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Snapshot 14: Getting out of a rut

Finding itself caught in a rut, the teachers in this English department turned to key documents and asked themselves how they could do things differently.

Context

Our department decided to develop a new level 7 English programme, exploring the possibilities offered by:

  • The New Zealand Curriculum
  • Tātaiako
  • our school charter and
  • the recently-aligned achievement standards.

Our reasons were:

  • to increase students’ pride in themselves and their learning (our school mission statement is “Pride: in learning, in ourselves, and in the school”)
  • to refresh our teaching (student evaluations suggested that, year in year out, English courses covered the same ground in the same way and had become boring)
  • to develop our own cultural competencies (we felt we needed to explicitly focus on the relationship between our cultural competencies, programming, and student outcomes).

Teacher action

We have tried to design a programme that:

  • is driven by the key competencies (student skills focus)
  • demands development of our own cultural competencies (teacher professional learning focus)
  • is explicitly derived from the achievement objectives for English
  • considers student learning before assessment
  • is informed by documents such as Tataiako
  • gives students as much choice as possible (in terms of both content and learning)
  • offers flexibility in terms of assessments and tasks wherever possible (constrained by teacher workload and timetable).

Our level 7 programme for 2012 is in two parts:

  • Part 1: Meeting and communicating.
  • Part 2: Thinking widely

What happened?

By hyperlinking key competencies, possible learning sequences, achievement objectives, and assessment tasks to resources, we are able to make changes quickly in response to feedback from both students and teachers.

Last updated May 28, 2018



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