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READY 4 LEARNING

How many times have children entered your classroom and they cannot sit still on the mat, they are unable to hold a pencil correctly or have difficulty recalling the letter name, sounds or sight words?  This is because they are not developmentally ready or equipped for our very structured New Zealand Curriculum and early years school system.

It is important to develop a transition to school from home and ECE that supports learners to be working within their zone of proximal development in their first year(s) of school. Learning readiness’ involves knowing a child’s level of neurodevelopment and whether their various sensory motor systems such as vision, hearing, touch, smell, balance and sense of body in space are functioning well enough to support learning.  Research has shown that if one or more of these areas are not functioning as they should, a child will find learning difficult and stressful, resulting in seemingly simple tasks causing tiredness, anxiety, distress and learned helplessness.  

 

We participated in extensive research and trials to create a Readiness for Learning Framework that supports and underpins the “foundation elements” needed for a learner to be curriculum ready, as  higher level cognitive tasks such as reading and writing are dependent upon the successful execution of fundamental skills and related tasks, many of which are motor tasks. If these skills are not automatic, the brain will concentrate on those rather than on the higher level thinking tasks.  In most cases,  a child has to learn these foundational skills in order to be able to start formal learning.

 

These elements consist of speaking, concepts of print, hearing, seeing and moving (fine/gross motor skills). In this framework we gain an insight into what skills/elements the child needs to have in order for them to gain automaticity in their ability to read/write and carry out abstract thinking needed for maths.  Underpinning the framework are our all-important Key Competencies in child speak which can be tracked alongside their ready for learning skills.

 

To support this framework, we have developed an ‘assessment tool’ which is extremely easy and quick to administer, that allows teachers to ascertain whether students are curriculum ready and in what specific areas the required pre-curriculum subskills of listening, speaking, moving, seeing, and print are undeveloped. It is important for teachers to know their learner to enable them to provide specific targeted teaching which can take place in either a learning through play environment or a more ‘traditional’ classroom.    

 

Our Ready 4 Learning foundation skills framework and assessment tool are research based using a variety of sources including occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, neurology and paediatric medicine as well as a globally recognised child developmental screening tool.

 

We provide workshops, resources, online learning (coming end of 2019) and school based PLD.

 

Check out our resources section.

 

COLLABORATIVE INQUIRY

Hattie believes we have to move the focus from  ‘fixing the child’ or ‘fixing the teacher’ to building collaborative expertise. There is no way that a system will make an overall difference to student achievement by working one teacher at a time. Instead, the onus needs to be on everyone working collectively to improve student achievement (Hattie 2015).

 

We can support your school to implement an effective collaborative inquiry process. We have worked with many schools through MOE funded PLD hours to ensure the inquiry process maximizes teaching and learning, has total buy in from staff, and becomes part of everyday teacher practice.

 

We have a large number of schools you contact to ascertain the impact of this process.

Current research suggests that Teaching as Inquiry (TAI) is not having the desired impact on improving whole school student outcomes. We are seeing in schools many (not all) teachers talking about ‘doing’ their inquiry, resentful of the time it takes and that they are often completing an inquiry for accountability reasons.

 

ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING

Assessment for learning has been around for a long time, however, we are noticing more and more schools are asking for support in this area. Research shows that assessment for learning strategies are the most impactful strategies there are for student learning. Effective assessment for learning in the classroom creates active, self-regulating agentic learners. We believe assessment is an integral part of all learning which encompasses purposeful, timely and relevant formal and informal practices, where students, teachers and whanau take joint ownership of their ongoing learning journey.

We can work with you to implement effective assessment for learning systems and process’ within your school and provide support for your teachers and learners to grow their assessment capability  so it positively impacts on teaching and learning.

"Ande Ford has worked in our school in the areas of Assessment For Learning practice and Leadership. Ande's extensive experience as a Principal and as a learning facilitator means she has a deep understanding of what it means to guide a school through the change process and how to support school leaders in shifting teacher practice to improve student achievement.

 

She has a strong pedagogical knowledge and is a skilled coach. This means that no matter what comes up in conversation in leadership growth sessions or staff meetings she can seize the teachable moment and coach staff to those "aha moments" that improve their practice and support the school to move forward with its strategic goals. 

 
Suzanne Billington – Principal Tauriko School
 

ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING

Assessment for learning has been around for a long time, however, we are noticing more and more schools are asking for support in this area. Research shows that assessment for learning strategies are the most impactful strategies there are for student learning. Effective assessment for learning in the classroom creates active, self-regulating agentic learners. We believe assessment is an integral part of all learning which encompasses purposeful, timely and relevant formal and informal practices, where students, teachers and whanau take joint ownership of their ongoing learning journey.

We can work with you to implement effective assessment for learning systems and process’ within your school and provide support for your teachers and learners to grow their assessment capability  so it positively impacts on teaching and learning.

"Ande Ford has worked in our school in the areas of Assessment For Learning practice and Leadership. Ande's extensive experience as a Principal and as a learning facilitator means she has a deep understanding of what it means to guide a school through the change process and how to support school leaders in shifting teacher practice to improve student achievement.

 

She has a strong pedagogical knowledge and is a skilled coach. This means that no matter what comes up in conversation in leadership growth sessions or staff meetings she can seize the teachable moment and coach staff to those "aha moments" that improve their practice and support the school to move forward with its strategic goals. 

 
Suzanne Billington – Principal Tauriko School

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

School Based Leadership Development

 

School based leadership development is tailored to your school's particular needs. We can support with identifying areas for development through a comprehensive needs analysis for both individuals and teams. We can also take direction for the focus from your own analysis.

We work with you to co-construct a programme of support for you and your leaders that is context specific and needs based to grow the leaders of learning in your school.​

We work with Principals, Leadership teams, Senior and Middle leaders.​

We support leadership growth through
a variety of methods that include:

  • 1-1 coaching

  • Team coaching

  • Focussed observations and video analysis

  • School review and planning​

External Leadership Programme

 

This leadership programme involves a mix of face-to-face
workshops, online tutorials, 1-1 coaching and in-school work.

The learning focus:

  • Who are you as a leader?

  • People skills

  • Developing effective teams

  • Developing a coaching way of being

  • Leading an inquiry mindset

  • Data driven decision making

 

COACHING

Coaching is internationally recognized as a key factor in school improvement. Coaching builds an inquiry mindset and is key in growing teaching and learning capacity, developing leadership skills and improving student outcomes.

We can coach individuals and teams to focus on enriching teaching and learning through high impact and sustained professional growth programs. We use structured conversations to focus leaders on using evidence to reflect on their learning and explore their own practice from multiple perspectives.

Learn to Coach - School Based:

Grow the coaching capacity in your school. Develop your teachers and leaders in a coaching and inquiry mindset. Participants are able to apply skills learnt and receive feedback for growth within the school context.

Learn to Coach - External Workshops

Based on current research and best practice this programme is practical, do-able and grows a strong coaching way of being. The programme consists of three one-day workshops followed by practice, analysis and one-to-one coaching.

  • Learning focus:

  • Key coaching skills

  • The coaching process

  • Practical tools and techniques

  • Difficult and challenging conversations

  • Developing a coaching way of being

  • Implementing coaching in your context

  • Analysing the impact of your coaching on improving teaching and learning

 

SCHOOL EVALUATION

Do you want external support to help review your school’s systems and processes to ensure there is clarity and consistency from your charter to what is happening in the classroom to improve teaching and learning? 

The use of the Clarity Review tool is a Data Driven Decision Making (DDDM) tool based on Victoria Bernhardts work and ERO’s school review Inquiry process. This supports you to pinpoint where your school is at, where you want to be and a suggested process to get there.

We can support you with:

  • Co-constructing and implementing sound evaluative processes and practices for your school context

  • External evaluation to support your data driven decision making

  • Developing evaluative capability in your team

  • Using evaluation data to inform next steps

  • Getting your ducks in a row for ERO