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Goal 2 Reflective Summary 2011

The following is a summary of National Goal 2 for 2011 for the Mantar Cluster (Milestone 4).


Year 2 of Cluster Programme - Primary Cluster Years 0-8

Cluster Type: 



The Management Team of this Cluster is composed of  the Principal's of the five participating schools being St James' Catholic, Somerset Cres, Kumeroa-Hopelands, Terrace End and Aokautere. The Director for this Cluster is the Principal at St James Catholic, Teresa Edwards. The Management Team meets regularly to discuss Cluster pedagogy and practice including construction of the Variation and the PD development programme for staff and students. To date, current focus areas have included Strategic Planning, developing a pedagogically sound Inquiry process within each school, and developing strategies for staff reflections through the use of QLCs. The Management Teams role is in leading the Cluster with the integration of e-learning and ICTs into their schools through strategic and operational practice.


The Principals identified seven key areas of focus for 2011 that would indicate success in leading the learning around the implementation, pedagogy and practice of ICTs in their schools. These were designed to meet the criteria set out in National Goal 2 indicating Principals were required to lead the integration of e-learning in their schools (both strategic and operational). During the course of this year, these focus points have been addressed by the Management Team and a shift has occurred away from using the Cluster wiki as a means of communicating, to a more integrated use of the VLN for reflection and discussion, and Google Docs for the sharing of information and co-constructing reports such as summarising and analysing the student survey. The seven key focus areas are outlined below: 

* The development of a strategic plan for each school which also aligns to borader school goals. This will include a strategy for integrating ICTs into pedagogy and practice. Support in this process was sought from our Cluster National Facilitator, Nick Rate, who led a number of Management Meetings around this goal.

* The assessment of teacher capability to identify PD needs and consequently implement learning opportunities for staff to meet these needs. Both internal 'experts' such as Lead Teachers and the Cluster Facilitator, as well as external 'experts' such as Lyn Ross (ICT PD Facilitator for Te Apiti Cluster) and Jan Watts (National Library Advisory), were engaged to meet these needs.

* Principals needed to become more skilled in using ICT tools consistently to plan, manage, evaluate and communicate information both school and Cluster wide.

* All schools have been developing their Student Management Systems to collect and communicate consistent information that can be used both school and Cluster wide. This was scheduled to be continuing area of development in 2011.

* Student voice was collected and analysed with a focus on student engagement in their learning as well as key questions around Inquiry and ICTs and their current classroom applications. This information is being used to help develop the Variation for the Cluster for 2012 as well as help frame PD needs for staff and students.

* Principals have continued to take the lead role in communicating e-learning directions to staff, community and BOTs. The use of ICTs to communicate with the wider community has become a focus and schools are using such avenues as Facebook, blogs and school websites to do this. Work is still underway in this area, however, there is more consistent use of ICTs to share student learning, communicate and report to parents/community, and as part of assemblies and sharing days.

* Like all staff, the Principals participate in a professional learning community through the use of the QLC reflection process. Principals now attend their own QLC meeting and this occurs at the same time staff meet for this purpose. Principals are now also taking a more active role in the VLN particularly to share experiences, pose questions and seek information from other VLN members outside the Cluster.

Interventions and Summary of Key Results:

Strategic Planning was an area all Principal's felt there was significant need to review and ensure there was an accurate representation of the changes within their schools to encompass e-learning. Several meetings were held with our National Facilitator, Nick Rate, which focused on the first steps, areas of focus and where to next.

Teacher capability was also an area where ongoing development was forefront in the strategic planning process for principals. This included analysing the student survey, future staff development and in depth management discussion around how this may look in each school.

* The Teacher survey , completed by all Cluster staff, was one key area that lead to the development of the variation for 2012. This included summarising the findings and assessing the usefulness of the QLC reflection process.

* The Lead Teachers under took a range of workshops led by Lyn Ross, Facilitator for Te Apiti Cluster.  This lead to the development of a Thinking toolbox for all schools and the principals reflected on the value of these: Thinking Toolbox at Terrace End

* The Principals have reflected on their own need to be fluent users of ICT and have reflected on how they personally use these to develop and support their principal role, develop their own confidence in using them within this role, the possibility of e-portfolios, and reducing the paper load (such as having online newsletters only) including communicating more with whanau/community through the use of ICTs.

* The Cluster schools use a range of SMSs uncluding ETap, School Master and MUSAC. The principals reflected on the use of these SMSs and their value in terms of evidicing student progress, reporting and how they are used by teachers.

* Student voice is an integral component that was used to lead development of the variation and future learning programmes within each school. Student voice was collected through a student survey and principals reflected on how to fill the identified gaps and celebrated the progress made to date.  This included reflecting on the TeKids programme, how well this has been implemented in individual schools and how to lift their profile.

* Leading e-learning and maintaining strong links involving communicating e-learning directions to staff, BOT and the community is a further area of reflection undertaken by the principals. Discussion revolved around the success of the Lead Teacher model and the collaborative way each school has of working with leadership.  Somerset Cres school also reflected on timetables and e-learning, in particular in relation to maintaining a balance when using a computer suite and ways in which to use such learning environments in a more integrated manner.

* Professional learning community/QLCs

The Principals QLC and use of VLN has been paramount in the increased engagement of an online presence for the Management team. Reflections around the use of the VLN in particular have involved the discussion of its future potential, the ability to both provide and receive collegial support, and be part of a larger collaborative community.

reflection on the QLC process by the Management team discussed how this format of reflection allows thinking and practice to be challenged by colleagues which often leads to a shift in thinking. It also provided an environment to share progress and provide opportunity for a Management consultation process to be undertaken.

Next Steps:

* Continue with the development of each schools Strategic Plans. This will include a strategy for ICT infrastructure and e-learning pedagogy through a shared vision.

* A continuing review of teacher capability which leads to the implementation of a PD schedule that repsonds to staff needs. This will involve the use of both internal and external experts.

* Principals continuing development of personal use of ICTs as part of their role to plan, manage, evaluate and communicate.

* Further development of SMSs within individual schools.

* Continuation of gathering student voice that will guide future support for teaching and learning.

* Principal's will need to continue to take a lead role in developing and communicating e-learning directions to their staff, BOT and community.

* Continue with the principal QLC reflective process and use of the VLN. This will involve the use of the Enabling E-Learning website for guidelines and information. Use of e-portfolios will be investigated as a vehicle for sharing teaching as inquiry.