We launched our 2020 Year of Action in January.
We had over 300 staff from across all six schools gather together at Wellington Girls College.
Judge Andrew Becroft, Child Commissioner was our opening speaker who challenged us with statistics relating to poverty, equity and mental health.
The importance of listening to what our students tell us was a key message and letting the students know that we have heard what they have told us.
The 3 things students are telling us are most important to them in education are:
- A great teacher
- A supportive and involved family
- Good and Reliable friends.
These all resonate with the findings from our student interviews that were carried out with over 400 students during 2019 from across our 6 schools. We had opportunities to mix and mingle with staff and we had prompts to spark conversations:
- What are we doing in our teams and learning areas to support our students in creating their own successful learning stories?
- What are some key messages you have heard today?
- Is there one thing that you might do differently to develop relationships with your students?
Our second guest speaker was Ross Davis, Director of Boys and Girls Institute. He shared the importance of knowing the local history and shared the significance of the story of Ruhia’s cloak and Tom McKenzie. The cloak can be seen at Te Papa. Through this connection we are looking forward to other possibilities for learning about significant landmarks and history of Te Ati Awa, Tikanga and Te Reo Maori so all in our community can have greater understanding and knowledge. We all positioned ourselves from the South to the North of NZ and offshore to see where we all call our Turangawaewae, and yes we did manage with all 300 of us to have conversations with others.
We know from the gathering of student voices that there are common threads for improvement which are very important to feeling valued and a sense of wellbeing. We shared our focus going forward for 2020 with everyone and our Co-Leads, Andrea and Anna outlined the following:
We believe that when students’ hauora is strong, they can be successful both academically and in other aspects of their lives. Our success with this challenge is vital to our success in achieving all our challenges. We understand the importance of students’ wellbeing for engagement in school and learning. We know the value of students being active in the learning process rather than passive receivers of instructions, whereby they are motivated to learn, know why and how they learn, make informed decisions, develop resilience and character.
We want to see our students feeling positive and connected to schooling throughout their learning pathway. We would like to feel that we have appropriate effective systems in place and that we are working as a collective to approach the complex challenges we face.
All schools have four key questions that are guiding our work for 2020 and we hope that all staff are able to take actions to make a difference to all students they interact with. We look forward to increasing the opportunities for all teachers to visit schools, lead workshops, be involved in professional development and influence change.
Reflection Questions for 2020 Action:
What will students tell us as changed by the end of 2020?
How will the school actions affirm and strengthen Māori as tangata whenua?
How will the school actions affirm other languages, cultures and identity?
What structures/systems will be provided in your school to monitor actions?