Yesterday I had the privilege to attend Delving deeper 3 at Riccarton Race Course. A chance for teachers to present and share learning and stories of engagement with other teachers. It was an excellent day and brilliant to see our very own school and cluster represented so well.
Hornby high school's Kapa Haka group opened the day with a super performance, it was great to see a Gilberthorpe face in the group, a great way to begin the day.
Eruera Tarena https://www.tetapuae.co.nz/about-us/people/eruera-tarena/ was the key note speaker who showed a clear passion, enthusiasm and a wealth of knowledge around the current landscape of Maori in the work force and there were some hard hitting facts.
Maori are well and truly over represented in many negative statistics, such as numbers in low skilled employment, numbers attending tertiary education and also those occupying jobs that are at risk of becoming extinct due to new technologies.
This reminded me of the unwavering commitment we need to be giving our Maori whanau, working hard to ensure that their dreams and aspirations are heard, that we get to know about the culture more so that children have a rich understanding of their culture, language and identity.
The first presentation I attended was from our very own Mel Raisin and her colleagues Kelsey
(Education programme leader for Uru Manuka), Sharon and Annabelle who are the school leaders from Yaldhurst and Wigram Primary. These ladies were very impressive. Their level of understanding of the learn create and share concept was explained well to a good audience who were keen to get as much of the gold as possible. The opportunity to share your practice openly and honestly is very refreshing and we need to do more of it. We spoke at lunch about the need to break down the walls and open up our information for everyone so that we can make life easier - work smarter not harder! We continue to be astonished by the number of people still locking up their resources, or as Mel put it "guarding it tighter than an old family recipe" It was great to have the chance to sit and listen, and as I did , I reflected on our journey as part of Manaiakalani outreach, where we began and where we are now, the progress our learners are making and the collaboration across the cluster and I was very proud of all of the work done by everyone to get us to this point.
Onwards and upwards!
I also got a fabulous recommendation for a mothers day present which I ticked off at the mall later that day :-)
My second session was titled "Boys caught reading" An initiative to get more boys reading and supporting them to develop a love of reading. At Paparoa street school they have set up this group with great success. It works as follows :
Once a week from 12.30-1pm any boys are invited to head to the library with their lunch for "Boys caught reading" At this time, they eat, sometimes they make a mess, sometimes they are loud, they read or might be read too. They run competitions weekly, score badges for attending at least 5 times and ensure that the library caters well for the types of books that they would like to read - Non fiction, disaster books, goosebumps books, books about bums, joke books, magazines and newspapers etc...
The group sometimes has guest speakers, the have fun games and challenges, have hosted a book breakfast and plan to roll out extreme reading this term. i think too often we expect our boys to behave, be engaged and excited about learning but do we make sure that we have catered for their interests, likes and dislikes. It would be great to think that our new library could have a special place for our boys and that we could begin to host events such as this. On a personal level I am going to make sure that I continue to read and role model to my two sons as often as possible. I will however try and wean Niko off "Where is the green sheep" which was read 18 times last night :-)
I have just got back from some shopping with four of our boys, we turned the ECO store upside down and managed to find 5 trolley loads of creative junk! Weed eaters, lawnmowers, bikes, paint etc etc... I am looking forward to what these boys can make , they are very excited. What intrigued me was that for the entire 2.5 hours we were out and about ( we did sneak in Subway for lunch) the conversation didn't stop, they were full of ideas and suggestions. If we can capitalise on that and get their energy moving in a constructive direction, we are onto a winner for sure!
After a delicious vegetable curry for lunch I listened to Sam Corry (Gilberthorpe) and Julie Carey
( Hornby primary) share about their TLIF (Teacher led innovation fund)project . The ministry don't give out over a hundred thousand dollars for no reason and these ladies showed exactly why it is money well spent. They have worked tirelessly to find out ways to support our 4-6 year olds with their communication and well being and the results have been special. Several individual inquiries feed into the overall goal and when complete the results will help us significantly. I have noticed a huge amount of progress with one our students through the project which is amazing, Going forward this will have a huge impact on our learners who arrive from pre school. The information gained will be shared with pre schools and so can only help our students get the best possible start. It was also impressive to hear of the solid relationships among the ECE's and schools.
The final session I attended was with Alby and Warrick from Hornby high school. They were talking about the Business Kete that they have hosted and play based learning. Last year we took students down to spend some money at the business Kete and about 20 of our students took part in a 3 v 3 basketball tournament so I was keen to hear about the thinking behind both of these initiatives. It turns out they are deliberately feeding into the schools vision of "A centre of creative excellence" What was most impressive from this session was the enthusiasm of the teachers to try different things. Hornby high school is clearly open to new, engaging and effective ways of learning and this was proven through the process that they followed. All staff were on board, free periods were sacrificed and many of the end products had huge benefit to the community. It was impressive to see how engaged the students were, there was even mention of the odd student coming in for play based learning but then difficult to find for the rest of the day :-) Giving cards to the children in hospital, helping educate people around drainage and rain water and donating goods to need families and causes were outstanding examples of supporting the community and giving back.
So a great day, well organised and especially significant to watch our Uru Manuka colleagues share with the 240 odd educators in attendance.
He waka eke noa - A canoe which we are all in with no exception.