This year as part of my portfolio as Deputy Principal at Lynfield College, I have been asked to look into how well the learning taking place here is reflecting the intent of the New Zealand Curriculum. I am really excited about this, as curriculum and learning design is a real passion of mine.
To get my head into this for 2018, I am starting by going back to have a close look at what the NZC actually says about teaching and learning. Whilst, this is primarily to help shape what is happening at Lynfield College, there is plenty of this investigation that may be helpful for all teachers (in New Zealand but also globally). Hence, I will write a few posts over the next while sharing what I find.
Looking forward to spending some more time unpacking my coffee stained NZ Curriculum
We are currently completing the second iteration of our module development and selection process. Personally, I believe that our great Term 1 Modules have been given far more relevance and rigour this time round through the introduction of small refinements to our process.
The concept for Term 2 is Place and Space and each Learning Area, when planning over the 2 year framework, had already designated their threshold concepts and skills for this:
Term 2 Threshold Concepts and Core Skills
The module design process this time started with student voice. Representatives from each Hub met to say what they had learned previously about Space and Place and to provide ideas of what students would like to learn about. Their ideas poured out and a 4 page document was then shared with staff to provide a 2nd launching pad to the designated concepts and skills.
Each Learning Area then met together to discuss the possibilities this term when focusing on their specific aims and how the student voice ideas matched. This would allow the focus skills and concepts to be presented in a way that was relevant to our students. Continue reading →
As we are halfway through Term 1, I thought it must be time to reflect on (and share) how the term is going. In line with my current thoughts on assessment, it will be descriptive and diagnostic rather than a pointless grade giving exercise!
Our course description was: “In this module we will explore your identity through the artefacts and interests that represent you. We will look at how different people choose to represent themselves with different objects. You will then decide how to share your museum of yourself.”
Megan, Sally and I have collaborated really well in both the planning and teaching of this module. Continue reading →
After many months of planning, today was the day that personalised learning really took flight at Hobsonville Point Secondary School. We have tussled with the tension between curriculum coverage and personalising learning for the past few months and today students saw what this has resulted in.
Most New Zealand Secondary Schools place students in form classes for the “core subjects” (English, Maths, Science, Social Studies and Physical Education/Health) whilst allowing some measure of choice over the “option subjects” (Technology, Languages and The Arts). All of these Learning Areas are compulsory up to Year 10 in the New Zealand Curriculum, so we had set out to avoid the ancient hierarchy of subjects that dominates NZ schools. Continue reading →
Seeing your Principal send a tweet like this is so incredibly affirming and validating of the work you have been undertaking. Especially when it comes on a day where your team is sharing the outcome of weeks of work putting together the structures for learning to take place in your school.
The time spent on the vision, values etc. last term was the foundation for the structures coming into place over the past 2 weeks. All our decisions in putting these in place are well grounded in the school vision and values. Then in one day this week we introduced the staff to all the structures supporting the delivery of our curriculum: Continue reading →
I haven’t posted in the last week due to being deeply involved in mapping the New Zealand Curriculum to enable us to hack it into a better design for learning. This is still an ongoing process so I will blog about it in depth later on but here’s a few photos that may give you an idea of what us Specialised Learning leaders have been up to: