Bream Bay College

Principal Wayne Buckland
Principal Wayne Buckland

Having led his school community through the pandemic to date, he strongly holds the view that effective hybrid learning is not merely converting school learning programmes into a digital and online version. It should be about creating an environment whereby teachers can effortlessly engage students in their learning, whether it be in a physical or online face to face context, or via a fully online remote learning programme. Learning and teaching needs to take advantage of the tools and resources available, and will therefore become a part of normal planning and practice.

Prior to the 2020 lockdowns, Wayne had the foresight to purchase chromebooks and issue them to the students for their exclusive use.  He wanted to remove any barriers and the associated angst that occurs when there was a lack of accessibility to digital devices, saying that “for all this time we are complaining that students don’t have their devices, what’s going to happen? So actually now we just buy them and give them to them.”

It was important that teachers were proficient in working within the digital space, and that they had the necessary equipment. Teachers were issued with a Samsung Tablet and received training on how to use it. Professional development was also provided in the use of Zoom, which staff found very easy to use and made good use of the breakout feature. “When a teacher was fully online they had their tablet joined, they had their computer joined, and anything they wanted to do in terms of presentations, in terms of writing on or over something, they could do on their tablet, and that was effortless.”

The school’s SMS has now been modified to include Zoom links that appear on all student and staff timetables, which allows everyone to easily gain access to the necessary meeting links. Wayne shares many examples of students who have not been able to be on campus for whatever reason, but have simply connected with their class and successfully continued with their learning.

The hybrid learning pilot is in collaboration with an international student academy plus a range of local primary schools and ECE centres. Eight teachers from Bream Bay College across a range of curriculum areas will be directly involved to trial and develop processes and practices. Ultimately, teaching and learning within a hybrid environment should also be easy and as straight forward as possible. “We want deep learning assets, authentic learning, presentation aspects, we want learning partners and modern pedagogy for how you go about learning built in there,” adds Wayne.

The Ministry of Education has provided financial support, and Core Education is partnering to provide professional development. While there has already been, and will continue to be, experimentation with technology and devices such as cameras and audio recording, Wayne emphasises, “it is about how it is applied to the learning environment and not about the technology”.

Wayne has taken a proactive and future thinking approach to leading his school throughout the turbulent pandemic times. He is motivated to ensure effective student learning continues, no matter what the learning context is, and to make the process easy and effortless for his teachers.


About the school

Bream Bay College


Ruakākā, South Whangārei

School type

Y7-13 Co-educational State Secondary

Approximate roll



Wayne Buckland

School website

Bream Bay College — Website

Contact details