Sunday, November 13, 2016

Woolf Fisher Research Centre Feedback (WFRC)

Recently the Uru Mānuka Outreach Principals met with Dr Aaron Wilson, Dr Rebecca Jesson and Selena Meiklejohn-whiu from WFRC for our student questionnaire and classroom observations feedback.

Hornby Primary Student Questionnaire
Students who use a digital device for their learning participated in the questionnaire. The results were very positive, a summary is provided below

Using a digital device and learning in a digital environment
  • has made my learning more interesting
  • has made me a better learner, reader, writer and better at mathematics
  • has made me more independent
  • has helped my family know more about my learning
Classroom Observations
For the first 3 minutes of each interval, the teacher's' teaching actions were noted. For the second 3 minutes of each interval, the digital learning provisions were noted.
What is the teacher doing? What are the students doing? How are digital devices being used to support teaching and learning?

One of our achievement challenges is writing. After analysing the WFRC data we have begun to ask ourselves the following questions and identify if the following may have an impact on achievement:

  • Providing experiences for children
  • Authentic context for writing
  • Individual blogs and blogging
  • Providing feedback on blogs
  • Multi modal approach - single texts/multiple texts
  • Chn accessing a range of texts - are we restricting access? Chn are not reading widely as espoused
  • Teacher dashboard on screen in class
  • Critical questioning - Teaching by foci - why do you think McDonald’s advertise with …?
  • Reduce navigating and organising time
  • Nature of Task s
  • Agentic learning - what do you give freedom over?
  • Engagement - how do we engage chn that leads to improved learning outcomes?

For example, if teachers were to provide authentic learning contexts for children, opportunities for choice and more time to blog and comment on blogs, thus increasing the amount of time children spend writing, could this have a positive impact on achievement?

Below is a summary of a previous WFRC feedback session.

Our next step is to identify common hypotheses as a cluster and develop an action plan.

Lastly, a special thank you to WFRC for this wonderful opportunity. Having access to research and student achievement data is a luxury and also innovative. We have focussed on student data for a long time but have not always explicitly matched teacher practice to the equation - this provides us with a wonderful opportunity to transform our teaching and learning practice in order to make a positive difference for our learners!


  1. Great reflections Gary. I am really enjoying seeing the common themes that are coming from the research around what impacts on student learning. Once we know this it is much easier to deliberately plan to ensure we are providing these opportunities. I think the next steps for us as a cluster are vital, in determining the path we take to strengthen our teaching and learning across the cluster. PLD has a huge role to play as well. What are your hunches on which areas are having the biggest impact? Or is it all of the different strands coming together?

  2. Thanks Gary. The data presented by Woolf Fisher recently certainly provided us with many opportunities to think about what we are doing in our schools and how we can increase effectiveness in our classrooms to benefit student learning outcomes. The data across the cluster provided us with a picture of current practice and allowed us to start the collective discussion on where we want to be heading. Now that we have very specific data, the next step will be to grow our Cluster plan to build on what the information is telling us.


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