Empowering Learners Through Common Language

It’s hard but that’s okay because you keep trying and then it becomes easier and then it becomes fun. That’s how you learn.

This cool little quote is from my 5 year old daughter after ballet practice yesterday. Apart from the glaringly obvious growth mindset that she has at the moment, it made me start thinking about how my students would describe how they learn.

At HPSS we have our Learning Design Model that was developed out of our deep exploration of the New Zealand Curriculum. This is the language that we use to describe how learning occurs.

HPSS Learning Design Model

HPSS Learning Design Model

We envision learning as cyclical (not circular otherwise you go nowhere – in Di Cavallo‘s words!) rather than linear. Continue reading


Culture of Critique

This post follows from an Ignite talk I did this morning on a Culture of Critique and has been brewing for a while. My own reflections over the past 2 terms have now been influenced by my most recent read – Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull, the Head of Disney Pixar.

We have a mantra at HPSS that we use regularly – Warm and Demanding (see this earlier post about Warm and Demanding). I feel we are getting the Warm great, the demanding happens from time to time but I question whether we utilise the warm AND demanding enough in a way that pushes us forward as a school.

For me, this links with an analogy I loved from Creativity Inc: imagine an old heavy suitcase whose well-worn handles are hanging by threads. Continue reading

What if you could ask anything of a teacher at HPSS?

A gimme for my birthday!

This week Hobsonville Point Secondary School is playing host to the inaugural #EdChatNZ conference. Amongst all the amazing workshops, Ros Maceachern (@rosmaceachern) is giving a presentation on the way we operate at HPSS. What we (particularly Ros) need to know is what you would like to hear about?

Please contact Ros either via twitter or email her any questions or topics you would like to hear about at ros.macheachern@hobsonvillepoint.school.nz. Or of course you can comment here and I can pass it on to her.


This is a gimme post for my Questioning Quest.