Monday, August 14, 2017

Labour Education Spokesperson Visit

Today Chris Hipkins (Labour Education spokesperson and Megan Woods (local Labour electorate MP) visited Hornby Primary to get a first-hand understanding and experience of Learn Create Share and the affordances of digital technology. Acting Principal Simon Scott, both of our Educational Leaders Mark and Kelsey, and myself shared our Manaiakalani Outreach journey.

Chris and Megan were very interested in our teaching and learning approach and asked some very insightful questions. It was a good opportunity for us to reflect on our challenges and progress we have experienced over the past two and a half years.

Chris was interested in our NZCER Me & My School survey results - I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that his mother is Rose Hipkins who was involved in developing the key competencies in The New Zealand Curriculum.

Thank you to Mark, Kelsey and Simon for your valued input today. The 3 of you have been instrumental in transforming teaching and learning practice and accelerating student achievement in the Uru Mānuka Cluster!

Monday, July 10, 2017

NEXT Foundation Hui

On Wednesday 5 July Pat Snedden (Manaiakalani Chair) invited me to present with him at the NEXT Foundation Hui. NEXT Foundation are a significant contributor to the Manaiakalani Trust.
Manaiakalani were one of 6 education groups present on the day along with environmental groups. Each group had 6 minutes to talk about the single most important thing your organisation does, how NEXT can help us in the future and share something about our story.

In the afternoon were were addressed by some inspiring speakers:
  • Fee McLeod - The Mind Lab by Unitec
  • James Mansell - Noos
  • Leith Comer - Ngā Pūmanawa e Waru
  • Chris Liddell - NEXT and advisor to President Trump

Leith Comer shared his universal thoughts on leadership
1. build on what's good - realising Maori potential.
2. get the right people inside the tent.
3. surround yourself with motivated, determined and resourceful people.
4. encourage innovation and initiative.
5. know when to 'ease the springs'. No person or organisation can operate at peak level continuously, good leadership is knowing when to 'ease the springs'.

Chris Liddell discussed 3 main themes regarding leadership
1. be willing to participate - he believes everyone should do public service at some stage in their lives.
2. be willing to dream and affect transformational change. Incremental change is ok, but it won't be enough, it needs to be transormational.
3. be prepared to make a difference and execute accurately. It's about a Lasting Difference.

On the Thursday,  Pat, Dorothy and Russell asked me to accompany them to the PWC building for their presentation to the NEXT board for the next round of funding. Another wonderful experience being surrounded with passionate people wanting to make a difference to the environment and education.

The themes discussed over the two days aligned with Manaiakalani; innovation, transformation, participation, making a difference and the moral imperative. A truly inspiring two days! I felt empowered and more certain than ever that Learn Create Share and the affordances of digital technology is the vehicle that will accelerate student achievement and enable our learners to be confident connected citizens and in order to reach their full potential.

A great example of Learn Create Share experienced by a 'big person'. I did plenty of learning and creating new knowledge and connections, and heaps of sharing! And will continue to share in order to make a difference!!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Woolf Fisher Feedback - Uru Mānuka Cluster Data

Today Aaron and Cynthia (Woolf Fisher Research Centre - WFRC) shared our 2016 and Term 1 2017 (3 time-point analysis) data with Uru Mānuka Principals in the morning then teachers after school.

We had 25 teachers from five of our cluster schools attend the 3.30pm session. We also had Dave Winter the Manaiakalani Outreach Delivery Manager join us throughout the day. A great session linking data to practice and engaging in rigorous discussion around accelerating student achievement - thank you Aaron and Cynthia!

e-asTTle Writing

3 time-point analysis T1 & T4 2016, and T1 2017
  • all year levels, ethnicities and both genders made more than norm gains
  • this is very positive - Learn Create Share and the affordances of digital technology is having a positive impact on student achievement
2 time-point analysis T4 2016 to T1 2017
Summer Learning Effect (SLE) 
  • significant SLE at every level except transition to Yr 10 - dropoff in achievement levels over summer holidays
Writing Overall

  • writing is a significant achievement issue
  • boys made more progress over one full year than girls but achieved lower mean scores and suffered a larger SLE
  • Maori students achieving well compared to NZE students and suffered less from a SLE in writing
  • decile difference in achievement levels and in gains

  • SLE is significant - what can we do to get parents on-board?
  • what does Term 4 reporting look like? Might this explain some of the SLE?
  • are there any handy hints/strategies that could be added to our end of year reporting?
  • testing protocols - are we preparing students for testing, do we explain the importance of the testing?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

'Spreading the Word' and Sharing

Yesterday we were visited by the Acting Prime Minister Paula Bennett and David Hiatt the National candidate for Wigram.

Talia and Lasa greeted the Minister and escorted her and David to Ruma Toru
(bilingual Yr4-6) where Ricci performed his mihi followed by a class waiata.

The Minister was then informed about their learning and entertained, some of it not neccesarily related to education (thank you Ricci!).

It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to showcase Learn Create Share and the affordances of digital technology in our Hornby setting. A great 45 minutes was had by all!.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Creating to Learn

Today Makaea shared her learning with me. Rūma Toru are investigating and learning about internal organs this term. This week they dissected a lamb's kidney and then created a slideshow to demonstrate and share their learning.

This got me thinking about creativity. Creativity is central to the Learn Create Share pedagogy that we are implementing across Uru Mānuka. Creativity provides opportunities for children to express themselves and produce something unique.

While Makaea was creating she was learning, and then she was able to share her creation and learning on her blog with a worldwide audience.

I loved Makaea's kidney creation and the topic related vocabulary she used to label her creation - checkout the link below.

A great example of how Learn runs through the entire Learn Create Share cycle! Another affordance of digital technology is the video embedded in the slideshow allowed Makaea to go back (rewind) and watch the dissection again if she needed to.


Another one of Mikaea's creations..

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Professional Learning - Growing Capacity

Uru Mānuka Senior Leaders PLG

Today 13 senior leaders from Uru Mānuka schools and our Outreach Faciliator (Mark Maddren) met with Aaron and Cynthia from Woolf Fisher Research Centre to share and discuss our 2016 student achievement data and plans for next steps. Hornby Primary had 3 teachers attending.

This was a great opportunity for our senior leaders to engage with the research and data, and identify the teacher practices that are accelerating student achievement. In the past, principals have attended these feedback sessions, but today senior and middle management were able to connect thus providing a wonderful opportunity to grow capacity across our schools. We want everyone to engage with the likes of Aaron and Cynthia, another way of thinking about this is to compare it to taking everyone to the movies! How often have you heard people commenting on movies and saying, "you have to see it!" Well, we want all of our teachers to hear the important messages from our WFRC colleagues.

 One of the many positive aspects of today's session was that all schools within the cluster have effective pockets of practice occurring within their schools. The challenge for us now is to ensure these practices are spread across the cluster to ensure all of our learners are able to benefit from the affordances of Learn Create Share and digital technology.

Today's session builds on the work of our Professional Learning Groups (PLGs)  Link and provides more evidence to support the emerging findings from WFRC research.

Comments from our 3 attendees
"Great to have the opportunity to reflect on the cluster achievements and discuss our next steps."
"Wonderful to have the 3 of us hear the same messages and collaborate as a cluster."
"Reinforced the importance of feedback (which I already knew), but in particular the transfer of feedback, which I am now going to blog."

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Blogging and Feedback

Once again, I am reminded of the power of the blog and the comments feature. Ranit recently shared a piece of his writing with me. I provided him with some feedback and he responded with this beautiful sentence; well structured and correctly punctuated.

This would not have happened with the traditional pen and paper (could have, but unlikely). I would have had to be in Ranit's class, or he would have had to bring his writing to me.

The other reminder is that quality writing can be developed through commenting on blogs. The children are provided with a scaffold for commenting on blogs and there is clear evidence of this in Ranit's reply to me.

Please structure your comments as follows:
Positive - Something done well
Thoughtful - A sentence to let us know you actually read/watched or listened to what they had to say
Helpful - Give some ideas for next time or Ask a question you want to know more about

Read Simon Scott's (our DP) thoughts regarding blogging.
Simon's blog post