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Milestone 4 - 4.4 - Rangitahi College Summary

4.2     Provide a summary of progress towards cluster programme goals that have not been outlined in 4.3

4.4 Reflections on Rangitahi College’s Involvement in the ICT PD Contract

(second half of 2011)


Phil Buchanan, Lead Teacher

Nov. 2011


a)     a summary of progress that has been made towards achieving your programme goals


Rangitahi College:

We have continued to implement the key goals of ICT integration for engagement and teacher professional learning through Inquiry, in our challenging circumstances (decile 1, poor attendance and literacy, and facing school closure).  Staff remain keen to learn and consistently attended planned PD/PL sessions.


Learning Teams/Appraisal:

A key aspect was to integrate the goals with the school’s systems (or develop them), and this has begun through the design of the (pilot) Appraisal system and the beginnings of the revised Strategic Plan. 

PD/PL has been regularly scheduled approx every two weeks after school on Mondays, (led by the Lead teacher and three different outside providers – this ½ yr) as well as just-in-time PL on demand daily provided by the Lead teacher (and, thankfully, some peers).


Teacher Inquiry:

Initial teacher inquiry questions/teaching & learning goals have been identified and recorded, (with observations scheduled as part of appraisal) with group sharing of results and reflections scheduled twice this term.


Working with the Lead teachers and Principals committee:

It has been good this year to have a focussed and cooperative group to work with and agreed strategies and budgets. 


b)     a summary of or links to the supporting evidence for this

Rangitahi College:

The Appraisal proposal and T4 timeline are up on the VLN (in the Rangitahi College Group Content), along with the T4 PD schedule covering a range of PD events.





A range of Appraisal goals/inquiries and reflections are inside www.rangitahi.knowledge.net.nz Access TBA.  As yet staff have not been asked for permission to publish their goals and/or reflections more widely.  Hopefully by the time this report is read they have agreed to – so some of these will be uploaded to the VLN, or access given to KN.

An anominised version of their 1st set of inquiry goals is there at /pg/groupcms/view/189168/



c)      the key lessons for the cluster

Rangitahi College


Inquiry Cycle:

It has been very useful to focus on the inquiry cycle process for professional learning in order to target the teacher’s learning rather than merely scheduling group PD for generic learning.  School-wide PD addresses school-wide needs, whereas inquiry questions formulated in a shared manner both targets actual teacher needs and foster a sharing collaborative learning community.


Regional Facilitator:

Anne’s insistence on, and provision of resources for, the Inquiry focus has been helpful.  The expectation to contribute to the VLN has been challenging, but several staff have responded.  All staff have contributed to the school’s Web Diaries (within KnowledgeNET - KN) and will continue to do so, but this is primarily because we schedule time for this as part of our Group Sharing/Appraisal times.  (Our implementation of KN at the start of Term 4 was quite strategic and timely. 


Scheduling Time:

Clearly, it is important to schedule time (for busy teachers) to initiate new expectations (such as contributions to the VLN) – so this will be proposed for our next PL session (say, regarding the scheduled KN PL coming up).


Sharing Benefits:

To maintain initial interest and motivation to set aside time it will be important that staff see direct benefits from the sharing online (both internally via KN and externally via VLN).


d)     the next steps towards achieving the cluster goal/s

Our next key steps at Rangitahi College include:


A       Embedding shared PL:

Moving from the pilot Appraisal process to a full year-long process which includes data collection (before and after) and more formal and individualised PL sourcing/provision to meet the requirements of each teacher’s inquiry question/goals. 


B        Systematising PLGs:

Fully integrating the ‘Professional Learning Community’ processes into the key schedules and Strategic Plan directly linked to the new Strategic Goal of ‘Ako’ (learning together – teachers and students).  Completion of the Strat. Plan revision – published (and accepted by MoE!).


C        Focussed provision of PL/facilitation:

Continued PL provision/purchasing (through cluster budgets) for school-wide PL focussing on use of ICTs in the classroom and appropriate pedagogies.  The review by staff at the end of the year’s ToD should produce a detailed set of goals and several strategies for meeting them.  One of the proposed sources of PL is via attendance of ALL staff (perhaps including Teacher Aides also) at the L@S Conference late Jan. in Hamilton).  Development of the 2012 Budget and Planning doc – published before Xmas.


D       Classroom Outcomes/Student Engagement:

With the focus moving towards classroom practice and actual student learning we will need to see both improvements in student outcomes (re data – learning processes and results) and attitudes/engagement.  A focus on core values such as Manaakitanga and Arohatanga (relationship building) will continue and a renewed focus on the new core value of Ako (shared learning, excellence) needs to be strategised.  The Key Competencies are likely to become a prime focus for the first time school-wide, with common strategies for consistent application for students.


e)     a list of any emerging issues, risks, or opportunities particularly in relation to service delivery and reporting requirements


Issues at Rangitahi College:


Scheduling time for the myriad of developmental needs across the College remains a challenge – but integration of the learning community approach with the Strategic Plan should help us focus on shared and targeted development.



Any distraction or ad hoc development may become a barrier to focussing on core needs and the development of the learning community (at staff and student levels).


Tech Wizards:

Rangitahi College has found it difficult to include students in the cluster student days/Tech Wizards sharing, as the level of student involvement and confidence is has been low.  We expect that we will be able to get more fully involved at this level in 2012.


PL Planning:

A definite PL/PD plan for each term with scheduled meeting slots every week will help maintain momentum, as well as strategically staged ToDs.



Recording and reporting can be onerous, but sharing learnings online doubles as teacher-collaboration and recording-for-milestones – so we will continue to schedule time for both KnowledgeNET Web Diaries and the VLN.