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The power of clustering for professional learning

Filed under: Effective leaders | Te Kauhua




For three schools in the Christchurch region, the opportunity to operate as a cluster provided a stimulus for professional learning.

Ann Brokenshire

When we started, we had about – across the three schools - we had about 100 Māori students each. There were different proportions, three completely schools, different decile, different sizes – but that is 300 young people who we felt we could do better for. So the strength of doing that across a cluster is fantastic.

Linda Tame – Principal, Lincoln High School

Having two close colleagues who are nearby physically, but who are nearby mentally as well, has been absolutely fantastic.

Ann Brokenshire

We have built an amazing amount of trust. And you have support there for what can, I suppose, potentially be a lonely position.

We were involved with Lincoln and Hornby, and the opportunities to work together with their Te Kauhua facilitators was really quite invaluable. To share ideas about what they were doing, what angle they were looking at running Te Kauhua through their school.

Linda Tame

I’m really in favour of the HOD's getting together because, in the end, we can do a whole heap of talking in our little cosy offices – but it’s what happens in the classrooms that makes a difference. And heads of departments have a big say in that.

Blair Johnstone – Lincoln High School

It’s extremely powerful. I'm involved with the mathematics cluster. Initially we began with an issue. And we’ve progressed on now where resources have been shared.

Ann Brokenshire

You know, if you’re talking about what you’re going to do, and you’re getting critiqued, but you’re also getting some really positive input; and then just listening to what the other schools are doing, and thinking: “That's a good idea, we might try that”. I think that has been absolutely tremendous.

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