Kia ora koutou
This week has been a week of learning for me as I have grappled with building my knowledge of the local history of Central Otago and specifically Queenstown, as told by local kaumatua, Darren Rewi at The Rees Hotel last evening. I heard some amazing stories of Maori characters who created our environment over time. I use the term grappled because there was so much information that Darren shared, I felt I would need to listen to him present again and again so that ultimately I could retell his stories to QPS staff, students and parents. His presentation was interesting, inspiring and thought provoking. At QPS we need to know about “our place”. How did this area ‘come to be?’ Why do we need to learn about local iwi history? Why is this important? This is ‘our place’, let’s all take some responsibility in improving our local knowledge. If any of you are keen to share your local knowledge I am organising “Principal Priority” discussions (Friday mornings, 9-9.30 am) next term and would love for you to join me over a cuppa whilst recounting your story.
Today, a group of teachers and I attended a professional development day focusing on improving our knowledge and skills in assessing our students. Why is this important? At QPS our challenge has been to create a common and consistent understanding of how to measure students’ progress and achievement over time. We cannot make disparate judgements between teachers and year levels.This would mean our students would receive variable grades. At QPS we share samples of students’ work, discuss how we make and reach judgements and assess nationally normed tests to report to you twice a year. This is a MoE expectation and forms what we call an ‘overall teacher judgement’. Dr Lester Flockton, a world renowned academic and New Zealander, shared his wealth of knowledge regarding assessment with us today and challenged our thinking about the use of data in terms of validity and reliability. His presentation was, once again, inspiring, interesting and thought provoking. So where to from here? The teachers and I will share our ‘takeaways’ from this professional development with the rest of our staff in an effort to strengthen the reliability and validity of assessing your children.
My brain is fairly full as I sit to write to you today. It is a good feeling as I move into a weekend of reflection.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Ka kite ano