Wednesday, September 28, 2011


It the numeracy project the answer?
Some schools in New Zealand have been implementing it for over 10 years. Is it making a difference? Well the NEMP report released in Sept 19 2010 showed that there had been no improvement in achievement for Y8 for over 12 years and overall between 2005 and 2009 no improvement for any year level. There could be a lot of reasons including:
- a lack of skill and understanding on the part of teachers in the numeracy framework
- variation in implementation of the numeracy project nation wide (it is not compulsory)
- where it has been implemented variation in the quality of teaching
- confusion over how and when to promote children through the stages
- lack of rigor around follow up activities after teaching time
- removal of maths from a real life context and problems

The last reason may also impact on enjoyment. Children need to know more than having several strategies. Then need to know and understand maths in a real life problem solving context. Is it time to make time for real problems, real issues and then teach maths in context just in time rather than endless amounts of just in case teaching?
It is time to look at what we are doing in maths once again.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

National Standards con't...

We are doing our best with National Standards despite:
- A total lack of effective PD
- Confusion at the highest levels about specifics around implementation
- A lack of research and meaningful justification as to why we would report against age for the first three years of a child's schooling and then suddenly switch to year end reporting
- Conflicting statements from the various PD providers about how to implement the standards
- All the providers suggesting that we go back to school and determine what the standards mean to us (are they or are they not National Standards?)
- funding

But this is not the biggest issue. The biggest issue is that the standards have done and will do little if nothing to help the underachieving children in NZ. It was interesting to hear the media and Government acknowledge the massive issue of child poverty in NZ (200 000 children!)- Start there folks- look at the link between poverty and underachievement, address poverty and social inequities and you will begin to deal with under achievement.
National Standards will not help!
Despite this my staff and I continue to comply and do all that we can to ensure that the children at Windsor are not disadvantaged because of the standards (i.e being labelled "Below" in 2011- a year of unprecedented change, disruption, crisis and turmoil!)
We have entered the stage where our children are now guinea pigs for an untried, unproven and questionable practice- what a shame

Friday, September 16, 2011

Canterbury Children

I was amazed last week.
At our Learning Celebration Assembly (LCA) we had so much to celebrate that we were still going well after 3:00pm! Our children started the LCA with a moving rendition of the National Anthem on the eve of the launch of the Rugby World Cup. This was followed by children sharing their learning, their PRIDE challenges, our Jump Jam teams (who came 2nd and 7h respectively out of 143 teams nationally) performed and then Chris from World Vision spoke. This was the highlight for me. In a year when so much has been taken from the families of Canterbury the children of Windsor raised more money than they ever had for the children of Timor. Such was their generosity that our school was the top school in the South Island. Go Canterbury, Go Windsor , Go our children!