Monday, 23 May 2022

Graphing the data

 I have begun to graph data on children's self confidence. 

Feeling Listened To:





There was a slight increase in number of children who responded positively (4 or 5 - green) when asked about their friends listening to them compared to their classmates. This suggests that there are some children who are more confident with those they have a closer relationship with. Interestingly, this trend was even stronger when asked about their teachers listening to them. So more children felt more listened to by their teachers than their friends. 

The last graph is an interesting one. 5/14 children were quite low in confidence when it came to feeling listened to by others. This could have a major impact on these children and their confidence in speaking if they are not feeling listened to. How can I use the various jobs within the school news to act on this finding?

Talking about Learning




The same trend of a group of children lacking in confidence continues into this section but only with a small number of children. There is however, quite a large group of children who are "sitting on the fence" suggesting they aren't confidence but aren't totally overwhelmed by the idea of speaking out. This is a great finding for my inquiry as children sitting at the orange zone would be a great group to target for increasing confidence by presenting on the news. 

Speaking & Presenting




When responding to standing up and talking in front of others, the number of children in the "red zone" increases.

Speaking my Thinking






On the whole, these children don't have a problem with vocabulary - most children feel quite confident that they have the words they need to be able to explain themselves.

Listening to others



All children in this group feel confident that they are good at listening to others. This is a really clear find which confirms that these children don't have an input challenge but an output challenge, with speaking and presenting.

Monday, 9 May 2022

Preliminary Data

 I have begun gathering some preliminary data for my target group of children. These children were selected due to being at the 'reading to learn' phase of their reading development. I have selected children whose reading ages are at 9 years and above as these children will be required to read from a script which changes on a daily basis.

Using my knowledge of these children as well as asking for teacher recommendations, I have selected a group of children who are noted as lacking some confidence or oral language capabilities, despite their confidence in reading and writing. These children are also children who show potential in developing their confidence. This information was found through anecdotal notes from previous teachers, conversations with teachers as well as my own knowledge of these children.

I asked these children to fill in a questionnaire about their own confidence and communication abilities.

I colour coordinated responses from this survey to create a picture of self confidence.

Example 1:


Response 1 = Red
Response 2 = Red
Response 3 = Orange
Response 4 = Green
Response 5 = Green

Example 2:

Response 1 = Green
Response 2 = Green
Response 3 = Orange
Response 4 = Red
Response 5 = Red

From this survey, I have created a target group of students. Students in the target group are children who scored orange and red across a number of their responses.

Their responses sat alongside the responses of a group of children who demonstrate strong confidence, oral language and communication. These children will not be in my target group as they always have strong self confidence. This will be some of my baseline data which will be compared at the end of the year.

Once I have found all children in my target group, I will use a standardised self efficacy test to which will be used to compare the responses of individuals in this target from the beginning to the end of the year.

Monday, 4 April 2022

Creating a self assessment tool

Today I have begun creating a self assessment tool to gather evidence from the perspective of my target group of children. I have broken the assessment tool into confidence, communication and oral language. I will assess the children on this this term and will then reassess them at the end of the year.

Monday, 21 March 2022

Te Ahu o te Reo Māori with Takatū

I am SO excited to be participating in Te Ahu o te Reo Māori this year! I had the introductory zoom session on Sunday morning and was buzzing about the course at the end of it.



The course with Takatū is broken up into 7 levels. I am going to be entering into the course at the Tumu level. I really liked this illustration which explains the levels and the philosophy behind the course. 


Data Collection

As I have mentioned in previous posts, my data collection will be focussed on confidence, communication and oral language. So how will I assess these three elements to create a profile of learners?

PAT Vocabulary Test: This will give me an idea of the children who need support in developing their vocabulary knowledge. 

Observation: I have emailed the team 4 teachers to ask them to observe and recommend children who could benefit from being a videographer, photographer, presenter or editor for the news to support development of confidence, communication or oral language.

Reading Age: The idea is that the children who are presenters for the news should be reading at 10 years or above. This is because the news requires children to read from a script fluently.

Student Voice: Asking the child about their confidence, communication and oral language and about the their speaking and confidence at home.

Whanau input: Gathering data through conversations with parents about their child and their confidence, communiation and oral language at home.

PENN episodes: Comparison of children in term 1 compared to term 4, presenting on the news. How have they improved? This could be measured using a rubric.



Examples of children creating the content to develop confidence, communication and oral language.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have had some awesome examples where children have used film/videography as a medium for their learning.

These first two examples were learning experiences led by our Sport Coordinator, Sally Va'afusuaga. Sally worked with our 2022 House Captains to create these movies for the school. These are clear examples of film being used for the teaching and developing of confidence, communication and oral language. 

The first movie was also edited by Finau and Jade, two Year 8 House Captains.

This next example was created when our year 5s & 6s had their fun day in place of the usual year 5&6 camp. I had some time where I took two keen year 4 children out to try out the video cameras. This is an example of developing confidence but also communication as the children had to ask questions to learn more about using the cameras.

These are just three examples where tauira are being given opportunities to use film as a medium for learning, developing confidence, communication and oral language. 

How can I develop more confidence through PENN and how can I encourage more of this sort of learning to be happening through the classroom?2

Example of using movie as a medium to create meaningful learning experiences for children

At the beginning of the year, I sent an email out to our teachers at Pt England School. A large element of the Pt England Network News is sharing learning from across the school. During lockdown last year, it was challenging to expect each teacher in the school to do this. I would sift through the children's blogs to find great learning examples and share these daily on the news. Now we are back at school, it is important that I place that responsibility back onto the teachers so that each class and the tauira in that class have their learning showcased in some way. 

Here is the email I sent out to the teachers to encourage this:


In the email, I created a list of suggestions to teachers to support them in making movies which are meaningful for our tauira. 

Last week, I came across a wonderful example of a teacher who used these suggestions to make an awesome movie! Heidi Davis is a third year teacher who teaches year 2 and 3 children. Heidi looked over the list I had sent and wanted to use her term 1 PENN movie to create a meaningful learning experience which would challenge and excite her learners.

In her movie, she had one of her year 3 children read the script. You can hear the confidence, fluency and clarity as he reads. What a fantastic, engaging, REAL learning experience for this child! Other children showcased their learning through the term. Heidi included her children and they were highly aware of the purpose as they created the movie together. Heidi said that the children were so excited to see the finished product! The anticipation of waiting now until it shows on PENN is engaging and will create a fantastic intrinsic reward for the children too! 

Here is Heidi's movie:


This is such a great example of what I hope to see more of through my inquiry this year. I want to see more movie making happening across the school which engages children, creates real learning experiences and gives children a purpose in their learning. I want to be able to watch movies like Heidi's class movie and be able to see the learning that the children have had through the experience of making the movies.

Having taught in the classroom, I do understand and appreciate the time that is required to do this well. Therefore, part of my role will be to support teachers in making this happen. 

Monday, 7 March 2022

Developing confidence, communication & oral language through film

Producing the Pt England Network News (PENN) for the school has started off with a bang this year! We have got some fantastic new equipment to improve the quality of the product we create at school. I have also already started seeing the potential that using film at school has on learning for the children, particularly confidence, communication and oral language.

There is an understanding amongst my PENN crew that we are a team. I am at the same level as them in the team. This is the first step I use to create confidence amongst the children and it sometimes takes some time for the children to get to the point where they realise they can tell me what to do, rather than ask. An example of this is if the sun is in their eyes when filming. Rather than ask to move, the understanding is that the children can tell me that we need to move. When the script is scrolling too fast, the understanding is that the children tell me that it needs to be slowed down, rather than ask for it to be slowed down. 

The pattern I often see with new children is this:

On Thursday last week, one of my presenters said that they wanted to develop the weather section of the news to provide more important information. In particular, adding in UV levels and fire risk. We decided that having a UV level included was important for the audience to know about.

On Saturday, I received this email:

Yes, emailing you on the weekends is probably the wrong time but I want to add the UV level part. It's to tell whether you need to stay protected from the sun, or if it's ok and you won't get a sunburn.

Thanks if you want to add it.

Here is some of the email thread we had. My emails are in red, where the student's are in blue.

Hi _________,

I have taken the fire danger level out but thought we could include the tide times and water temperature at Pt England Beach. What do you think? Keeping the UV level in is great!

Miss West

YAY to UV level! I thought I was going to add that but I think that it was too much information. So that means that:

Tomorrow's weather, UV level, tide times (maybe for after school so they can play at the beach after school) and water tempo is going to be added for weather. And inquiry is the easiest one. For now...

That's it. Let's see what we think and decide if we want to remove anything this morning.

Ok, let's do more detail person to person in like 10 minutes

I was so impressed when this student re-voiced our conversation in writing, creating a great summary of what we had discussed (see above in blue). This is a great example of me working alongside a child at their level, encouraging them to solve the problems with confidence.

Here is the finished product of the weather segment this morning after the email stream (go to 6m36s).

Monday, 28 February 2022

How can we provide opportunities for the PENN crew outside of 'normal school'

Providing real life, authentic learning experiences has long been seen as valuable for children. It provides a strong purpose for the children. PENN has always had this but has become more so as it is shared on an online platform which whānau and the wider community can view. This has become even more important over the last few years, with children learning from home. 

A quote from one teacher, describing the importance of PENN during lockdown in 2021: "A constant presence on the daily to help us keep some of the normal going."

Our first opportunity for members of the PENN crew to create a purpose beyond the walls of school will happen this week. We are going to be filming a virtual visit to our school as part of a collaboration with the Digital Council for Aotearoa. This experience will provide opportunities for several videographers as well as several presenters who will provide the voice overs, commentary, lead an interview and will 'host' the virtual visitors.

The finished product will be able to be used by the digital council as well as by us for visitors to our website.

Going forward, I will need to consider how we can provide more of these opportunities to our children, particularly since one of our major external opportunities - sporting events - is not happening much at the moment.

Some opportunities which will lend itself to this:

- Te Oro - Baby Whale Tale on display
- Blake NZ-VR experience - could we get our children to organise a 'documentary style' short film which they could then utilise?
- Some community-focussed documentary style short films to learn about the amazing things happening in our community - Kereru Kidney Centre, Te Oro, Rocket Lab, Kai Collective Project, Ruapotaka Marae, Tāmaki Regeneration.
- Meet some heroes in our community - interview of local doctors, nurses, police, supermarket workers, Marsic Bros etc.

These could be fully created by the children - from videography through to post production.

Now, I know this is ambitious especially with the fact we can't even take children out into the community at the moment, but I strongly believe this would be the next step in developing the Pt England Network News to the next level. I am sure with a team behind me, we can make this happen!

Good inquiry happens in teams

At our Kāhui Ako meeting, we discussed the importance about inquiry happening in teams to make them effective and successful. I thought it would be useful to think about who my team will be.

So far, I am thinking about inquiring into my role as leading the PENN (Pt England Network News) programme and how this programme can be used to support confidence in children's oral language capabilities. 

So...who would be in my 'team' ?

Russell's inquiry into having "present, happy, healthy, engaged tauira who are learning in the goldilocks zone" definitely fits nicely with my inquiry. There are many opportunities for children to get excited about through the PENN programme. These include presenting, being a videographer or photographer and movie editor. 

The teachers of Team 4 and 5 are very much important in my 'team' as they are the ones who teach these children on a day-to-day basis. In the environment of living in a pandemic, having these teachers on my team is important to ensure the day-to-day running of the news, even if the children or myself have to be isolating at home. It will be important to consider how we will continue to have the news running if and/or when these scenarios arise. Regular conversations with these teachers will be important to decide on these children who would benefit greatly from the opportunities of the news as well as seeing progress of these children in their confidence and oral language.

In this inquiry, it is going to be important to have an 'innovation team' as well. This could begin through my 'Team 6' colleagues as well as the enablers group. These people will be important to bring new ideas to fruition to change up the news and provide more opportunities to develop confidence and oral language.

My Kāhui Ako teachers will also be extremely valuable. Through looking at my colleague's blogs I will find those teachers whose inquiries match with mine and which could benefit from each others findings.

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Kāhui Ako: First meeting of the year

Last Thursday we had our first Kāhui Ako meeting of the year. Russell and Chris challenged us to rethink our inquiries for the year, pondering what is realistic and important in the world we are currently living in. Russell gave a personal example with his own inquiry, "How do we reliably get a 'threefer' - three core subjects accelerating simultaneously, 3 years in a row?" Realising this was no longer a realistic expectation with so much disruption to school, he has considered changing his inquiry to, "How do I have present, happy, healthy, engaged tauira who are learning in the goldilocks zone." Russell then discussed the fine balance between social connection/ building relationships and risk mitigation/ public health goals. These two things are so important at the moment however class terribly in terms of giving them both 100%! So how do we do it?

Russell's korero got me thinking about what I can be doing for our tauira to ensure they are coming to school engaged and happy, and to continue to build their confidence - something my programme lends itself beautifully to. 

My role is divided between teaching in the Creative Space, teaching the Extension classes and teaching children through the daily production of the Pt England Network News (PENN). All of these programmes are things that already engage and excite our children. So how can I develop these programmes deeper, to better develop the confidence and key competencies of our children?

Going through lockdown last year made me realise that the children I connect with the most on a daily basis whether I am at school or at home, and therefore can have the largest impact on in this world where we have to be so flexible and resilient, is my PENN crew. During the long 2021 lockdown, I was in daily email contact with these children to ensure the news was created and online each day. This real experience in itself created a huge amount of motivation for the children involved.

Since we have returned to school, a group of keen presenters come to school early to film for the day's news. The motivation is there. So what can I do to further benefit children in our school? In particular, which children would benefit the most from participating?

Since I know I already run creative-based programmes which provide a high level of motivation for the children involved, I now need to consider how I can support children who need to develop confidence through presenting, videography and photography, and editing.