We held our first Mega Hui for Across Schools and Within Teachers on 19th March. Yes a week before we were in Lockdown due to Covid 19. We shared our strategic map for 2020 and the key work streams that are led by our Co- Leads and Across school teachers.. The professional development in the morning was led by Geoff Childs from Evaluation Associates. This was to outline how we could use the GROW model together and give us all time to have a conversation in three’s to use the model.
We had time to practice conversations and found the model very helpful to think through a problem and develop a next step. During the day we had time to share our successes from 2019.
The afternoon session was led by Linda Ojala from Core. Using the Universal design for Learning guidelines we were refreshed with the model and the key principles that underpin the thinking for inclusive practice. We used the model to guide our design for planning our staff workshops for Term 2. Our purpose: To inclusively design learning opportunities to meet the variable and diverse needs of our colleagues.
We then selected a variety of options for the afternoon that best meet our own needs
This year our Kāhui Ako is working with a facilitator from Core Education - Kathe Tawhiwhirangi to support our cultural responsive work in relation to our Achievement Challenge - Embrace language, culture and identity. This is a key focus for us and our theory is that if our students feel that they can connect to their learning they will report more positively against identified wellbeing indicators. We have formed a group with our Co-Leads, Across School Teachers, Within School Teachers with a focus of cultural responsive work and our staff with involvement in this work in their schools to work throughout 2020 with Kathe.
In our first session on the 28th Feb we spent some time building Whakawhanaungatanga and sharing our own school’s journey so that we could build our collective knowledge of where we were at across our Kāhui Ako. We then reflected on the work that we have been doing already in our schools via a range of activities exploring different aspects of our school communities.
Our next step is to meet again in May and start to unpack the competencies of Tataiako as part of developing a framework for our cultural responsive work across our Kāhui Ako.
In February our Co- Leads and Across School teachers had a professional development morning with Geoff Childs from Evaluation Associates. The focus for the workshop was to guide us through using the GROW model so that we can support one another and our within teachers with successes and challenges that we face in our work. To prepare for our workshop we were asked the following so that we could use the model to practice coaching conversations.
We established ground rules and looked at a variety of strategies to influence others. We then used three main aspects to keep in the front of our minds as we used authentic dilemmas of practice. We developed a little more confidence in keeping our conversations focussed, targeted and meaningful. We have shared the model with all of our within teachers prior to a workshop for Co-Leads, Across and Within teachers with Geoff Childs on the 19th March. All Across school teachers will work with those who have a Within school role in their own school and in another school. We are keen for this strategy to be developed with all staff in our Kāhui Ako as it can be used in many situations with anyone.
Please follow the link https://www.performanceconsultants.com/wp-content/uploads/GROW-Model-Guide.pdf
We have had conversations with over 400 children from the age of 9 years through to the age of 18 years old. We have been blown away by their honesty and enthusiasm to share ideas and opinions in the hope that we can all make a difference for our future learning and wellbeing. A highlight has been the insight from students and their messages to us. In particular, if they return in five years time, they are interested in seeing whether we will have acted on the things they told us. Each school has had a chance to explore what the students have said about their school in more detail in staff meetings led by their Kāhui Ako Across School Teachers.
Workshops have been provided for teachers to share initiatives that support wellbeing, equity and strategies to support students to have more ownership in their learning. During term 4, Year 9 Deans and 2020 Year 9 teachers from the secondary schools have visited primary schools to see the learning environments that students are familiar with. Year 9 and Year 10 students have visited some primary schools to talk to Year 8 students to share some tips and key information to help them at the next stage of College. We have had a great year of building the team and gathering information that we can now use to inform our work for 2020. The Co Leaders have worked hard to establish a strong group of teachers who can encourage and influence change.
Staff have become more involved as the year has continued and we are excited to see more action during 2020. We know from the gathering of student voice that there are common threads for improvement which are very important to feeling valued and a sense of wellbeing.
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.