Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What a magic Community Event!

Art Exhibition - Express Yourself on PhotoPeach

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Demonstrating Shift

We have been thinking about how we might best capture and show shift happening in areas that we value highly but haven't traditionally measured.  We are not sure if the conversation should be about measuring or showing growth in these areas.  Google sites are a powerful environment to bring together both 3D and 2D artifacts to capture a rich picture of growth and shift happening in students understanding.

Here is a screen shot of the different ways our teachers are starting to record and share the shifts that are occurring in our learners acquisition of universal understandings.  As you can see - a video can be embedded to value student voice as an evidence stream.  A child's piece of writing can be easily embedded from google docs and teachers annotation used to pull the threads together.  Survey data again is used to make the picture richer.

It was great to walk in on a team of teachers one afternoon listening to students voice and analyzing together where the child was and what their next step might be?  This depth of analysis to inform future teaching was a delight to see, the level of teacher collaboration a great reminder that many minds are more effective than just one. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Organisational Values - Making them Visible

Over the last eighteen months the Staff and Board have been brainstorming and drafting the organisational values for our recently established School.  Rather than norms to underpin 'how we do things around here' we have developed a set of values and mindsets that underpin the culture we wish to establish.

We have a very clever designer (Visual Evolution) who helped bring these values to life as shown below.

This shared language is already helping us to further deepen the culture we set out to establish.  It is powerful at informing our practice and behaviour when faced with decisions, problems and opportunities.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Capturing Shifts

A big challenge for us this year is showing shifts in students understanding in areas other than reading, writing and mathematics.  Historically many of us have collected lots of data in these areas and have many assessment tools to draw from to help inform judgements about students achievement.  What I believe we haven't been so good at is measuring (or showing growth) in learner dispositions, conceptual understandings or learners ability to sincerely collaborate for example.  

Each of our teams has been backward mapping the understandings they would like their students to develop during the term to show growth in students acquisition of the macro concept being developed. Much learning evolved last term from capturing student voice, reflections, completed thinking organisers etc to see shift occurring in the concept being developed across the term.  Quite qualitative by nature however powerful evidence when analysed to highlight shifts.

 More recently we have created a frame to show the developmental progression highlighting growth in the conceptual understanding being developed and secondly detailing the evidence to be captured to measure growth and inform next teaching steps. Here is a sample of the scaffold we are using to make the progress visible for the learners.

We are keen to work with and share with other Schools on similar journeys.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Conceptualising Curriculum

A model for conceptualising what learning matters keeps evolving as our dialogue continues. We think this model shows the links more clearly to our four vision principles. This is an attempt to highlight the micro and macro concepts we believe are important understandings for our learners to develop over their 8 years with us. Will see where the conversation takes this next.

Monday, February 13, 2012

What learning Matters?

As a staff we have been pondering a question that David Perkins asks 'What learning matters?, now in 10 years, 20 years and the future?'  A rather straight forward question - yet as we are finding no easy straight forward answer.

We are working to develop a conceptual curriculum that highlights the universal understandings that all learners should acquire.  These macro ideas form the overview of powerful understandings that enable our learners to develop a concept of self, interact and contribute as an active community member, value diversity, make sense of the world they live in, acknowledge the influence of change and ultimately experience personal fulfillment.

Our very initial ideas have been drafted into the following conceptual frame.

A bit too two dimensional at this stage however a starting point to critique.

We welcome your thoughts.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Student Voice, Making Next Steps Visible.

Our team sat down last week to discuss the growth we had recently observed after collecting another round of student voice on video. We have been dialoguing and wondering ever since about how might we effectively provide individuals with feedback that would continue to 'Build their Learning Capacity' Chris suggested we have a go at videoing individuals watching themselves being questioned about what they do to be a successful learner. It was my task to to interview a few individuals to see what would happen. I was quite amazed at what then happened. I started with a 6 year old girl her sat and watched a 1 minute clip of herself describing what good learners do. She explained that they're determined and don't give up amongst other things, then she said they connect. I said what does it mean to connect? She paused and said I don't know. When she had finished watching herself on video I asked her what she thought she did well as a learner. She immediately said I didn't know what connect was and now I do! She proceeded to give me quite some explanation on what learners need to do to connect. She had been videoed probably 10 days prior, what struck me was she didn't need intervention to inform her last step, rather the opportunity to listen to herself and reflect on what might be her next learning. This has seriously got me thinking as to how we provide more opportunities for learners to get feedback from themselves by viewing where they were and where they have come from to inform what might be their next step.

What Should our Learners be Learning?

David Perkins Interview from 21Foundation on Vimeo.

A refreshing clip of David Perkins questioning what's worth learning? What's worth learning now, in the next 10, 20 years? A critical question that deserves much thought and pondering.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Student Voice

Quite recently our team spent some time capturing another round of student voice around strategic goals areas. We asked questions like What makes a good learner a good learner?, what do you do when you get stuck in your learning?, what is your reading learning goal?, what is your next learning step?,
We were reminded what a powerful thing it is to spend time doing. It clearly highlighted progress made since capturing baseline student voice, it quickly highlighted next steps and illuminated assumptions made.
In summary It is fair to say we would believe it to be one of the most powerful things you can spend time doing. It causes and enables change.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Learner Led Conferences

It's been some weeks since our Learner Led Conferences and a promise to communicate how they went. Now that our community feedback has been received, via survey monkey, we can be evidenced in feeding back how they really went. The survey confirmed that 85% of conferences lasted for at least an hour. Children were in the driving sheet to share their learning and achievements. Each hub had created agendas of 'must dos' and 'can dos' to help structure the conference. It was wonderful to walk through the learning hubs and see a variety of learning experiences in action, these included experiences such as learners teaching their parents a maths games, using Success Criteria to do an observational drawing or self assess a writing sample using criteria together. Regardless of the power-cut and internet dropping for a period of time the learning continued to be shared.!

We value our parent feedback and voice - a glimpse of some feedback ...

'It was nice to have our childs input & ownership on the evening. We found we left knowing & understanding were our child was at, instead of attending a 15 min interview still unsure of what we needed to do to help improve his learning.'

'The interaction with our child, seeing him explain to us where he is at and what his goals are to get to where he needs to be'

'The time to spend in the Hub, moving around, led confidently by my child, having some one on one time with the guardians, it was interactive, interesting and insightful. We were really impressed, thank you.'

As a staff we have reflected on the process and thought about how we might continue to further improve the process to ensure that our learners truly led their conferences and parents leave feeling totally satisfied about 'how their child is going, and what their next learning steps are.