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'.


  1. To heck with 'Positive Thoughtful Helpful'. You've nailed it.. thanks Gary.
    Kia tau te mauri

  2. Your 'whys' are obviously reaping results. I wonder if kids know why they are blogging and what the effect is. They either know or just like doing it hence improvement by osmosis maybe.
    Your moral purpose is evident in the HEART OF LEADERSHIP (values beliefs and commitment) the HEAD OF LEADERSHIP (theories and experience) and THE HAND OF LEADERSHIP (actions, decisions, strategies example)
    Positive results following structured and consistent pedagogical leadership

  3. Thanks for commenting Brads. The graphs above have been shared with our senior pupils and they are aware of the power of blogging, especially over the Christmas Holidays. We hope this will encourage more of them to particpate in the coming SLJ 2019-2020.


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