TERM 4, 2016: WEEK 3

OUR LEARNING

Following on from the EOTC last week, and returning onsite refreshed, recharged, and relearned, we continued to define and solidify our beliefs and values. Luke prompted further deep thinking to outline the specifics in order to co-construct the collective ‘we believe’. Through group discussion and sharing, we began to put principles into practice with each core values: Relationship, Inspiration, Innovation, Integrity, and Excellence. Using Atkin’s model of ‘Developing practices congruent with values and beliefs’, we collaboratively identified the ‘why’, ‘how’, and ‘what’ that we will be implementing to realise the school vision - ‘To guarantee every learner engages in innovative, personalised world class learning.’
The other learning document for the week was Key Competencies for the Future (Hipkins, Bolstad, Boyd, and McDowall). John and Viv facilitated the discussion around how we incorporate and use the key competencies in our school. It was a stepping stone to re-think and unpack what key competencies are and their purpose within the New Zealand Curriculum.
As we delved into the ‘wicked problems’ faced in education in the 21st century, Kat introduced the idea of a ‘cultural iceberg’ and reminded us of the importance of looking under the surface. By creating our own cultural icebergs using concepts or practices from the reading and/or what we had experienced in our teaching, we were able to search deeper into meaning. This exercise generated a lot of purposeful discussions that gave us the agency to working with diversity and building trust.

OUR PEOPLE

This week, we welcomed Mel and Lisa into our dynamic, growing team. Staff continued to share their digital korowai and favourite video that gave us more insight into the paths that each of us had taken and what had influenced our practice.  

Chris Clay of ‘Thinking Differently’ engaged in an open dialogue with the entire staff about team building and collaboration. Focussing on the goal of knowledge creation, we were challenged to build ‘rockets’ through experimentation and teamwork. The workshop captured a gradual shift in metacognitive processing as we reflected in each check-point conferences. The fun-filled activities not only modelled some strategies in facilitating innovative learning, but also further strengthened the team and celebrated the diversity of ideas.

OUR ENVIRONMENT

It was time to get out and about! Kelly and Fred set us out on an adventure to find out more about our Ormiston/Flat Bush community - physically. Exploring the local areas was a treat while finding places of relevance to our students. Discovering the landmarks, cultural hotspots, eateries, and even roads that are still being built gave us a real sense of the ever growing community. 
Learning takes many different forms and we are so fortunate to have a lively local community. It was such a stimulating process that we couldn’t wait to meet and connect with our students.

WHAT’S NEXT

As the term progresses, we are excited about visiting other schools while consolidating the organisational structure of OJC. We all come with a range of attributes and have been assigned to work on a specific area in smaller groups. Bearing agility and fluidity in mind, we are also encouraged to venture out of our identified disciplines and contribute broadly.  

There will also be more fun sessions with Chris in the following weeks as we continue to learn from each other and establish an ‘OJC way’ – learning to think differently, helping people have fun, deep thinking, team building, and unleashing the learners within ourselves!