Sunday, February 9, 2014

Shifting the Paradigm with Powerful Partnerships

It was so important that our year with students started as we meant to go on. We'd been talking a lot about the importance of powerful partnerships, having the student at the centre, getting to know each other as learners and making sure the students had as a clear understanding of our vision and values as we have.

Our aspirations could not have been more realised!

Powhiri to start 2014
The first day started with a powhiri to welcome the combined students of Hobsonville Point Primary and Secondary Schools. Kaumatua, Heta Tobin, spoke of the pleasure of being involved in this special event.

On Monday and Tuesday students spent their time in their Learning Hub working on getting to know each other, learning about our community and understanding the values of our school.
Exploring Hobsonville Point

Working on Digital Citizenship with Georgi

Exploring Values with Cindy

Getting to know each other with Megan
On Wednesday we had a focus on our Waitangi Whanau Celebration. Students worked in workshops on exploring their understanding of Te Tiriti through contexts of art, drama, music, sport and food.

That night we were rewarded with 400 people attending our event. They were entertained by a competitive netall match against the North Harbour Maori rep team and exhibition matches of Ki o Rahi, music performances by students and whanau and viewed exhibitions of student work from our workshops. And they had a wonderful kai of pork, lamb, chicken and vegetables prepared by our students. Check out Danielle's post on the celebration!

The feedback was outstanding with parents and whanau expressing admiration for the event and real appreciation that we are determined to involve the community in our school.

Outstanding work Learning Partnership Leader, Sarah Wakeford!

Yay, Sarah
The week ended with a Teacher Only Day on Friday. After workshops on Digital Citizenship by our Library Leader, Georgi, and Andrew Cowie from National Library and on Restorative Practice by myself we were presented with the next iteration of work from Di and her Specialised Learning Leader Team who are now focusing on finalising the Fluencies we wish our students to master and matrixing these with Curriculum Levels and SOLO Thinking Taxonomy.

Over the weekend I have been reflecting on the things that have meant the vibe in our school is as we hoped. Obviously the reasons are complex and varied but an event at the end of the first day when I spent more than 2 hours with some of the kids on the side of the road waiting for a bus that didn't turn up captured for me the type of school we already are.

Last year we talked about how the students would address us and I stated that I was determined to be addressed as Maurie. Most staff have also followed this. Immediately all power hierarchies based on roles disappeared and I have witnessed total respect amongst and between everyone.

While waiting for the bus the students were at ease with their Principal and while lying on my back in the grass by the side of the road seeking relief from the sun I heard one of the students say, "We go to a secondary school where the Principal lies on his back in the grass by the side of the road!"

That's the sort of Principal I want to be!

West Harbour Bus was only 10 minutes late

Getting to know each other waiting for the Whenuapai Bus
He who lies on his back in the grass by the side of the road!

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