Visible learning at Main Arm

For me, Professor Hattie’s words ring so true:

“If we truly want to improve student learning, it is vital that we shift our narrative about teaching and learning. We need to build the critical work of building up collaborative expertise in our schools and education systems.”

At Main Arm, how can we build a sustainable improvement culture? One in which quality improvement is not seen as a project but as an ongoing function?

This year we have had much reflection, fed by ongoing professional learning meetings and courses that all staff have been involved in, so that our school is moving forward and growing together collaboratively. We have seen our staff visit other teacher’s classrooms, so that they can learn further, gather new ideas and then reflect and plan for ongoing improvement within their own classrooms.

At Main Arm we have worked hard here to create a culture of learning, learning, learning and learning. We recognise that ‘It is the personal and professional growth of teachers that will have one of the most impacts on student growth and development. Self-growth is a shared mission at Main Arm.

Our school’s strategic direction around Visible Learning has been embraced with great enthusiasm this year. It has encouraged an even greater degree of reflective practice, a willingness to try a greater range of approaches, and a system to effectively monitor and assess the impact of teaching at Main Arm and within our Valley of Small Schools.

Teachers are taking more risks and when this happens they are making themselves vulnerable. And that is OK as this is how we learn and grow just like our students. Already our busy and passionate teachers are negotiating a new curriculum, along with multiple DEC reforms, looking at ‘assessment and Visible learning practices’, eagerly making time to have rich learning conversations with their peers, across teams, across schools as well as vying for time in staff meeting to share their latest learning. There is a wonderful learning culture at Main Arm every day.

So far as our pupils are concerned, we have seen the flood gates open– it is special to see our students eyes light up when we can see them taking responsibility for their learning through explicit learning intentions and success criteria. Our goal is to show our students exactly what they are learning and where they need to go next for their success. We will continue the dialogue around learning, generally; learning dispositions, more specifically; and an acceptance of challenge, and the need for effort and persistence.

Beyond our immediate learning community Ms Jansen and myself will be travelling to New Zealand next week. Here we will be visiting and connecting with like minded, inspired, inspirational and passionate fellow professionals, learners and schools. We can’t wait!

We will be travelling and speaking to the Principal and staff at Stonefields School as well as visiting this amazing School. Stonefields Schools is reknown globally as a school of excellence. This school has truly combined best practices in teaching, learning and leadership

to create a school where learning is visible through the eyes of teachers and students. Other school visits have also been included.

Our goal from this visit is to learn and share from these schools the best proven quality teaching and learning practices along with innovative ideas that these schools have been using to further help guide us in recognizing the processes involved when embedding these visible learning changes within our school. Both Gae and I are very excited. We are all learners at Main Arm and we are all truly committed to continue learning and growing so that our students are getting the best.

I look forward to sharing our learning with you!

Have a great weekend!