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)!