On Tuesday we brought together the Across School Leaders from the Kāhui Ako across the basin. We joined Motu Kairangi, Capital, Tawa and Wellington Catholic Schools Community of Learning to talk about the challenges and successes we are finding across our communities. All the Kāhui Ako have similar challenges and we many of us are at similar stages in development so we are finding the collaboration very valuable. We focused on community engagement, visiting schools and challenges. It was a stimulating afternoon with many good conversations and lots of fantastic learnings to take away.
We are excited to welcome Brooklyn School to our Kāhui Ako. Liz Rhodes, the Principal of Brooklyn School has been working closely with us for over a year in an informal capacity so it's nice to be able to make it official now. We look forward to meeting with the staff and students in the next term.
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Phil McIntosh to our Across School team. He currently teaches Year 2 and 3 learners at Karori Normal School. He has been teaching for 11 years and is passionate about creating environments where learners feel empowered. Most recently, he has been interested in looking at improving the teaching and learning of mathematics through the lens of student agency.
Last week our Across School Leaders began going into schools to talk to our students. After analysing the wellbeing@school survey results, they realised they wanted to find out more about student perceptions of our culture of care within our schools. So far the students have been wonderful, sharing thoughtful comments on the things they love about the schools but also what they would like to see more of. We look forward to collating the results in a few weeks once we have been to all the schools.
Last week we held a hui for all our in school teachers. The Across School teachers organised it. The key aim of the afternoon was to allow teachers from other schools across our Kāhui Ako to connect with each other. Being able to chat with someone going through the same experiences as them, makes the learning journey much easier. We shared some of our hopes. Most important for all of us, is that the work we are doing impacts on our staff and students in a positive way. We want our rangatahi to enjoy their learning. We know that learning is most powerful when it is personalised, connected with who they are and takes into account their holistic wellbeing. This hui was the first chance to connect more widely for many of our staff. We learnt that primary and secondary teachers face many of the same challenges and are trying many of the same things in their classrooms. We are looking forward to our next hui, where we'll be able to start deepening some of those connections.
The last few months have seen the Across School Teachers wrestling with data. All schools in the Kāhui Ako have completed either the NZCER Wellbeing@school or Me and My School survey. This has given us a really good picture of the culture and climate in our schools. Cathie Johnson from NZCER gave our Kāhui Ako some really good support in how to look at the data effectively. Some key things from the feedback showed that across our schools our students feel:
We have spent the last few weeks setting the structures in place that will begin the guide our next steps with our Kāhui Ako. Our across school teachers have begun the challenging task of unpacking the data so we know what conversations we need to have with our learners. Meanwhile, the in-school teachers are beginning to work with their senior leadership teams to identify areas for inquiry and explore those areas in more depth.
The Across School Leaders have spent some of their time considering how we are going to make progress with our achievement challenges. A combination of data (qualitative and quantitative) and our levers for change will be used to shape our approaches in schools.
So what's next? Our across school teachers will take the opportunity to visit each of our contributing schools so we can get to know everyone better. We will also be looking more closely at the data to determine what we need to dig into more deeply and continuing to develop a theory of improvement.
We are really pleased that our Achievement Challenge has been approved by the Ministry of Education. It is a fantastic way to finish the year. You can find our Achievement Challenge Document here.
We are really looking forward to getting stuck into the work next year with our team.
Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou.
We shared the draft Achievement Challenge document with all staff members across the Kāhui Ako to provide everyone with the details of our work in 2019. It's not light reading but for those who are interested, it will give them a bit more of a picture of what is happening. Elizabeth Eley, our appointed expert partner, and Di Drake, our Ministry of Education Senior Adviser were a fantastic support in getting this document to the point where it was ready to share.
Our schools have now turned to the task of nominating in-school teachers. Both secondary schools have completed the process and there are 19 fantastic staff waiting to get stuck in. The Primary schools are now in the the process of interviewing. All schools have had many applications for these roles and the calibre of applicants are impressive.
We've had our first big meet up. On Wednesday 28th November we gathered all Across School Leaders and senior leadership teams together at Wellington Girls' College to meet and discuss the initial plans for 2019.
One of the things we are most looking forward to next year is visiting each of the schools in our Kāhui Ako . We have been focusing on the protocols for visiting and we'll confirm these after looking at them more closely next year with our Across School Teachers.