Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi… With your basket and my basket the people will live

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I feel that this is a meaningful whakatauākī, in relation to the current development process we are going through at the moment at HPSS. I have referred to distributed leadership a number of times through my blogs. However, I feel I can show this in a clear way by showing you the journeys of my colleagues across the variety of teams that Maurie and the Senior Leadership team have developed across the school. This will show it is not just hearsay, the cohesion becomes more obvious.

First up we have Maurie our Principal, who himself is recording his journey on a blog as well as building the awesomeness of everyone by following and referring to the blogs of our staff. He is leading in a remarkably different way to any Principal who has come before him and I foresee for a long time after as well. I thought I would put together for you a selection of these blogs, across teams so you can see it in action.

I am a member of the LTL’s who are developing the hubs at school. The use of a coach with a small group of learners who will guide, coach and support their group to ensure that personalised, meaningful education is developing for all our learners. We are lead by http://lea72.blogspot.co.nz/ (Lea). The blogs of the other two members are http://mrsmeganpeterson.wordpress.com/ (Megan) and http://yasminjaynekelly.wordpress.com/ (Yas). Our team are the protectors and advocates of the dispositional curriculum that I have mentioned in previous posts.

In the SLL team who have been hacking the NZC and developing an innovative structure that is allowing for personalisation and responsiveness to occur in our school we have Lisa http://stevemouldey.wordpress.com/ (Steve) , http://jillmacdonald.wordpress.com/ (Jill), http://kyleenewbold.blogspot.com/ (Kylee) and this team is lead by @DianeCavallo

Then we have the Project Learning Team that is lead by @hpssprojects (Sarah) who has a team that includes Martin, @44trees4me (Bryce), http://lizmchughvisualdiary.blogspot.com/ (Liz) and http://petefoodtech.wordpress.com/ (Pete). As a team they are looking at the development of Big Projects in our school that are authentic, taking action type projects, that will make a huge difference to our community and our learners.

The Professional Learning team is lead by http://www.teachingandelearning.com/ (Claire) and includes @CbwynnWynn , http://rosmaceachern.blogspot.com/ (Ros) , http://georgids.wordpress.com/ (Georgi) who is also our future focussed Library leader, http://missdtheteacher.blogspot.com/ (Danielle). This team is developing Our teacher professional learning to ensure a community of educators continually inquiring into their practice to ensure positive learner outcomes.

We also have the business manager (Annette) and awesome Maliina as PA to Maurie, who are both extremely important paddlers on our team. It is difficult to describe the team environment and the “tribe culture” as several blogs have spoken to. We all have areas of leadership, every individual is an important part of the team paddling the “waka”. In the words of Aristotle…

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Further to the distributed leadership I have mentioned here, there is even more opportunity for this to occur across the school. Many teams are being developed including the Maori and Pasifika Achievement team, timetabling, N.C.E.A, orientation, assessment, Cross school Thinking group and many more… All of these teams are on a opt in basis and allows for staff to opt in where interest is sparked and experience can support their roles. This allows for autonomy and a real sense of part in the community.

I have provided many links and advise that you explore these amazing blogs, if you want to look further into the true depth and breadth of our team, journey, development at HPSS. There is not long to go until the end of the year, you can feel the excitement building by the day and week. ERO has been hugely complimentary to the ground breaking and innovative work occurring. I look forward to the last half of the term as we dig deeper into the different components of our curriculum. Not for one second do I take for granted the once in a lifetime opportunity to shift education and start a new school from the ground up.

As we all weave our baskets and place them along side each other, we co-operate, collaborate and continue to learn from all in our team, for the good of the HPSS community. Bring on 2014!

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Hauora, Habits and Hobsonville…

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The development of the Hobsonville Point Secondary School Dispositional Curriculum is an ongoing process. This process is responsive to the feedback, knowledge and understandings of the whole staff. We continue to revise how we are going implement this across the school community. As a team (Lea, Megan, Yas and I), we have reflected over time to what “Personal Excellence” may look like, feel like, sound like and how we can best put the structures in to support this. You will see by the above diagram that we have recognised that our model and was missing an important part of the “warm and demanding” I have talked to in the past. For this to occur, we have developed the concept of “Hauora” to sit at the centre of the model. A recognition of the work of Sir Mason Durie and his “Te Whare Tapa Whā” model. There have been challenges in the past to this model to include “whenua” and the land. However, we have seen that sitting in the supporting and surrounding concepts in the model.

The model of Hauora includes…

Taha tinana – Physcial well-being:
– the physical body, its growth, development, and ability to move, and ways of caring for it.
Taha hinengaro – Mental and emotional well-being:
– Coherent thinking processes, acknowledging and expressing thoughts and feelings and responding constructively.
Taha whānau – Social well-being:
– Family relationships, friendships, and other interpersonal relationships; feelings of belonging, compassion, and caring; and social support.
Taha wairua – Spiritual well-being:
– The values and beliefs that determine the way people live, the search for meaning and purpose in life, and personal identity and self-awareness.

This focuses on the learner and their being. We then look to the community, relationships and partnerships in the following concepts…

Manaakitanga: Moral Purpose
Whanaungatanga: Relationships
Awhinatanga: Guidance and Support
Pono: Having self-belief
Whenua: Relationship with land and place

We look to Hermann’s Brain to influence the quadrants that we focus on for coaching and rigour across the different aspects of the school curriculum.

Quadrants (Innovative, Strategic, Relational and Metacognitive) that identify learner preference and allow for learners to develop as a whole learner.

Our HPSS quadrants have been strongly influenced by the Hermann Brain Model and the work by Guy Claxton around Learning Power.

Each of the quadrants have strong links with each of the Key Competencies:
– Participating and Contributing
– Thinking
– Relating to Others
– Using language, symbols and text
– Managing self

Further more we have the Hobsonville Habits, these are the dispositions that we intend for learners to develop and use to help them to “flounder intelligently in anything life throws at them” (Claxton).
The Habits have been developed into “I-statements” to help the learners to explore and make sense of these.

Resilience: I don’t give up when times are tough.
Strives for Excellence: I set high standards and push beyond my boundaries.
Curiosity: I am inquisitive and playful. I explore in search of awe and wonder.
Creativity: I am imaginative and I explore the what if. I dream. I view things in new ways.
Reflective: I look back to look forward.
Passionate: I get in the zone, and love it when I’m there.
Integrity: I am ethical, honest and responsible. I do the right thing.
Entrepreneurial: I am willing to take risks and look for opportunities which may not yet exist.
Purposeful: I do things with intent and determination.
Contributive: I make a difference by using my skills, thoughts, and ideas when working with others.
Collaborative: I work with and learn from others.
Responsive: I am empathetic, compassionate, and flexible when making decisions and taking action.
Resourceful: I use my initiative to seek out resources and use them in different ways.
Critical: I analyse, question and use evidence.

To now put this into practice we are working on coaching the coaches, working in conjunction with the other teams in the school to sure cohesion of the school vision and shared understanding of Hubs, Specialised Learning Modules, Big Projects and ongoing Professional Learning.

With the hub model small groups of learners will have a coach and the coaches will work through the following types of processes with the learners (still a work in progress)…

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I continue to be excited about the potential of all aspects of our school, I am loving the stimulating environment that is being developed by Maurie, Lea, Di and Claire and also the rest of our awesome team. We are doing things with the NZC that have never been done before and cannot wait to get started with it all when we first meet our learners in a few weeks, we connect with them and their whānau and we start to put the Hauora, Habits and Hoobsonville vision into action.

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Citius, Altius, Fortius… “Faster, Higher, Stronger….or flat, distributed, collaborative? Recognising the history we are tied to…

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To create change in Society and more specifically in Education there should be recognition of the history we are tied to. To ensure change can be maintained, we need to be mindful of what has come before. In a school that has an abundance of “agents of change” with strong “growth mindsets”, it could be easy to rest on our laurels and suppose that change will occur with no limitations. However, as Friere would recognise we are not empty vessels for banking. We come with experiences and a history of Education based on an industrial model of Education. One where traditional leadership models have been about “Faster, Higher, Stronger” and who can get to the top. A teacher-centric model where the teacher has been the knower and the learner has been the student. As we shift (as we should) to a student centred model, there is still the tension to be the “decider” of what is the knowledge? What is the pedagogy and what are the skills we want our learners to gain? The temptation is to be organised, efficient, ready to roll when our learners arrive. However, it is far to important to wait for their voices, passion, interests and hooks. To place them at the centre and be responsive to them. To allow them all to flourish, without hierarchy, ranking and one size fits all.

The tension previously mentioned is not the only potential tension that can arise. Also one to be acknowledged, aligned to the traditional leadership model is one where there is a hierarchy of leadership. As opposed to the distributed leadership model, which we at HPSS are working within. One where everyone is a leader, leadership is spread horizontally and draws on the expertise of the staff. A model of high relational trust. I assert that there is expertise on this staff in abundance, I have never been in a school with so much passion and knowledge about Education. The potential is endless, I have previously mentioned that I find myself in the role of ongoing learner, drawing on the depth and breadth of talent, knowledge, experience and concern of the colleagues, I am both excited and proud to be working with. It could be easy to revert to old structures and models, however, I feel confident with the critical friends and Professional Learning Community we are developing here that we will hold strong to the vision and values that are driving us.

Distributed

If we were to consider the industrial model of Education as an institution in Society. We could then say that this institution was an element of “hegemony” (Gramsci). To create change (counter-hegemony) Gramsci would highlight the importance of action at Macro and micro levels. My take on this is that the NZC allows for the macro level to be covered, the potential of this document is limitless if used in the flexible way it was intended. The intent to personalise learning and pathways. Therefore, it is us at a school level that must ensure the micro-level change. This must include SLT, SLL’s, LTL’s, PLT, and the Project Team, as well as the learners and their Whanau. We need to engage our community and build powerful partnerships. We also must make sure that when everything is up and go that we keep an eye on the history we are tied to, that we do not revert to “what we are used to”. Keeping the learner and their Education at the centre, developing their pathways to suit and empower them.

While I am talking tensions to keep an eye on, it is pertinent to consider a staff who are passionate teachers who all come from their own silos in traditional schools. Maurie and the SLT have hired people on mindset that want to shift Education, create change and think outside the square. They have definitely done this. The SLL team have done an amazing job of hacking the curriculum and there is no hierarchy of subject evident anymore. All have been hired as they see the power and potential of showing learners the connectedness of our subject areas, with a focus on concepts and skills this is potentially a intended and actual outcome. So what may be the tension, not a tension as such, more another aspect to keep an eye on. The passion for their subject areas should be interesting, as we move into negotiation of who is in what module, what is the focus, how much time is allocated. I foresee that with the collegial, team, tribe and whanau we have developed, that there will be give and take and ongoing negotiation along the way.

So while there could be potential tensions as we shift from the old to the new, I feel confident in the amazing teams that we have developing here at HPSS, I love all the conversations, curriculum development, team bonding, vision and innovation that we are a part of and look forward to orientation day this term when we meet all our learners at the primary site. While we have met many of the learners as we visit our feeder schools, we are excited to introduce them to our Hubs, Specialised learning modules, Big Projects and Passion Projects. For their whanau to meet our whanau and take the next step in this amazing journey.

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