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How Principals Are Leading

Year level - Secondary
Cluster Type - Traditional ICT PD Cluster

Context - Cluster progress towards achieving Goal 2

National Goal
Principals to lead the integration of e-learning in their schools (strategic and operational)

Cluster Goals 

  • To approve and regularly review systems and structures that support e-learning 
  • To establish E-Learning as a priority that will be included into the schools strategic plan
  • To embed I-connect into school wide goals
  • To include  I-connect personnel in strategic planning
  • To promote the cluster


Principals have, since the cluster started,   been leaders in the cluster development and promotion. It was important that they embraced the new goals and found opportunities to embed I-Connect goals into the culture of the school.


If the Principals are taking responsibility for leading the integration of e-learning in their schools there is a greater chance of success throughout the school. The Principals also need to be fully supportive of the student voice project and all schools and revisit their strategic plans to cope with the anticipated pace of change.

What did we do?

  • Principals met to help create the cluster goals
  • Principals attended learning@school conference
  • Principals undertook to look at ways in which the cluster goals could be highlighted in their own schools.

    What happened?

The principals have been surveyed by the facilitator about their role in the leadership and the following is a summary of responses.

1.      Describe how you are leading the idea of co-learning to become a successful digital citizen in your school?

  • Staff appointments all applications by technology
  • Much more digital management of the mundane
  • Modelling by use and completing degree in the digital environment
  • Supporting the introduction of Wifi access for Year 13 Students
  • Approving the setup of the Digital Advisers Group
  • Recognising the importance of infrastructure in the new building projects
  • Increasing the accessibility of technologies through mobile netbooks
  • Revisiting the strategic plan of the school
  • Attendance at learning@school conference
  • Providing opportunities for I-Connect spotlights
  • Lunch leave texting innovation.
  • Accelerating wireless access of campus
  • Linking I-Connect goals to appraisal

2.      How have you developed an understanding of successful digital citizenship and how teachers can integrate e-learning effectively into their practice, creating an innovative and exciting learning environment for all students.

  • Talking to students
  • Listening to students
  • Interface magazine
  • Visits to other schools. “I went to Wellington to look at how two schools are introducing mobile computing for students.”
  • Conferences
  • Development of the plan
  • I have started a blog
  • I have co-learned with students on how to make a video and present to staff.
  • Principal Meetings
  • Always talking to the cluster facilitator

3.      What is your vision for ICT integration and exciting learning environments in your school by the end of the contract?        

  • Normal part of everyday learning and not seen as anything special by students or teachers
  • Take advantage of students the current digital devices and technologies 
  • That teachers will be using ICT as a natural part of their lessons part of their vision
  • Students will be have greater access to devices and services
  • Teachers will continually assess innovation opportunities.

4.      What are some of the issues you have encountered and how have you overcome them?

  • Access provide greater to support learning
  • Finding a sensible way of addressing the situation where we have teachers who have excellent results from their classes, the students like being in their classes and the teachers do not see the need to embrace cluster goals.

5. What teacher reflection is encouraged in the school?

  • Peer support -  teachers videoing lessons, reflecting on the lesson and where to from here?
  • This year we have undertaken an Initiative stocktake at school, faculty and individual classroom levels. In this exercise reflection on progress of any new initiative has been gathered. This has had a twofold purpose two reinforce that we are really are trying to be innovative and some very interesting things are happening while also highlighting gaps and opportunities.
  • Four minute walkthroughs
  • Reflection linked to appraisal
  • Conversations with all staff members after their observed lessons. A recent conversation led to a teacher informing me that to be a more exciting and innovative teacher I have to put more energy into my preparation and delivery.

Helen Fouhy Acting Principal of Sacred Heart talks with John Phelps the lead facilitator about their goals and how they are being addressed.

What did we learn?

  • Each school has had to address how they are able to address and meet the goals
  • Attending Learningf@school was inspirational and another great chance to meetwork
  • Principal meetings are invaluable for collegial support
  • Involving students more in the cluster hass already reaped benefits
  • We have to say what can we do now rather than well we cannot do this because……

Next Steps:

  • Cluster conference
  • Interpret results and feedback from teacher observations
  • On going revising of the schools strategic plans


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