Friday, 17 August 2018

Conference to reality ; Shift happens together


The whole staff are involved in decisions regarding Action Research. Any research is relevant to the needs of our learners and is used to strengthen outcomes, ensuring the curriculum has a positive and meaningful impact (excerpt from St Patrick's vision narrative, 2018).
Special thanks to the Schools That Deliver team for the inclusion of some of their slides.
Four of us participated in the Schools That Deliver Innovation Masterclass. We were engaged, motivated and energised during two full days that moved each of us out of our comfort zones. 

We thought long and hard about the way to share our learning with colleagues so that the whole staff could benefit from the experience. We decided to run two professional learning workshops, the second a "mini" version of the first to cater for part time staff.
These slides are a synopsis of the staff workshops:



Our biggest challenge overcome ( the whole staff are involved...)
During the first workshop staff searched for solutions to the greatest challenge for research teams; how to be inclusive of all staff. Sixty-eight percent of our staff work in a part time capacity. This includes specialist teachers, admin staff and those taking long service leave across the year. Finding a time to meet when everyone is present is challenging. Some solutions tried by research team include :
  • Vary meeting days and times 
  • Collaborate through Google docs. 
  • Fluid meetings across a fortnight period. 
Staff unanimously agreed to resolve the challenge by being productive and forging ahead within action research teams. The onus is then placed on individuals to take personal responsibility to be involved in the most practical way possible. Taking personal responsibility moves us above the magic line.
You can read more by Brendan Spillane at this link
Exploration to information gathering - Where are our four research teams at three months on ?
1. Leadership & Management - A focus on various forms of feedback. The team are currently reviewing an article entitled The Power of Feedback by Hattie and Timperely ( Links to our vision narrative...We value rich, regular, quality feedback and ongoing support to achieve personal learning goals).
2. Teaching & Learning- An investigation of different inquiry models, reviewing existing practices and a consistent inquiry language across the school ( Links to our vision narrative.....Both students and teachers are excited about learning, involving themselves in rich, open ended tasks both inside and outside the classroom ).
3. Well Being & Growth Mindset - Information gathering from staff and parents in relation to a "healthy mindset" and key skills that children require when they leave our school. They plan to collate the information and use 10/4 voting to refine their focus (Links to our vision narrative....  A healthy mindset, coupled with resilience and well-developed social skills ensures all learners are equipped to deal with life’s challenges, and have the skills to positively resolve conflict and communicate their ideas and emotions).
4. Our Faith Community - Began with a broad focus on Catholic identity and have narrowed it down to prayer. They are exploring prayer and Christian meditation in light of the Catholic Education Melbourne curriculum Horizons of Hope and other prayer resources. (Links to our vision narrative.. Our staff teach and model Catholic values making our faith real and relevant to the students. We practise daily prayer and promote fluidity between our parish, school and parent body ).

Practice Fields
One of the key messages from the conference was to trial and practice ideas to ensure they fit our context. At present we are trialling and supporting the following in some classes and year levels:
  • Seesaw for assessment in Year 1 classes (Link to our vision narrative.. We utilise technology to communicate learning and strengthen home school partnerships).   
  • Flexible furniture in a Year 1 and a Year 5 class (Link to our vision narrative..  Both students and teachers are excited about learning, involving themselves in rich, open ended tasks both inside and outside the classroom).
  • Mental Toughness pilot in Year 3 classes (Link to our vision narrative..  A healthy mindset, coupled with resilience and well-developed social skills ensures all learners are equipped to deal with life’s challenges, and have the skills to positively resolve conflict and communicate their ideas and emotions).
  • SMART spelling teaching method being trialled by the Teaching and Learning Leaders in a Yr 1, Yr 3 and Yr 5 class (Link to our vision narrative.. Ongoing data tracking leads to learning that is differentiated therefore optimising engagement.
  • Year 5 teachers are trialling a collaborative planning document utilising explicit teaching prompts - We do, I do, You do  (Link to our vision narrative...Ongoing data tracking leads to learning that is differentiated therefore optimising engagement.
  • What does learning look like at St Patrick's now ? How can we capture and celebrate all of the rich learning happening at our school and share it with each other and our community ? We agreed to collate photos and create a video to trial as a benchmark for what is happening at present (Links to our vision narrative..We celebrate with our school ....and use technology to communicate learning....)

Spaghetti Marshmallow Reflection -in -Action Design Activity

Staff Feedback
Staff have shared their enthusiasm about building relationships with other staff beyond the usual year level groups within research teams. This is strengthening staff unity and collaboration going forward.
A personal reflection after the conference resulted in the creation of a short video. You can read more about the development of the video and the narrative accompanying the video at this link.











No comments:

Post a Comment