We would like to welcome Karori West Normal School and Wadestown school who have joined our Kāhui Ako. It is exciting to increase the number of schools who can share our vision and share skills and enthusiasm to ensure our teaching and learning is authentic, relevant and supporting our students.
We would like to introduce the team for 2021.
Co - Leads Jane Batchelor and Andrew Savage
Jane Batchelor is one of the Associate Principals at Northland School and has been a member of the Northland Staff for 13 years. For the last two years Jane has been an Across School Teacher in our Kāhui Ako. She is excited about her new role, and continuing to collaborate with our schools to share expertise for the benefit of our students, ensuring their education is a success.
Andrew Savage is a Deputy Principal at Wellington College. He has taught in a number of schools as a History and English teacher and has long had an interest in how educators can better collaborate for the common good. Andrew is interested in how relational and restorative practice models can support schools to be self reflective and agile as we navigate together to improve the experience of school for our learners, staff and community.
The Across School Team for 2021
Trish Blacktop - Karori Normal School
Pam Carr - Karori Normal School
Karen Overall - Brooklyn School
Alex Oliver - Northland School
Phoebe Tiatia - England - Wellington Girls College
Karl White - Wellington College
Brad Dry - Wellington College
Within School Teachers for 2021
We are also fortunate to have approximately 31 within school roles across our Kāhui Ako that will be confirmed at the start of 2021.
These events and dates have been confirmed for 2021.
On 27th November our AST's, Within teachers, emerging leaders and Principals gathered to celebrate our work for 2020 and affirm that we are making a difference in our schools in relation to our Achievement challenges.
Each school described some of the highlights for their Māori and Pasifika communities and a variety of initiatives that have begun and will continue during 2021. The importance of building strong relationships with whānau and making the time to engage and learn from one another is a consistent focus in all our schools. Kathe Tawhaiwhirangi-Perry skilfully wove whakatauki throughout the session and will continue to provide guidance and encouragement during 2021.
Over the last two years we have gathered stories, video, listened to students, been challenged by staff and student responses and shared initiatives across our schools. There are plenty of challenges when deciding what aspects we need to focus on so we can sustain good practices and see the impact of our collective work. During each 15 minute presentation from all our schools, it was very satisfying to hear how far we have all come in relation to Wellbeing, Equity and Student agency.
In summary 2020 was a year of challenge and finding new ways of working together as we moved through alert levels due to COVID-19. Events were planned and some of them went ahead until in March when the COVID lockdown happened. This provided a huge challenge for all of us in our schools and we had to pause our work. All of our focus had to be managing what was happening in our own schools - especially supporting students and your wellbeing while we coped with the changing nature of our roles managing school life from our homes.
While COVID provided us with other challenges - The feedback and review that came from all of our schools and community voice provided us with evidence to support the work of our Achievement Challenges.Post COVID when we reached Level 2 we were able to restart and rework our priorities that combined new challenges for teaching and learning.
It was great to be able to bring our Kāhui Ako together again to work on our CRP work, bring our AST and WISTs together, develop our first round of workshops to share inquiries online and in person across our Kāhui Ako, complete the wellbeing @ Schools survey, collect student voice and end the year with draft frameworks to support our Kāhui Ako. We were able to launch our school visit process and during term 3 and early term 4 teachers from across our schools took up the opportunity to arrange visits to schools and enjoyed being able to see our different environments. What we have achieved over two years has been amazing in developing a framework for our Kāhui Ako, establishing a culture of how we work together, appointing people to many different roles, learning from one another and planning and implementing our journey so far.
So going into 2021 we look forward to more conversations and contributions towards a framework that helps us to continue to start with what the child brings and how we respond to ensure that all students can learn in a safe and nurturing environment.
Andrea and Anna
On 17th November we enjoyed an early breakfast with all Boards. This was an opportunity for conversations between schools and to present the boards with a summary of the key shifts during 2020 and share the recommendations for 2021.
The Co -Leads and the Across School team presented and we acknowledged the work over during the last two years. We have developed leadership capacity within this group and 2020 has provided different options for the team. Next year Andrea will take up the Principal position at Northland school, Rachel is moving to the Ministry of Education, Rob is on study leave, Phil will step into the Deputy Principal role at Karori Normal school and Anna will focus on her Deputy Principal role at Wellington Girls College. We are delighted to have Jane Batchelor from Northland take up the primary Co-Lead role and Andrew Savage from Wellington College take up the secondary Co-Lead role for 2021.
In November we enjoyed a half day workshop facilitated by Chrissie Butler and Linda Ojala from CORE. The focus was on inclusive design for learning in the secondary context. We had a great turn out from Wellington Girls and Wellington College staff. Through interactive and guided activities we gained further insight into designing lessons that are underpinned by the the three principles of Universal Design for Learning.
In 2018 we asked all five schools to complete the Wellbeing@ school survey to provide us with baseline data for our Kāhui Ako. This was completed in Term 3 2018 and done without too much planning of a consistent way of administering the survey, who would be analysing and using the data and how we would make sense of the data in our individual schools, let alone as aggregated data for five schools.
During 2019 our AST team had extensive PD with Cathie Johnson from NZCER on how to interpret the many graphs, how the items could be grouped to give you different perspectives and provided opportunities for us all to extend our data capabilities so we could communicate findings to our staff.
Through a review of our approach, purpose and administration of the tool then, we made significant changes for Term 3 2020 when all schools carried out the survey again. This time we had a PD workshop session led by Cathie with all Deputy Principals, staff who would be administering the survey, those responsible for assessment and data analysis as well as the AST team. With a stronger team to implement the survey, communicate to staff and the school community we felt there was a stronger sense of everyone being involved and having more ownership of the process and the use of the tool as a self review.
COVID- 19 provided us with a different lens to look at staff and students perspectives on the culture of care and school climate during this time. We were able to look at our strategic plans and our theory of improvement to see what actions had helped to make some shifts.
All school teams completed a review summary and have selected key areas of focus for 2021. Overall we are all working on;
Our final Hui took place at the start of Term 4 and we had a great turn out from AST's, Within's and emerging leaders from each school working in this space. The purpose was to bring all our drafting and thin king together from all of our workshops to complete the first iteration of an Across Kāhui Ako CRP framework to be used as a self review tool.
Through discussion, voting, selecting themes we began to see shape taking place. All schools then looked at the action that they would take back to staff and senior leaders for further conversations and considerations for the planning of actions in 2021.
We are starting to have some shared and common understandings around cultural responsive practice. We have woven in Ka Hikitia principles and Tātaiako cultural competencies and Te Tiriti. Co-construction of the language for each aspect of the framework needs refining. We have a extensive shared folder with readings, resources and have created our own professional learning workbook and commentaries. This helps us to build collective knowledge and to be informed.
All schools have a virtual Hui with Kathe Tawhaiwhirangi-Perry as further support with action plans for 2021. We will share these plans at our end of year celebration Hui.
The Coherent Pathways tool provides a framework and guidance on how to capture the important capabilities that ākonga need at each transition point along the pathway. A clear process is outlined to assist hearing from students, staff and the community to make sure the pathway reflects the aspirations of all.
During October we began gathering information and finding out from all staff in our schools the key skills, dispositions and competencies that they felt were the key for students to be successful at various ages. All AST's presented the overall purpose for developing a framework for what a successful learner may look like as children move within and between the schools in our Kāhui Ako.
The collective drafting within and across schools will help us to develop common language and understandings that will assist our students to move more seamlessly through their schooling from preschool to Year 13 and beyond. We are starting with the strands of Te Whariki and the Key competencies of our curriculum. Research suggest that approaches that build students' social and emotional skills and competencies ( such as their ability to relate to others or engage in social problem-solving) are related to improvements across a range of student outcomes.
During this process we are learning what all schools and our community feel is important. The process is taking time but this will hopefully mean we have all the voices around the table as we develop our framework for successful holistic learners. At this stage we have framed up the dispositions under our 3 Achievement headings.
This will continue to be developed during 2021 and will be a ongoing. The SENCO's, pastoral and guidance staff have been involved in sharing the key processes, communication of learning support for diverse learners and the expertise within each school. Over time this will provide us with a strong data base to develop a learning support data base with common understandings that again will assist a smoother transition for all who are in our community.
In September we continued to discuss and share ideas with the focus on Tātaiako and sharing our thoughts on a variety of readings. We increased our knowledge of Māori history and started to shape key themes for our framework. During each workshop we build on drawing from one another and value the importance of honouring all voices.
Before our Hui we read the following article and spent time reflecting and sharing responses.
What did you connect with?
What challenged you?
How could you share with your colleagues?
All schools have contributed to creating our own Te Whanganui a Tara quiz of Māori place names and significance. Have a go !
We have a great variety of professional learning that is being delivered this week by our Kāhui Ako teachers. Due to COVID levels some of the workshops are online, some are pre - recorded and face to face.
This has been an event that we began preparing for during Term 2. There is no perfect time for after school meetings so we appreciate the work by everyone to prepare and make time to attend a workshop. We will gather feedback and make plans for 2021 to continue to build on how we can share and engage in professional learning. One of the key prompts in designing our workshops was from our work with Linda.
As a great host how can I create learning environments where everyone feels:
Blurb: A 20 minute Zoom session to introduce ideas, links and resources to help make our everyday primary teaching more culturally responsive. Afterwards, there will be an optional discussion for anyone who wishes to chat about their ideas and experiences.
Covid Catharsis - through the lens of Wellbeing, Agency and Culturally Responsive Practice
Presenters: Jenny Caldwell and Tia Greenstreet from Wellington College
Blurb: This session looks at the positives and negatives which came out of the lockdown from student and teacher voice. As a Kahui Ako we asked for recommendations and things that we did well which we would like to build on or change after our experience. This session would ask you what worked or what you learnt in your setting and see if there is more we could be doing as a community to improve outcomes for our achievement challenges.
Staff Wellbeing at WGC Presenter: Kailagh Harford, Wellington Girls’ College Blurb: This workshop will focus on our journey here at WGC towards improving our focus and outcomes on supporting staff wellbeing.
Learning Support Delivery Model - The Good, the Bad, the questions? Presenter: Rachel Hall, Wellington Girls’ College Blurb: What to know more about the Learning Support Delivery Model? or what it is? This is brief introduction and overview of where to next for our Kāhui Ako and the opportunity to discuss and ask questions.
Student Agency Presenters: Brad Dry from Wellington College Blurb: A look at the different levels and types of student agency offered in Kāhui Ako schools.
Strong transition supporting wellbeing Presenters: Andrea Peetz from Karori Normal and Arina Tulitua from Wellington College Blurb: Andrea (Deputy Principal) and Arina Tulitua (Dean) will discuss how a strong transition between Primary and Secondary can support students' success as they change schools.
Online Learning with a UDL Approach Presenters: Chrissie Butler and Linda Ojala, Core Education
Blurb: Chrissie and Linda will share with you some tips about online learning with a UDL approach in mind as we navigate through these changes.
How collaborative practice can promote learner agency? Presenter: Hillary Lintott Blurb: Some of the work we have done around creating a collaborative vision and working towards creating a curriculum that allows for learner agency. We are still at the start of this process so I can share some of what we are doing but see this as a chance for people to share their knowledge, systems and practice and discuss together. Bring anything along that you would like to share and any questions you have.
How might we use Design Thinking to promote learner agency? Presenter: Victoria Sharp Blurb: This is a hands-on workshop where we will look to introduce Design Thinking through a literacy lens and how this might encourage collaboration, innovation and learner agency within your classroom.
Forum for sharing ideas to bring more student choice into our junior classrooms Presenter: Karen Overell Blurb: This is a workshop for discussing and sharing ideas to promote more student choice in our junior classrooms as well as providing opportunities for networking and generating interest for across school visits.
Wellbeing through Play - how does it benefit the children and what do they really think? Presenters: Phil McIntosh, Lisa Hadfield and Helena Henley Blurb: A discussion and information workshop around the benefits of Play in the classroom and how these support transition from year to year throughout our junior school. This will be an interactive session with opportunities to share your thoughts. We would also love to find out what you would like to see from students coming from primary schools in the future.
Process Drama Presenters: Jamie Quayle and Libya Munn Blurb: Summary of a process drama unit and how it affected student engagement. Student focus group sessions, in which they discuss and reflect on successful and unsuccessful learning, will be shared. Any particular activities they mention can be explored. Jamie and Libya will share their ideas around student agency and voice in this unit.
A journey toward effective collaborative planning and teaching of maths in ILE spaces Presenter: Alex Oliver Blurb: Our school's current rebuild from single cell spaces to an ILE inspired this inquiry into the ways we might plan and teach together. We were already involved in maths PLD and see the growth of collaborative practice as a further opportunity to build teacher capability.
Children’s Working Theories In The Inquiry Based Classroom Presenters: Emma McElrea and Judith Urr
Blurb: This workshop will look at how to use questioning and other tools to gather information on children's working theories on an inquiry topic. It will also cover using these working theories to guide the learning process.
Using Talk Moves to increase Productive Maths Talk in the classroom Presenters: Jane Batchelor Blurb: Using Talk Moves encourages students to actively engage and participate in rich mathematical discussions. Talk Moves (revoicing, adding on, etc) is a useful tool, giving students confidence to express their ideas and lead their learning in a respectful way. I'll share our journey with using Talk Moves to increase student engagement in productive maths talk.
Developing a school Kapa Presenter: Liam Boyle and Jono Belczacki Blurb: After gathering student voice from our school, we feel there is a need to develop a Kawa that will become the framework for cultural practice within our school. This presentation will briefly share some of the messages that came from our students, outline what a Kawa is, and what our next steps in developing this are.
The Learning Pit and Growth Mindset Presenters: Rob Everett and Trish Blacktop Blurb: A discussion around how using Growth Mindset, the Learning Pit and positive self-talk helps students develop agency over their feelings and their learning.
Relationship Building with L.O.V.E. Presenters: Mark Tinkle and Patrick Smith Blurb: A mid-year reminder that relational practice is the most important thing in our profession.
Who is Managing Student Pathways? Presenters: Karl White Blurb: As a parent, teacher or a learner who is at the center of the decision making process for the students of today. What impact does the subject option choices have on a year 10 students career pathway next year and beyond? What are some of the challenges?
We have created an online booking system so that all staff are able to visit our six schools to find out about our individual learning environments and connect with others. This is an exciting opportunity for everyone. We are hoping the workshops that are on offer in early September will influence staff to visit others to see teaching and learning in action in our schools.