Monday, 5 December 2016

Haeata - Week Eight

Day One

We started our day practising two waiata. I am finally getting these learnt, with the aid of sticky notes and lots of singing in the car. I'm loving singing every day and now putting the movement in as well is challenging again!
Glenys Williams came in to show us around our Linc-Ed site today in preparation for our Enrolment hui. This is the Student Management System (SMS) we will be using across the whole school and it was good to get into it and have a look around. The beauty of this system is that it is able to be personalised for our kura and we have input into what we need for us specifically. Some of our staff have used this before but for many of us it is a new platform.
We had a session in our Puna Ako time where we did some more unpacking around NCEA and what this would look like with regards to our Principles and Dispositions. Still many discussions about what this might look like for our ākonga.
After lunch we got to meet with some of our ākonga and their whānau. It was really good to have some time to chat and learn more about them as well as answering their questions, even though there are still a lot of unknowns with specifics, it was helpful to touch base and learn more about what their thoughts are.

Day Two

This morning started with our waiata again. I was pleased that I have learnt the lyrics to 2 out of the 3 so far as it makes it so much easier to harmonise. I was feeling great, then another was added today just to keep us on our toes! Glad we are able to have the lyrics for that one that we are singing in a few weeks time.
Paul (SLT) took us through the timetable plan today. It was good to get an idea of how the week will look and it also has a lot of flexibility in it which I am excited about. Our time is split into Kaupapa Ako (time for transdisciplinary learning), Puna Ako time (for our smaller groups with one kaiako), and MAI time (My Area of Interest).
Karyn took us through some reading and information around self-regulated learning after starting with a poem by George Betts "To Our Children". In my search for a copy of this poem I came across a book by George Betts called "Journey of Lifelong Learning".  The subtitle is "Major concepts, discussion and activities for facilitating wisdom in our youth" and after reading this, I thought that some of the activities and questions could be really helpful in helping formulate some discussion for our ākonga during Puna Ako time. She gave us a lot of readings and information to digest and I particularly found Karen's blogposts interesting as they come from a personal perspective and challenge us to think about what we are doing in our schools and why.
At morning tea I found this blogpost by George Couros which I felt really summed up a lot of what Karyn was talking about this morning.
The rest of the day was Apple IT training and I have written a separate blogpost about this.

Day Three

Started with work on unpacking Puna Ako time. We were looking at what this could look like in our hapori and then each hapori presented their ideas back to the group. This was done in a variety of ways, some of which had us highly entertained.
At lunch I had a good chat with one of our new teachers for next year. I will be her mentor and it was good to touch base and see what was on top for her at this stage. Such a different start for a new teacher, being part of a new school and having the opportunity to be a part of planning  and designing new learning ideas, not your usual start to teaching!
In the afternoon we had some more hui with whanau and then after school a number of our staff went to the Christchurch Connected Educator Christmas drinks which was a nice way to unwind for the day.

Day Four

Extra waiata practise was held today for those of us who were struggling a bit to get the moves down. Great to have so many talented people around to help us and many of us took advantage of the extra practise. After that we started unpacking MAI time. MAI time is a time for students to follow their passions and explore something they may want to find out more about. We had discussions around whether this should be a documented time and what it might look like in our hapori. We then had our own MAI time so I spent most of it writing blogs and chatting with kaiako on a range of topics. It is so good to have time to be able to have conversations about all sorts of things. You learn so much from just talking with other educators.
Our afternoon was spent with a young man who is coming to Haeata next year but has been at Te Karaka Area School. It was great to hear his point of view as to what worked and didn't for him as far as the project learning approach and his NCEA credits.  Getting an insight into how they managed NCEA in a different setting was really helpful. Being able to make NCEA and assessment work for us, rather than the other way around is a must.
The evening was spent at a community hui where a number of whanau came to hear what was happening at Haeata and meet the staff over a coffee and a sausage. Such a great feeling having the staff and community in the same place and being able to make more connections.

Day Five

The day started with more waiata practise, we are starting to sound and look OK! Puna Ako time saw us do an overview of the 8 weeks. We put up all the topics we had learnt about and then added our feelings and questions to each of the big picture sections. This gave us a good idea as to the issues still facing us. We were lucky to have a good chunk of time on this during the day and I felt we needed to have this overview as we have learnt so much and it's good to go back to everything and just make some sense of it. Some of our questions were answered, others brought up even more questions but it was nice to have that time to voice those.We shared an idea around how NCEA might work with the Korepo hapori (Yr 7-10) and got some feedback from them as well. We unpacked the timetable even more, getting down to what defined each of the blocks. How is MAI time different from Kaupapa Ako? What would we see across all blocks? This will inform a lot of our thinking over the next 2 weeks.

Day Six

The Aranui community concert AFFIRM was on the Saturday this week. Haeata was there in force, with most of the staff able to be there for some of the day. We had a tent with a lot of information for prospective ākonga and their whānau and I know that I spoke to a large number of people over the morning when I was there. It was a great day with performances by a huge range of local groups and chances to talk with lots of people.

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