Mr Rees, Technology and Maths teacher, was doing some work with a Year 9 maths class. He decided they would look at sundials. However he went much much further than this. He decided the class members would each make a sundial, using his own skills as a technologist as well. And so they did. They researched the devices, their history, and the maths behind their workings, and then they made one each. All along they blogged about their work, explaining what they were doing and why.
However Mr Rees went one step further. His class then visited one of our Year 7 & 8 classes, the students demonstrating their sundials, explaining what they were doing and what they had learned. Here are some photos of the day.
The interactions were exciting, and outstanding. The conclusion to the whole learning experience will see the Year 7s and 8s commenting on the blogs of the Year 9s. This is tuakana teina at its best. This is 'Learn Create Share' as it can look. This is 'creative excellence.
And then this...
Our new Year 7 & 8 curriculum includes 'Modules' of learning that combine homeroom classes with their homeroom teachers and a specialist teacher. Each module is expected to meet not only the curriculum requirements of the specialist area, but also literacy and/or numeracy requirements.
One of those modules saw Mrs Clemence (HoD Art) working with two classes on 'claymotion'. Students delved into the world of creativity and art to create clay models, from which they will then make 'claymotion' movies. Here is one example from two Year 7 boys. Their clay modelling is outstanding.
This yet again is 'Learn Create Share' at its best. This is 'creative excellence'.
The levels of engagement from the students was outstanding. The rooms were filled with that purposeful working buzz. Everyone was so focussed they hardly noticed me wandering through the rooms. It's one of those times when as a Principal I loved being ignored.
And all of this comes about because we have staff who see our vision for our kura as 'a centre of creative excellence' as central to not only what they deliver, but also to their key tasks of learning design. These tasks have been set up to focus on creativity, to deepen learning in meaningful ways, ways that revolve entirely around 'Learn Create Share'.
In doing this, staff have taken big risks, they have modelled being responsible risk takers. The risks have paid off in a massive way, and our learners have been big winners, and so too have ur staff. I see their confidence rising in the same way as that of our learners. Our leaners have been given agency over their learning, they have used digital tools to do some things they couldn't otherwise have done (the claymotion, in particular) while also modelling and developing their soft skills in collaboration, and tuakana teina, in self management, in commitment, resilience, resilience, and respect. And it is also enabled by our use of an underlying pedagogy to drive all of our learning, our pedagogy of 'Learn Create Share'. This is the gift of "manaiakalani' and the use of digital devices (Chromebooks) form our learners.
This is powerful stuff. This is the liberation we talk about. And it happens when we empower staff and learners, when we trust them, and when we allow and encourage them all to take risks.
Frankly I couldn't be prouder of our staff and our students.
Ka mau te wehi