Archive | Cluster meetings

Cluster meeting in Auckland

If you attended the last Auckland cluster meeting, you’ll already be aware of the next one, coming up on Thursday 15th November from 4.30pm in room N313 at the University of Auckland’s Epsom campus. 

If you didn’t make it last time, but would like to come – please do!

The meeting will be an opportunity to share stories, get some free Professional Development and connect with a great bunch of colleagues – from those who are new to dramatic inquiry to more experienced practitioners.

Please bring stories from your classroom, half formed plans, any questions and, if you can – a friend.

See you there.


Details for cluster meetings in Wellington and Auckland

It’s a busy time for cluster meetings. As well as the Gisborne get together on Tuesday, we have two others coming up in Wellington and Auckland. Dates and times are below.

This is the first ever cluster meeting in Wellington and the first for some time in Auckland – how great to see this level of interest in our main centres! As with all our cluster gatherings, the meetings are suitable for all educators from early childhood, primary, intermediate, secondary, tertiary or community settings and whether you are an absolute beginner or an experienced practitioner. There’s no charge, just an opportunity to meet like-minded people and learn more about dramatic inquiry, including Mantle of the Expert, in a low key way.

Bring your questions, bring half-formed planning, bring stories from your classroom, bring an interested colleague or just bring yourself! We’ll share resources and ideas and discuss possibilities for future networking and professional development.

Big thanks to the hosts and organisers of these cluster meetings.


  • Where: Auckland University (Epsom campus) Room to be confirmed by email.
  • When: Wednesday 12th September 4.30pm to 6pm
  • RSVP: Please email


  • Where: Eastern Hutt School, 53, Kings Cresc, Lower Hutt 5010
  • When: Wednesday 17th October 3.30pm to 5.30pm
  • RSVP: Please email Sue Fennell at the school

By the way, don’t worry if you can’t make it right on time …  we realise some will need to travel … just join us when you can.





Cluster meeting in Gisborne 28th August

Kia Ora colleagues

Apologies for sending two messages in quick succession but I really want to let you know about the cluster meeting coming up in Gisborne later in August

[If you are based in Wellington and Auckland, watch this space as there are cluster meetings coming up for you in September and October – details to follow]

If you’ve never attended a cluster meeting, these are a great way to meet other teachers with an interest in dramatic inquiry. It’s not a formal workshop and there’s no cost other than your time. We sit down together over a cup of tea and share stories of our classroom experiences. We can also revisit planning, share resources and answer any questions. Cluster groups have been running on and off over many years around the country and they are a great way to learn and share in a low key way.

We’ve had a really good turnout at workshops in Gizzie lately so hope we will get a few colleagues along to this event. Big thanks to Michelle and Makaraka school for hosting us.

Where: Makaraka School, Gisborne
When: Tuesday 28th August at 5pm
What to bring:  Bring some food to share if you can plus any questions or planning (and a friend!)
RSVP: Please email Michelle Hall at 

Nga mihi,
Viv Aitken

Cluster group and Winter school

Here’s some information about two professional development opportunities coming up in the Waikato & Bay of Plenty.  The first is an informal get together suitable for beginners and those looking for planning ideas and support. The other is a full weekend of professional development for more advanced practitioners, with the amazing Tim Taylor from the UK (author of ‘Beginners Guide to Mantle of the Expert’).

If you’re someone who has been dying to dig deeper into Mantle of the Expert – whether as a beginner or as an experienced teacher looking for that next step in your journey – there is something here for you.

22 May 2018: Bay of Plenty Cluster meeting at Omokoroa Point School, 37 Hamurana Rd, Omokoroa 3114.  3.30pm-5.30pm ish. No charge. Just bring your questions and planning ideas and something to share for afternoon tea. To register attendance or find out more please contact Stephan Hall on  

9-10 July 2018: Mantle of the Expert Winter school with Viv Aitken and Tim Taylor to be held at Institute of Professional Development, Waikato University, Hamilton. Limited places available. This workshop will not be advertised to the public and is suitable for teachers and school leaders with some experience in planning and implementing Mantle of the Expert. Cost is $400. More information on the attached flier or contact Enrolment is here

Winter School Final


Article all about the “Mantle Underground”

Some time ago I was invited to write a chapter for a book on University-school partnerships. I had never really thought of our activities as being worthy of academic attention, but I was tickled to be asked and I wrote the chapter – with help from a bunch of other people including Delia Baskerville, Renee Downey, Stephen Hall, Jon Jenner, Robin Kermode, Jodie Moore, Sophie Stevenson, Gaenor Stoate and Carrie Swanson…

After quite a few delays, the book finally came out in October last year. I’ve been given permission to share our chapter on this website… and you’ll find it here . Big thanks to those who helped with comments and input.

P.S. I nearly called the chapter “It’s not what we’re teaching, it’s how we’re teaching!” which was a bit of a catchphrase for the ‘Mantle Underground’ in the early days… but as you’ll see I went with something a bit more conventional in the end. Enjoy!



Introductory workshop / cluster meeting for Hawkes Bay

Kia Ora

Thursday of next week Viv will be running an introductory workshop  for teachers in the Hawke’s Bay interested in learning more about Heathcote’s Mantle of the Expert approach. Suitable for primary through to secondary and for curious beginners to experienced practitioners, this meeting will be a low key gathering in the tradition of the successful cluster meetings that have run in Hamilton, Bay of Plenty and elsewhere for the last few years.
Where: Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) 501 Gloucester St, Taradale, Napier
Room L319 (third floor of the library block – you’ll find the lift by “Bean There” cafe)
When: 4.30 for 5pm until 6.30pm on Thursday 3rd September
Bring: a friend and a contribution to shared kai (finger food or drink)
Cost: Only your time
Be ready to: Actively participate and plan together, share knowledge, experience and questions,
Take away: Something to try in your teaching.
Since this is the first session in Hawke’s Bay it would be good to have an idea of numbers attending, so please RSVP to
Hope to see you there…

Tauranga Cluster Meeting

Hi everybody,

The next meeting of the Tauranga Cluster group will be held at Omokoroa Point School on Thursday 10th of Septembeer at 4pm.

We are lucky enough to be Andrea O’Hagan, a drama specialist, taking us through Drama activities and conventions. Hope you can make it.


Next Hamilton cluster meeting

Hi team

The next cluster meeting for the Waikato region, which was scheduled for 6th May has been postponed. However, keep watching this space as there are plans afoot for a session based on drama conventions to be held out at Te Kauwhata school soon…


Tauranga Cluster Group first meeting

Hi everybody,

A reminder of our first cluster meeting of 2015. It will be held on Thurdsay 23 April at Windermere in the Maharaia Room, 3:30 nibbles with a 4 pm start. Omokoroa Point School will be sharing their journey so far.

Hope to see you all there.



Tauranga’s First MoTE meeting for 2015

Hello everyone,

A quick message to let you know that we will now have our first gathering on the 23rd of April, 4pm at Windermere in  Maharaia. It was scheduled for tomorrow but a number of us were not able to make this. Hope this suits everybody.

We will have a focus on planning and Omokoroa Point will share their journey so far.

Hope to see you all then,