Mā ngā huruhuru ka rere te manu … It is the feathers that enable the bird to fly


Mā ngā huruhuru ka rere te manu … It is the feathers that enable the bird to fly…

I feel like this is on the nose for our ongoing use of distributed leadership and teaching and learning at Hobsonville Point Secondary School. I also feel like this relates well to the building the plane metaphor that our leader and mentor uses, to describe our ongoing development of our “place” through reflection and action… http://principalpossum.blogspot.co.nz/2014/02/building-airplane-out-of-21st-century.html

We have not got everything right, but we are trying dam hard!!

I feel like we are practicing what we preach, we are shifting education pedagogically as is explicitly intended in our vision and values. This is not always easy, but we are all here to make a difference for our learners and the bigger cause which is … “to create a stimulating, inclusive learning environment which empowers learners to contribute confidently and responsibly in our changing world.” http://www.hobsonvillepoint.school.nz/

I see the whakatauki above really aligning to our school in a two-fold manner. The school can be seen as a “bird” and the feathers are belonging to all of us in the school community. This involves, learners, teachers (also learners), whanau and the wider community. It is how the feathers all align and work together that will allow the bird to fly. This is of course reciprocal as if our learners can fly then so too will the school. If the staff and the whanau can fly, then so too can the learners fly. We can all exemplify the feathers at some level and we can also support and awhi the bird to fly.

Allowing our learners to fly should be what I believe is our evidence that we gather in terms of accountability. This does not mean just the usual achievement in “high stakes assessment”. For learners to fly they must thrive mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually. This is why their hauora of our learners and our “Hobsonville Habits” are a strong focus in our learning model.

Hobsonville habits

We are currently working through processes of conferencing and assessment that may measure some of these aspects for accountability purposes. This is a difficult thing to get your head around and truly work out why, what and how to measure. The reason this is tricky is that we are doing education differently, we want these processes to align to our school vision and values. Not just to revert to “what we have always done” because it is easy.

We are personalising learning, allowing and empowering student voice throughout our curriculum in three integrated aspects of our curriculum…


Specialised learning Modules

Projects (Big and passion)

This is very different and therefore alignment of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy is always an ongoing concern and point of reflection. We are lucky to have on board Megan http://t.co/9hihlBDiJ7
who has expertise in assessment, assessment for learning and more… she has helped to exemplify and scaffold out processes for gathering evidence of learning, goal setting and feedback. This involves new processes for all and we as staff are constantly learning and shifting what we are doing. With the end goal in sight. Always reflecting on positive student outcomes for all learners. We need to ensure this analogy does not come to fruition for our learners…


We are only in our first term and we do not proclaim to have all the answers and all the models. We are constantly modifying, tweaking through reflection and action. However, we should be happy that we are developing the cohesion, use and lift of our feathers always looking for the learners to fly and hopefully this will also allow the plane that we are building to stay in the air. Sometimes we may need to stop to refuel and pick up new passengers along the way. I hope that the nature of our reflection and action will allow for longevity of our vision and values for future learners. It would be wrong not to try…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s