Phil Friar

Principal, Papamoa Primary School - Papamoa, New Zealand

Key Info

  • Graduate Diploma of Teaching

Working towards: Master of Educational Leadership

It is back to school for Papamoa Primary School principal Phil Friar, who is enjoying being part of the learning community.

Phil was interested in developing his theoretical understanding of leadership so is enrolled in a MEdLeadership.

Phil’s transition to postgraduate study has been smooth. Being able to study online or at the Tauranga campus has been advantageous. He was also familiar with Waikato staff as had previously participated in a variety of professional development opportunities. These included attending numerous Educational Leadership Research seminars and institutes, receiving appraisals and mentoring, and joining study tours to Australia, the UK and South Africa with Waikato staff. He credits Waikato staff for providing encouragement and a pathway into postgraduate study.

Phil is enjoying his studies, which he says are topical and applicable to his current role. For his Masters Phil has written a Literary Review on Planning and Futures Thinking: An Education Focused Perspective and presented a seminar on this topic in Nottingham (UK).

He says his study has both challenged and broadened his thinking. “It has provided me the opportunity to ground my practice with theory and better understand and appreciate the leaders within our organisation and the talents and perspectives they bring to our learning community.”

Phil says his studies provide a personal pathway to fully participate in learning centred leadership, extend his learning networks and learn from others experiences.He adds the MEdLeadership supports his career and adds potential for future advancement.It is serving to better balance my practice and the theory that underpins it and therefore deepen my understanding of and around leadership.”

As a principal, Phil thrives on the vibrancy and enthusiasm of his school community. He enjoys fostering learning partnerships with parents and supporting students to grow in personal awareness, community responsibility, academic achievement, physical acuity and goal setting.

His advice to others considering postgraduate study is to ‘be organised.’ “Realise the importance of structuring learning time so that it is regular, purposeful and enables you to meet deadlines. This is exceptionally important if you are in full time employment. Furthermore, ensure you choose the optional papers that will challenge your thinking and provide practical ‘on the job’ reflection, support and edification.

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