Coffee & Conversation Follow Up Sept 2014

What a wonderful turn out for the first EC ‘Coffee & Conversation’ held yesterday.

There was a mixture of parents from Nursery through to EC2 and from all around the world.

Brave parents introduced themselves and shared insights about where they came from and why they were in China.

We then launched in to learning more about how the EC Division is working towards achieving the overall SIS 20:20 vision, based on three main criteria:

* Improve teaching and learning

* Improve assessment of student learning

* Improve support for student learning

After listening to this part of the talk parents showed interest in hearing more about…

– Assessment and Learning Stories

We will discuss these more in depth at future ‘Coffee & Conversation’ sessions.

We also discussed how parents can stay in contact and support what is happening in their child’s class as well as how the EC division has a key goal of being very transparent and accessible.

In light of this discussion parents demonstrated interest in learning more about elearning, particularly in learning how to support this at home, how to use it (skills) and what is the big picture of SIS in relation to elearning.  These are great topics and will also be covered in future sessions.

Overall the response was positive and as parents sipped coffee, connections were being made!  A key part of the focus of these sessions as they are designed for parents to learn more, share more but also connect with other parents!

Thank you to the parents who attended and I look forward to seeing you all, plus others, next time!

What Did We Do?

During teacher professional learning days many parents wonder what we actually do that requires children to stay at home and not come to school.

Here is a quick overview of the recent PL days at SIS and how teachers collaborated together to provide the best learning environment for our students.  For more details and snapshots visit #sisrocks on twitter.

1. We spent time in Action Teams – various groups that focus on specific areas for development within the school.  During these professional discussion and work session teachers collaborated, discussed and formed plans for how their team will advance the school towards it’s 20/20 vision which in effect will enhance learning at SIS.


Community Engagement Action Team working together to decide how SIS students can effectively engage with the community in a purposeful and meaningful way.

2.  We also worked in our own divisions (EC / ES / MS / HS) to focus on developing the curriculum, hearing about specific programs such as ‘Real Spelling’ from an invited consultant – Peter Bowers and deciding on assessment tasks for various units.

3. Staff participated in learning more about ‘Innovation’ by being able to choose from a menu of 6 innovative tools that could be used in the classroom, to enhance professionalism and communication and to leverage how learning can occur.

Learning more about 3D printing and how to leverage this with purpose in any level class from EC to HS!

Learning more about 3D printing and how to leverage this with purpose in any level class from EC to HS!

4.  Professional debates focusing on whether Technology Improves Student Learning allowed for the staff to collaboratively work together in large groups of 45+ using a very detailed plan – experiencing very similar situations that we ask our children to be a part of everyday!  It gave everyone first hand knowledge of what that feels like, how to develop leadership and how to decide on roles, as well as how to articulate a task and be able to plan accordingly.

Learning how to follow directions, a detailed plan and promote collaboration in 'The Great Debate'.

Learning how to follow directions, a detailed plan and promote collaboration in ‘The Great Debate’.

See a quick glimpse of this in action both here , here and here.

5. Finally more work in divisions that focused around implementing goals set by SIS: 20/20 with the sole purpose of making SIS a better learning environment for all!

EC Division forming a scope and sequence of how and when curriculum indicators will be taught in classes.

EC Division forming a scope and sequence of how and when curriculum indicators will be taught in classes.

So were we busy? YES!

So was it productive? YES!

So was it beneficial to children’s learning? YES!

So was it worth it?  YES!

Thank you parents for spending quality time with your children so we could spend quality time engaging in professional learning that will ultimately benefit your child!


Week At A Glance 1-5 September

What a busy week of teaching, learning and developing young minds in ECLC.  Both teachers and children were involved in activities that developed their learning.  Teachers spent time in collaboration discussing our curriculum and how best to increase student learning – a valuable time for conversation and decision making.

An emphasis at this time of the year is helping children feel like they have a place in their classes which relates to the goal Belonging in the Te Whariki curriculum and also being a Global Citizen which relates to our school wide ESLR’s.  You will see evidence of this below.


Ms Ann in EC2 planned and implemented a wonderful shadow play that celebrated the Mid Autumn festival. Parents were then invited to view the children presenting the play.


Some teachers learned about Easy Blog Junior as a possible tool for Digital Portfolios – stay tuned for more information how this will be implemented in EC2 classes.


A wonderful display by Ms Lindsay and her EC2B class that depict their class name – the MONKEYS!! A really nice way to liven up her class entranceway and for children to view the efforts of their work.


In line with Te Whariki: Belonging and our school ESLR: Global Citizenship Mr Cruz and his EC1 class made link to their own home by drawing their own homes and displayed outside his room for all to view. Nice use of scraffitio as the medium!!


In this photo Ms Kylie is helping students in EC2C understand the correct way to open a book when they wrote their own books, making links to literacy and concepts about print – great scaffolding and an example of differentiation.


In this picture Ms Lindsay introduced her EC2B class to a new friend arriving soon via the ipad – an excellent example of helping children learn about Te Whariki: Belonging and the ESLR: Global Citizenship!


Ms Naama helped her students develop their sensory skills by drawing shapes in finger paint. Also involved in this learning was helping students helping to learn how to clean up after themselves once they were done!


Ms Jenny very carefully spent time with students teaching them how to use the classroom tools the correct way – in this instance, how to cut pictures with scissors. A lot of concentration involved and careful scaffolding by the teacher.


ECLC teachers spent time this week working on curriculum planning to help increase student learning and deciding how to best implement decisions made into their class.