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"Teaching as Inquiry" - The Aoraki Rural Programme 2011

Our Aoraki Rural Cluster is on the third year and final year of the ICT PD contract. Our focus this year has shifted from a programme based on external facilitation to developing the internal capability of key Lead Teachers as coaches and mentors within each of the cluster schools.

- A model of distributed leadership.

- Sustainability of our ICT programmes into 2012 and beyond.

- Flexibility for each cluster schools to meet their particular Professional Learning and Development and Student Achievement needs.

The programme has been designed to provide a common Professional Learning experience in Term 1 for all Lead Teachers and Principals. This experience included workshops on Leadership, Leading Change, Inquiry and Critical Reflection, Using Data to Monitor and Inform Practice and Engaging Family and Whanau. School visits were organised to see high quality examples of teaching and learning practice at two Christchurch schools. A final workshop was designed for Lead Teaching to synthesis all they had seen and experienced into an Action Plan to be implemented over Term 2, 3 and 4.

The Action Plans require schools to have an identified a “Teaching as Inquiry” focus for their 2011 ICT PLD.

Each school’s inquiry question focuses on how ICT Tools, strategies and thinking can be used in teaching and learning to improve student achievement in a selected aspect of learning.

All but one of the cluster schools have selected an aspect of English as their focus with Written Language / Writing being the focus for eight of the eleven schools. One school is concentrating on Reading with another on Literacy.

Another school is developing an inquiry question that examines how ICT tools, strategies and thinking can support their Inquiry learning.

While not planned the common links between school’s Inquiry focus means that schools within the cluster can work in partnership to support each other’s programme.

As mentioned our aim is to have a model that is sustained into 2012 and beyond and we want the links made between schools to remain strong.