Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Bringing Our Best Together!

This term we have been focusing on creating artefacts for our school exhibition which we were using
as a launch pad for our new school values.  This spawned from a staff PLD earlier this year where we looked at our current set of values and from that came these three ideas for focus:

Being My Best Self (incorporating our vision principles of Building Learning Capacity and Making Meaning)

Bringing Our Best Together (incorporating our vision principle of Collaboration)

Breaking Ground  (incorporating our vision principle of Breaking Through)

The exhibition was an opportunity for the kids to create artefacts that helped us show our current understanding of these values as well as create some permanent features around our school environment.

If you have ever been to our school, you may have noticed some large rocks around our playground.  Upon investigation, the kids found out that these represented some of our local maunga (mountain) and we created a project to see what we could create to help people understand the nature and significance of these rocks.

We investigated signs and a lot of the kids made connections to the AA Road Sign at Cape Reinga and it was quickly decided that they wanted to create their own sign to help people understand which each rock represented as well as how they are connected to the creation of our school - these was a theme that all our groups were investigating.

Insert teacher panic here... I had managed to fumble my way through woodwork growing up but the creation of a signpost was looking daunting, however through the natural curiosity and fearlessness of the kids, I was eager to take the challenge on.  We decided that our focus through this project would be bringing our best together as we knew that the group of 30 could not all possibly work on the same aspect of the project at the same time.

The kids did really well to unpack what it would mean to collaborate on this and quickly assumed roles and responsibilities to get the project from idea to a design phase.  I was able to enlist the help of both our school caretaker and one of our parents for their technical experience and it was great to see the kids evolve from an attitude of "we can just ask someone else to do
this for us" to "I am keen to get involved myself."

What did this mean?  For the kids and as you will read through their reflections below, it was a lot of sanding.  However over time, I got to see kids who normally would not take leadership roles within the hub find an opportunity to shine and take risks on elements on the project that they wanted to try out or felt comfortable stepping into.

What was the result?  The project ran to time and was executed so we had the sign up for the night of our exhibition.  The sense of pride that the kids had when they saw the post going up was incredible and it is great to see other learners in the school start to use it.  Something refreshing is that a lot of the group still have some ideas about the next iteration of this project and have seen this attempt as a first draft that they can build on as a legacy item they have created for their school.

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