A mid-week visit to Rototuna Junior High School in Hamilton was a great way to touch base with teaching and learning in practice with the same age range of learners as our future learning community. Not only is it nice to connect with one of the other new Junior Colleges in our extended neighbourhood, but it was also great to see the progress of their learning, relationships, problem solving and documentation within just one term of opening. We can't thank the leadership team of Fraser, Mel, and Paula enough for their ongoing hospitality and sharing of ideas - particularly at this very busy time while RJHS is being established!
The Lol's have begun looking in more depth at hard and soft education systems for how our school will be organised to best support OJC learning excellence. For example, dialogue has begun to zoom in on the pedagogy of timetables, classes, self-management, assessments, and designing futures focused and innovative experiences. Our hope is to stimulate and challenge our learners in order for them to connect their progress to begin preparation for the transition to Senior College and beyond.
Another key priority for our own learning has been acknowledging New Zealand Sign Language week. This is particularly near and dear to our hearts because of the relationship between the Kelston Deaf Education Centre and the Ormiston Community of Schools. Our knowledgable and NZSL fluent eBoT member, Margaret Patrick, provided a provocation for us to support our unpacking of the OJC approach to connecting with our hearing impaired learners. Through creating a visual korowai, Margaret challenged us to articulate our values and beliefs for inclusive learning at OJC and the team's social and emotional learning around New Zealand Sign Language learning so far.
The Tuesday info night for prospective OJC learning coaches held at Ormiston Senior College was a great success. We hosted a nearly full house, and were well catered with delicious finger food by Nourish Cafe from down the road. It was a great opportunity to begin to unpack our work on the school so far for an educated and discerning audience. However, it was even better experiencing the buzz in the room afterwards as educators shared their enthusiasm for what we had all discussed. The recruitment process continues over the next week with applications closing and short-listing beginning on May the 20th.
THE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT - OUR THIRD TEACHER
Construction has been business as usual. We've been really lucky to have a lingering summer to support the construction team's efforts. The rain this week hasn't slowed things down, and in the meantime we've begun exploring what sorts of amazing innovations will be created in our purpose built Arts, Sciences and Technology wing.
This particular article shares 7 Things you Should Know About Makerspaces which outlines some key insights into the rapidly spreading movement. While makerspaces are becoming common, but are not specific to education, the value of experimentation, designing, problem solving, innovating and applying ideas in chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, arts and technology are key to authentic learning and real-world experience - all concepts we look forward to inspiring our learners with.
The LoL team have a variety of dates coming up with both Ormiston Primary School and Ormiston Senior College to continue to nurture the ongoing whanaungatanga. From swimming, to assemblies, and being college students for a day, we'll be busy diving into the Ormiston Learning Community to learn more and continue to find our place as a connecting piece of the puzzle. Of course, all this will be between preparing our ERO readiness documentation and completing round one of OJC recruitment - never a dull moment around here!
We will also be working towards a community consultation meet & greet night for our future families and the Ormiston community later this term. We are keen to connect and begin to develop lines of communication to start working together on developing the Ormiston Community's hopes and dreams of their young people.
The OJC LoL Team,
Luke, Viv, John & Kat