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4.2 Our Cluster's Summary of Progress


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

a) Progress that has been made towards achieving programme goals


Goal 1 – As a cluster we are aware that the there is a lot of scope in the New Zealand Curriculum for our schools to implement their own flavour depending on the needs of the student community. Our inclusion in an ICT PD cluster says that we believe that digital technologies are important in the engagement and motivation of our students and need to be part of the learning culture of the schools. The New Zealand Curriculum says that eLearning is an effective way of promoting learning (page 38):


We realise the importance of student voice in developing that curriculum, the contexts and the learning objectives. This is beginning to happen; we have evidence of student voice informing the planning in literacy at Mokoia Intermediate, for example.

Goal 2 – At the start of Term 2 the cluster principals and Lead teachers were introduced to the Teaching as Inquiry model (NZC p.37) as the tool to foster the integration of elearning into teacher practice. The cluster schools are at different places along the track of implementing this model into teacher appraisal and there is discussion about integrating etools in the collection of evidence.  Rotorua Lakes High School will mandate use of their new LMS in this data collection; Mokoia intermediate will allow teachers to experiment with a range of tools.  The Teacher Registration Criteria urge us to use inquiry learning to inform our practice; the new Teacher Registration Criteria wiki helps us make connections with the elearning practices we are exploring.  

Teachers are now becoming familiar with a range of SMS and assessment portals introduced over the last two years, so that they can use data to inform learning. We recognise that 21st century learners will use digital technologies; our schools are working towards having efficient infrastructures that can support these technologies. We are expecting that by the end of 2012, data, observations and reflections will show that student achievement has been enhanced.

Goal 3 - While some staff are engaged in networks with other teachers, in areas such as the VLN or through blogs and wikis, this an area for growth. There is a lot to be learned from each other’s experience and connections.

Goal 4 – This milestone report highlights a number of instances where leadership is being distributed across the cluster. Learning@School and Ulearn have been catalysts for growth among individual staff members. The tech Angels and wizards programme is growing student capacity to mentor fellow students and teachers alike.

Goal 5 – School websites, newsletters and class blogs are contributing to our communities’ understanding of twenty first century learning. We need to ensure that we demonstrate the power of this pedagogy with evidence of student engagement and achievement.  We need to keep abreast of developments in education and pass on this information to parents.  We need to hold community meetings to decide on the best applications of digital technology for our students because financially and philosophically, we will need their support.

b) The supporting evidence

·  The supporting evidence for our growth over the last Milestone period is itemised in the programme implementation section of the report. Many of these links are to resources uploaded to The Rotorua Lakes Cluster group area and subgroup areas in the Virtual Learning Network. See also Milestone 4 - 4.4 - Rangitahi College Summary.

c) The key lessons for the cluster

The key lessons for our cluster include the following:

  • We are a cluster which draws from different demographics and we are separated geographically, from Okere Falls to Murupara. We consist of one full primary, one intermediate and two colleges. In hindsight, clear decisions about how the goals could draw us together for professional development and what shared key aspects of our schools’ practices we could develop together, would have been useful.
  • · Leadership is paramount to success, whether it be through Principal involvement or devolved to Lead Teachers who are empowered to make a difference.  Strategic planning needs to have clear links to elearning and leaders need to be able to facilitate learning in other staff members. While it is accepted that our teachers will learn at different rates, in order to sustain development over and beyond the period of the three year contract, leadership capacity needs to be shared among the staff so that the intellectual knowledge stays within and grows within each school.
  • · There need to be clear lines of communication and an acceptance that communication needs to be timely.
  • · With no formal cluster facilitator, roles need to be clearly defined. For example, who is it that takes responsibility for communicating information to the cluster leaders from the national facilitator? Who takes responsibility for compiling the milestones? We have a lead school and we have expertise in other schools.


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

  • · At last we can see individual staff taking up the reigns and experimenting with digital technologies. We need to use our teacher inquiries to ensure that what they do is having the desired effects of engaging and motivating students and effecting greater achievement.
  • · We would like to see the next tier of teachers grow to appreciate twenty first century pedagogy and feel supported and empowered to experiment.
  • · Communities need to be empowered by what we are offering their children through consultation and invitation into our learning spaces, physical and digital.


e) Emerging issues, risks, or opportunities particularly in relation to service delivery and reporting requirements

  • · Sustainability of access to improvements to infrastructure, professional development and technical support needs to be planned for after the period of the contract. This will not only mean schools looking at their own strategic planning and budgets; our cluster and other local clusters need to think about how they can work together.