Presentation at the conference was by Perry Rush who is the principal of Island Bay School in Wellington. Is currently on sabbatical which is why he has time to present at a conference. This is a pictorial representation of the essence of the school.
Philosophy about learning must come first. Philosophy is about learning and not teaching and maybe we all need to rethink the personal philosophies we have in our planning – I know my current written philosophy while it mentions learning is more about what I am going to do rather that what the children or the students will be learning and how I can ensure learning takes place. What I like about this is that it not only articulates four statements about their beliefs it backs those statements up with significant current New Zealand based research.
Again only four items articulated and came from informed discussion by teachers, students and their families.
Conceptual curriculum is at the heart of learning in Island Bay school.
Island Bay believes that the core of their practice is an integrated curriculum. They cover the stands in the NZC over on a two year cycle to fit in with the levels of the curriculum, but they don’t have for examples Insects in Year 6 in odd years. Island Bay believes their inquiry learning needs to be an explanation of the ‘way the world works’. Their inquiry learning is setting the children up to access information, sort it and then express their understanding of that information. They are very much into concepts rather than contexts.
Developed their own inquiry model. Self motivation and self regulation does not equal rich learning and teacher input is essential. Believes that at primary school whole class inquiry learning is acceptable and that our students should be moving into self directed inquiry learning and that they should be developing the same deep understanding of a big idea that the teacher has and then should be able to transfer those understandings to different contexts.
Cur connections joanna
Understanding Children’s Understanding - Perry Rush July 2010
Presented at School Staff Meeting 20th
July 2010 by Joanna Mawdsley