Thursday, 16 November 2017

Reviewing our school goal number 4

At our annual middle leaders planning day, our first session was a review of our school goals for 2017.  Part of my inquiry this year has been focussed on implementing school goal number 4:

To work across departments in Year 9 on an integrated unit of work with a community focus or context.
At the end of 2016, we decided to implement links to the 4 To remind staff about the lead up to the unit, I discussed the staff PLD around what that would like and decided on our term 1 unit to focus on 'Sustainability'. As a staff we developed 6 areas of focus, each designed to give students a choice as to which issue they wanted to focus on.

From there, department were shared a document to show how they could support the teaching and learning of the topic as followed: English
From there, an initial plan for the Middle Leaders was designed whereby HOD's were assigned to support a class on their blogs. A draft Unit plan and a student site were developed and this was taught to the year 9's in term 1.

Below is a swat analysis review of the unit:
  • Process of integration during the unit (Teaching and Learning)
    • Strengths:  
      • Social Studies driven meant consistency in approach.  Weekly meetings with year 9 teachers.
      • All year 9 Students were talking sustainability
      • ‘Just in time teaching’ happened eg. The River Talks and 9RMz’s trip to Ruapotaka (contexts outside of school where Science and Sos teachers expected to come)
      • Student blogs
      • High engagement for staff involved (Gene, Karen etc)
    • Weaknesses:
      • Not all staff/departments on board.
      • HODs not able to check on classes.
      • Project Templates not used because of difficulty in applying them in social studies context.  Staff not comfortable using them.
      • Structure not totally clear
    • Opportunities
      • Fewer departments involved means more structure
      • More student agency
      • More learnings from this year
    • Threats
      • Loss of interest or enthusiasm from staff
      • Lack of time


  • End product from integration:  Te Taiao O Tamaki presentations.  
    • Strengths:
      • Positive feedback from the community
      • High student engagement for students who presented and students who visited
      • Developed better relationships with students
    • Weaknesses:
      • Wish we could’ve taken more presentations
      • Lots of Dot’s time taken on own
    • Opportunities
      • Have our own school presentations for all projects
    • Threats:
      • Limiting it to the best kids
Key Learnings:  Kids loved it.
MOVING FORWARD:
We want to develop and looking at a model that will work for us:
  • Howick College innovation stream - one class where students apply to be in it.  Involves 4 core subjects.
  • Fusion at Oxford Area school -all year 9’s and 10’s.  Involves Maths, Technology and Social Sciences.  Project based.
  • A partnership with the Liggins Institute from Auckland University is helping to lead a collaborative narrative/transformative learning approach developed  in the Cook Islands.  Ready made resources (Unit plan)




The 'Writing Plan' for our Junior school.

In November, our juniors will be sitting their second round of the asttle writing tests for this year, a test that will gage where our stude...