Thursday, 18 February 2016

COL = CAR: Oamaru schools move into first gear

Community of Learning COL
Representatives from interested schools attended a COL scoping meeting at Redcastle, Oamaru 16th Feb 2016: WBHS, SKC, OIS, Weston, Papakaio, Oamaru North, Totara (interested but unable to attend), St Joseph's, OKA
Representatives from Ministry Dunedin office: Julie Anderson, Lynn McKinney, Roz (newly appointed COL specialist team member)
Image from
Julie Anderson shared the following information to start the round table discussion:
Community, collaboration, career opportunities
Achievement challenge, focus on achievement for all in the community
Resourcing to support the process, time, money & sharing of expertise
Other things can happen as part of being the community to allow learners to flourish. Drive best practice for all learners.
Follow student’s pathways. Sometimes achievement drops off during transition.
Conversations across boundaries should be driving the learning - thinking about the families spread through the community (eg. responding to needy families).
Staffing numbers based on September guaranteed minimum staffing for consistency.
Travel - resourcing for isolated and rural schools
Teachers have a range of career pathways and funding to support the way the teachers work with teachers -across school teachers ( $16000 and release) -in school teachers ( $8000 and release time)
2-3 across school teachers, 2 year appointments and targeted against achievement challenges
10-15 in school teachers , appoint within your own school, extras can then be in a pool and any teacher could apply, employment process managed by COL with support person as necessary.
Teacher must have board and principal support. Apply against COL agreed criteria and through a COL  appointments committee.
Principal role - project management, big role, coordinating the professional learning 2 /3  in own school and 1 /3  coordinating - builds own school and allows capacity of others to grow eg. DP, AP
Across school teacher and principal 2 days per week, can be managed in a way to suit the schools (might be a week a month instead). They will need to plan how someone else is going to step up for them. Two year contracts for everyone,
Some can be employed permanently within school. They would give 2 hours a week to the COL and then support teachers in their own school.
Basis of everything is around teacher led inquiry - what are we going to do about this and how are we going to solve it ? Everyone in the community contributes.
Other groups evolve: Stewardship group, group alongside the lead principal, appointment panel and so on.
Community  Business world supportive, approach as a bigger group for contracts for purchasing etc
Process Bring data and unpack it to see where we can support students.
Achievement Challenges
Data and evidence around children, commonality within group, 3-5 challenges. Some intermediate, primary, secondary 2-3 year targets. Take into account gender, ethnicity, literacy, numeracy, age groups and then come up with the targets based on robust discussion. Rethink what we do. Could be  eg.maths  Yr 5-8 broader base and more resourcing to sort this out.

Next step nationally is to source funding potential for Early Childhood to fully engage.
Every school gets about 50 hours in your opps grant to support the PLD to free up your teachers. Funding comes into our staffing and then can be balanced against budget.
Is 8 big enough to start ? Yes The goal is for the COL to be approved by April.
Other schools ? Be open. Plan ahead in case we grow ? Be inclusive and see if anyone else wants to join.
Extra points discussed:
It needs to be based on good pedagogy. High trust model. Manage the process of educating our community around data. Some suggestions were put onto the table:
  • Pasifika Talanoa - definitely needs to be included
  • Technological wave - sharing and synergy with SNUP
  • LCN pedagogy with transitions - worked well
  • Vocational pathways
  • Vulnerable children - special education
There is a facilitated process with the COL to draw out common needs. Determine skills and attributes from across the group.Time, trust and transparency. What is the pedagogical philosophy of learning that drives this group ? What strategies will we use to drive this ?

MOU to be signed for trust and professionalism to operate together. Utilise Smart technology, google hangouts will help to alleviate distance concerns.

Method of communication from this point - talk with boards and staff.
Think about charter goals and information to bring to a follow up meeting.
Important to encourage  board members to the meetings as it is communities that we are growing.

Next steps: Board committing and teachers being part of it, send off agreements to Roz, share at NOPPA meeting. Another meeting to be arranged to talk further across schools. 
What will happen when we move into second gear ?

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Mary and Brian in Oamaru sharing Infinity

We were fortunate to be able to welcome Mary Wootton and Brian Annan to Oamaru last week. They have played key roles in the Learning and Change Network developments over the past few years. They have forged ahead with their own company - Infinity where the learning never ends.

They gave us an insight into what they can offer in the way of learning and support for leaders, teachers and families. You can read more about their visit on this link.

Whitestone Education Profile

Thanks to Rob Mill for sharing the Whitestone Education profile with us. This shows achievement information for all Whitestone learners from 2013-2014 and for New Zealand learners 2013-2014.

Please share your thoughts.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Primary students give a presentation to high school teachers

Year 8 (12,13 year olds) students from Weston and St Joseph's shared learning with high school and primary staff across our network.
The primary schools collaborated on google sheets to prepare a slide show presentation.
Here is the St Joseph's presentation.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

National LCN Networking Hui Auckland July 2015

Nicky, Sharlene and Jenny were fortunate to experience an inspiring two days at the National Networking Hui in the July school holidays. 
Sharlene's presentation Learning through different eyes was very well received and reflected the work that she has done with Weston students contributing to her sabbatical work. 
Participants came to Nicky and Jenny's Sustainability session interested in the way forward for their own clusters now that the official LCN contract has come to an end.

You can access photos, videos and links to learning sessions from the National Networking Hui on this link.

This is the futuristic learning map that we created for our Whitestone network based on discussions around Valerie Hannon's key global themes for learning and change. We shared this with other participants who offered thoughts and ideas based on their own experiences.

When we come together on Friday 24th July at 3:45pm at Weston school we will look at this as a collective and plan our next steps forward. Although the official LCN initiative has come to an end, we want to maintain the momentum and keep moving forward ourselves.

Here is a link to a collaborative agenda for Friday. Please add to it.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Waitaki District Education Forum, Sustainability and Infinity

As the government's Learning and Change network strategy draws to an end in July, we have begun to proactively reach out to other schools across North Otago to share our learning.
Paul sent an invitation to all schools across North Otago. 

This was the agenda :

There was an excellent turnout from across the education sector and some engaging forward thinking discussion and collaboration.
This was Paul's follow up response.
Three of us will be attending the National Network Hui in the July holidays. Sharlene will facilitate a seminar on her work with engaging priority learners.
Nicky and Jenny will focus on sustainability.

This is great representation from the Whitestone Network and we thank the organisers for the travel subsidy we have all received. 
In light of the official conclusion of the government strategy, we would like to especially thank all of the facilitators who have played a key role in our professional growth as a network: Brian Annan, Mary Wootton, Rob Mill and Janine Simpson. We wish Brian, Mary, Jean Annan and Natalie MacGuire all the best with their new venture INFINITY  

As for the Whitestone Network, we are adamant that our network learning will never end. The leaders will come together on Friday 24th July and plan our next learning steps. We are looking forward to bringing to the table our learning from the National Network Hui.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Milestone 6 Prezi Whitestone LCN

This prezi encapsulates and celebrates the learning and activities of the Whitestone Learning and Change Network so far. Thanks to everyone who contributed their data and thanks to Paul Cartlidge for preparing this prezi.