We had some time in smaller groups across hapori to talk about Relationship Management in our first block and together we worked on coming up with a statement that described relationships for us. Our group used this statement that was made by another staff member, but we felt it summed things up for us:
Building trust and respect and creating a culture of belonging where everyone feels valued and safe to be who they truly want to be and to have the understanding to allow others to be who they want to be.
Another comment which I found quite useful was about the difference between restorative practise and restorative justice. Restorative Practices are the way that you talk to students. The way you shame them, or not, in front of others The way you approach them in the classroom, the way you talk to them when they make a mistake, the way you interact with students. Restorative Justice is the way that you deal with issues after they occur, the way you talk through problems with students and find solutions. I felt this was a good way of clarifying the difference.
Some of the new staff presented their digital korowai today - just another reminder of how great these are to give us an insight into their personal life. We are very keen to take this idea into our hapori for next year.
The second block was around assessment and we had a list of articles to read and reflect on. I read some really interesting articles during this time and wrote quite a few pages on reflection around these, maybe they will all make it into another blog another time! Meanwhile, here are a few links to some I found particularly interesting.
In the afternoon we met some more whānau at our enrolment hui, and once these had finished, I read more of the articles on Assessment as I found some of them quite thought-provoking.
Our hapori had some time this morning to discuss assessment and we wrote a large list of assessment tools that we could think of:
NCEA Unit and Achievement standards, STAR, Gateway, CTC, SiteSafe, MOOCS, Royal and Trinity Music exams, Services, Te Kura, Peer and group reflections, Portfolios, ITOs, First Aid, Spirit of Adventure, Outward Bound, AsTTLe - the list goes on. We are not restricted to just using NCEA and it is good to get an idea of other assessments and pathways that we can look at. When I think of assessment I am always reminded of the quote by Albert Einstein in this picture.
An interesting question came out of our discussion, "Is it our job to be a vocational transitional facilitator?". In some ways I think it is. As senior school staff, much of what our students are looking for is the pathway when they leave school. We need to have some tools to enable this and support them in their journey. So, what about those that don't know what they want to do? How do we help support them? I feel it is about exposing them to a range of opportunities and ideas that they might get a spark from that can set them on a pathway for life.
Our next block was working on our relationship agreement. Previous comments had been collated by Andy with all of our views put into one document. Many of our comments were very similar and some underlying common themes emerged. Some of these themes were:
- It is vital to form positive relationships with all, including whānau
- Restorative practice can help maintain these relationships
- We need to create a safe environment for all
- One size does not fit everyone
- We need to preserve mana
- Student perspective is important
We also had discussions about what we would do in certain situations with students, for example swearing, fighting, communication with parents. This really brought home how different things might look from one end of the school to another, but also how different it can be from one incident to another. So much depends on the individual but there are certain base line strategies that can be followed and we focussed on these. We then looked at pro-active management strategies that we could use, personally, in our hapori and kura wide. Some of these are really simple but can make a big difference to our students. Examples could be:
- Correct pronunciation of names
- Showing a genuine interest
- Learning about our ākonga
- Modelling good responses in an age appropriate way
We spent some time working on NCEA and assessment today as well as how the timetable might work for us before our hapori took a break and met at my house for a swim and some lunch together. It's always good to spend some social time together as a group and we are really lucky that we all get on well together - well, I think we do!!
More enrolment hui in the afternoon, meeting our awesome whānau.
Excitement today as we met at the school site for our site visit. We were given a safety briefing, signed for our key cards and were taken on tours of the site. So great to be able to actually see what the spaces look like. It's meant to be finished by next Friday so we were keen to see where things were at. Having watched the fly-through on the Haeata website, I was amazed at how accurate it was! Even down to the colour scheme!
The outside spaces were lovely, in particular I liked the small stage type areas outside the hapori, lots of uses sprang to mind. I got a sneak peak at the Performing Arts area and was excited by the practise rooms (yes they are soundproof - 2 of us tested that) and the recording spaces. My one reservation, which I had from the flythrough and was confirmed in the actual space, is that the sound/recording booth for the auditorium is on the side, not at the back of the space. We didn't get into the space itself, but the front of house lighting rig looks pretty cool. The technology area in our hapori looks amazing and I can hardly wait to see how everything comes together next year.
We dashed back to school in time for more enrolment hui and then spent the afternoon working on more assessment and timetable clarification in our hapori.
A day out for Ihutai (our hapori). We travelled over to Living Springs for the day which was an amazing site to work from.It was nice to get away to a space where we could focus on planning and have some in depth discussion without any other distractions. We were well looked after with fantastic food (the muffins were enormous!) and a tour of the area, which included a bit of rock climbing by our resident expert, James, as well as a bush walk to an 800 yr old Kahikatea, one of the oldest trees on Banks Peninsula. It was a lovely day out and a great time together.
Only one week to go - this term has gone so quickly. I lost my voice on Thursday - tired and needing a break. So many of us are feeling the "end of term-itis" drain and I know we will all be looking forward to a break.