All staff participate in professional learning that enhances student outcomes. Examples of such learning from 2013 and planned for 2014 are:
Teaching Writing Effectively
This was a full year comprehensive contract led by external facilitator, Jan Baynes in 2013. The teachers participated in facilitated group discussion, conversations in teams about writing, analysis of student writing samples, moderation of assessments, observations and modelled lessons, professional feedback, professional goals set and monitored within appraisal. Jan also helped teachers to plan for targeted student groups, such as Pasifika learners, and those who were below and well below the National Standard in Writing. In 2014, the learning will be consolidated through teacher practice.
Assessment in Mathematics
This is in-house professional learning led by school leaders. The focus is on assessment, analysis of Mathematics assessment data, and moderation of Overall Teacher Judgements in Maths. In 2014, teachers will also work alongside the teachers from Karori West Normal School for combined professional learning sessions to strengthen practice.
Religious Education and Spiritual Growth
Support is provided for planning in Religious Education by the Director of Religious Studies (DRS), and the Catholic Education Centre. Teachers also attend learning sessions provided for all Catholic Schools in large cluster groups.
SAF (Student Achievement Function)
SAF is a Ministry of Education Funded professional learning opportunity to lift the achievement of priority learners, such as those children who are below and well-below in relation to National Standards in Reading, Writing and Mathematics. A team of teachers, parents, and Board members will work together, facilitated by a Ministry of Education representative in 2014.
Targeted Teaching for Gifted and Talented Children
Teachers will learn how to use a variety of sources of evidence to identify children who are gifted and talented, and to plan rich learning experiences that meet their needs, and utilise and extend their abilities. A review of internal procedures will also be carried out in relation to Gifted and Talented children.
Understanding the Brain
All Teachers and Teacher Aides have attended professional learning provided by Nathan Mikaere-Wallis (http://www.raisingchildren.org.nz/2012/06/nathan-mikaere-wallis/) about the development of a child’s brain. This learning helped us to understand that children will only learn if they feel safe and happy. Helping a child to learn about they way they learn, about getting along with others and about handling situations where they are challenged is just as important for long term achievement as learning how to read, write and add.
Restorative Schools will facilitate the staff to build relationships that enhance effective learning for students. This will include building trusting professional relationships, and relationships between staff, students and families / whanau. http://www.restorativeschools.org.nz/
Each teacher sets their own professional learning goals based on striving to meet the learning needs of their students. Teachers work in pairs to support one another and provide feedback to support improved outcomes for learners.
Each teacher meets the Principal to discuss their professional learning goals and needs in relation to their teacher inquiry and the Registered Teacher Criteria, as set my the New Zealand Teachers Council.
Support Staff meet with the principal to set professional learning goals in relation to their role within the school. Support and professional development opportunities are negotiated to support these goals, and the area of the school that they work in (English Second Language, Library, Special Needs, Supporting Reading).
Leadership Professional Learning
Teachers in leadership roles are given opportunities to grow as leaders through attending professional development sessions applicable to their area of responsibility:
- Mathematics cluster meetings
- Special Needs
- DRS Conference
- AP / DP Cluster meetings
Provisionally Registered Teacher Advice and Guidance Programme
Following initial training teachers are provisionally registered for up to five years. All Provisionally Registered Teachers are provided with a comprehensive advice and guidance programme. They are assigned with a Mentor Teacher, and funded by St Teresa’s to attend tailored externally facilitated professional learning sessions along with other provisionally registered teachers from around Wellington. Their teaching is observed regularly and their planning is supported and monitored as necessary.