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National Facilitator visit to school

By Tony Greer

Today we had a visit from Nick Rate our National Facilitator. It was a valuable, relaxed visit with good discussion, reflection and a tour of our classes. The Principal Robyn, other lead teacher Louise, and myself were at the meeting.

We started off by reflecting on the recent impact of our cluster within the school. We reviewed topics such as the fact that elearning is now an integral part of the school charter, goals, action plans and planning. This was not a focus previously. The word 'quality' came out when discussing the school goal of ICT integration - not just integrating but ensuring 'quality' elearning is happening, not just the showy surface stuff! Also we discussed other improvements in schoolwide elearning over the past 2 years and availablity to internet, hardware and training for both teachers and students. It was valuable to take the time to reflect on the leaps made, rather than continually focus on where to next! (Although this is never far away from ones thoughts!)

We outlined our recent success with the Computers in Homes programme- from a community partnership aspect as well as elearning. The fitting of interactive whiteboards to each class and the benefits and opportunities this has allowed was also discussed.

Our cluster focusing more on Thinking and Inquiry Learning is also a very timely shift for our school and recent PD from Lyn Ross has been relayed to staff here and the ball has started rolling with the schoolwide development of a thinking toolbox - with the focus on 'schoolwide' and consistency. We talked about the need for the school to be collectively moving forward with elearning, regular sharing of our successes and failures, the outlining of clear expectations and the establishment of more robust support in school. We looked at our roles within the cluster and school and where we thought we were at as well as the opportunities for both formal and informal staff PD and dialogue that we do have in place.

We wrapped up with a reflection of the cluster as a whole and Nick allowed us to think ahead and discuss what we would like the cluster to either continue to provide or look forward and think about what else we would like to see happen in the cluster.

Thanks Nick for your time and thought provoking questions and comments!