Robyn shears

Leave a comment

Vulnerable Children Act 2014

I read through this document to get a good understanding of the legislative changes around the VCA. I also attended a Board training in October 2016. The training provided a great Self-Assessment Tool for Schools.

Of note the training highlighted how the Board decide on the level of checks they wish to undertake. For example, Board members do not need checking however most schools would expect this to be done.

For example, Schools can ask all parents if they would like to volunteer as parent help throughout the year and explain that they must have a police vet in order to guarantee student safety.

Notes on the VCA2014 – Practical Guide for Schools

Notes on Child Protection Policy

Leave a comment

3.12.2016 EducationonAir – A mindset for 21st Century learning

This weekend Google held EducationonAir where educators from around the world ran webinar on different topic. I attended Richard Wells talk on ‘A mindset for 21st Century Learning‘   and Justine Driver’s ‘G Suite – Your zero to hero solution’.

The beauty of the these sessions is that they are all recorded and as such you can go back the re-watch any of the presentations that you didn’t attend live.

Here are my notes from the sessions.

Richard Wells 

Justine Driver

Leave a comment

28.11.2016 RR Observation

I have been ‘looking after’ RR at my school for the past three years, monitoring the teacher involved in the training and teaching, testing students before they entered the programme and on completion. It was a great chance today to watch a wonderful teacher, Rochelle Keown, teach one of her students. As I partake in training next year it was a great chance to see a lesson in action.

Reading Recovery Observation 28.11.2016

1 Comment

2016 Pedagogy

This year I have been involved in my own professional development through both the Mindlab postgrad and NAPP (National Aspiring Principal’s programme).

  • Within Mindlab my inquiry centred around how student outcomes (National Standards) are improved within an ILE learning space. My research led me to conclude that standards don’t necessarily improve, but other outcomes are improved. These centre around student disposition and 21st century skill acquisition. This literature review and inquiry have allowed me to discuss and explain with parents and teachers the virtues of ILE pedagogy and areas to continue developing. 
  • The Sir Paul Callaghan four day science training was also helpful in reexplaining the purpose of science within the New Zealand curriculum and allowed me to work with principals in considering how we evidence quality science teaching within our schools. 
  • My role at school has been to work with a team of teachers investigating how maths as a subject is taught at Glenbrook School and what changes we need to make to strengthen it further. This team approach has allowed me to coach other teachers, asking questions and challenge them to justify their thoughts and develop more robust conversations around maths and pedagogy in general. The team is comprised of teachers who have strengths in different aspects of teaching and it allows these strengths to be recognised and shared. As a team we will disseminate our findings with all staff in meetings through term 3 and 4.
  • As nearly all of our staff are completing different post graduate papers I have also needed to support them at school. This has been in different ways, from proof reading assignments, editing videos, meeting to discuss assignment content. I have really enjoyed providing an ear and a coaching voice to these conversations rather than giving the answers. A great example is one of our student teachers who I have worked with over the last two years. I helped her form ideas for her Kupe scholarship video, sharing my own NAPP video with her and talking about how to answer each questions. She won a scholarship and we are so proud of her! 

1 Comment

2016 Systems

How do I develop and use management systems to support and enhance student learning?

  • As staff trustee I look through the school finances at our monthly meetings and am learning how to read the balance sheets and expenditures more carefully and with greater understanding. I have found that going through links on my NAPP programme has helped clarify ideas around staff banking and where school funding comes from. Obviously this may change with the new government proposals which are causing quite a stir amongst teachers and educationalists currently. As part of my own development and knowledge I need to stay informed and make sure I listen/read proposals from both sides Ministry and Union and make my own informed opinion.
  • This year I have worked with my principal through staff appraisal and observations, following up with teachers who need support to strengthen their own practice. This has also involved ensuring teachers are completing requirements for Educanz registration.


1 Comment

2016 Partnerships and Networks

How do I strengthen communication and relationships to enhance student learning?

  • Within my role as the school SENCO I complete referrals with a variety of agencies. Sometimes this role allows me to work with one agency and the whanau of a child and other times it is a team of professionals working to support a student. These groups can be harder to facilitate as they each have different agendas and wishes for the students which don’t always marry with whanau expectations. 
  • This year I have been trying to foster  greater responsibility and accountability when working with outside agencies. I am not in class working with each SEN  student who has RTLB or external support. I want the class teacher to work with these agencies, to develop programmes and targets so that they understand how the process works and also gain greater buy in, ensuring ideas are actioned within their classroom. 
  • I have attended cluster meetings and forums for the Franklin and Papakura SENCO group where MOE initiatives and best practice were shared.
  • As part of my inquiry I have been able to facilitate and attend visits to Te Kowhai Primary School to observe best practice within ILE spaces. After initially visiting these school I was able to include a follow up visit (to Te Kowhai) with my Junior Team, introducing them to the Daily 5 programme and continuing to build relationships the school.
  • In the July holidays I attended a four day Sir Paul Callaghan Science Academy in Auckland. I attended with my principal and another staff member. I found this invaluable PD, looking at the nature and role of Science within a primary setting and working with like minded colleagues to develop units of lessons. I was able to work with three principals in a group looking at how the deliberate acts of teaching could be observed within lessons. It was fortuitous that all three are Franklin principals who I knew from other PD and networking. 

1 Comment

2016 Culture

Each of the four sections links to elements of the RTC and to Tataiako. These are included as tags to each blog page.

  • This year I have been able to manage challenging situations, multitasking through a crisis involving many different stakeholders; teachers, parents, BOT members, students as well as emergency services. Speaking to my principal after the event I was able to reflect on how I had remained so calm throughout. As a leader I have to be responsive and accountable for the immediate response to a major event but also keep others involved calm and logical.
  • Having the opportunity to work closely with my principal has allowed me to see differing perspectives of events and to work on ensuring the view the community sees of our school should always be in the best possible light. The first reaction of some staff to flashing lights was to take a selfie and post it online. I made it clear straight away that this could not happen especially as there were still students at school and parents may see these and panic.
  • Within this situation I had to work with a range of people, who were each feeling different emotions, to achieve a solution or end result which allowed everyone to move forward. (RTC1, Whanaungatanga)


  • Through my role as a class teacher and as SENCO I promote an inclusive school environment where diversity and special needs are not only included but embraced and celebrated. By modelling the language and actions of inclusion other staff and students follow this example. Within my class I have a student who uses both a wheelchair and a walker. My role must be always to consider how I challenge the student and remain realistic within a school setting. My PE programme must be modified wherever it can be, but on some occasions and for some trips eg.tree planting, full inclusion is not achievable and alternative considerations must be made. 
  • This year I have introduced a new Sexuality Education programme run through the school from year 1-8. I attended professional development last year and after parent consultation we are implementing a resource developed by Family Planning. I have lead multiple parent and staff meetings this year and through term 3 the programme is being taught. I have needed to explain topics sensitively and work with and around people’s religious and moral beliefs. This is also true within lessons where I need to manage possible disclosures or information which is not age appropriate. (RTC2, Manaakitanga)