profound impact on teaching effectiveness, and learner agency and engagement. A very exciting development is currently underway with building out a technology roadmap that will expand our offerings based on feedback from teachers, students and parents/whanau from our pilot schools.We also have plans in place to grow SchoolTalk across New Zealand and Australia over the next few years.

We are keen to share our journey and our learnings with you. If you are interested in finding out more please contact us for a personalised demo.

August 2021

The first workshop in our four-part Leadership Series was held on August 13, and putting one's heart into the very centre of leadership was the key message from facilitator, Angus Jenkins. Acknowledging Simon Sinek's golden circles, he depicted this in the following way:

The series started with building the foundations of collaborative leadership as each participant was asked to focus on their own authentic leadership narrative. It offered the opportunity to reflect on the attributes of great leaders and convey one's passion and beliefs through a powerful narrative that connects with people at an emotional level. Key concepts included:

- differentiating management from leadership

- (being aware of) unintended consequences

- (step into our) vulnerability to create trust.

The workshop participants were able to lean into a korero with Derek Wenmouth who focused on leadership of learning. Derek described great leaders as having a vision, a moral compass and are relational which combine to generate dynamic energy for everyone involved. He identified some signs of leadership "entropy" when this energy cannot be sustained and things start to slide backwards. He suggested that a mindset of appreciative enquiry is critical for leaders of learning. See his blog for further information on this topic at

We started to explore the attributes of collaborative leadership and why this approach is fundamental to leading schools. Research from Oxford Leadership (2011) shows that:

"... all of us together can be smarter, more creative, and more competent than any of us alone, especially when it comes to addressing the kinds of novel, complex and multi-faceted problems that organisations (schools) face today."

The transition from an "ego"-system to an "eco-system" is challenging and our participants are eager to learn more practical ways in which they can embed this approach. These will be an important part of subsequent workshops in the series.

The following feedback reflects the deep reflection that has taken place in the workshop:

The workshop gave me "time to reflect on my leadership purpose and the influence I have on my team"

"Great to spend time reflecting on our narrative and understanding ourselves and others leadership for collective improvement"

The workshop has begun to "reignite my passion for leadership"

We are really looking forward to further recharging of leadership passion across the sector!

July 2021

There is so much to celebrate and share in regards to SchoolTalk! Since SchoolTalk began in 2015, it has successfully grown to 14 schools - eight in New Zealand and six in Australia. We now have 631 teachers and 6520 learners actively using the app!

The benefits of SchoolTalk are now being captured through research. In 2020, the Ministry of Education funded a Record of Learning (RoL) project through the Stonefields Collaborative. The purpose was to investigate through 10 SchoolTalk Schools how the SchoolTalk app was successfully being implemented as a RoL and what further developments might need to be considered. This year, the Cognition Education Trust has funded a one-year project. The aim is to support the growth of teacher effectiveness through the use of the SchoolTalk app by understanding how to effectively use the Teaching, Learning and Assessment cycle in order to accelerate student outcomes, predominantly priority learners.

There are also exciting developments in the pipeline! The growing network of SchoolTalk users continues to feed forward ideas and innovations of how to improve the app. This has informed the creation of a two year development roadmap. Users can expect to see:

  • New and efficient ways of capturing formative data to support teachers' learning design

  • A more holistic view of a child's learning

  • More choices in how to report to parents