Thursday, 30 January 2020

Deep Dive into Reading 2020

During 2019, Dr Aaron Wilson of Woolf Fisher Research Centre, challenged all the Manaiakalani Schools to have "a relentless focus on Reading". Pt England School is picking up that wero, though we all believe we still have to work very hard on Mathematics.

The screen record below is the introduction to my own inquiry for 2020, which is focused on how to help all our teacher to build capability in the area of teaching children to read.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

The Fa'a Pt England & 2020 Focus

 Our consultation and korero with our community at the end of 2019 and leading into 2020, sharpened our focus on what we need to achieve and how we need to achieve it. Having ERO review our performance in 2019 forced us to re-examine some of our beliefs and our kaupapa that we have brought forward from the past. This exercise made us realise that we needed to revisit these things with our staff and reinvigorate some of our highly valued beliefs and ways of doing things. This brief screen record presents the 'big ticket' items we expect to focus on in 2020 and places particular emphasis on our decision to reinvigorate the "Pt England Way" or the "Fa'a Pt England".

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.