Tuesday 14 June: Visit to Ormiston College and a bonus visit with the Ormiston Junior High School foundation team to pick their brains about developing new schools in NZ.
Really good to see another model being applied in a senior high school. Definitely a different curriculum focus from Albany which was good for us to see as we are developing our ideas of what is important in our context. We are not Auckland we are Hamilton and our curriculum needs to reflect our local needs as well as global needs.
The build itself is quite different to ours and it was interesting to see how the architecture can impact on teaching and learning in different ways. One thing I noted and at first was envious of was the large joint breakout rooms that could be set up for examinations. Yes this would be convenient and easy for assessing students in larger groups for externals but with externals to be going online (trialling now) and to be all online in the next three years this will not be a necessity. Once again I had to rethink that assessment should not drive the way we do things - we need to drive how assessment can fit us!
The Learning Advisory times are very structured for the seniors with learning guides used as a way for students to track and review their learning. I like the use of the guides to provide students with the tools they need and to support them in a guided way through each of the years to become more self managing and in control of their learning. In terms of seamlessness from year 7-10 this would definitely be a great option for us.
They have just completed a review of their norms (like our RJHS cloak) so it was great for us to see that although they have been only open for a short time the school is being very strategic about shifting and adapting, as appropriate, to the needs of the school and the community. I am watching this everyday at the Rototuna Junior High School - constant review and reflection to get the best for learners.
FYI: LOVED the cafe - very senior feel
Ormiston High School
Great conversations about appointment processes. Ormiston are in exactly the same space as us at the moment with our advertisements out at the same time. Finding the right people is important but so is building a team. Not only do we need to consider people and their expertise but also their ability to work and collaborate with others to ensure best outcomes. We need to keep in mind that we as adults have to role model the dispositions that we want to develop in our young people.
A fine line I think - but most important to our team is that in our school we will teach young people not subjects!
Here was our advertisement that we put out to highlight what we are looking for.