Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Finish if Off Properly

"Finish it Off Properly" is one of the Pt England "korero" or sayings that are part of the "Fa'a Pt England" or the Pt England Way.

This final post for 2019, contains the presentation we bring to our parent body to bring them "early cut" end of year data and ask them what they would like us to include in their children's learning and education for the ensuing year.

The information gathered at this hui goes to the December Board Meeting and is included in the Annual Plan for the next year.

For me personally, this wonderful and warm occasion came at the culmination of a very successful year, when we had achieved a marvellous Education Review Office report, seen high performance across a number of domains and seen real growth of leadership across the school. This occasion also came (for me) after serious surgery, subsequent recovery and the joy of seeing our Pt England Team flourish and grow in my absence.

Special thanks goes to Kent Somerville who steered the ship while I was away and did such a wonderful job of it. I'm exceedingly grateful to the whole team, our learners, their whanau, our fantastic Board of Trustees and as always to God, for a great year and for my own part, a strong recovery to health and work.

Apologies that there are no blog posts for September, October, November. You now know what was going on in my life!
Merry Christmas and have a blessed holiday break with whanau!

Monday, 19 August 2019

Moving into Planning

So what does it look like as we move into planning?
What do our staff need to keep in mind as they integrate ideas and key moves we have been discussing, into a term long meaningful context?
It's a highly complex business planning an effective integrated learning sequence that lasts for a whole school term.
In our school, we start out together considering the big ideas as a whole staff and then break into teams and collaboratively plan at more specific levels for more particular needs.
This presentation is the introduction to planning for Term 3, 2019; "There's Something in the Water".

Friday, 19 July 2019

Pushing on toward a "Threefer"

All very well to talk and think about getting a "Threefer"! We need to move from analysis through theory to implementation.
Education implementation in New Zealand is often quite "shady", partly because there's often a "jump" from theorising/hypothesising to implementation, with not very much in between.
Here's an in between stage which I hope and trust will lead to the development of some solid implementation logic, with the right understandings and agreements socialised along the way.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Getting a "Threefer"

Continuing the theme from my last post about "Sharpening the Focus", in this post I'm expanding the idea of getting significant acceleration of learner achievement outcomes in three core subjects simultaneously.

The Manaiakalani Programme and its Outreach have been very successful by national and international standards, in that we have safely transitioned fragile schools and learning communities from an analogue to fully digital platform in a 3 year cycle. We have done this with very significant acceleration in one of three core subjects, without any of the three core subjects declining. This is highly unusual and is cause for celebration. In fact, the evidence of this success, is precisely why the Ministry of Education now wish to partner with us to take this Outreach kaupapa to more needy communities in Aotearoa.What we have not yet achieved, and must be achieved, is to have all three core subjects accelerate significantly and simultaneously. The life of a learner at primary school is 8 years long. If each subject improvement requires a three year cycle, this is longer than the life of the learner in that environment, and we will still have learners enrolling at secondary school unable to successfully access the whole of the curriculum.
In the screencast below, I have investigated all the Manaiakalani Schools via their respective Woolf Fisher Research Centre Reports to identify cohorts that have '3 subject acceleration' and have asked some key questions and proposed some emerging hypotheses at the end of this.
I my next post, I hope to share the hypotheses of teachers and leaders as to what we ought to do about this.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Sharpening the Focus

We're into the second month of the academic year. We've been able to hear and see every learner learn. We've been able to observe their learning behaviours.
The management team has been able to see teachers implement their learning programmes and begin to design for increased differentiation.
We're testing our theories and hypotheses about what might improve things and what might keep the joy alive as we do so.
As we share these theories and hypotheses with one another and discuss our own and each other's views we can sharpen the focus as "iron sharpens iron".
I'm still very hopeful that there are skills, processes and understandings that sit behind and through the Core Subjects, which if attended to well, can assist us in bringing accelerated learning in 3 subjects simultaneously.
I'm suggesting to you in this blog and the embedded presentation that we pay close attention to:
  • Language acquisition, development, sustaining & transfer
  • Learning Design including:
    • Formative practice
    • Progressional understanding
    • Effective planning for learning
I'm also suggesting that if we develop successful pedagogy for our Māori and Pasifika learners that it works for most if not all of our learners and reduces disparity between genders and ethnicities whilst it does so.

Friday, 22 February 2019

February Inquiry

Kia ora Tātou
The year is underway, the learners are in class, programmes are moving into top gear.
It's time to have those Class Descriptions coming clear and to be sharpening our thoughts about Teaching as Inquiry.
For the principal, it's time, having looked at data over the summer, compared the Woolf Fisher Research Centre Data, that we received on 12 Feb at our Manaiakalani Staff Meeting, held at Tamaki College, and having compared those results with our own, to be coming clear about my own Inquiry, and some early stages hypotheses which might sit behind it.
My Inquiry, in brief, is to be able to describe clearly how to get improved acceleration in the 3 Core Subjects, -Reading, Writing and Mathematics, simultaneously without harming learners, teachers or anybody else in the process and how to keep the joy of creative learning absolutely alive and kicking whilst we do it.
Some of us can recall clearly the days of School Improvement where we learned to accelerate one subject at a time over 3 years for each, took too long for the learner and killed much of the joy in the process. 9 years to improve 3 subjects systematically is longe than the life of a primary school learner at primary school. -Not acceptable.
The short presentation below, is my attempt to link my Inquiry to those of the teaching staff in Pt England School and the Manaiakalani Kahui Ako and to explain what I hope we cna achieve if we focus together sharply and work together well.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

2019 Direction

Happy Year to you all!

We've had some weeks to ponder on the result/s of 2018 and think about how we continue to improve in 2019.
I'm sure my staff will all be pleased to hear, "not by doing anything new!".
To the Pt England Staff and other members of my audience, I hope this screen record of my January korero to Pt England, will be a really useful rewindable resource of how I think, collectively, we're going to win this education, acceleration game in 2019.
Because it's not a game!
It's deadly serious. Lives are genuinely at stake.
Somehow, we have to do this work well together without killing or depressing teachers, without making the quest for improvement simply miserable. We need to use the Learn, Create, Share pedagogy to keep this work a joyous, celebratory pursuit of equity and excellence. 
So I do hope you enjoy and learn from my 2019 Inquiry, which is focused on how to get acceleration in the 3 core subjects simultaneously whilst keeping the joy alive and having powerfully interwoven themes and experiences of Wellbeing and Cultural Responsiveness.
Let me know what you think!