Everything is nothing with a twist…I am not a non existent teacher who just lets students go!

everything is nothing

Everything is nothing with a twist…

Even after a wonderful performance by the All Blacks this morning, I cannot get out of my mind this article in stuff.co.nz re: modern learning. Riddled with assumptions and possibly fuelled by an agenda to fight MOE changes to classrooms of the future, I feel to stay quiet on the article would be to agree in a passive manner. Here is the article… http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/73042309/Top-schools-give-multi-million-dollar-classrooms-a-fail-grade

I never judge a colleague, a practitioner, a teacher, a learner, by what school they are in. I never make judgements about what might be happening in a persons classroom, how they are helping their learners to grow. I never make judgements about how school communities are trying to ensure positive student outcomes, academically, socially or emotionally. I always assume that no matter where a person in education works, both in and outside/alongside the school community, that they have the best interest of the students at heart.

So… how is it when it comes to modern learning environments that many choose to make assumptions and generalisations about what is occurring. As I said in the title of the blog, I am not a non existent teacher who just lets students go! I feel that I need to stand in support of my colleagues working in a modern learning environment and challenge what has been said.

This is my 20th year in education, I have taught in a variety of decile schools and have seen quality practice in every school I have ever worked in. Passionate colleagues who have the best interest of the students at heart. Teachers who have put the students at the centre and personalised learning for them, working with them and not doing education to them. Personalised learning is not therefore just letting go and letting students go. There is a power shift required. However, this is nothing new, this has come in educational theory for years…see this old post on going old school in a new school. https://sallyhart72.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/going-old-school-at-a-new-school/

Colleagues at HPSS are shifting education for sure, however, they are excellent practitioners, who are differentiating and connecting learning more than I have ever seen before. As I say, not to take away from any other school or setting as I believe there is good practice everywhere. Yes we allow students to explore, make sense, focus and more… (aspects of our learning design model, that allows for cohesion in the language of learning across the school) see post by Steve on this in more depth… https://stevemouldey.wordpress.com/2015/02/22/empowering-language/

Teachers are getting also to deep learning at school rather than just surface. Teachers are working to make learning visible and meaningful to their learners. https://sallyhart72.wordpress.com/2015/05/30/what-are-we-really-learning-making-learning-visible/

Oh of course a teacher in a MLE is going to say these sorts of things…they must not believe in assessment, they will never get in the league tables, do we care about that? No. Do we care about positive student outcomes? For sure! What are those? Now this is something up for debate? Who decides what positive student outcomes are “we do!” our school, our community, our learners, our whānau.

I believe that I have a good handle of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy, here is a link to my MEd (1st class honours) http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/8984 show off putting that here! No proving that there is depth and an understanding of education to be challenging the view points put forward in the article. Also working as National Assessment Moderator for NZQA for 5 years, I also have a reasonably good handle of what is required to achieve success as is currently measured. We are looking to shift things and transform things in our context. However, we are well aware of constraints and work to see these in different ways, how can we collect naturally occurring evidence? How can we align curriculum, assessment and pedagogy and ensure that assessment is not the main driver?

It is not a dichotomy… modern learning vs traditional learning. Maybe it can be seen more as a dialectical relationship for your Marxists out there. Where hegemony and counter-hegemony work against each other to create a new hegemony. Where things do need a radical shift, but not to throw out the old, but to truly re-vision what success in education is and can be? It does not have to be a dichotomy…


I want to paint a picture…I am currently teaching collaboratively in a module with Tanya, who has many years under her belt as a Mathematician, she is an amazing practitioner differentiating more than she has ever done before. Working hard to put her students at the centre and achieving not only depth in learning, but also extending her learners more than she has ever before. Yes it is in a MLE, however, she is pushing herself as a practitioner more than she has ever done before, scaffolding and supporting along the way, not just letting go…however, that will come more as the students move further along the school pathway. She is also connecting with HPE, who would have thought that! Here is a write up on that module and the awesome social action taking place within it by @Sarvnazz http://attitudelive.com/blog/sarvnaz-taherian/opinion-exploring-disabilities-gain-empathy

Then we have https://twitter.com/CbwynnWynn our awesome SCT (specialist classroom teacher) who supports SCT across the region, has been an advisor and also a National Assessment Moderator for Biology. An amazing practitioner in any setting. She always has the student at the centre, more than any other practitioner I know, she always has, no matter where she has taught, she personalises learning constantly. However, she too scaffolds, supports, differentiates all the way. She is responsive to the learners and listens to their voice. This is good practice whatever school you are in.

I could go through all my colleagues at school and give you a brief on them and their teaching and learning programmes in their classes in the same manner. They are awesome practitioners, constantly inquiring into their own practice striving for positive student outcomes. I could have also done this when I taught at Onehunga High School, Takapuna Grammar School, St Cuthbert’s College and in London. Why, because I always see the best in my colleagues, I don’t run down other schools for what they are doing, I don’t see education as competition, I see it as collaboration to get the best for akonga/students across the nation. For allowing schools to work in their context in their way, with their communities, akonga/students, whānau to work out the best way to achieve “positive student outcomes” in line with their vision. If we are all working towards the same goal only then… Everything is nothing with a twist…


Doing things differently is not always easy!

Doing things differently is not always easy!

Coming back to the kaupapa! Things are pretty busy on the ground. Many different aspects to our model, how to have cohesion, develop capability and support. It is all a balancing act as a leader… Today I got the coaches to reflect back on our initial kaupapa doc and key parts to our role. Here is the two docs…

HPSS Kaupapa of the Learning Hub

The Learning Hub

A Learning Hub is a small group within a Learning Community. Each Learning Hub has a Learning Coach. They are central to the school’s goal to empower learners by “Innovating through personalising learning, Engaging through powerful partnerships, and inspiring through deep challenge and inquiry .

When the school is at full capacity, students will remain with the same Learning Hub for their time at school. This is so they will get to understand and know each other and their Learning Coach well. In the first few establishment years there will be some shifts due to growing groups. However, this will always be done by involving students and their families.

The Learning Coach is to act as the academic and pastoral mentor for each of their students. In this way, the Learning Hub is a support system for the learner and is a bit like an extended family. Within this system every student has an adult in the school who cares about him or her deeply.

The Learning Hub is a time for students to be exposed to a wide range of ideas, interests, skills and experiences which support their learning. During Learning Hub time students develop skills around learning to learn, and the habits to be successful inquirers and self-directed learners.

The Role of the Learning Coach

The Learning Coach has the opportunity to be a teacher of learning and to radically change the entire schooling experience for their students. An important role of the Learning Coach is to create a caring, intellectually stimulating and well-organised Learning Hub.

The Learning Coach is responsible for guiding each one of their students through their learning journey. The Learning Coach works with students to identify passions and link their interests and needs to their learning. Learners negotiate their LearnPath (personalised learning programme) with their Coach to ensure that what they are learning is relevant to them.

The Learning Coach supports learners to reach academic and personal excellence by supporting them to set learning goals, constantly revisiting them and revising them and to seek ways of supporting each learner to enjoy the success of achieving their goals. The Coach also works with learners to track their learning journey, to discuss learning issues and find solutions, provide pastoral care, provide guidance for life beyond school and build on learners’ capacities to take responsibility for their learning.


There was a lot of reflection by the coaches in my community, concerns over one on one time and how to facilitate this without just giving busy work, also still the difficulty of being in a new role and developing things on the ground. Finding a balance between time for developing capability and making things explicit, between teaching something separately or catching it in action -eg our habits and dispositions…How much is in the moment and how do we learn as we develop our understanding, it won’t just happen, we need to take the time…

To support but not too much, to build their capability…the interesting thing is that I made the shift from resourcing all to us all building our capability as coaches, by dividing up and sharing our resources around the habits and my-learning. In the reflections today hubs were coming back to wanting to do more on learning to learn and specific processes such as goal setting, how to skim and scan etc…

So…..it is all about balance, while returning to our kaupapa, a shift away from support the coaches, to actually WHY hubs!!!!

It was not long enough for our meeting so I need to revisit further… after the meeting I clarified our discussions with this email…

Kia ora all, just while it is fresh in our minds, I feel like we rushed past it this morning.

It was good to have time to reflect on hubs and coaching this morning. Thank you all for your honest reflections on things. As you are aware, it is a new role to all, that we are working on refining and developing as time goes on.

Hubs are an extremely important part of what we do with the learners/akonga here at HPSS.

I am also aware that there are a lot of parts to the model, these are parts that were co-contsructed early on in the process of the school as being important for developing the whole learner, their being, what they give to the community and how they go about learning in a time where knowledge is ever changing and readily accessible.

The way forward…

1. My learning is your responsibility as a hub coach…you had some very important feedback re this and learning to learn and what the kids need… it is finding a balance of this just in time teaching and supporting each other and growing our capabilities to talk about and recognise the habits in action, across all aspects of the school…as Martin said “capturing it as it happens”. The balance though is that we are all developing our understanding around this and it is different to anything we have done ever before.
So you decide what is best for your learners on a Monday, is it focusing on a habit, is it goal setting? Is it different things for different learners???

2. My communities is a time to draw on whanaungatanga in action etc… this does require what we have done with a bit of up front teaching of what this means… we can then as Jill said, use the students as teachers “Tuakana Teina” in action, try not to worry about the terms, however, I don’t think we should shy away from using aspects of Te Reo with our learners, even if it is new for us.

3. My-being is structured I realise (it took a while!!) But it should not be seen as something we are doing to learners….when you work with the learners on these activities, we are recognising their stresses, their worries, this truly is about knowing the learner.

This morning was not to stress you out about what you are not doing well, in the scheme of things it was mainly the one on one that came up as an issue. We can develop our skills in doing this better…but we must hold tight with the good things you are doing as coaches, that you do know your learners, that you know how to support good learning and that we are all developing in this role.

I believe you are all doing an amazing job and we can continue to refine and tweak to become even more awesome hub coaches. Remember also what we build now in our learners, they will be able to support younger learners later on.

Keep up the good work.


Where to now…. for me to rethink how I support, with the kaupapa always in mind, what do the akonga/ learners need, not what do the coaches need and how can I support the coaches to provide that….

Even though I have not been the best about the coaching with Suzanne, I often have reflective conversations with a mentor of mine at school here (guru and SCT Cindy), it is hard yakka on the ground leading in an environment where everything is so new, Cindy used the metaphor of trying to cut your way through the bush and making new paths with what you are doing, while it could be easy to revert back to what you know, sitting in your subject silo, doing what you have always done, we must hold strong to the why??? Keep coming back to why we are doing what we are doing.

It is about the akonga…





What are we really learning? Making Learning Visible..

What is the focus for educators around the country? Is it what are we teaching? Or is it what are students/akonga learning? What is the difference? Well I assume many educators out there could clearly articulate what the difference is between teaching and learning, however, how are they measuring it? Is it based on what I teach students learn? Is there assumptions at play on what has been learnt? Or is it deeper than that? Is there data and evidence collected, analysed an acted upon along the way? Are the tools, strategies and learning programmes modified along the way in a responsive way?

I have been lucky to connect up with Margot Bowes (Auckland Uni), Anne McKay and Kylie Thompson (Unitec) and Alex Smith at Rutherford College. Collaboratively, we are embarking on a journey supported by academics to take this to a deeper level. Here is a clip that they used when presenting at an International PE conference in Australia, talking about why we (as a group of Physeders) are interested in this and how it sits in my context at HPSS.

Movie on 13-04-15 at 5.08 pm from Sally Hart on Vimeo.

With the focus this term on Interpersonal Skills in PE, we have looked to see how we can ensure learning is visible along the way. How to capture evidence of where the learners are, while still holding tight to our philosophy of ensuring the learning is “in, through and about movement”, not diminished to just learning theoretically. Also not just a final snapshot of where they are at, but evidence collected in an on-going way over time, valuing the process of learning over just the outcome.

At the start of the term I gathered evidence on where learners were at, with their understanding of interpersonal skills as well as introducing how we would focus on these and apply and develop this understanding over the term. Development of both understanding of and application of interpersonal skills is imperative. This means that in the learning programme, there must be the opportunity to show these in action and we have done this using a variety of contexts, sports, team activities, group challenges and more..Here are a few samples of some of the evidence gathered…
Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 5.26.10 pm

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With the focus on the impacts that interpersonal skills can have on a team, we set about using on-going evaluations of sessions. Where learners think of what they have just taken part in and reflect on specific examples of their use of interpersonal skills and how this impacts on their team/group and how they know this. These have developed along the way showing the growth in their understanding of interpersonal skills in action…Here are a few examples of these reflections…
Week 5 Interpersonal skills Annie Wang

Week 3 Interpersonal skills Kiara Padayatchi

Week 3 Interpersonal skills Annie Wang

Week 2 Interpersonal skills Annie Wang

We have developed SOLO rubrics for levels 4, 5 and 6 of the curriculum for Interpersonal skills, so that I can clearly articulate exactly where learners are sitting and what their next steps are to move up curriculum levels and SOLO levels, here is an example of one of the rubrics…

Part way through I captured another snapshot of where learners were at by using socrative, here is a sample…Student_Greenhalgh, Amanda_15_05_2015__12_19_interpersonalskillsandme

Using both the data in the socrative, the describe++ sheets (evaluation sheets above) and the evidence of where the learners are at practically, learners have been given very specific midway feedback on where they are at in terms of both curriculum level and SOLO level within this. Here is a snapshot of this data…Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 5.24.05 pm

Since then, as giving specific examples within reflections was a next step for many learners. I needed to shift again what strategies I was using to make this clearer for learners. I set up for students to take part in a peer assessment, where peers captured specific examples for their partner as it was happening in action, students then used this feedback to deepen their own reflections on what they are doing in action. Here is a blank copy, which learners did on hard copy, I will post at the end of the term..Peer Assessment Interpersonal Skills

In addition I have given students a learning reflection using De Bono’s 6 thinking hats to reflect on their learning in an explicit way…Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 5.20.50 pm

Cindy that I am co-teaching with has added another level to this as, I am co-teaching with a scientist, who has made the use of interpersonal skills explicit in aspects she is working with here is an example of her doing so as well, allowing natural connections to arise within our different contexts…

This is only half way through the inquiry, however, from the many different tools, tasks and strategies that I have been trying to use to make learning visible, I feel the students/akonga have a very clear understanding of where they are at and what their next steps are. Towards the end of the inquiry, I will capture student voice on the process of learning that has taken place and make a final analysis of the intended and actual outcomes.

Something truly special is brewing here….


E kore au e ngaro, he kākano i ruia mai i Rangiātea.
I will never be lost, for I am a seed sown in Rangiātea.

To search a little further, I believe this whakatauki to have a real tie into the first week at Hobsonville Point Secondary School. Once again I am left awe of our community and the partnerships we have continue to nurture between our school, Hobsonville Point Primary school and the wider community and whānau.
I will develop this further, however, it is important to look at aspects of the metaphor used within this whakatauki.

He Kākano
“Kākano means “seed”. The concept of He Kākano conveys growth, development, and expansion. Even before a seed is planted or nourished, it has inherent promise — the capability to take root, develop, grow, and blossom. A person, like a seed, is inextricably linked to generations who have gone and are yet to come. He Kākano comes from somewhere, it belongs to someone or something, and it cannot be isolated or detached from those connections. It has both history and potential. He Kākano reminds us of the opportunity we have in schools to make new beginnings, to plant, to nurture, to cherish, to realise potential, to grow and enhance that which is. He Kākano is a symbol of productivity and the promise of success through learning and achievement”. (TKI Whakatauki)

This makes me think clearly of what we are nurturing in our akonga within our community. From our relationships and whanaungatanga that we are developing working on in our on-going journey as a school. See past reflections on whanaungatanga here… https://sallyhart72.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/whanau-connections-what-how-why-so-what-now-what-the-importance-of-whanaungatanga-at-hpss/
I will talk more specifically to our Waitangi celebrations below. After a couple of weeks of inducting new staff and starting to introduce akonga to our school, through getting to know the learner development in hubs and communities, I feel another level of community developing within our schools. Both affirming and exciting as we the next steps on our journey as a new school. Akonga/ learners in this sense is wider than just the students. We are all on a learning journey as staff and Whānau as well.

“Ruia means to plant, to sow, or to establish a foundation from which to develop. As the name of these leadership resources, Ruia represents the stepping stones, building blocks, or foundations that contribute to realising a seed’s potential. Individually, the parts of Ruia are valuable. Together, they form a strong platform upon which to grow future successful practice.
Ruia earths the seed – He Kākano – so that it can be nourished with time and energy. Ruia is the link between potential and realisation. It sets the direction for development, travelling forward to Rangiātea and from it as well. Rangiātea is the start and finish, depicting the cyclical nature of growth and development, the links and connections, and the enduring strength of relationships and location”. (TKI Whakatauki)

We are planting those seeds and releasing their true potential. We had a stream running in twitter #HPSWaitangi, which I will draw from. Through the day there were inspiring action shots, engaging activities showing the powerful partnerships in action between the two schools and whānau. However, for me the most moving of them all, was when I got home last night and our Principal had tweeted two tweets. It was wider than just Waitangi day and reflective of the whole week. Here are the two special tweets…

These were a true reflection of the difference we are making with learners, this is a testament to the vision, values that have developed and come back to, this is affirming for all involved, this is after one week!! This is why (selfish here) I am one lucky teacher to be a part of this.

“Rangiātea is the origin of Māori migration. It represents the wider world, a place to put theory into practice and observe others who do the same. Rangiātea marks the start and the end of the journey of potential – He Kākano – as well as arrival at the point of opportunity to realise it – Ruia.
Rangiātea as the name for a collection of case studies provides location and context. It represents an opportunity to examine the way in which ideas, concepts, and tools can be applied and how the tools developed in Ruia to tend He Kākano manifest in the real world”. (TKI Whakatauki)

We are not at that arrival point, I think you are actually never there, as life is an ongoing journey and so is learning, however there are many points along the way that you need to take stock, recognise and celebrate that something truly special is brewing here….

Here are some other tweets to show you the special community I am a part of…

I am not the only one on the staff feeling the “love” of our school, which has been triggered by our first week and Waitangi as the final highlight of this. Steve has written a great post on powerful partnerships that show his inspiration around the day… https://stevemouldey.wordpress.com/2015/02/05/powerful-partnerships-in-action/ Sometimes on the ground you are so involved in your workshops and activities, it is not until you get a chance to sit back and see what all have experienced and to hear my daughters explanation of her awesome day, that you see the full extent and impact of it all.

We are sharing and communicating through our blogs, not only to show you what we have experienced, but to show you potential for the way things should be. Sarah and Sharon did the most amazing job of bringing things together. Our akonga did an amazing job of working together to run workshops, learn and celebrate the powerful partnerships at the fore of our vision and values. I love that I have moved my older girl to the primary. She is thriving and I feel lucky that she too gets to be a part of this. For her seed to be planted and nurtured as she works along the way to her final destination…


Pulling out the PE…Deconstructing my teaching and learning…what did I do with my PE hat in connected learning this year?-Resources and thinking to share…


The long holiday period is a time for rejuvenation, reflection, resolutions and relaxation alongside the chance for more intensive and invigorating whānau time! In my last post I recorded my thinking on the end of year celebrations and how this aligned with our values, see here
In this post I want to deconstruct my teaching as a bit of a resource bank for others, maybe Physeders will find this useful, maybe not, but I will put it out there. The links and connections I have made in teaching and learning I have been a part of have been a part of, have arisen from the three aspects of our school curriculum. These have included, hubs, specialised learning modules and Big projects. What I would like to do is share a record that includes resources that can be modified, shared and used to suit others learners and context.

A good way is to start with knowing the learner activities, over the last holidays, I prepared resources for a hub tool box for all our coaches to uses, these included activities for knowing the learner, hauora, quadrants of thinking and reflections. These types of resources in the past have been the scope of Health and Physical Education teachers and others who may use to get to know their learners at the start of a year. I would like to think that others may find some of these useful for getting to know more about their learners in any context, so here are the resources (I am adapting, but these are the current slides/cards)…

As well as the knowing the learner type activities that we have used with our hubs, which this year was a group of approx 9 students with each hub coach (shifting to 12 this year with the second intake for us coming in). I have also developed resources that I have used within modules across the year to get to know the learner in these different areas, with my PE hat on. Here are some of these resources below. I will not get into so much what was involved in the modules, but the resources and teaching and learning programmes aligned to our Big concepts each term, such as, identity, citizenship, place and space and systems.

The first one was exploring my pepeha, which learners also did-“Museum of Mihi”…

Explorations of family trees-“Museum of Mihi”…

Exploration of passions in PE-“P.A.S.S” (Physical Activity, Sport and Society)…

Exploring critical thinking in PE-“P.A.S.S” (Physical Activity, Sport and Society)…

My hub and their exploration of the local whenua and history of Hobsonville Point…

Goal setting the “purposeful habit” for “thought in sport”…

and my learners from my first big project, taking action at the primary school and demonstrating the school habit of “contributive”…

Haha, yes I do quite like Haiku deck as a form of presentation software!!!!

This was a planning board linking PE and physics-“going through the motions”…

This was a scaffolded task for “going through the motions”…

A google form gathering prior knowledge…

These are examples of docs and tasks that we did in -“move it, move it” -with Liz and Technology…



These are a couple of docs that learners have worked on to show the interrelationship between anatomical movements and cams and followers in technology…if you pan down the side of the docs you can see the whole thing…

This is an infographic for personal and social responsibility…this came from the module “It’s not all about me” and also “just do it and analyse it”… read reflections and details on these modules here…https://sallyhart72.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/i-am-a-writer-of-books-in-retrospect/

Personal and social responsibility

This was an infographic for “thought and sport”…here is a reflection and more on this module here…

-Thought in Sport--Reflective thinking Copy (1)

There were many other resources that I used along the way, some are included in the deeper reflections, some are formats that cannot embed, others were using hobsonline and online forums etc to gather evidence along the way. Some verbal debrief docs and ongoing narratives that I have blogged about previously. This is a collection of a few, it may help to trigger ideas, it may not, but teaching and learning is an on-going experience that will evolve and transform as we go along the way, my ideas come from working with others in a variety of curriculum areas and from reflecting and acting, trying to be responsive to learners and the environment I work in…if not useful for others, it is useful for me to collate some of the ideas that have arisen for PE this year in the modules I have been involved in…I hope this may help others by sharing.

My major focus and goals across aspects of teaching in a connected, cross-curricular manner, where learning is attempting to being relevant and responsive to the learner, is to experiment, research, collaborate with other physeders (Alex at Rutherford is keen to get involved in working together-with her department), Bryce and Anna are at our school, with the potential to work with Anne McKay, Margot Bowes and Kylie Thompson with some flipped research they are looking at, with teacher lead research. Both Alex and I are keen to look at ways to develop, utilise and empower students through different modes of assessment and gathering evidence of learning along the way and in action. While the potential focus will have a physed hat from my end, it will still be in conjunction with those teachers I co-teach with this year and responsive to the learners that we have. Watch this space for reflections along the way…

You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result…

action 6

Words by Mahatma Ghandi…quoted by many…. These words when used, are they utilised in action? Are they preached without practice? Are they used to inspire and in turn cause action? What are the results when action occurs? One thing we are exploring at HPSS in a variety of ways, is the importance of action/taking action in learning. Learning that is more relevant and meaningful not only because there is a search for results and outcomes. But also that the learning arising from taking action, taking part in a process of taking action and the results that arise, whatever they may be… In doing so we are creating powerful partnerships on many levels. Working with the ARC, sustainable coastlines and the BNZ during this action, making the learning authentic and amplifying the learning process and outcome.



These pictures are from the “Big project” that Bryce and I have been working with a group of Year 9 students on this year. The students were involved in taking on-going action on Hobsonville Point. The action was to remove 1000’s of plastic bags from a mangrove area on the point. The “result” was a huge cleanup and improvement. The students made a major difference to the community but also to their learning through this process. I will let the students do the talking, here is their website, this contains the learney and was developed by the whole team, with roles of website development, storytelling, filming and film editing, brochures and more…


The reflections by students show not only their learning, but thinking about the process and outcomes… Here is an example of a Year 9 reflection on the project… https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rPS-PuNNrerkKdFUueIr6Kihyg7frz7g-opd2NbofjM/edit?usp=sharing

This was the project that I have been working on. In conjunction with this project, there were many others taking action and making a difference. One group saving the near extinct, native plant, epilobium found here on Hobsonville Point… here is a video of their learning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDTwzDgwTVU

Another group landscaped a community members garden. All involving partners to ensure learning was real world and authentic. The school show ran at the same time, with students involved in promotion, back stage, costuming, makeup, lighting, scripts, acting, dancing, music and more. All based on their passion and opted into by choice. With the focus on 2025 and the future, students took action through their voice about issues and concerns for them, what they foresee and what may be… Hitting issues like, bullying, rubbish, sustainable transport, food, global issues of consumerism and more.. All coming to a head at the project celebration the other night. I feel very proud of HPSS when I see the outcome of all this real world learning and in awe of our year 9 students. See more of the photos celebrating our projects on the school facebook page… https://www.facebook.com/hobsonvillepointsecondaryschool

Projects are only one example of taking action, we also have Arohanui onsite, which is a satellite school for special needs learners. Students have been involved with these learners. Sometimes in “my-times” and sometimes in ways that they are taking action.Arohanui
This is one collage that shows our students running physical activity for the learners from a variety of the satellite schools involved with Arohanui. Students giving back, making a difference and learning in the process.

action 3

On a different tangent but involving the same word “action”. As a physical educator connecting learning, in an integrated manner, through cross-curricular, collaborative teaching. I continue to revisit my strong beliefs around learning in physical education being “in, through and about movement”. Trying to ensure that the teaching and learning programmes that we develop for and with our learners still involve the “doing” while continuing to find connections with other learning areas.

Connecting this term in “going through the motions”, involving physics and biomechanics…looking at forces, motion, energy, projectile motion, force summation and more…
Students have their own youtube channel, with a collation of their own videos showing these in sporting contexts, developed in small group situations with voice overs of knowledge…students have also been involved in practical where the physics and biomechanics are applied, observed and recognised in game situations rather than just in set up situations.. I am amazed by their level of understanding of the interrelationships involved at year 9 and strongly believe it is from doing these things in “action”, applied and tried, not just learnt about in theory… The same module worked with an authentic partner the other day with a visit to the University of Auckland East Tamaki Campus, where students took their application a step further with 3D motion equipment and testing of forces in action with expensive equipment and software, making the learning again amplified to another level.

image (13)

In another module “move it, move it”, PE is integrating with tech and is involving movement analysis, which they have explored in a variety of contexts and have now shifted to their context of choice.
In tech they made ergonomes, which they have used to draw phases of execution of a skill, they are now going to make cams and followers to represent the movements of the joint… these are examples of cams and followers https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WPuaTQjEY4XI2W33I0ij5XaVaFLiXIDKnOzKCr_tk0s/edit?usp=sharing

followed by drawings of the steps involved…
Step by Step

Students have also been making sense of movements in application…in a variety of contexts, using circuits, activities and their own contexts/activities to explore…

The learning is connecting easily this term, it differs from term to term, always exploring how learning areas see links from concept to concept. The tension is to ensure that the “action” is still there…I feel like we are finding and exploring ways to ensure this that will continue into the senior school. With many modes being used to gather evidence of learning, see last term on verbal debriefs and narrative for feedback/feedforward…

We are inquiring into how? why? what? we are doing in our teaching and learning, but always coming back to positive student outcomes as a measure. For us this is not just academic excellence but personal excellence as well..represented by our Hobsonville Habits.
Hobsonville habits

To finish this post, I return to Ghandi with a final quote, trying to mix things up at HPSS, we are are doing this on multiple levels of taking action and learning in action, anyone can do this, wherever you may be, just remember…
action 5

About time! Overdue reflections and where to now…

Well it has been a while….Term 2 has been a very busy time and I have neglected my blog…something had to give though! (Submitting thesis tomorrow!!)

In the world of HPSS we are very busy as all educators are. However, in a climate attempting to truly personalise learning, working in a responsive environment, connecting learning, it can get a bit crazy. In a good way though, we are connecting learning not only through the development and implementation of our teaching and learning programme, but also in our collaborative teaching and planning.

I have several reflections I would like to make about the teaching and learning I was involved in last term.

In the big module I was involved in-

The Master behind the chef.

M.A.S.T.E.R –
Through food
Exploration and
Rotorua”-which actually turned out to be Rangitoto!

Big Concept: Space and Place

Threshold concepts: Measurement, ratios, decimals and percentages, fit for purpose, rocks, soil, volcanoes, tectonic plates, water, nature of science

Skills: Accurate measuring and estimation, carrying out scientific and mathematics investigations, involving, concepts, knowledge, nature and practice, design skills.

Learning areas: Science, Maths, Food Tech
LDM focus: Explore, focus, generate

Learning Objectives:
Explore by deconstructing the processes and different perspectives in the nature of science.
Focus by synthesising knowledge of maths and science through food.
Generate through inquiry showing “what enables the MASTER behind the chef”?

As I had a mathematics hat on in this module I had some interesting thoughts as I reflected on this in an ongoing way across the module..

The module started off with a bang with a couple of great ideas instigated by awesome @McGhiePete . Starting with what learners bring with them around food experiences. Creating stories of food experiences to hook them into the module. This was followed closely by the core sampling that you may have seen if you follow any of us on twitter…this felt like such a meaningful activity, the kids were engaged and in their reflections at the end of the term this was a highlight for many…

core 1

core 2

From here over the term we worked on ways to integrate mathematics and science through food. At times I did feel bit like the third wheel. For mathematics I found it easy to integrate the learning with either food or science. However, at time it felt hard to integrate the three easily. Science shifted to the fore a little more naturally and the science hat was held by well known, Miss edchatnz @MissDtheTeacher
It made me question whether possibly two is company, three is a crowd in terms of integration? Something to ponder further this term as I am in a big module again. It could be it was just the three learning areas for that particular concept was a harder fit at the time.

In this module as we had 60 learners, from session three on I grouped learners so that I could run a differentiated programme for the mathematics. On reflection I think I did this in the wrong manner. Due to the large array of abilities I grouped according to ability, something I never like to do. I reverted to this with such larger numbers in the module. In hindsight I wish I had made differentiated tasks still, but mixed ability groups for supporting and extension to occur. I feel I really extended the top group who moved right up to use of trigonometry using clinometres around the school (which they loved!!) However, I feel like I did not extend the lower to middle groups. My colleague Cindy who I consider a guru, talked to me about how even the lower ability groups could still get to use the equipment, work with others, even if the trigonometry was beyond them. When I am involved in a mathematics module again I will definitely do things in a different manner. There were many other great parts to the module and I loved seeing the outcomes of the kids inquiry, where they showed their understanding of mathematics and science gained across the module through food. There were types of rocks, volcanic processes, types of volcanoes etc… all shown through food.

Thought in Sport:

Exploring the power of the mind in a variety of sports and literature.

Big Concept: Space and Place

Threshold concepts: Physical Activity, Making meaning, Communication

Skills: Critical Thinking, Evaluation, Paragraph Writing using PEE structure, motor skill learning

Learning areas: PE, English

LDM focus: Explore, Test, Reflect

Learning Objectives:
To explore by investigating ‘Thought in Sport’ in a variety of contexts.
To test the potential of your mind by applying a range of strategies to improve performance.
To reflect on the effectiveness of your performance improvement.

I feel like these two learning areas married up well in this module, where I worked with Lisa. Through the contexts of sport and physical activity we explored the power of the mind. With a specific focus on being collaborative, resilient, adventurous and purposeful. All aspects of either our Hobsonville habits or our school values. here is an example of the type of reflection the learners did.

-Thought in Sport--Reflective thinking Copy (1)

Here is a snapshot of a learner reflection…

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 11.56.40 AM

We also looked at aspects such as goal setting and being purposeful, see here…


Highlights for me in this module were the fact I really feel like we hooked in the learners who love sport, into the focus on English and paragraph writing. Their reflections and the shift in their learning were obvious. Lisa also hooked the learners in by allowing learners to select their own sport person and use their biographies in contexts they were interested. These biographies were used alongside their own experiences for relevant and meaningful reflections. Adventure based learning activities were experienced, tramping in the Waitakere ranges, pushing them in fitness contexts etc… but always reflecting on the habits and the mind…In terms of improvement, I would just say more time, to develop their learning more, working on a term basis, I would like a bit more time with the learners to take things even deeper.


NOW IT IS TIME FOR TERM 3!! Where to from here?

Once again I am in a Big Learning Module with awesome @rosmaceachern and super Sarah @hpssprojects this time…

It’s not all about me

This module has a focus on good citizenship and involves students critically reflecting on personal and social responsibilities within the context of sport, leadership and government. Students will learn how to be effective and powerful communicators.

Big Concept: Citizenship

Threshold concepts:
Interpersonal Skills
Rights and Responsibilities
Making Meaning
Creating Meaning

Skills: interpersonal skills, resource interpretation, paragraph/essay writing, oral language skills, communication skills

Learning areas: Social Science, English, PE

LDM focus: Reflect, Make Sense, Share

Learning Objectives:
To critically reflect and act on personal and social responsibility for self and others through the context of sport.
To make sense of the concept “rights and responsibilities” by comparing political systems and their influence on society.
To share understanding of citizenship concepts and oral language features by presenting an oral text.

We start on Monday and already in our collaborative planning I can feel some natural links arising, where contexts and knowledge will be connected, meaningful and authentic… Yeah to another term of exploring connections in learning.

Also in a small module…

Just do it! and analyse it!

Big Concept: Citizenship

Threshold concepts: Evaluating and Critical Thinking. Personal and Social Responsibility

Skills: Analysing data through O.S.E.M and communicate findings. Interpersonal skills

Learning areas: Mathematics and PE

LDM focus: Test and Generate

Learning Objectives:
To be able to generate explicit findings from data.
Test by applying personal and social responsibility to sporting situations and seek feedback from others on this

We started this the other day with some front loading before getting into the practical context. With students co-constructing what personal and social responsibility is.

p and s 1

Also students made their first reflection on personal and social responsibility, see here…

p and s 2

Here is the example of Hellisons..

Personal and social responsibility

The focus from here is to gather data through the practical over time. their own data on personal and social responsibility that they will analyse, with a statistics focus within the module alongside the data that they produce through learning in sporting contexts…

Anyway, I am excited about exploring the new connections in learning this term. I am also excited that we have developed SOLO rubrics upfront this time to look at assessment for learning over time and the shift in learning, rather than assessment of learning at the end. We continue to reflect and shift where needed, with our processes and at times it can be full on. However, this is to be expected when you are doing things in such a different way to what has been done in Secondary Education before. I hope we can continue to innovate, engage and inspire our learners and I promise not to leave the next blog so long next time, so that ponderings and reflections are out of control 😉