We were delighted to welcome Harriette Cowan, year 1-3 teacher at Ridgway and a new Within School Teacher and Christina Rizos, Senior Head Teacher at the Owhiro Bay Kindergarten, one of the ten ECEs now joined up to our Kāhui Ako.
Karen lead an inspiring and provocative presentation that led us through thinking about the Potama Pounamu metaphor of mahi ngātahi: “where teachers, learners and whānau share in the power of contributing their own sense-making to the learning of others” --Poutama Pounamu, through understanding the nature of change and finally to think about what what ‘working with’ others looks like in practice and how we can all enhance our next steps in our areas of inquiry. We are aiming at change that may take our colleagues into uncomfortable spaces in the process of creating better learning experiences for our ākonga.
It was exciting to see the WSLs leave with a clearer idea of what their next steps are in their inquiry cycle and food for thinking about how to have rigorous, safe and robust conversations with our colleagues in our own schools. Our ASLs are looking forward to working with the WSLs to help them make sense of the learning and put it into practice.
Over the past three weeks we have been talking with ākonga in all our primary schools, recording their stories and thoughts around wellbeing. These rich conversations have given us deeper insight into what makes them feel good about themselves and what helps them to get along with others and feel that they belong in our schools.
If you would like to find out more about this scanning work check out our Hauora and Wellbeing page.
Once we have met with ākonga at Wellington High School early in Term 3 we will share what we have learned. Watch this space!
We are excited to be looking forward to Term 3-4 as we have now launched our Kāhui Ako Professional Learning programme for staff across all our schools and centres. It is designed to set up communities of practice to sustain our shared conversations around areas of need, as well as bring different groups together for sprint sharing of resources at TeachMeets.
View the intro video below, browse the programme on offer, and talk with your colleagues about opportunities to connect to current work.
From the outset, our Kāhui Ako has worked to connect and learn with other networks, both in Wellington and beyond. We have attended shared professional learning across the Wellington basin and pooled thinking and resources. In Wellington, students move across several Kāhui Ako so it makes sense!
This week, our Kāhui Ako was part of a session with the Christchurch-based Grow Waitaha initiative, pulling together stories from Kāhui Ako across the country to explore how different networks had pivoted during lockdown to support our schools.
Karen filmed an snippet to share our story - below - and one of our Across School Leads, Catherine Hill, attended to share and take questions.
Thursday 28 May, 3.30—4.15pm
Our learners all had different experiences of the lockdown period and varied engagement with remote learning. As we facilitated the reintegration into school for both students and teachers, well-being and belonging will have been at the top of our minds. We took the opportunity to reflect on what we had been doing during the first weeks of this unique (unprecedented!) return to school — and pooled our expertise around areas we are still wondering about.
If you would like to find out more about what was discussed and shared check out our session notes!
It is wonderful to be at Alert Level 1 as I write this month’s update. We are delighted that our schools maintained connections throughout the lockdown period with five different online sessions to share stories of responsive practice.
Our Kāhui Ako will be featured in a session as part of Christchurch’s Grow Waitaha initiative as an example of how we pivoted during the lockdown period and how this work will feed into our direction. We do not want to return to ’normal’ in that there have been gains in learning over this period. To that end, we are now planning a revised programme of professional learning for Terms 3-4 that takes an inclusive lens on student-directed learning, working with CORE Education (connected to Challenge 3).
Other activities this month have included:
Karen Spencer, Lead Principal, Capital City Kāhui Ako
Thursday 7 May, 3.30—4.30, via Zoom
At this online hui we shared what we have been doing as we teach remotely. We discussed how student experiences/feedback altered our approach to the way we planned and taught our 'virtual' lessons, and what shared what we could and would take back into our 'real' classrooms. If you would like to find out more please read our session notes!
to Following on from our first remote learning session, we would like to offer the following opportunities to connect our seven kura and share stories of practice:
Session #1 — Remote learning planning Wed 8 April
Preparing for Level 4 at the start of Term 2 | Session notes
Session #2 — Level 3 planning Friday 24 April, 9am
A chance to share stories of how we are using technology successfully (we think!) with our students and our teachers in our new environment (and to do so while it is still relevant in this fast-changing world). Time for Q&A to solve puzzles too! Facilitated by Karen. | Session notes
Session #3 - Whānau-centred planning: Thursday 30 April 3.30—4.30, via Zoom
Let’s talk about what we are doing / planning now to include whānau in our discussions about teaching, as well as how we are supporting learner and whānau wellbeing. These are key questions our Kāhui Ako are asking, not just with remote learning but also into a face-to-face, uncertain future. | Session notes
Session #4 - Curriculum design for our diverse learners: Thursday 7 May, 3.30—4.30, via Zoom
How can we design pedagogy that stretches to meet a wide range of student needs? Let’s share what we have been doing as we teach remotely. How have student experiences/feedback altered our approach to how we plan and teach our lessons, and what can we take back into a face to face classroom?
Use our email on the contacts page if you would like join this session.
The programme was looking amazing with so many offers of support from across all our schools — thank you!
It is, of course, disappointing that we had to make this decision, but your health and well-being are paramount!
The Kāhui Ako is here to support you all to share and connect, as needed, over the coming weeks.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page and we will also send around a Google Doc for people to use to pool ideas and advice to support all our learners and staff.
It is so exciting to see the amazing work the Within School teachers are doing. Here is a bit of a taster of what some of them are up to.
Maeve Ried, Natalie Bell and Roger Mantel from Wellington High School have recognized the importance of teams of teachers taking the time to understand each other and build a team kaupapa. To this end, they have been meeting with the teams of teachers who work with the year 9s and 10s. Typically four teachers (English, maths, science and social studies) work with two classes in these Herengatahi groups. Maeve and Nat have facilitated conversations, asking:
Kyle Webb from Wellington High School has also been planning for the year 9 and 10 Herengatahi classes - to increase the opportunities for meaningful integrated learning. The plan is to suspend normal subject timetables for three weeks. In preparation, Kyle is creating exemplar integrated units and processes to encourage teachers to co-construct topics of interest with their students that will lead to real-life engagement and actions with the community. He is documenting an example process with his team that can be shared with others.
Julie Hanify from Ridgway school has been working on transitions for students into new classes at the beginning of the year. Last year she organized vulnerable students to have STEM classes with their teachers for the next year and set up a tuakana-teina system. This year she has been interviewing the students. Her question has been: How can we share good practice?
Debbie Purves from Newtown School completed an inquiry process last year, investigating how to build capabilities through co-curricular activities called ‘time to thrive.’ Her new investigation will include more co-construction with teachers and students to build activities from the ground up. She is enjoying slowing down and taking more time to hear the stories of both the teachers and the students. Her question to teachers signing up students to activities is, “Why those kids?” and her gentle challenge is to ask teachers to be aware of their assumptions and reflect on their decision making processes.
Paul Cooper from SWIS is putting together an inquiry based on his school’s wellbeing data and how to support wellbeing and hauora in the school. At this stage, he is still in the scanning phase of an inquiry.
Lauren Sims from Houghton Valley School has been at the school and in the WSL role for a whole three weeks. She has established that wellbeing is the priority for her school and meeting the needs for the diversity of the school – especially the rainbow and gender diverse families. She is going to be doing the online Potama Pounamu course and will be sharing with staff how they can improve wellbeing through better cultural responsiveness. At this stage, she is still in in the scanning phase of an inquiry.
Jo Sciascia from Owhiro Bay has gone ‘meta’ inquiring about inquiry learning. She is focusing on building an Owhiro Bay inquiry method and progression through the school based on curriculum levels. They have a skeleton framework now and will be building on it over the year with the new team of teachers at the school. Jo's next step will be to talk to the students and get their feedback, as the tools they are building are for the students to be able to talk about their learning and need to be age-appropriate. She also wants to create a sustainable process that will survive changes in teachers.