In Week 9, despite the challenges of returning from lockdown, we held our termly hui for our ASLs and WSLs, to provide on-going support for their change leadership.
We shared the progress in our in-school projects, and used a couple of change leadership frameworks to reflect on:
The team can access the slides here
I liked the chance to talk to others, sharing and discussing different but tricky challenges.
Community of Practice #5
I orea te tuatara ka puta ki waho
A problem is solved by continuing to find solutions
This whakatauki has a literal meaning of using a spear to probe a tuatara from its hole – this imagery reminds us of the importance of being persistent and creative in the journey of success! In our latest Community of Practice session we spent some time reframing our work - moving from a Mātai Rangi (big picture) perspective, to a Mātai Nuku (personal) perspective.
We took time to listen to student voice - Ngā Huatau Taiohi and asked ourselves the following questions, which you may also like to reflect on:
We then took time to dig deeply into an excellent article from Education Hub: Seven Principles to effectively support Māori students as Māori. In our response to this article we worked with a critical friend to refine our actions - what will we do in our classroom to make a positive difference for our Māori students?
It is encouraging to see the bravery and honesty of the participants in our session - and their willingness to go deeper for the sake of their students. Ngā mihi maioha koutou!
“The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives”. – William James (1842 – 1910)
Two weeks ago Suzie Harcourt presented on anxiety. She spoke about recognising behaviours associated with anxiety and how to support students out of these heightened states.
In the Emotional Self-regulation workshop last week we looked at:
“Between stimulus and a response there is a space. In that space lies our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom” - Victor Frankl
Teachers shared some of the challenges they face with students, personally, and relationally. The ability to just ‘feel our body’ is something some students have great difficult doing so they may be missing some of the more subtle cues associated with behaviour regulation.
How does the body respond to threats physiologically?
· Heart rate increases
· Temperature increases
· Adrenaline then cortisol levels increase
· Breath shortens and quickens
George Johnston from the Pause Breathe Smile mindfulness programme provided insight into the importance of:
Pause Breathe Smile is a mindfulness programme developed in NZ and fully sponsored by Southern Cross Health Care – so it is FREE to NZ schools. We hope to bring George back into our Kāhui Ako next year to provide some in-depth training for kaiako.
You can view the slides for the session here.
In the week post-lockdown, it was tricky to take the time to think about developing key competencies in a science context. Many thanks to all those who attended and contributed their knowledge. It was a provocative and useful session.
We began with a walking debate that initiated thoughtful discussions about these three statements:
The three readings we shared allowed the opportunity to deepen our understanding of science capabilities, mātauranga Māori in science; and the OECD’s big ideas in science.
As always the stories of what schools are doing were fascinating. From the local curriculum and geology inquiry at Owhiro Bay to X-files discovery learning about life in space at Ridgway to meteorological learning at Island Bay the opportunities teachers are providing for science learning were inspiring.
The division in the science curriculum between the nature of science and contexts was a recurrent theme in our discussions. Prue MacFarlane, a science teacher at WHS, shared with the participants how spending time developing the skills of a scientist at primary and intermediate is arguably more important than having specific content knowledge when students begin at secondary school. She had put a massive amount of work into tracking the development of these skills through the pathway from years 0-13 and for the last part of this session asked for feedback on her document.
You can view the slides for the session here.
The session then explored what the stress response can look like in the classroom using the 4 F's - Fight, Flight, Freeze and Fawn, and outlined a simple framework for understanding how to help kids in stress response using the 4 R's - Reframe, Regulate, Relate and Reason.
More information along with other support resources can be found here.
During lockdown in Term 3, we have published and shared three pānui designed to support the hauora of our kaiako and ākonga.
You can revisit them below:
In this case, being in lockdown proved an advantage. Twelve teachers from four of our schools (Wellington High. Owhiro Bay, Ridgeway, and Newtown) joined to discuss the ways they are altering their teaching to be more inclusive both online and in the classroom. As we grapple again with online teaching, the kawa of our Google Meet/Zoom classes was on top for many. Lauren (Newtown School) shared this with us:
There was an interesting discussion about agency and how we can encourage our students to be making decisions about their learning. Justine (DP at Newtown School) reminded us that, when we follow the UDL guidelines, there is a progression from accessing information to building resilience to internalizing the processes with the goal being “expert learners who are purposeful and motivated, resourceful and knowledgeable, and strategic and goal-directed.” Students will move up and down the layers depending on the type of learning.
The Conflict Resolution and Restorative Practices session ran last week and was attended by five of our seven schools, and an external agency. Massive thanks to Alice for sharing the ‘peace paths’ inspired initiative within Newtown School. The impact of better resourcing students to manage conflict situations by themselves appears clear. We were all able to learn from the process Alice outlined of student facilitators noticing types of conflicts, role-playing responses, making the process visible to students (classes), being available to support others, and regular circles to share learning and challenges.
The workshop slideshow
As discussed during the session, there are inconsistencies in teacher restorative capabilities that can be addressed. Some ways to do this include making restorative language visible for teachers and students, having restorative scripts on-hand, having a variety of facilitators available as a best fit for the situation. Best of all is to have experienced the value of restorative practices and how everyone benefits from them when they are done well.
If anyone (individual teachers or groups of teachers) would like support with team / school script training, restorative initiatives, restorative facilitation, or running class circles, I am available. Please let me know how I can support you further.
Across School Lead
"I liked the opportunity to talk through the project with others. The structures discussed were very useful."
Week 9 saw our ASLs and WSLs gather together again for our termly hui, focused on change leadership and project/inquiry design. Facilitated by Karen Spencer and Nicki Read (DP, Newtown), we walked through a range of tools to help us:
The rest of the session invited the team to focus in on purposeful actions for Term 3, and closed with a commitment to these. We look forward to seeing what emerges!