What happens when a school isn’t working – for the learners, the community, and the teachers? Sometimes it’s a case of bringing in the broom, working with leadership, and then starting again.
Gavin shared his story from the Board resigning, the Commission coming in, and the subsequent changes in leadership. The school is now undergoing a process of revisioning, which includes consultation with the community and with the learners. The arising challenges include the pace of change. The pressure is on to make a difference from day one for learners – and progress is more important than attainment.
Other key factors that will help ensure the school can keep up with the rate of change include setting expectations clearly and co-constructing these if possible, and supporting staff to step up and take responsibility for their professional development.
In 2014 a survey with students illustrated that students appreciated the integration of technology into the curriculum, but that staff did’t value this. As a result, in 2015, this has become a non-negotiable. Staff development is tracked, and student voice is collected every 2 terms, and community voice is collected once a term.
Constant reflection is one of the requirements of ensuring that this level of impact is continued.
Massive change is possible, but, as Gavin’s story illustrates, it isn’t comfortable. Some people found it so uncomfortable in this case, they have chosen to leave. The benefits for learners however, appear to be huge. Can’t wait to see some of the emerging results from this change.
Image: Silverdale students, From the Silverdale Primary School Web site.