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28 May 2021

posted 27 May 2021, 16:13 by Carolyn Brett

Each year we analyse our data against the set targets. This informs the following year's focus areas that link to the more higher level Strategic Plan. The targets for this year are in the diagram above. They consist of targets for Reading, Writing and Maths alongside Cultural and Environmental Sustainability and Wellbeing/Positive Education.

Over the year, teachers are tracking shifts for individual children and groups of children. If they are looking like they are a little 'static', questions are then asked - what else is going on for the child (whole child); what's been their pattern of achievement over time; what are their strengths and how might we apply these to a different learning area? It's important that we don't just take the shifts on face value but get inside it - the whats, hows, whens and possible whys. This is also why we need to take a collaborative approach to the puzzle with teams of teachers working together - with yourselves. In our world, it's called a 'puzzle of practice' (just a bit more jargon for you!).

You have Progress Meetings coming up soon with teachers. Some of you meet with teachers more frequently as the puzzle can be complex. "Children are like popcorn, they pop at different times" - we know this is true and we also know it can't be used as a barrier to not delving more deeply into the life and learning behaviours of a child.

Recently, I attended a meeting where Min. Chris Hipkins spoke about the refresh of the NZ Curriculum which is occurring over the next few years. He reminded us that we focused narrowly on Reading, Writing and Maths a number of years ago (National Standards) our national data actually went backwards. Yes, as a country we need to ensure the national curriculum is still relevant and expectations are high - but the basics (Reading, Writing and Maths) must be taught through a rich and varied curriculum framework as the evidence shows that this is what works best. 

This is why our targets have this wider lens. It can be a bit tricky setting a target but, as long as we have something to strive for and a clear direction, the Worser Bay School waka can move forwards, not always in a straight line.... but forwards.