Wednesday, October 17, 2018

End of Year Assessment

Testing takes place in Week 4 - that means we have 14 days of teaching and learning before this takes place. This assessment is very important as it provides a 'picture' of each child's learning and direction for future teaching and learning.
What can teachers and children do between now and then to ensure we get the most accurate 'picture' of each child's progress and achievement over the year?
Below are the thoughts and ideas from last night's staff meeting.

Our DP Kate shared some of her thinking also

I must acknowledge Dot Apelu for her wonderful blog 'The Writing Plan for our junior school'. Dot's blog provided the inspiration for our assessment preparation.

Friday, June 15, 2018


This is going to be short and sweet, but I have to share! Hornby High School (HHS) brought their Yr7-10s over to our gym for a performance by the 'Iamunbreakable' Hip Hop group. HHS are currently going through a complete rebuild and are short of space.
The group is promoting positive mental health and left the children with a box of tissues each and a website they can engage with if they need support Whoami

I thought this was a wonderful example of true partnership and collaboration between the 2 schools working in the best interests of our students. I also believe this is one of the reasons our students transition so smoothly into Year 7 each year. Tūmeke!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Manaiakalani Convenors Meeting

Hornby Primary had the pleasure of hosting our third Convenors meeting of the year on Thursday. Tier 2 Outreach started this year with 5 new clusters. One of the many enjoyable aspects of the gathering is the meal on the Wednesday evening before the meeting. This is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with colleagues, or on this occasion, meet new members of Outreach. We chatted over lovely food and beverages at the Old Government Building in the Square. These opportunities should not be undervalued, they form the foundation for positive lasting relationships.

As usual we covered a number of topics. I will touch on four
1. Assessment data. In order to link evidence to practice, we require valid, reliable, longitudinal data so we can identify the practices that are accelerating progress and achievement. At this point, we believe JAM is the most reliable Junior tool.
2. Student and whānau voice. Student voice is crucial, what is working for students and what can we do better? The same applies for whānau and families.
3. Digital Fluency Initiative (DFI) which runs each Friday for 9 weeks each term. The course has a transformational vision based on Learn Create Share and is for teachers. Teacher feedback has been extremely positive.
4. Preparing for 2019 - PR and communication is crucial.
- how many devices will we need for new 1:1 digital classes?
- when do we let whānau know?

Be prepared for the following questions/concerns from parents
- games
- screen time
- handwriting
- wifi/brainwaves

One useful strategy is to get children to present their learning to whānau. From our experience, our children are our greatest advocates in terms of promoting Learn Create Share and the affordances of digital technology.

By 3pm on the day, we had covered a lot of ground with possibly more questions than answers, but very certain in the direction we are heading ... linking evidence to practice and accelerating progress and achievement for all our learners. I'm not getting off this bus!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Student Engagement For Learning

The New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) Me & My School Survey measures 3 aspects of student engagement for learning
1. Behavioural: participation, positive conduct, persistence & involvement
2. Affective/Emotional: teachers, peers, learning & school - how they feel
3. Cognitive: taking riskes, learning challenges, self regulating learning

Aspects directly align with the Key Competencies in the NZ Curriculum.

We have been implementing the survey for the past 3 years at Hornby. The survey provides us with valuable insight into how our pupils view themselves as learners and how staff and the wider community contribute to positive learning outcomes.

There are 28 item questions. Summary of results for pupils who responded either with agree or strongly agree.

Year 6 (n=35)
Bettered NZ Norms on 27 of 28 questions.
Equal on the other question.

My teachers help me learn                                100%
Doing well at school is very important to me   100%
I feel like I am making progress at school        100%
I am proud to be at this school                          97%
At school I always try to do me best work         97%
I feel my culture is valued and respected           97%

Year 5 (n=30)
Bettered NZ Norms on 27 of 28 questions.
1% point below NZ Norm on the other question.

Year 4 (n=22)
Bettered NZ Norms on 27 of 28 questions.
Equal on the other question.

The results are outstanding and show a significant improvement from the first survey undertaken in Term 1 2016. The question one needs to ask is why? What has changed, what is different?

1. Learn Create Share and the affordances of digital technology have transformed our teaching and learning practice, which has resulted in engaged motivated learners.
2. Evidence-based findings from Woolf Fisher Research Centre which teachers then put into practice, eg. rewindable learning, multi modal texts, extended conversations, ...
3. Relationships, relationships and relationships. The relationship between the learner and the teacher is the most significant in-school factor in terms of achievement.

The diagram below represents our 2017 writing progress and achievement. Accelerated progress is evident in all year levels and pupils are above the norm by the end of Year 6. I firmly believe there is a causal link between Learn Create Share and the affordances of digital technology, and engaged motivated learners as the Me & My School data and student achievement data below clearly demonstrate. We will not be getting off this bus (Helsinki Bus Station Theory, more detail in another post)!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Community Engagement

We had a wonderful meeting on Saturday 7 April with our Filipino community. Brent, our board chair welcomed everyone followed by introductions.

The purpose of the meeting was to
  • connect school and families
  • connect families with families
  • get an indication of what families wanted for their children, what they valued and what determined success for their children
  • answer questions or queries
Parent feedback
  • want children to have a good attitude towards learning (lifelong learner)
  • develop the skills and attitudes to enable children to learn what they want (view themselves as learners)
A big thank you to Barb (AP) and Kate (DP) who gave up their Saturday morning to attend and provide much appreciated support. The parents were very positive about the meeting and would like to meet once a term.

A morning of learning, creating new knowledge and the opportunity for lots of sharing!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Education Programme Leader Feedback

This morning Kelsey (Education Programme Leader - EPL) and I met up to reflect on Term 1 and her role as EPL. Kelsey is employed by the Uru Mānuka Education Trust to support our digital 1:1 teachers and teachers new to Learn Create Share.
We discussed the following

  • Learn Create Share - how to implement in the classroom
  • digital immersion - device use/purpose
  • whānau/community engagement
  • blogging/Google+ (staff & students)
  • our pupils are "doing an awesome job of sharing" their learning through blogs
Kelsey is booked in for a slot at our next board meeting where she can connect and share her role with our trustees.
Kelsey is doing a great job supporting teaching and learning, not only at Hornby Primary, but across the Uru Mānuka Cluster. Thank you Kelsey!!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Student Data Feedback

Uru Mānuka Cluster Student Achievement Feedback

On Wednesday 28 February Woolf Fisher Research Centre (WFRC) presented our student data from Term 1 2016 to Term 4 2017. All 7 Manaiakalani Outreach schools were represented; principals and leaders of learning.

SEA & Observational Survey 2017

  • both boys and girls were below the national norm score in all 4 aspects at school entry.
  • the raw scores for boys were lower than the raw scores for girls in all aspects at school entry.
  • by six years both boys and girls were very close to the national norm score in Letter ID, Concepts about print and Word Reading.
Our 5 year olds are arriving at school with very low literacy levels, however, after 12 months our children are making accelerated gains and are very close to national norms. Our junior teachers deserve a 'pat on the back' for this progress!

e-asTTle Writing - Term 1, 2017 to Term 4, 2017
  • all year groups made accelerated progress.
e-asTTle Writing - Term 1, 2017 to Term 4, 2017, 2017 by Gender
  • both boys and girls made accelerated progress.
  • however, by the end of 2017, the raw scores for boys were still more than a year below the national norm.
e-asTTle Writing - Term 1, 2017 to Term 4, 2017 by Ethnicity
  • all ethnicities made accelerated progress.
  • however, by the end of 2017, the raw scores for Māori, Pakeha and Pasifika students were still approx 1/2 a year or more below the national norm.
e-asTTle Writing - Term 1, 2016 to Term 4, 2017
  • all year groups made accelerated progress.
  • both boys and girls made accelerated progress.
  • all ethnicities made accelerated progress.
PAT Reading
  • overall, students are making less than the expected progress.
  • the exception being Year 5 students who made progress approx 1 term more than the national norm and Year 6 students who made norm progress from Term 1, 2016 to Term 4, 2017.
Overall, the cluster is accelerating achievement in writing. What are the teaching actions and student activities that are enabling acceleration in writing that we can implement into our reading instruction? These are conversations and inquiries we will be having tthroughout the year.

A big thank you once again to our wonderful WFRC colleagues; Aaron, Cynthia and Selena!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Uru Mānuka Mini Conference Day

Wow ... what an awesome day!! Six of our seven Outreach schools were present today with approximately 115 teachers plus Uru Mānuka Trustees and Manaiakalani Education Trust (MET) Chair Pat Snedden.

The purpose of today's conference was continue to develop a shared understanding of Learn Create Share, introduce our Trustees, share examples of good practice, provide networking opportunities and listen to Pat Snedden as he spelt-out MET's vision and goals.

A big thank you to Garry Moore, Jason Marsden, Rose Crossland and Jane Ross for your attendance and contribution (Uru Mānuka Trustees). Thank yous also to Simon Moriarty for the valuable Learn Create Share workshop and the teachers including Kelsey Morgan (Education Programme Leader) who shared examples of good practice.

And lastly, but not least, Pat Snedden. Pat travelled down to Christchurch this morning, forgoing Auckland Anniversary Day. Pat's presentation was inspirational (as usual!) and it was invaluable for Uru Mānuka teachers to hear the important messages firsthand, especially the money raised by MET and our responsibility to share our practice and findings with others.

One of Pat's sayings has left a lasting impression on me, "We aren't interested in making people happier in their misery ..." Pat is saying we can do better, we must set our expectations higher, we want our pupils/students to be succeeding and leading positive meaningful lives. In other words, what we are doing is about liberation.

We finished the day with a cameo appearance from Daisy Lavea-Timo. Daisy is very interested in Manaiakalani and was invited along by Garry Moore. Daisy is a 'smash poet' and performed an item at the end of the day to a rousing applause. We hope to be seeing a lot more of Daisy!

A fantastic day focused on teaching and learning practice that accelerates student achievement - thank you everyone for your participation and contributions!

"What a fantastic, energised mini conference! The room was really buzzing!"
Jane Ross, Uru Mānuka Trust.