Friday, 31 August 2018

The Mathematics/Pāngarau Initiative for Auckland Central Community of Schools.

The quality and capability of school leadership is the most significant in school influence on student outcomes. (ERO, 2016).

Richard George Principal of Parnell District School, Virginia Kung Deputy Principal of Newmarket School and Champion of Mathematics/Pāngarau, Jill Farquharson Principal of Auckland Normal Intermediate and Lead Principal of Auckland Central Community of Schools (ACCoS), Wendy Kofoed Principal of Newmarket School.

Behind are the teachers working collaboratively from the three schools. 
They are sharing their inquiries with each other.

Our ACCoS Kāhui Ako  Mathematics/Pangārau Initiative was initially formed at the end of 2017 when Auckland Normal Intermediate, Parnell District School which is a full primary and Newmarket Primary School which is a contributing primary, identified Mathematics as a focus for professional development in 2018 which was part of the schools strategic plans, as a way of working together across schools. The principals and members of their leadership team met with the Across School Leaders and the Champion who had been allocated to identify, plan for and help drive the Across Schools Collaborative Inquiries in a more direct and explicit way.
Within the three schools there are 77 teachers and in total there are 1,450 students.
Across the three schools the achievement data is generally above, when based on National Standards. 

As agreed by all schools taking part in the mathematics initiative the focus is around Teacher Pedagogy (Building on Content and Knowledge). In order to measure the effectiveness of the initiative student attitude data is used as a comparison indicator to gauge how successful the initiative is in strengthening teacher pedagogy knowledge and content knowledge when teaching maths in our schools. 

The Across School Leaders highlight pedagogies that motivate and engage students and identifyeffective strategies that support teachers in unpacking their content knowledge in mathematics. They look at the effect size using John Hattie's research.

They ensure that links are made with school directions and goals and ensure that achievement challenge 5 which is parent engagement and participation have been included as part of the process.
All schools agreed to share their strategic plans for 2018 and their assessment data for 2017 as a starting base for the  ACCoS Kāhui Ako  Mathematics/Pangārau Initiative inquiry. 

With the purpose of the collaboration is to improve outcomes, our Auckland Central Community of Schools Mathematics/Pāngarau Initiative, the three schools involved work collaboratively for school improvement and student achievement. When the schools in the initiative hold meetings or sharing of teacher practice, the three school principals are often seen and are visible in the initiative. Included in the above photo is our Mathematics/Pāngarau Champion who supports and guides the initiative lead Across school Leader (ASL) in her role as AcrossSchool Leader.

In addition to this photo the deputy principals from the three schools are also visible by working together, across schools to help unpack the data gathered from the initiative and sit behind the ASLs and In School Leaders (ISL) within the initiative to help guide and steer direction so that all members involved are focussed on the same goal. The effectiveness of the initiative will be measured using the effect size tool to measure progress and not achievement.

Alongside this initiative, there is a support ASL who helps with organisation and five ISL who lead the Professional Learning Groups/Communities within their own schools and share back school happenings when the team meet twice each term. The ISL analyse data for improvement by tracking historic data and analysing attitudinal data to unpack a correlation in achievement. To improve the quality of teaching and learning across the schools they access and run professional development that is aligned with their schools’ priorities which have been identified in the school’s strategic plans.

Key Drivers
Together the Mathematics/Pāngarau team have identified key drivers such as developing teachers pedagogical knowledge with a deep look at content knowledge to help prioritise what is taught, ongoing analysis of learners needs to ensure that a focus on learners remains the purpose of our work and a focus on parent engagement and participation.
Our long-term outcomes are:
●      Teachers working together across schools
●      Identified teaching strategies that have the greatest effect in mathematics
●      Increased positive attitudes of the learners towards Mathematics/Pāngarau.
●      Contribute to an increase in total assessment data
●      Reduce the level of not achieved in each school
●      Greater awareness about  Achievement Challenge 5 Parent Engagement & Participation

Transparency in the team
As an initiative within ACCoS, the work is transparent by sharing with everyone within this Kāhui Ako. This work is accessible online via the ACCoS Team drive that is hosted in Google Apps for Education.  Regular updates are shared via our ACCoS blog so that what we do is visible to the rest of Kāhui Ako in New Zealand. The shared expectation for our ISL is consistent in the initiative, each term all ASLs report initiative progress and 'where to next' with all the principals within ACCoS. ASLs also report what we do with our Boards of Trustees both in school and across schools.

Our ISL planning an across school event.
Masina from Parnell District School.
Andy and Emily from Auckland Normal Intermediate,
Ainsley and Belinda from Newmarket School
Students and teachers across the three schools at the end of the aMathing Race.

Recently trust and honesty have bubbled to the surface as teachers within the initiative have worked together to achieve several goals such as teachers and students sharing and collaborating across the three schools. This step in the process has been exciting as it has helped bond members across the schools. Some of the collaborative work has included creating an overview of Mathematics/Pāngarau across the three schools, planning for some of our students to work together using some of the effective strategies learnt in class, sharing professional learning group inquiries across the schools, and unpacking, analysing and sharing student attitudinal data gathered within school with Boards of Trustees and celebrating Mathematics/Pāngarau Week.

Highlights from our Maths Week

The lead ASLs of the initiative is currently undergoing peer review and have the opportunity to analyse feedback with our across school’s mentor and use this to further drive improvement in the Mathematics/Pāngarau Initiative. In School Leaders within the initiative will go through their own reviews as part of the cycle of collaborative inquiry. This process and documentation have been agreed to by the principals in ACCoS so the process is consistent across all schools.

As an initiative the team has worked to embrace more than just school leaders, teachers, and students but also parents and other leaders in the field. This final part exemplifies the original ACCoS AchievementChallenge 5 which is the focus on Parent Engagement and Participation.
The teachers in the Mathematics/Pāngarau Initiative have evolved from getting to know each other, to collaboration and working together, and soon to be co-responsible and accountable for results as data is gathered and analysed for the next phase of inquiry because ultimately the work that happens is for school improvement and student achievement.

Sharing at National Level

Soon members of the team have the opportunity to share at Ulearn, therefore, contributing to the national system where other Kāhui Ako come together to share. This will also be a chance to hear the voices of our ISL as they share the highlights and challenges they have encountered when working together across the schools. They welcome scrutiny and feedback from peers and the chance to make connections with other Kāhui Ako in New Zealand and to hear about their learning journeys.

Where to next for the Mathematics/Pāngarau Initiative
  • Our In School Leaders will be sharing our journey at Ulearn 2018 .
  • There is another across schools sharing session planned for term 4 for all teachers involved in the initiative from the three schools.
  • Coaching strategies have been identified as an area for further development.
  • An opportunity to share student voice has also been identified.
  • The effectiveness of the initiative will be measured, analysed and shared with the schools and their communities involved and then with ACCoS.

ACCoS (Ed.). (2015). Auckland Central Community of Schools Shared Achievement Challenge Plan 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2018, from

ERO (Ed.). (2016). SCHOOL LEADERSHIP THAT WORKS. Retrieved August 19, 2018, from

Killian, S. (2016, July 13). How To Know Thy Impact Using Effect Size. Retrieved August 20, 2018, from

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