The focus for my WST role this year is to establish a sustainable NE Hui model at MHS.
My challenges are that our staff teach a number of classes, (at different levels and in different subject areas), our staff have different levels of knowledge and understanding of the RbL profile, and our staff already have a number of meetings to attend.
As a first step we needed to create the institutional space for the meetings, and we needed a name
for our meetings. The decision was made to group staff in faculties and to add two Target Student
Meetings to our termly meeting timetable. There was no turning back now.
In week three I ran a PD session for our HODs. (Each with their own sphere of influence). I outlined
the purpose of the meetings, how they would run, protocols, the coordinator’s role, recording of
information at the meetings and how the impact could be evaluated and monitored. Thank you to
Lara, Nich, Tom and Lesley who met with me prior to this meeting and helped create an exemplar
video of a TSM so that HODs could see what was involved. To add to the difficulty level the entire PD
session was via Zoom! Screen sharing a PowerPoint presentation… with video… talking to a screen…
or myself?... accessing questions via chat … all well out of my comfort zone.
Week four was my opportunity to run a similar session for all staff and once again Zoom was the
platform for sharing this information. To support this socially distanced method of professional
development I gave staff access to a shared Google Drive so that they could revisit the presentation,
the documents and the video. It was also at this stage that staff got their homework for the
following week – come to your designated TSM with a wondering, issue or challenge you have with a
Year 9 student or group of students. Teachers were asked to bring some data to help unpack or
illustrate their wondering. With seven Year 9 classes, seven staff would bring data and be coached at
each of our faculty meetings. All systems go.
At the Year 9 Target Student Meeting (week five), coordinator’s ran the meeting and staff took turns
presenting and being coached. As this was happening, names, subjects and wonderings were all
recorded on a shared spreadsheet. As the coaching occurred, strategies and next steps, along with a
buddy teacher to support, were also recorded. It was amazing to see the sheet filling up in real time
with the names of target students, and with a variety of strategies and next steps for each teacher. It
was also positive to see that the strategies were focused on relationships for learning and sound
pedagogy. The beauty of the shared spreadsheet is that it provides information at a glance for
teachers, Deans, HODs, SCT and leadership. Connections and patterns are highlighted both within
subjects and within year groups. Certainly, as Year 9 Dean I found it incredibly useful. In week seven
of the term, we ran a repeat TSM for the teachers of Year 10 students.
As the final part of the cycle, each teacher who has been coached is completing a reflection template
and sharing it with their HOD by the beginning of Term 2. In week two, we will have a whole staff
meeting to review and evaluate the process, our first attempts and the impact. The intent is that this
cycle will then be repeated in a similar format in terms two and three. MHS also plans to collect
voice in Term 2. It may be that voice is collected from the junior students identified in the target
So, still a work in progress but we have made a start and there is an expectation that the NE Hui is
part of effective teaching and learning at MHS. Next steps for my role are to conduct a robust
review, upskill new staff, and keep the profile front and centre of our work. Hope the NE Hui are
going well at your place.
Recently, I had the absolute privilege to attend a structured literacy workshop with Christine Braid and teachers from schools around our Kahui Ako. Christine, from Massey University, has been working with our Kahui Ako for a year and has been training and providing support for our kaiako in using a structured literacy approach. This is part of a series of PD days with Christine.
The day started with an overview of what structured literacy looks like in theory, what resources were available and what the scope and sequence reading and language looked like.
In the afternoon Christine lead a group of Mapua school students through a structured literacy session and modelled how a lesson may work. It was clear that this approach is engaging and enriching for akonga.
While structured literacy is not new in our kahui ako, this was an opportunity for teachers of year 7 and 8 to begin the korero about this aproach in senior primary students. I was there in my role as AST for the Kahui Ako but also as HoD English at Motueka High School. I am really interested in creating a region wide literacy and numeracy overview and making sure that when students transition into high school/secondary school, we have in place really good strategies and learned skills in literacy and numeracy.
If you are interested in this structured literacy PD, please get in touch and we can point you in the right direction.
Thanks to Sharon, Jess and the team at Mapua for hosting us.