Aligning the Scenius

image via @therealbanksy

image via @therealbanksy

This last week at Hobsonville Point Secondary School has felt to me like we are shooting out the end of that image on the right. Suddenly all kinds of things are aligning and we are shooting forward in our latest iteration.

Our Specialised Learning Leader team has a focus on visible thinking and learning. For us that means seeing explicit use of the learning design language in what teachers are using and saying day to day in class. To help this along, a couple of us (Kylee and I) have it as our focus for our 30 Day Sprint. This awesome on 2 levels for me. 1) I see the use of this language as incredibly empowering for our learners. 2) Utilising 30 day sprints alongside 90 day team goals is giving our team a renewed focus this year and has helped us get into that Start-Up frame of mind that served us so well when creating the original structures for our school in 2013.

Friday morning’s PD session saw a focus on 2 things: Setting our goals for the year and planning our Teaching as Inquiry. Our 3 personal professional goals had to align with the school principles:

Snip20150309_5We worked through these with our critical friends and Claire and I helped each other to frame these as personalised How Might We questions: i.e. How Might Claire and How Might Steve.

Then we moved on to our Teaching as Inquiry for the first cycle of the year. As Cindy introduced the planning process it became evident that our Learning Design Model was becoming a fluent language for her:


Our Principal Maurie was certainly impressed by the alignment throughout the morning of the school’s principles, our goals, teaching as inquiry and the Learning Design Model as he declared another “tears in his eyes’ moment – he’s had a few to start this year!



Friday turned into one of those days where it all just seemed to go well. My modules went well and students were incredibly productive all day. What a way to end the week!

Then this morning Maurie started us off for the week by trying to get us developing elevator statements to match the vision and strategic goals for the school, i.e. the statements that capture your essence in 1 minute. (I wrote my thoughts on what this could be based on in my post on values propositions a month ago).





Later this morning I chatted with Maurie about how the feeling that things are just aligning so well at the moment. He agreed (and beat me to it with his blog post today) that the last year of testing our ideas out through various prototypes and iterations (this term we are on iteration 3 of our timetable in just our 5th term) means that we are now able to take the actions that we are.

It reminded me somewhat of something I read on the weekend in Show Your Work by Austin Kleon – A scenius where a group or scene of creative individuals build on each others ideas to create something great. At the moment it seems that the way our senior leaders have allowed teams to build the various ideas at play in HPSS are coming together. We are working out how all these ideas fit together to best empower our students. They have unwillingly created a scenius where the ideas and practices could not have been created by an individual. They really are creating a great creative ecosystem for both our teachers and students.


1 thought on “Aligning the Scenius

  1. Pingback: Guy Claxton | Steve Mouldey

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