Well the Gazette article is out now so you are all famous - in NZ anyway. Aren't the U123 team beautiful? Sorry they didn't get named, a bit of a slip up in the timing. For those other lovely people who put up with cameras everywhere I went for a couple of weeks, thank you. I'll publish some of these photos here soon.

I've just spent a week on the backblocks of Taranaki and it's been glorious and very rewarding. No cell phone or internet for me made being the e-learning adviser 'interesting' shall we say. It's made me much more aware and sympathetic of the conditions small schools have to put up with, peace and quiet can only compensate for so much. You are all doing a great job.

Here are some photos from the amazing Forgotten World Highway.

Get your passport stamped here for The Republic of Whangamomona. And the pub is for sale. Apparently the coffee is great!
Marco School - Jen Vincent.
Marco Artistr
Now will you believe me when i said i was out of cellphone range all week
Makahu School - Sue Fergus

On monday this week the new expression of interest form was e-faxed to all schools and many of you have contacted me (or tried to) as the document was missing pages or illegible. Here is the pdf and word versions for you all just in case you need them. Please get your applications in for the 2011 funding as soon as you can - we will take late ones so don't panic too much, but the quicker the better. Talk to me or Steph if you need help. If you have already filled in the older form from a few weeks back, could you also fill this one in and send it to us as it gives us a bit more detail to work with. Thanks.
Please use this form if you want to complete it digitally and email the copy to us

This is the official form, so everything is correct here. I think they are the same, but you can't write on this one and flick it back.



Thanks so much for a fantastic two days this week everyone. Personally I found it a great challenge to my own thinking to work with such a diverse group of excellent leaders. The fact that you are prepared to share your learning with us all was very powerful. I really enjoyed listening to the work Lorrae has been doing too, we've been chatting for a few weeks to plan this, but actually hearing her presenting made it all make sense. Another challenge to my thinking, one that will certainly result in significant shifts.
Most of what Carmel and I developed from the work you did is on the workshops page, but i'll put some of the highlights here as it is a more general space to find them.
Have a wonderful lead up to the end of term, you all deserve it.
Heather and Carmel

Sector Leader feedback from Hui

I am looking forward to the next couple of days together, to catch up and think about where we've been and where we're heading. I've been in contact with Lorrae Ward who is presenting the first cut of her findings from the national research project into the NLC model, and her session is looking really interesting. She will be starting at 10:30 so I hope you're able to get there in time. We will use her material to bounce off into the rest of the day.
We have managed to pull 15 of the sector leaders et al out of their schools at this pressured time of the year. If you can't make it, we know why. We will try to make the material we cover available to you through this wiki as much as we are legally able to. And we'll enjoy dinner on your behalf. There's bound to be a few photos of meals we can share :)

The information regarding professional learning and development opportunities for schools for 2011 has been sent out and will arrive in your schools early next week. Here is a copy just in case you want a peek preview. This booklet contains the expressions of interest forms for nlc clusters for 2011 as well as outlining other support Massey can offer you.

Here is a tentative outline of the programme for the upcoming hui in Palmerston North.
We are open to feedback about our direction, if you have any other suggestions, please put them up here (or email if you are still worried about writing on the wiki)

Network Learning Communities Hui 22-23 November 2010
Outline of programme
The programme will be designed to build your knowledge and understanding of effective network learning communities over the two days, from hearing the results from national research and listening to each others outcomes, through to unpacking the experiences we have had this year with a view to developing strategies for bridging hurdles and taking advantage of those ‘aha’ moments we’ve seen.

1. Dr Lorrae Ward will talk to us about her findings from the national research she is doing into the effectiveness of the network learning communities project.
2. Clusters will share the outcomes of the work they have done this year – (15mins per cluster).
3. Clusters will be supported to write their work up for their part of the milestone for Ministry of Education
4. Running a cluster - developing strategies to strengthen the effectiveness of your clusters.
5. Develop proposals for 2011 network learning communities


You will all be saddened to know that Ken Kilpin's son Alex passed away on Friday after his battle with leukemia. Our thoughts are with you and your family Ken. Arohanui.
The Waitara cluster has been busy building their own wiki resource. A fantastic effort which should grow quickly to become a really useful resource for your cluster. You're invited to go and see what they have been up to
Had a great day with the U123 cluster yesterday. They have been doing a lot of work to implement NZC in their schools, and are developing useful tools to help them with national standards. They have started to put these up onto their cluster wiki so that others can see what they have been up to, and hope that you will ask questions or comment on their work.
The cluster also looked at the Kainui and Small Rural Schools clusters' wikis (it's what motivated them to start uploading their own work) and as a result, have created their own Voicethreads to enhance their understanding of moderation. They would really like other educators to look at their students' work and make comments in relation to the standards, so they can challenge their own thinking and improve their knowledge of the standards. If you would like to have a go at commenting on this, use this link
Cheers, Heather


NLC Meeting November

Just a quick reminder about the meeting that we are all coming to on the 22nd and 23rd November. Hope it's still in your diaries :) There will be a letter soon (next week) about the agenda for the days, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, here is a tentative outline.
The aim is for these days is that, with the collective help of everyone there, we have an opportunity to;
  • share (and be inspired by) what we have been doing in our clusters with each other (15 mins show and tell),
  • write your cluster milestones
  • tidy up your resources that are a requirement of the contract
  • look at the way network learning communities work - or don't - and develop some real understanding and strategies around making them effective and sustainable
  • plan for 2011 - shape up an application if you're interested - do some horse trading with schools to join your amazing clusters!
I am working on a keynote speaker too, looking good so far with that so fingers crossed. More about that when it's confirmed.

This meeting is an opportunity not to be missed and your cluster advisers will also be there to help out. While it is two precious days, it is covering work you would be doing anyway to meet your contract obligations, and it will be much easier to know you're on the right track with everyone there to support you.

On another note, Massey will soon (hopefully next week) be sending out a pd letter for 2011 to all schools in our region, and there will be an 'expression of interest' form in there for NLCs in 2011. There is more money next year, and we are asking for applications now so that you can get started much earlier than we did this year. Thanks to MoE for following up on concerns about the timing of this so we can get the paperwork done in time. Please be thinking about which schools you would like to work with, and if there are any you know who haven't been involved yet, encourage them to look at the letter and perhaps form their own clusters.

Hope your term started well and continues so.
cheers, heather

Thanks for the engagement in the wiki everyone, you're doing a grand job. Particular thanks to Sue (mystery lady from Eclectics), Doug and Mary - great to see the conversations flowing. Have some flowers to show our appreciation.

Good to see others are looking at and using Trevor's SAUCE Model. Ealier this year we used him as an anchor to our ICT Cluster Mini Conference and then got him back to work in our individual schools. We will probably be getting him back to work in our school again next year. We found him good at getting us thinking about what we are trying to do and why we are doing what we are doing. There is a big distinction between 'proper inquiry' and the 'information skills project inquiry that has been so common over the past few years in our schools. I believe 'Inquiry Learning' involves the children in a problem solving process that needs an element of research and design to produce a tangible outcome. It is not just collecting and presenting information from the web, interviews or printed text.

Here is a link that might be of interest to some, it refers to Inquiry Learning that was taking place in the 1950's and 60's : Joy of Learning
Cheers Doug (Kainui Cluster - this comment but not the previous one).

neat trick. It was all written as a heading (you'd 'caught' the formatting from the October word) so wanted to be bold. Hope you don't mind but i fixed it for you :) Can you let us know who 'we' is so we can be suitably happy for you? It's great to hear that your day went so well, that's fantastic news. Looking forward to reading all about it on your page (when we know which one!).
cheers, heather

We had a great day and reviewed our assessments and reporting incorporating the National Standards requirements.I will place our inquiry learning process on the cluster page for any one interested.Sorry can't get rid of the bold type. (ah, but the wiki witch can - H)

I've been asked to write an article for the Gazette about the NLCs and how they are making use of this wiki. If there is anything you think i should include in this, please let me know. I'd love some guidance from the real brains in this group :)
Cheers, Heather
Sounds really interesting Sue. I'd love you to share some of your outcomes with us. Perhaps on your cluster page?
I've made a new page called cluster useful resources and have put links on there to some of Trevor Bond's sites. Feel free to add any other sites that come up in your discussions.
cheers, Heather
Thanks Mary
I have looked at Trevor Bond's site and it is useful. He spoke at the Rotorua "Learning at Schools conference" and really inspired me to consider what "Inquiry learning looked like and why we would pursue it at our school" We were directed to consider the purpose behind the learning.As a staff we have spent all year focusing on this, considering different models and always bringing it back to the purpose behind the learning style.We have spent one Teacher Only Day on Effective teaching and have decided the direction at our school was to teach skills, this linked with what our community consultation indicated as well.We now have another TOD this week and anticipate tying some of the looser ends together, hopefully documenting what we believe makes effective teaching and learning. this may be to follow a model such as Kath Murdoch who we have looked at in depth, or to build our own "TES way" It should be an exciting TOD. Enjoy the rest of your holidays they are rapidly passing. Sue

Thanks for your response Mary I will take a look. Have a great holiday break everyone. Sue


We've had a pleading request from Cyperus - the organisation reviewing the effectiveness of the national NLC project for the MoE. They desperately need you to complete their surveys (sorry, yes ANOTHER survey) so they can gather valid data for their work. PLEASE ... can you take some time to do these???

"The website they go to is www.cyperus.co.nz/current-contracts.html and both links are there. The passwords are cyperus for the school leader one and fanta for the sector leader one...."
On another note, thanks Mary for responding to Sue's request last week. Good question posed by the eclectics. Anyone else doing anything around this topic who could help?
hope your last week of term is going smoothly.

Hi all. In response to 'An Eclectic Mix', I came across a reading today by Trevor Bond which touched on coverage and the curriculum 'Stocktake' etc. It was worthwhile reading and thinking about. Trevor's SAUCE inquiry idea is another good and worthwhile inquiry model. You can visit my wiki Tareha School go into NZC Design and Development and then Journey and you will find a link to Trevor Bond. We are developing our inquiry learning, which changes every term, but I think we will get there eventually. I'm introducing loads of stuff and haven't settled on any particular model as such. We tend to focus on encouraging students to use open-ended questions to further develop their thinking. The students' level of thinking has improved and they are becoming more independent as they take ownership of their own learning. With regards to coverage, we try to make sure that we include technology, social sciences, and science - one may become the main focus and the others may be minors. However, they all cross over regardless. It is difficult because the students should be in control of their inquiry and not be governed by AOs. We tend to look at where AOs fit as the inquiry progresses along. Hopefully this info is useful.
Cheers Mary (Small Rural Schools) HB.
comments.gifI've transferred this to a discussion thread (discussion_tab.png) so it won't get lost amongst other material. Heather
Hello All. Our group " An Eclectic Mix" met today in Palmerston North. We have a couple discussion points and a request. We are interested to know how other schools are organising their curriculum to check there is a good coverage. We have looked at concepts ( John Hattie style) but found this got very deep and confusing. I have followed Perry Rush's example for Island bay School and with all our staff we have designed our own " Big Ideas " over a two year cycle. We are interested to know what others are doing and are you tracking coverage of learning areas and strands within the learning areas.?

We have been discussing essence statements and would like to see some examples of how schools have completed these ?
We are anticipating a trip to the Hawkes Bay 11th November and would love to see some working examples of curriculum in schools, especially some inquiry learning.Can any one make some suggestions who would be great to visit?

Hi everyone. Well we are finally getting there as a result of working together to make things happen! Heather has spent the day at Tareha School helping me with voicethread. We managed to get quite a bit done and we also put up a bit of student writing for peer assessment and for moderation purposes. My kids just loved having ownership of assessing others' writing. They learnt from their own judgements and I can't wait to see what they will include in their next piece of writing. It is all a bit of a learning curve really and I can honestly say that I am definately learning with my students. We have opened up our wiki for others to view. Check it out and ask to join our wiki so that you can leave some comments, or have your students comment on our students work and vice versa, or work with us to moderate work.
Cheers Mary Scary

Hi All. I am spending the day with Mary Mayes from Tareha School which is the lead school for the Small Rural Schools NLC. Mary and Nikki have been working on their NZC design and have started putting their ideas on their school wikis. I have twisted Mary's arm to share her thinking and she would be delighted if you would take a look and ask her some questions about what she's been doing - feedback and feedforward (in curriculum speak).
I will ask Nikki if she is happy to share her work too soon and hopefully you will also be able to investigate this as well.
Really worth taking a look, but please ask and comment here.
Mary has been playing with Voicethread today on her wiki too. She has put some of her students' writing up and asked other students to comment on the use of adjectives in the work. Feel free to encourage your students to comment on the writing too. The more the maryier.
Thanks, Heather

For those of you who are interested in identifying how the key competencies are being both catered for and engaged with in your classrooms, have a look at this site. NZCER has created student and teacher questionnaires that will help you to gain an insight into what the KCs look like in your teaching and learning programmes.
Please have a look and a trial them in your classrooms. Let us know how you find these so we can have a conversation about their value.
Click on the picture to go to the site.
Cheers, Heather

The monitoring visit went very well thanks to everyone's input. I was able to show off the work you're all doing here and on your own sites. A particular hit was the online moderation that is beginning to happen. It's nice to see we're leading the country in that area. If you want to start dipping into some of that sort of thing, let me know and I'll steer you in the direction of the others who have started.
If you have some student work you'd like to share and get some teacher voice about, you can email it to me (you can take a photo of it) and i'll develop a voicethread here. That would be a great start to model how the process works. Remember, it doesn't have to be the 'best' - in fact it is better if it is one that you are unsure of.
Chocolate fish to the first three who send in some work for moderation.
Cheers, Heather


Thanks for all the cluster lead principals who have completed the survey. It's a great help for our meeting tomorrow.

The South Taranaki Cluster has had a meeting recently and they seem to be buzzing about it. Have a look at the discussion tab on their page. Perhaps you could ask them some questions about the format of the day as it seemed to be a winner you might want to copy.

The Taranaki Small Schools joint cluster have been having some fantastic discussions on their wiki too. There is a lovely sharing session where Tanya Bunny from Mokau talks about her class's first experience with using Voicethreads. She clearly didn't really need to worry about having to know everything before she started. Hopefully she will soon share some of these with the rest of us and allow your students to comment on the threads too. If she doesn't do it soon - you are allowed to pester her! It sounds like her students would be able to teach yours with ease.

We are meeting with MoE on friday and hopefully sharing some of the great work you've been all doing. If you want to show off, nows your chance to put something up on the wiki ...

Cheers, Heather


The latest update from NZC Online has this link to developing school based curriculum. Worth having a stroll through as most of you have this focus for your NLCs

Hi All. Could all lead principals (cluster leaders) please spend a few minutes completing this survey for us? If your adviser has already taken you through these questions, you're excused, but if the rest of you could do it we would be grateful.

Lead Principal Survey

I've been out visiting clusters recently and it is great seeing what has been happening across the region. The Taranaki Sole Charge Principals have all had a shot in the arm to get them confident in using Web 2.0 tools so I expect them to be sharing their experiences with us shortly. If they don't, you're encouraged to ask them. They (and a few extra sole chargers) had a cluster meeting in Ed House on Wednesday and worked with Wendy Bayley to upskill their numeracy thinking. I used Voicethread (a personal favourite of mine) to show them how to think about moderation when you only have yourself to talk to in your school. Some of their students' work has been put into a voicethread and i am keen to hear the comments build about where they think each student is working.

I've also had a meeting with the Kainui Cluster and we talked about the work they have done to develop their school based curriculum. We 'encouraged' Colin to go on camera and talk about some of the ideas his school is developing. If you're interested, have a look at this page. The other principals in the cluster have started to share their vision statements and other documents so this could potentially be very useful to you all. They are keen to share their hard work. If their wiki is still private, have a chat to Doug Drysdale.

I met with a couple of the Small Rural Schools principals on Wednesday to have a focused session on Web 2.0 tools. Great to be able to do this without distractions (it was at my place) and we covered a lot of ground. Hopefully Mary and Nikki will have some fun with wikis with their students as a result. They have been having a go at online moderation of student work recently and now have some extra tools in their kete to boost this even further.

If anyone else has news to share, please do so. It helps the rest of us to get ideas about ways forward.

Have a great week

Sadly the voicethread below has had all the amazing student comments removed. Not sure why - they were great, but if you didn't see them last week you won't make any sense of the comment below as it's now just student writing, and it was the comments that made it a truely reflective and critical piece of work. Thanks to Mary and Doug for commenting anyway.
Most of you will have heard me talking about how Voicethread could be used in your teaching and learning programmes. Here's one where students have been critiquing each other's work. Tell me what you think. Who's doing the learning here? How could these student comments be useful in your OTJs? Could they also contribute to some thinking around Key Competencies?
I've started a discussion thread (on the discussion tab above) about this - looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
cheers, Heather

The ICTPD clusters have currently got a Digital Citizen programme running and I think anyone can go through it. It's a series of activities that will broaden your understanding of what this concept is. If you have time, it would be worth having a look. I believe it could become the foundation for a great unit of work to be done with your classes.

Click on the picture to go to the site.

Well done to those of you who have worked out the Google calendar :) This calendar all about making us more aware of what other clusters are doing so the more information you can provide, the more support you are giving each other. It will also help Massey advisers to get an overall picture of the region. If you haven't set your dates yet, could you please get this done as soon as possible as the year is running out. Thanks.

There has been an interesting discussion going on around designing curriculum (discussion tab above) so I hope you've found time to at least have a look at what has been said and the links that have emerged. There's still time to contribute - or you could start another thread and see what happens.

If you haven't heard from your Massey adviser yet, it would be good to make contact with them (jog their memories). If you need contact details, get in touch with Heather
Cheers, Heather


Hi All. I apologise for all the wiki requests some of you will have been receiving lately. I had made cluster leaders administrators and that meant all the request emails were coming to all of you. I have changed this now so you should be less annoyed by these now. Please don't take the 'demotion' to member personally :) - I'm just trying to stop the harassment.
Thanks so much to those of you who have managed to get your dates, schools and progress to date material onto your cluster pages - this will help immensely.
Cheers, Heather


Iniviting people

In case you've forgotten how to invite the other principals to our wiki...
  • Go to Manage Wiki (left hand panel) - Invite People.
  • Put the email addresses of the people you wish to invite into the Send To box. Each email goes on a separate line. You can change the message to personalise it if you want.
  • Press Send.

23rd and again...

Using Share Screen

Doug and I have just had a Skype conversation using the 'Share Screen' facility. It was a fantastic way of problem solving a wiki issue he was having - worth asking him about it.

23rd again

Discussion Tabs

Hi all. Sue has thrown us a challenging conversation (see below) about designing curriculum (sorry Sue, I missed it earlier as it was posted underneath). We were having a good discussion around this on Wednesday but ran short of time. I will put her comment into a discussion thread so we can carry this one on. To do this, click on the discussion tab at the top of this page.
You will find the thread there (it will have my name on it). Have a think, and then post your thoughts. Don't stress, just something to get us chatting.
Thanks, Heather

Morning all. thanks for such a great day on Wednesday - good to see you all so keen to get things moving again.
Sorry but did anyone write down the goals and times that were on the whiteboard? I managed to delay this long enough for them to be rubbed off. If no-one did, I'll make a guess and you can alter and argue them as you see fit. thanks.
Thanks Doug for all your material from the Scotland website. Looks good.
ps, add to the top - makes it a whole lot easier to see whether there is anything new. Please date and sign every time you make a comment. Thanks.

What's on top 21st July 2010:

It's unfortuntate that this year has collided with National Standards and Registered Teacher Criteria
Need the resources to be able to show people.
All currently reinventing the wheel - need to address this through the cluster network
Lots of material already on the net - difficulty to sort through what's there and how to access it easily. It's currently all over the place.
TKI is changing - will be more dynamic. More personalised.
Assessment and national standards sites are really important and valuable.

What a great day yesterday in Palmy. I would have really enjoyed discussing " curriculum " and "designing curriculum" some more. This appears to have different meanings to lots of us, which then makes it confusing as to our understanding and expectations of the NZC development. To involve children in the designing of curriculum does this mean what they will learn?, how they will learn? when they will learn?. Is it about the process of the curriculum that has already been designed to incorporate the learning areas ? You may have some light to share? Sue