Follow by Email

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Uru Mānuka Visit - Digital Pedagogy Hui

Technology is sometimes used in isolation of pedagogy and used a substitution in many instances or becomes a consumptive practice, not one enhancing creativity and sharing. The devices are often under utilised, which can cause whānau to question the use of devices in school. Systems and policies are not in place to ensure effective and smart use of devices.

The challenge is to get teachers to transform their teaching practice using technology to support a rich pedagogy.
As the Principals and eLeaders drive the direction of digital fluencies within the schools there was a great opportunity for Te Ara Tūhura Leaders and Teachers to visit a cluster where evidence based application of a Learn Create Share pedagogy is very visible.
The beginning to a transformation was to visit 3 school within a highly effective cluster where research is ensuring the transformation is meaningful and effective. For teachers and principals the aim was to come away with an understanding that the pedagogy is the driver for accelerated achievement and the device supports that and enables key affordances for teaching and learning.
These affordances are
  • Engagement
  • Powerful Teaching Conversations
  • Complex Tasks
  • In Site and On Site Support
  • Connections and Visibility.

This project provided information and options for support for the Te Ara Tūhura Cluster leaders to look at highly effective classroom practice using a Learn Create Share Model in 3 schools in the Uru Mānuka Cluster at a range of year levels. Uru Mānuka is in their third year as a Manaiakalani Outreach School.
The schools visited were
Ako Ngatahi - Kate Mclaughlin and Simon Scott - Hornby Primary School
Rimu Class - Sharon Spragg and Angela Taylor - Yaldhurst Model School
Room 5 - Lyn Satherley - St Bernadette’s School
Room 4 - Seaeun Lee - St Bernadette’s School

The visit offered opportunities to investigate

  • the possibilities of digital immersion learning and how learn create share, rewindable learning, google sites and individual student blogs support this.
  • the systems and processes to support this at cluster, school and classroom level.
  • Leaders from schools and centres to look at the success of Manaiakalani Outreach Cluster - Uru Manuka.
  • Provide teacher mentoring and Online support
  • Improving engagement and learning experiences for learners
  • Structured visits to schools and opportunities to speak to learners about their learning
  • Continued relationship building
  • Visits between Schools
  • An opportunity to share strategies and systems to manage digital tools and the associated issues across schools and sectors.

The day was a great success with good feedback from participants and follow up with individual schools to begin implementing individual blogs.
The Cluster leaders and other participants (as determined by cluster leaders)
  • developed a deeper understanding of effective pedagogy, digital fluency and digital technologies in education settings
  • identified clear next steps for improving practices and systems for implementing digital fluencies within a cluster, school,and classroom using the vision as a lense
  • were supported to consider a wider range of evidence and perspectives using a transformative and/or future focused lens
One of the benefits for the host cluster Uru Mānuka leaders and teachers, that was not foreseen, was the confirmation of how far they had come in their journey over the previous two and a half years. The opportunity to receive positive feedback on their practice was very affirming for them.

In hindsight and something that could still be done is to create a network where the participants on the day and the host cluster could continue to connect to support one another.

Some feedback from participants was

  • My staff were buzzing at the end of the day. I'm sure we will digest this and think a bit more and possibly get you to talk to us some more. We would certainly like to explore this more as a cluster. Pity not every school was represented.
  • WOW – my teachers have come back buzzing and really inspired! These resources are so good. Thanks so much Mark. This is fantastic!!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Te Ara Tūhura Cluster

This new cluster was gifted the name Te Ara Tūhura by the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu in 2017.
To support the cluster coming together Mark Maddren was employed to help develop relationships, identify needs and support initiatives within the cluster. Joint Schools Initiative Funding generated from school changes has supported these identified initiatives and helped develop cross cluster relationships..
Rebbecca Sweeney (CORE Education Tātai Aho Rau) was asked to support the leadership team to create a shared cluster vision, values and principles.
From this work some major issues were identified within the cluster schools and ECE’s around anxiety, well being and resilience.

As of Term 2 2017, Mairehau Cluster are now in the process of building relationships with Te Ara Tūhura with the view of a long term partnership. There are three schools, St Francis of Assisi School,  Mairehau School, Mairehau High School and 10 ECE’s,  Kidsfirst Kindergarten Mairehau, St Albans Playcentre, Barnardos Early Learning Centre – Te Puna Oraka, Dudley Creek Preschool Ltd, Forfar Nursery and Preschool, Mairehau First Learners, Noku te Ao, Small World Preschool and Nursery and St Albans Community Preschool

Raising Well Being - Emotion Coaching 2016

Te Ara Tūhura Cluster staff were noticing continued high levels of student and whanau anxiety manifesting as an increase in unacceptable behaviours being exhibited in the classroom and school environment. There was a lack of knowledge and understanding about how schools and early years centres can support anxious learners.

Emotion Coaching is based on the Tuning into Kids (TIK) parent program which Alissa Jardine at Kidsfirst Kindergarten Belfast is a trained parent facilitator.

Kidsfirst Kindergarten Belfast had been using Emotion Coaching in the daily teaching program. This has proved to be overwhelmingly successful with a child in particular with significant behavioural difficulties.

  • Emotion Coaching  is a scientific way of promoting optimal development of children’s emotional, social and behavioural development, it teaches self control and reduces behavioural difficulties. Strongly relates to the findings from the Dunedin longitudinal study which found that the single most important factor in predicting a happy, successful life was self-control.   
  • Emotion coaching is based on neuroscience and the neurosequential model of the brain. Based on neuroplasticity, every time a teacher emotion coaches, they  are strengthening the networks between regions in the child’s brain, so over time the child develops healthy traits  ‘neurons that fire today stay together” the part of the brain we work and exercise grows.  
  • Through emotion coaching adults are strengthening the child’s prefrontal cortex allowing the child to build up their tolerance of staying calm, and returning to calm after a stressful event, now and in the future, very significant  for our Tamariki Ōtautahi, who are at heightened risk.

The Emotion Coaching Project was run across the cluster for three terms, Term 3 for initial two day training followed up with one on site visit in Term 4 2016 and Term 1 2017.


The project was completed and now is into a second round of teachers being trained due to the success of the first round.
The follow up with on site visits to the teachers over the following two terms really helped consolidate the new learnings. The end of project Story Hui Evaluation also worked very well bringing the teachers together ensuring stronger network supports across the cluster.
Alissa required more time to follow up with teachers and complete her own admin work at her centre.

Brought the emotions of children to the front and encouraged discussions to move forward looking at supporting Te Ara Tūhura community with their well being and resilience.

Children: Builds more trust with students/tamariki more understood and develops greater trust. Provides a voice and validates -someone to listen- separates behaviours from person. Indicator of relationship with children - emotional coaching supports you to establish relationships with children. Te Whariki - do you know me ? Children learn that all emotions are ok - and establish appropriate behaviours and self regulate. When the child is emotional, they do not flip out or reach sames levels of anger as they would have previously, showing increased self control, slowed down, a lot more calm. Repetition using a shared language and emotion coaching others
Teachers:Confidence and the knowledge with this emotion coaching. It works.It is ok to take time to support emotion coaching. Using body language more when I am unsure what to say - giving space silent and supporting by being there. Helps us to empathise with where the students are at. Emotions drive what is going on.
Whānau/parents: More work needs to be done on this
Cluster: Hearing others successes, making connections, sharing resources and tools, liaison between ece and primary schools - similar strategies and shared language between supporting transition and maintaining continuity