Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Cate Hey talks to RI staff about child and adolescent anxiety

The staff and Remuera Intermediate School were treated to a talk by Cate Hey, Child and Adolescent Psychologist, on Monday 6th August. This was organised and hosted by John Houston and Rosey Dodson (In School Leaders) as part of the work they are doing under the umbrella of wellbeing and resilience as part of the Teacher Agency initiative.



From left to right: Rosey Dodson (ISL), Cate Hey (Clin Psych), John Houston (ISL)

The presentation covered the physiological, behavioural, cognitive and emotional responses to anxiety and the relationship between anxiety and fear. This enabled the staff to build a greater understanding of some of the issues facing children and adolescents that may trigger anxiety, and the roles we need to play as teachers in building wellbeing and resilience in our students. Remuera Intermediate School would like to thank Cate for her time and expertise in this area.


Monday, 6 August 2018

Across School Maths PLG






On Monday 30th July, the teachers from Auckland Normal Intermediate, Newmarket Primary School, and Parnell District School gathered to share the brilliant work we've been doing in our schools. Randomly placed into small groups, the afternoon kicked off with some problem solving, where we demonstrated our mathematical prowess. Teachers were given problem-solving questions and worked together to solve them, just like how the mixed ability grouping would work.









Following this, teachers were able to roam and hear about the various ongoings of each school. It was a time to connect, question, query and discuss our practice, inspiring one another to trial new ideas, develop current pedagogy and disrupt our current methods in order to progress. As the afternoon drew to a close, the floor was opened for final reflections or questions. It was a wonderful time spent collaborating as a community.

Andrew Lawerence, ANI In-school Leader 

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Oral Language Initiative PD afternoon @ CPDS





On Friday 27th July, 30 junior school staff from Cornwall Park District School, Kohia Terrace, Remuera, Maungawhau and Meadowbank Primaries got together to extend their understanding about oral language. Kimberly Russell and Kelsi Robertson, two in-school leaders (ISL's) from CPDS, along with Kirsten MacDiarmid from the MoE, ran workshops that explored different aspects of a robust oral language programme within a classroom.
Kimberly had two lively sessions as her groups shared what deliberate acts of teaching they would put in place after a specific need had been identified following an oral language assessment. There was plenty of rich pedagogical discussion going on, and lots of across school discussion around the benefits or drawbacks of different tools.






Kelsi ran two very practical and interactive workshops where she was highlighting the various ways teachers can integrate ( and assess) the oral language capacity of their students across the curriculum. In a 'time poor' classroom many of the ideas, suggested and explored during these workshops, could be adapted and utilised in maths, science or technology as easily as within a literacy programme.


Kirsty took a different approach, focusing on the links between what we do for our English language learners, and how these tools can also be used as an important component of delivering a broad literacy programme. In particular, Kirsty used the English Language Learning Progressions ( ELLP's) and ESOL online and spent time discussing with teachers how these tools can / should be used - especially when comparing social language with academic language skills. Invaluable sessions for those involved, and once again, lots of rich discussion and shared ideas.

The afternoon was over too soon, with a number of staff saying they wished there had been more time to extend their discussions further. However, the strongest message collected from the afternoon was that ALL of our students will benefit from having a rich oral language programme made available to them. It gives value both socially and academically, and is the foundation for success in other curriculum areas.
A huge thanks to all the Principals and other staff who supported this through covering classes etc to allow all the teachers to be together.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

ACCoS Happenings Term 2 2018

Here is a summary of what happened during Term 2 2018.

 
1. Cross sector work and initiative updates:  
 
A real feature of this term has been the work happening across our schools where collaboration and collaborative practices are alive and well.  Much of this cross sector work has been the result of strong alignment between the initiative leaders and champions - well done to you all.
 
Outlined below are key take-outs from each initiative and three bullet points of where to next:
 
Teacher Agency - Alaric and Catherine
·        Joint analysis of the quantitative data from the teacher agency matrix across the 4 schools, building ISL analytical skills in the process.
·        Co-construction of action plan for teacher agency initiative with ISLs, differentiated for each individual school to ensure relevance to context.
·        Completion of the Schools Agency matrix (conditions required for agency to flourish)
·        Quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis for the schools matrix through focus groups in each of the four schools.
·        Commencement of feedback to Principals and Senior Leadership Teams from qualitative and quantitative data analysis relating to the schools matrix.
·        Growth of relationships within the Teacher Agency ISLs group through sharing and professional discussion
 
Where to next:
A.              Work with ISLs and SLT to add specific detail and time frames to actions in the action plan.
B.              Implement actions, particularly those relating to building understanding of and shared vocabulary surrounding the concept of agency so it is better understood by teachers in our schools.
C.              Continue regular meetings with ISLs and SLT as required, fostering the productive relationship we have been building.

Learner Agency - Leigh and Mark
·        Creation of a rubric to analyse the student voice data collected in Term 1. This assigns a level of agency to the student’s answers and allows us see where the gaps are.
·        ASLs have looked at the overall data and the data specific to their school. They have decided on action(s) to work on in their schools to increase the level of agency shown by students. These actions are being collated in a single document so schools can see what everyone involved is working on.
·        Developing links between schools, making connections and identifying elements within other schools that we want to explore further. Teachers are visiting other schools, both formally through Teacher Only Days and through informal connections. Connections made with EGGS, seeing how they are exploring learner agency in Year 9 English and with Year 13 students transitioning from secondary school.
 
Where to next:
  • a.  In School leaders will continue to drive the action in their schools, supporting teachers to make changes to their practice, giving students more influence over what happens with their learning.
  • b.  Continue to make links, share success stories between schools and raise the understanding of how increased agency benefits learners.
  • c.Create a shared bank of successful actions and expertise within schools, so that others know where to go to access support for change.

Writing - Erin and Clara
·        ASL’s and ISL’s are planning an afternoon of shared Writing PD on August 24th. Staff from all 3 schools will be involved (approx. 70).  We are having a keynote speaker and then 4 different workshop options. Invitations will also be sent to Kohia Terrace, Parnell school and Remuera Intermediate as we are including a ‘transitioning to high school’ workshop which may be of interest to them.
·        This term we began a small trial of across-school sharing of writing. A small group of students from ANI are liaising / mentoring a small group of students from Maungawhau. In Term 3 we will add in an across-school boys writing group between ANI and CPDS.
·        ASL & ISL have had initial discussion on how they intend to collect student and teacher voice to demonstrate the changes made in pedagogical approaches to writing  through PLG work this year. Further meeting planned for mid term 3.
 
Where to next:
  • a.Meetings early in Term 3 with ASL and champion to coordinate logistics for across-school writing PD.
  • b.ISL, ASL meeting mid term 3 to formalise structure for focus group interviews and collection of data  and ‘voice’ for milestones at end of year.
  • c.  Reflection on success of across school writing groups.

Oral Language - Mark and Erin
·        Staff from Remuera Primary and CPDS attended oral language PD in Whangarei offered by Louise Dempsey & Sheena Cameron. The feedback from this was shared at an across school meeting involving RPS,CPDS and some staff from Maungawhau.
·        2 ISL’s from CPDS have been to Christchurch to meet with Dr Dean Sutherland from the University of Canterbury,  as well as staff from Ilam and Gilberthorpe schools. Both these schools are involved in trialling an oral language intervention created by UoC.  It is a structured, step by step guide with a handbook that has script for teacher to follow.
·        CPDS ASL and ISL’s are planning an afternoon of across-school professional development on Friday 27th July. Staff from CPDS, Maungawhau and RPS will be involved. Invitations have also been sent to junior school staff from the other primary schools within our kahui ako.  Focus will be on offering workshops involving new pedagogical developments in oral language teaching.
 
Where to next:
  • A. Finalise details for shared PD session beginning of term 3
  • B.ISL, ASL meeting mid term 3 to discuss collection of data  and ‘voice’ for milestones at end of year.
  • C.Possible ISL, ASL meeting which includes senior leadership to discuss assessment options for 2019 and beyond. What tool offers the most information for our teachers.

Working with the Learner - Lisa and Sue
·        Teacher Only Day June 2018: PLG leaders and staff organised for a wide variety of visits outside of school grounds or visiting speakers and/or workshops within school according to the needs of the PLG inquiries.  Staff focused on gathering information about learner agency, modern working environments, collaboration and relationship building. The day was energising for the staff involved. It allowed for a kind of ‘teacher centered’ PD, mirroring our development of more student centered learning at EGGS. The reflections show a broader outlook for EGGS staff, with a deeper awareness of the strategies and approaches of our primary colleagues, other secondary school practices and the changing world of tertiary and work environments.
 
 
Some responses from the summary:
  • a.‘We recognised the need to ‘teach the HOW before we can effectively teach the WHAT’. Students need more support to guide themselves through a learning process rather than wait for the learning to ‘drop’ into their brains”
  • b.University pedagogical styles are starting to change away from lectures in certain areas - teaching styles change more slowly at University.
  • c.We saw that intermediate and primary students are able to exercise more agency in their learning - given choice and control over many aspects of their learning. Physical environments make an impact on this e.g new pods at RI.
  • d.On a meta level, the TOD left us feeling empowered and capable, for having been given time and space to follow our own interests, trusted to go and enquire, with like-minded others, and see what we could find. We think that this is a pretty good metaphor for what we would like to do more of in class to encourage student agency. TIME/SPACE/TRUST/SUPPORT...
 
·        ISLs are supporting their PLG members to trial strategies in class, record data and complete interviews and surveys with students in relation to the 12 collaborative PLG inquiries.  
·        Research into learner agency at EGGS - Alpna and Lisa followed Year 9 students to observe agency from a student perspective. Research questions will be developed for staff and students from here.
 
Where to next:
  • a.Staff are aiming to complete their PLG inquiry action plans before senior school exams start in Week 8 of Term Three.
  • b.Different PLGs will join together for ‘Learning in Action’ workshops in Term Four - as a variation from the PLG evaluations of the past two years. This will give teaching staff an opportunity to work with two other PLGs for about 45-60 minutes at a time to gain deeper insight into some other research at EGGS.

Mathematics/Pāngarau Initiative - Sonya and Clara
·        The Mathematics/Pāngarau Initiative have submitted an abstract for Ulearn 2018. The focus is about using collaboration to drive change in mathematics.
·        All three schools administered the attitude survey with students and shared draft analysis.
·        The three schools filled in ‘ACCoS Pāngarau/Mathematics 2018 Overview’ to identify commonalities and uniqueness in approaching mathematics in each school.
 
Where to next:
  • a.Another PLG sharing session is being planned for term 3 for the three school involved.
  • b.he three schools will celebrate Maths week in August.
  • c.A student sharing session is planned across the three schools.


Transitioning Early Childhood & New Entrants - Sarah
·        Cohort entry and transition programmes discussed at Cornwall Park School.  45 attended.
·        Claire Turner, DP at Bayfield School discusses their Stepping Stones to School programme.
·        Sarah Brown, Kohia Terrace School shared their cohort entry model which is being trialled.
·        Discussion groups were then facilitated, with  sharing back to the group.
·        Feedback from the participants is as follows:
Thanks so much for organising these meetings, I find the discussions really interesting and it is great to meet other people from different schools and ECEs. Sarah Morrison. Newmarket School
 
This is an amazing ACCoS Collective.  Ours is nothing like this, what you guys have is really special.  Claire Turner. Bayfield School
 
These gatherings are really useful and so great to meet each other and start forming relationships.  This is has not been done before. Gaylene Brownlie. Gardner Road Kindy.
 
I love coming to these each month and love them for my staff.  Rebecca Lee-Houtwipper. Smart Start Montessori.
 
Well run and well organised.  Great topics of interest. Andy Dean. Number 28 Early Childhood Centre
 
Where to next:
  • a.Term 3 meeting booked in for Tuesday 14 August at Remuera Primary School to discuss digital sharing of work.  5 guest speakers (2 ECE and 3 school) will share what they do.
  • b.Term 4 meeting will be hosted by Gardner Road Kindy to reflect on the year and set new goals for 2019.
 
 
2. Maryville University:  
 
During the last week of term we were fortunate in having a group of 20 Doctorate students who are looking to become Principals of elementary, middle and high schools in St Louis, Missouri.  Thank you to those schools that hosted these educators, we hope the experience was as beneficial for you as it was for them.  They have all come away with a clear and deeper understanding of what Communities of Learning are all about and will take this strong message back to the US.  If you are keen to set up any sister school relationships, please contact Clara Kim, the ASL at ANI.
 
3. Combined Board Meeting, 4th July:  
 
A really successful evening with 30+ attendees who benefited from a number of opportunities to discuss the progress of our CoL, collaborative initiatives, community involvement, assessment and our mid-year review.  There was also an opportunity to network and mix and mingle.  Here is the link to the PowerPoint and photos taken on the evening.
 
Many thanks to our colleagues at Newmarket School who were not only great hosts but also informative tour guides of their new learning spaces.
 
Key take-outs included:
- request for Madeline to work with boards to develop a comms plan
- further information from Janine around her ILE project
- continue with operational meetings (for bulk purchases, etc.)
- encourage networking opportunities at these information evenings for all board members
 
4. Pilot Group and Assessment: 
 
As you recall, a pilot group was established to investigate evaluation processes and assessment tools across our Community of Learning.  This pilot is tracking well with Newmarket, ANI and Parnell Schools involved in this group.  
 
The focus for the pilot is threefold:
a) addressing our achievement challenges which were written a few years ago and assessing their relevance now
b) measuring the impact of actions (the mahi) in our initiative groups
c) looking at assessment tools which span across all our schools.
 
For the remainder of 2018, the pilot group will work alongside maths initiatives schools.  In Term 4, a full review of progress and a deep analysis of data will take place and results reported back to Principals.  A valuable link to assessment documents that are well worth a read over the holiday break.