It’s been awhile since my post and reading back over the Christchurch trip – i haven’t commented on my Queenstown conference.
I am in the process of writing for the BOT a curriculum report about my leadership and my learning experiences I have been lucky to have this year. I am always conscious we are on a tight budget- but what made it great I got a chance to go and experience a new place and a wonderful conference and road trip. I got to spend in total nearly 2 weeks (4 days in Queenstown and 3 in Christchurch) observing and gobbling up new ideas and information. My kind of relaxation!
I love learning- I hope that never stops. I hope that whatever school I lead there is always room (we’ll make room!) in the budget for my learning and the staff’s learning journey.
So what did I learn at Queenstown?
1. A curriculum design. It’s our focus this year and the conference was focus on this too- so I came back with energy and ideas from other schools. I took the ideas we have had bouncing around our school- and finally had a structure to put them together. It’s a draft and it’s a work in action- but wow. We have a little bit of every road trip I have taken and every Teacher Only day we have gone on and experience and added it to our NVS Way- we are so proud of what we have. It’s living and breathing!! It will be tweaked it will be added too- but thats the purpose of a great curriculum. It will be rolled out over the coming terms……
2. A graduate profile- loved Remarkables School. The graduate profile displayed in their foyer is “real” -alive in their school. That’s now on our to do list!
3. I have come back and tweaked our NVS progressions- they are colourful and have our own school characters on them. they are being used both with staff and children! Displayed in class and in modelling books.
4. Solo Taxonomy- seen being used at Remarkables- we have now used it for the first time in our own inquiry (outline thanks to Island Bay school!) We used solo to help do snapshots along the way! (Beginning of inquiry- week 3 and week 7!)
5. Again the emphasis on pedagogy and making it your own for your school. It doesn’t matter how flash or up to date your school is what matters is the philosophy the vision of your school. This again became evident between the schools we visited. One school we went too- I walked away feeling it was about prestige and not about the philosophy. Questions the principal had…but not willing to follow up or fight or look at alternatives. Schools are individuals- beat of our own drum- no 2 are alike….what made the 2 schools different… Remarkable had vision, had a philosophy that everyone (staff) followed and knew, PLD that all took part in, stressing the consistency throughout the school. The end goal! (Graduate). The children knowing their learning and next steps.
That’s what set the 2 schools apart.
6. The conference and the speakers….interestingly education changes quickly- swings and roundabouts. Its about deciding what fad to go with…which ones are worth pursuing! End of the day…..I believe its up to the principal the lead learner and the senior leadership team…to make sure the vision and the direction is set…and that we aren’t getting side tracked along the way! If we are we make sure we have checks and balances to help us get back on track.
( Metaphor of a road trip is very much what comes to mind. Making sure we negotiate the pot holes and roundabouts, check our compass for direction and each time we arrive at our destination- we set a goal for a new adventure and journey!)
Definitely well worth the money- so glad I have a BOT that didn’t hesitate when I asked to go. I know they got their moneys worth!