We’ve arrived at end of Term 1 & the LoL team has had an amazing and intensive 11 weeks. Our professional learning & research tour has come to an end, & we are now pondering all of great ideas & insights that have been gathered from some cutting edge & hardworking educators. The final stops on the tour included Norma Rose Point School & Thomas Haney High School in Vancouver, Canada, & finished up with exchanging ideas with Big Picture Learning Schools at Bellevue & Highline, & Summit Schools way of thinking at Summit Olympus in Seattle.
Key ideas which have stood out from these final schools & staff include:
1) Different approaches to forward thinking & responsive approaches to time, space, & systems in schools which have been designed to support learners at the individual level.
2) Designing & using data analysis tools to best support learner progress and agency.
3) The importance of a student advisor or learning coach for supporting & challenging learners to be self managing & contributing
4) The importance of the staff sharing the values & vision of the learning community.
5) Authentic learning, solving real problems, making an impact, & participating in REAL world experiences & situations are life changing. Kids are capable of so much more than we often give them opportunities for!
6) The power of internships, expeditions, & exhibitions in growing learner agency & deep learning.
After an amazing 11 weeks, & ridiculously awesome final 2 weeks of term, the LoL’s are now able to finish one another’s sentences & have, in fact, invented the beginnings of some OJC narratives & expressions. This has been both highly entertaining as well as pivotal in working out how best to articulate the vision for OJC learning. We’re now also beginning to look ahead to connecting with our future learners & whanau more frequently & purposefully starting in Term 2. Be sure to check back on the website, facebook page or twitter account for more information on a meet & greet night as well as other consultation opportunities that will be coming up.
In addition, our learning community will be growing in no time at all as we have just begun advertising for foundation staffing & have begun the appointments process. Information about the recruitment process is available via the Edugation gazette, or follow the link to our recruitment page.
We all look forward to welcoming on board the next members of the OJC team.
Learning Environment - The Third Teacher
Once again, we’ve had our minds further stretched about how the physical learning environment can be used to provoke ideas & stimulate learning. We’ve experienced a themed high school using aromatherapy to support memory & learning, tried out a bookless library, saw how a 0-Year 8 school using the Reggio Emelia approach to immersion learning, watched learners move between subject specific great halls & labs to meet their learning goals, & toured through an amazing multi-disciplinary makerspace which included everything from structural engineering, to neuroscience, to biochemistry to robotics & more! All these perspectives and approaches will enrich our thinking & ability to push the boundaries on futures thinking learning in our environment at OJC.
At this point all LoL’s are looking forward to reconnecting with our own families over the Term break. Next on our agenda will be to begin the hiring process for the rest of the team for 2017, finalising the school uniform design to release online, & beginning to work on the details of putting the OJC values & vision into principles & practice. We wish everyone a safe & enjoyable Term 1 break, & look forward to continuing the making of OJC in Term 2.
Nga mihi nui,
The OJC LoL team,
Luke, Viv, John & Kat