Tē tōia, tē haumatia
Nothing can be achieved without a plan
The ACCoS CoL have achievement challenges which act as a roadmap to identify where we have come from and where we are going. Our Achievement Challenges set realistic goals by supporting learners as they move through their learning using the national curriculum.
The core purpose of CoL is to know learning is happening and how to capture it. Over the past few weeks I have been comparing results from previous years by tracking historical data at our school. It is powerful to know that learning is taking place by observing the progress constantly. I have been aligning the reading with the writing data and have been looking at trends. When I lay the English Language Learning data alongside then interesting trends begin to surface and I think back to the graph of Thomas and Collier who describe the length of time to gain academic proficiency in a second language. I have been reading up on attendance and how much of a gauge that year 7 attendance has for achieving NCEA levels. The national data shows that higher decile schools have stronger attendance than lower decile schools and that Asian learners have the strongest attendance data of all groups.
Learning on the job, with senior staff, mentors and coaches is the way to go and our ACCoS planned for Across School Leaders to be trained in coaching skills. At our school our management team found the training invaluable so much so that we have focussed on coaching skills for all our teachers for this year. We know that sharing best practices is where real change happens. As educators we have to be accountable to our learners and reduce the levels of mediocrity in our education system.
Being strategic is knowing what to achieve, and then finding the best ways to get there” (Kaufman,1992).
2016 is the third year year for ACCoS and this year I can already see a change happening as our Across School Leaders swing into greater action with a greater focus on empowering all students for success. There is a stronger direction of data and a revisit of our achievement challenges. As an ASL team we are in the process of completing our first yearly report. We have begun meeting with our in school leaders (ISL) and the minutes coming through highlight the following :
- Drilling down to find more specific information on each achievement challenge.
- Comparing results from previous years by tracking historic data.
I have learnt to look for what cannot be seen and look for whose voice is not being heard.
Where to next for us
This year a greater part of our work will be looking closer at our data. Research in assessment indicates that assessment information should be drawn from a comprehensive range of diverse sources including at least one norm-referenced or externally-referenced tool. We have it stated in our achievement challenge under evaluation that is an ACCoS expectation and it is now a matter of ensuring that all schools and teachers have this same message. The ministry have made our task so much easier by including all our data in one space. We will share this with our In School Leaders at our next across schools meeting. We have asked for all In Schools Leaders to bring their 2016 school data and we will begin the task of data discussion. I believe that we will all need training on data analysis. Many of our primary school teachers are just beginning to use spreadsheets and that is why working across schools is so exciting because we can call on our secondary colleagues who have been doing this for many years. As we dig deeper with our data there will be dips and that helps identify what still needs to be done. If we consistently focus on Hattie’s Effect Size and look at ways of measuring interventions then there is less chance of ‘plucking the baubles on the Christmas tree.’
Parent Engagement and Participation
Our fifth achievement challenge is Parent Engagement and Participation. We have also highlighted this achievement challenge as an area for greater focus this year.
There are pockets of excellence across our schools and it is timely to share these. So again this will be another area of focus for our in school leaders. This achievement challenge will be another reflection from me.
This week we will be meeting again as an Across School Leadership team and I look forward to the discussion with my colleagues.
Those of you who are part of CoLs what is your focus for this year?
As an analogy I was searching for something in education that was similar to ‘GPS’. So I searched for Educational Positional System and this link turned up. I felt deflated because I thought I had thought of it first. But not to matter because this is a fabulous read.
Kaufman, R. (1992) Mapping Educational success: Strategic thinking and planning for school administrators. Newbury Park, CA: Corwin Press