Sunday, September 15, 2019

Leadership - 'Why'

Mandy O'Sullivan hosted last week's Convenors' meeting at Grey Main School in Greymouth. Mandy has recently returned from a Woolf Fisher study fellowship where she was investigating leadership. One of her significant findings was the importance of  'Why' and she referenced Simon Sinek and the 'Golden Circle' Ted Talk.

This got me to thinking about our 'Why' at Hornby Primary School (HPS). HPS vision statement ...
Our community will be adaptable lifelong learners who are digitally competent and are
- resilient
- critical thinkers
- participators
- communicators

I am very clear 'why' we are in The Manaiakalani Programme (TMP) and 'why' we continue to implement Learn Create Share and the affordances of digital technology. We must
- accelerate student achievement
- reduce the digital divide
- ensure fully engaged digital citizenship
- and in doing so, equip our learners to reach our vison statement

When you have a compelling 'why', it makes the 'how' and 'what' much easier. As Simon Sinek states, people don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. I would like to think that the people and organisations who support the Uru Mānuka Education Trust buy into our 'why'.

The 2 graphics below illustrate why we implement and are totally committed to TMP.

Graph 1
Summer Learning Journey (SLJ): e-asTTle Writing Scores Term 1 2017 - Term 1 2018

Graph 1 demonstrates the impact of students who blogged over the December holiday break. Boys who blogged had a 12 months gain in e-asTTle writing scores and Māori and Pasifika had a 6.7 months gain.

Graph 2
Within TMP Cluster & Outside TMP Cluster

Graph 2 demonstrates the difference in e-asTTle Writing scores for Year 8 students within and outside of TMP cluster in Term 1 this year. TMP feeder schools students were 3.5 terms below the national norm while non-TMP feeder schools were more than 2 years below the norm. Although still achieving below the norm, TMP feeder schools are accelerating progress at a greater rate than non TMP feeder schools.

The evidence above is compelling. At HPS we are accelerating student achievement, reducing the digital divide and developing fully engaged digital citizenship. Are we there yet? Definitely not, but we are most certainly on the right bus and will not be getting off! This is why we do what we do ... pretty simple really!

Leadership is about communicating the 'Why' in a convincing authentic manner, backed up by leaders who lead, and as a result, people will follow, not because they have to, but because they want to, they get the 'Why'.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Four and a half years down the track

Uru Mānuka Cluster ( 7 schools including high school) has been in The Manaiakalani Programme (TMP) for the past 4.5 years and has been providing student achievement data to Woolf Fisher Research Centre (WFRC) for analysis for 3.5 years. So how are things looking, are we making a difference to student outcomes?

Last Thursday Marshlands School hosted our Manaiakalani Convenors' meeting - thank you Jacqui! Hannah from WFRC presented an analysis of individual clusters and overall TMP student achievement data.

The following graphs provide 7-point data for matched Uru Mānuka students - these students were in each data set from Term 1 2016 through until Term 1 2019.  In other words, they have had 3.5 years of 'Manaiakalani  medicine'.

Anything above zero in the MNormdiff Gain column indicates accelerated progress in comparison to the norm. What did we find, how are we going?

PAT Maths Results: although still below the norm at Term 1 2019 in terms of achievement (-4.59), Uru Mānuka has accelerated progress for the 263 students tracked from Term 1 2016 through to Term 1 2019.
2.67 points equates approximately to 1.5 terms of accelerated progress.

PAT Reading Results: accelerated progress for the 255 students of approximately 1.25 terms.

e-asTTle Writing Results: accelerated progress for the 232 students of approximately 5 terms.

So what does all of this mean? Are we achieving at the norms in Reading, Writing and Maths? No! But are we on the 'right track'? Absolutely!

Overall, Uru Mānuka is clearly accelerating progress in all 3 areas, this is wonderful news but it is still not enough. We need to do better for our learners in terms of overall achievement. We need to leverage off our positive writing achievement results and raise achievement in Reading and Maths. What are the successful teacher practices we can learn from in Writing that we can transfer to Reading and Maths. Watch this space!

A big thank you to the following, we would not be where we are today without your unrelenting support

  • Manaiakalani Education Trust (MET)
  • Woolf Fisher Research Centre (WFRC)
  • Manaiakalani Outreach colleagues
  • Russell Burt, Dorothy Burt and Pat Snedden

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Otaki Convenors' Meeting

On Thursday 16 May Convenors met in Ōtaki and were hosted by the Te Reanga Ipurangi Ōtaki Education Trust. We had a warm greeting from Rachel and Jim (trustees) and it was interesting to see the great work the Trust is doing to support the local community

  • Trust established under the mana of Ngāti Raukawa to serve the Ōtaki community - the Trust also sponsor the Central Pulse netball team.
  • promote and lift educational achievement.
  • contribute to the survival and prosperity of Māori as Māori.
  • promote educational development of all people.
  • promote the learning infrastructure for kura, schools and home learning.
I was impressed with Rachel's passion for the local community, and the infrastructure and opportunities the Trust is providing for all learners.

Takeaways from the day

  • this kaupapa is about sharing PLD across schools and clusters. No one is telling us to do this, we have all agreed this is what we want to do.
  • Blogger is the best platform for teaching Cybersmart. It enables us to engage outside of the community, for example, Summer Learning Journey. It enables children to make connections in a supported way and teach Digital Citizenship.

Data Collection

  • important to include all children in data set. 
  • we can advocate for them if we know who they are.
  • once we have the evidence, we can advocate for these children ... difficult to do this if we only have anecdotal evidence. It requires visibility.

Junior Data
Why PM and not Ready to Read
  • no one has figured out how to use Ready to Rewad consistently.
  • PM is a better assessment tool - greater consistency.
  • Why do we gather Junior data? Important to know if we are making a difference and we want to share good practice.

Board Forums
Russell also discussed the value of engaging our boards and holding board forums once a term. Some suggestions
  • Get NZSTA to run a session
  • Ministry of Education
  • Other social agences; Police, OT, CDHB, ...

Another valuable opportunity to connect, collaborate and problem solve!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Digital Inclusion Blueprint

On Friday 3 May The Hon Dr Megan Woods launched the Blueprint at Hornby Primary School.

Defining what it means to be digitally included
"A digitally included person is someone who has access to affordable and accessible digital devices and services at a time and place convenient to them, as well as the motivation, skills, and trust to use the internet to pursue and realise meaningful economic outcomes." (Digital Inclusion Research Group, 2017).

Hornby Primary School was privileged to host this event. I believe this was acknowledgement for the wonderful work Uru Mānuka has been doing in this digital/pedagogical space over the past 4.5 years, and we must also acknowledge the wonderful support of the Manaiakalani Education Trust (MET) and The Manaiakalani Programme (TMP) which has enabled us to get to where we are now.

TMP encapsulates the statement above defining what it means to be digitally included, our Uru Mānuka students and whanau:

  • have access to affordable digital devices
  • benefit from a proven pedagogical framework, including Cybersmart curriculum
  • are empowered and display high levels of motivation and engagement
We have not reached The Holy Grail yet, but we are most certainly on the right bus!

Pat Snedden (MET Chair) was MC for the launch, once again recognition for Manaiakalani and TMP. As usual, Pat delivered a motivating compelling case for digital inclusion and left the Minister in no doubts that our tamariki were expecting big things from this commitment, and especially expected to see the Blueprint supported with plent of money - pūtea!

 I must congratulate Rūma Toru who welcomed our guests onto school grounds with a beautiful waiata.
Four of our pupils shared their learning with the Minister after the ceremony.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Term 1 Happenings

This is a brief summary of our teaching and learning journey this term. 

Manaiakalani Outreach Convenors' Meetings
February 28th Outreach Convenors met at the beautiful Paihia School for the day. We were joined by
Damian Edwards: Associate Deputy Secretary, Education Systems Policy

Rose Carpenter: Change and Implementation, Early Learning and Student Achievement

The Manaiakalani Clusters have a history of the convenors meeting together in each-other’s places.
This is something we’ve found extremely valuable as it enabled us to:
  • Support one another
  • Connect with Public Good Partners & Trusts
  • Jointly problem solve
  • Share the wins and the losses
  • Enjoy one another’s company and have fun learning
  • It’s also helping us greatly to be an effective “network of networks”
I acknowledge Russell Burt for the Manaiakalani history above.

As usual, the day was stimulating and informative, we shared our wins and losses, and left feeling positive about our next steps and knowing that we had someone to call on for support! Pat Snedden provided his usual rousing speech which was inspirational as usual!

Professional Learning Groups (PLGs)
We held our first cluster meeting at Wigram School. All 7 schools attended and teachers choose one of the 4 emerging findings from Woolf Fisher research that has a positive impact on student learning outcomes and were grouped accordingly.
1. Activating prior knowledge
2. Extended conversations
3. Critical literacy/thinking
4. Feedback

It was wonderful to observe the deep discussions around teaching and learning practice and the connections being developed across schools and primary/secondary. A big thank you to our Education Programme Leader (EPL) Kelsey for organising the groups, resources and structures for the meeting.

Media Team Day
Thursday 4 April we hosted Media Day at Hornby. All 7 cluster schools were represented and the focus was on videoing and commenting.
After morning tea we were joined by Kerry Du Pont from Whitebait Media who shared his digital and production experiences. It was a great day of connecting and collaborating.

Student Toolkits
Friday 5 April South Hornby hosted the Uru Mānuka Tookits. Our senior children presented workshops on particular Google apps, for example, coding and videoing. All 7 schools participated and it was great to see the collaboration and sharing of ideas.

A pleasing aspect was the confidence our children displayed and the growing agency/empowerment they are developing. Agency refers to the power to act and taking responsibility for one's learning and and therefore viewing yourself as a learner. Having agency is crucial if our children are going to be successful learners and lead successful lives after schooling.

Feedback from the day from Michaela and Draved
  • I enjoyed meeting different people
  • I enjoyed presenting Toolkits and seeing othr people learning from us
  • I enjoyed learning from the Toolkits and how people did it step by step to make it easier
  • I felt nervous to begin with but it got easier and I became more confident

And lastly but not least, a big thank you to Kelsey our Education Programme Leader. On top of supporting our digital teachers, Kelsey organised and facilitated the Media and Summit Days, along with her mother Sue who provided valuable support. Thank you Kelsey for providing valuable learning experiences for our students.

A great start to the year and a wonderful foundation to build on for the next 3 terms!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Summer Learning Journey (SLJ) Winner

Talisa participated in the SLJ over December 2018 and January 2019. Last year Talisa was in Year 4.

Today Talisa was presented with first prize for the Top Uru Mānuka Blogger by Emma the SLJ Coordinator.

Amongst other goodies, Talisa received an Acer Chromebook which she is absolutely thrilled with as she did not have her own device!

Talisa had thought about quitting the programme but her mother encouraged her to keep going, she said you don't want people calling you a quitter!

Talisa said the SLJ taught her lots of things, for example;
1. the dangers of river and water pollution
2. peserverance, "Keep going, you might achieve something very good."

Well Talisa, you certainly did achieve something very good!

A special thank you to the Wright Foundation, Next Foundation and Manaiakalani Education Trust for supplying the wonderful prizes. And thank you Emma for supporting our children throughout the programme!

                                                                     Emma & Talisa

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Accessing Digital Devices for Families & Whānau

A great day for the Uru Mānuka Cluster and Education Trust today! We received our first shipment of 90 chromebooks from the Noel Leeming Group (NLG). Parents ordered the Acer C732 chromebook through the Uru Mānuka Education Trust, thanks to the Manaiakalani Education Trust (MET) who have a business deal with NLG.

A big thank you to:
Mark Maddren (Te Ara Tūhura Eduction Programme Leader)
Kelsey Morgan (Uru Mānuka Education Programme Leader)
Fraser Allen (Fusion Networks)
John Becker (Hornby caretaker)

These people worked through the day enrolling each device into various schools' domains ready for learning next week.

To get to this stage involved lots of people collaborating and cooperating,  phones calls, emails and txt messages. This was a wonderful example of people and organisations coming together to overcome the digital divide in our communities. Therefore, we must acknowledge the following also;

  • Uru Mānuka Trust and dedicated trustees
  • Dave Winter - Manaiakalani Operations Manager
  • Jenny Oxley - Manaiakalani General Manager
  • Pat Snedden - Manaiakalani Chair
  • Fusion Networks
  • Noel Leeming Group
Today's experience has provided valuable learnings for us as we develop and refine our procedures and systems around device procurement.