It was an interesting process pulling together my first annual plan as Principal at Albany Senior High School. School Charters and Annual Plans are interesting beasts. To be honest, they appear to be box ticking waffle and weasel words which gather cyber dust in some virtual filing system.
My belief was that a plan can be bloody useful, but only if it was actually designed to be useful. For that reason, I set about researching and reading as many as I could lay my hands on. What I found, for the most part, was (I thought) unnecessarily long winded and either attempted to capture so much in so much detail that they seemed insurmountable or so vague they read like paraphrased business as usual. In the end, the easiest approach was to go to The University of Auckland Centre for Educational Leadership to look at their resources and templates and have a crack of building something from scratch. The following is my attempt to craft an Annual Plan (this obviously doesn't include the broa…
Well, today marks the day that many of you will have experienced the first high stakes external exam of the 2018 NCEA exam season and whilst I do wish you all the best, I also want you to know that you are bigger than any NCEA exam.
An exam is defined by the Collins Dictionary as a formal test that you take to show your knowledge or ability in a particular subject, or to obtain a qualification.
I would rather focus on what an exam is not:
It is not a measure of if you are bright.
It is not a measure of your potential.
It is not a measure of your worth, either now or in the future.
It is not a measure of your ability to learn, unlearn and relearn.
It is not a measure of your ability to communicate.
It is not a measure of your ability to collaborate.
It is not a measure of your ability to research.
It is not a measure of your creativity.
It is not a measure of your curiosity.
It is not a measure of your willingness to take risks.
As the sun set on the school year in 2018, the Tomorrow’s School Independent Taskforce published their report and recommendations. The taskforce looked to review the education system at large, with a particular focus on the ways in which are schools are governed, led and resourced. The report is a weighty tome, coming in at 144 pages and presenting “a package” that identified eight key issues and 32 recommendations with a focus on “developing a system that promotes equity and excellence and ensures that every learner achieves educational success”.
The report is as courageous as it is polarizing and whilst the report and recommendations are detailed, they can, in their relative brevity, leave enough space to enable some to presume the worst. The recent months have seen many responses which represent a diverse range of voices and views - the loudest of which seem to be those driven by ideological positions and a desire to continue to reap the benefits of one’s “luck” and protecting the…