Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Learning Community

Yesterday we hosted the Uru Mānuka Outreach e-asTTle writing moderation. All seven schools sent representatives - 16 in total, a great turnout! In total, 117 scripts were moderated with less variation in marking than the previous year - this is progress! As a cluster we are developing a more consistent understanding of the curriculum levels and the asTTle writing rubic. This gives us greater certainty around our marking and overall judgements regarding student achievement.

The day also provided a wonderful opportunity for networking and getting to know our fellow cluster colleagues - and a chance to have a nice morning tea!

A couple of areas for future focus were identified during the day
1. punctuation
2. structure and language
These two areas were more challenging when it came to seeking agreement on a score. However, this can be turned into a positive as this will provide us with direction for 2018 in terms of professional learning support.

A big thanks to Kate Mclachlan for organising the day and a wonderful example of a learning community working together to improve teaching and learning practices for our learners in Uru Mānuka!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

WFRC Manaiakalani Outreach Wānanga Presentation

All eight Uru Mānuka Outreach Cluster Principals attended the Manaiakalani Outreach Convenors meeting at Pt England School on Thursday 26 October - a great effort! To have all our principals there on the day was fantastic and demonstrates everyone's commitment to Learn Create Share and the affordances of digital technology-  a very proud Convenor indeed!

Rebecca, Aaron, Selena and Cynthia from Woolf Fisher Research Centre (WFRC) presented our cluster data which included; classroom observation data, and teacher, student and parent questionnaire data. We had the opportunity as a cluster to investigate the data and identify patterns and trends that could inform our strategic planning for 2018. The information provided was invaluable as it enables us to link evidence to teacher practice.

Two possible cluster focus areas for 2018 identified:

1. Teaching foci - increase the amount of time spent on teaching strategy and critical thinking.

2. Feedback type - more descriptive and generative.

These foci may provide the basis for our cluster Teaching as Inquiry (TAIs) investigations in 2018. Cluster TAIs and the sharing of outcomes will develop greater consistency and coherence in our teaching practice and hopefully continue to accelerate student achievement across Uru Mānuka.

Another wonderful day with like-minded colleagues dedicated to making a difference to our learners lives. A special thank you to Russell and his team for hosting us, the WFRC team for their indepth analyses, Dorothy for her presentation, the Manaiakalani CoL presentations, and lastly but not least, Pat Snedden (MET Chair) for his ongoing support that makes all of this possible!

The Team

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

Monday, April 10, 2017

Authentic Learning

Recently Whaea Heather invited me down to Ruma Toru to look at their practise for the official opening of the Hornby Barnardos Pasifika ECE situated on the school site.

While watching the children it struck me that this was a wonderful example of authentic learning;
LEARN: waiata, actions, the background to the ECE and who is attending
CREATE: performance for the opening
SHARE: their performance in front of an authentic audience

On Friday both bilingual classes performed wonderfully in front of 150 dignitaries. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the performance and the children left the room to rousing applause.


What else was happening in this situation? Children's language, culture and identity was being shared, acknowledged and celebrated - culturally responsive practice in action.

This morning I visited the children and congratulated them on their performance. I asked them how they felt after the performance; "surprised we were chosen", "awesome" and "proud."

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Manaiakalani Outreach Convenors/Trust Chairs Meeting

We held our first meeting of the year in the Winterless North at Ohaeawai School on Thursday. We arrived to a wonderful powhiri held in the school hall. The singing and haka were inspiring! Lee and her team were fantastic hosts and the morning tea and lunch were yummy!

For the first time, we had the Trust Chairs attending. This was a wonderful opportunity for principals and chairs to meet and get an understanding of each others' roles. Dorothy Burt the Outreach Education Programme Leader was also in attendance and was able to provide valuable background information also.

Principals discussed

  • data and research - what would  we like Woolf Fisher reports to look like moving forward?
  • sustainability
  • Outreach 2018 possibilities
  • CoLs and Teaching as Inquiry
  • sharing practcie and connecting across clusters
Another great day discussing teaching and learning practice focused on linking evidence to practice in order to accelerate learning outcomes for our children! A day full of Learn Create Share, including a wonderful fundraising idea Mandy shared with us involving a horse or cow! True innovation!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Visible Teaching and Learning

Sky is in Year 3 and started at Hornby Primary at the beginning of the term. Sky is in a digital 1:1 (chromebook) Yr3-4class. For most children, this is the first time they have used a chromebook.

Yesterday she shared her Google slide Mini Country Study on the Phillipines with me. I left a comment and she replied soon after. My initial reaction was - how cool is this! Not so much the wonderful presentation she had done, but that she had responded to a comment on her work.

These are the things that were going around in my head at the time

  • Learn Create Share, not only for Sky but myself. I learned what the Filipino name for pork was and how to say 'thank you'
  • Sky was sharing her knowledge with an authentic audience
  • Sky has created something no one else has ever done
  • Empowerment for the learner
  • Strengthened our relationship - she had a big smile on her face when I went to her room this morning
  • This type of interaction would not have happened in an analogue classroom

This is fantastic - Learn Create Share and the affordances of digital technology is the best thing since sliced bread!! What a great way to end the week and head into the weekend!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Uru Mānuka Manaiakalani Outreach WFRC Feedback

Today Outreach Principals and leaders hosted our Woolf Fisher Research Centre (WFRC) colleagues Aaron and Selena, and Dorothy from Manaiakalani Education Trust (MET).

Aaron and Selena presented our Uru Mānuka 2016 Student Achievement data and its implications for next steps.

The day provided a wonderful forum to focus on student data and the implications for teaching and learning practice that will accelerate student achievement. The data provided clear evidence that we are accelerating student achievement in writing in Years 4, 5, 6 and 7. Our next steps are to identify the teaching and learning practices that are making these significant shifts so all learners across Uru Mānuka can benefit.

Our next meeting will clarify our achievement challenge and how and what we will do to achieve this goal. We have a wealth of data and emerging findings to focus on.


A big thank you once again to the Hornby Working Men's Club for hosting us and supplying us with yummy food!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Professional Learning Groups (PLGs)

Six of the Uru Mānuka Manaiakalani Outreach Schools met this week at the Hornby Working Men's Club after school. Using the 2016 emerging findings from Woolf Fisher Research Centre, teachers chose an area of focus for their Teaching as Inquiry; eg. multi modal, feedback, rewindable learning, visible teaching, ... These are the teacher practices identified by WFRC as having a positive impact on student achievement.

There is good practice happening in all of our schools - Learn Create Share. Our cluster goals are to grow the capacity of all teachers and their understanding of Learn Create Share, provide opportunities to connect and share, strengthen Teaching as Inquiry so that it makes a difference for teachers professional practice and development, and also improve learning outcomes for all of our learners in Uru Mānuka.

Teachers in each group created a shared folder to keep resources in. Over time this will provide a valuable resource for all teachers within the cluster. Groups will meet each term in Week 9. No other meetings have been scheduled for these weeks in order to manage workloads.

We received great feedback about the session and teachers valued the opportunity to connect with others and discuss and share what is happening at various schools. Some have already organised visits to other schools before the next meeting. The afternoon was topped-off with tea/coffee, sandwiches and muffins!

Teachers SHARING

"Excellent professional development initiative and what better way to enhance collaboration across Uru Manuka!!" (Kris, Acting Principal, Sockburn Primary)