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23 February 2018

posted 22 Feb 2018, 18:38 by Carolyn Brett
Last week we had the Education Review Team working with us. A big question for the review was whether our Curriculum is enacted or whether it sits on the shelf, a beautiful looking document - covered in dust!?

They were especially interested in our Curriculum Learner Attributes of "I am a thinker", "I am a goal setter", "I am connected" and "I am powerful".

To attempt to get beneath the surface and get a sense of whether our Curriculum was just words or authentic, the team looked through documentation with a fine tooth comb, talked with teachers and spent a good hour and a half in classrooms talking with individuals and groups of students about their learning and school life in general. Children can tell you!

If you were at Karakia last Friday, you would have heard me talk about my fears about these discussions with children after a long break and this being their first full week back at school! I sat in a 'comfy' chair in the staffroom, waiting for the 'results'. Would they remember their goals after too many swims in the sea?!

I had no reason to be concerned! The evidence showed that our Curriculum is very real, that both teachers and children demonstrate the Curriculum in action. The piece of feedback that stood out for me, and the team found unusual and actually rather incredible, was that when they asked groups of children in Tautoru what they would do if someone was upset, only one child said that they would immediately defer to an adult - the others all had an action they would take initially - for example, "I would make them laugh", "I would help them with their work". They demonstrated all Learner Attributes and what we know as Learner Agency. This is not that common in children of this age. This sense of "I can!".

We want to continue to provide opportunities for our children to grow these attributes and competencies for they are life long and will take them places. Next time your child defers to an adult for a quick fix, as tempting as it may be, please first stop and have a think about whether this is something we can expect of them to sort out and support them to do for themselves. 

This reminds me of the well known quote by Maria Montessori:

"Never help a child with a task at which they feel they can succeed."

Positive Accomplishment is one of the strong contributing factors to student wellbeing after all.
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