SCD/Milestone Reports/Resources, Documentation and Downloads/Milestone 4 25 November 2011

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Milestone Number: 4
Regional Cluster Name Southern Central Divide
Contract Number 10-0279
Lead School/Legal Entity Waimate High School
Date 20 November 2011
National Facilitator Warren Hall
Project Director/s Trevor Storr, Pete Graham, Darren Sudlow
Facilitator/s Trevor Storr, Pete Graham, Darren Sudlow

4.1 Liaise with the National Facilitator assigned to this project

Our National Facilitator has been very supportive, available and has attended a number of cluster events. We have found him and invaluable resource.

4.2 Report on your programme implementation

What we did and how often? Was it effective?

Central - North Canterbury workshop at Darfield - mid August

A group of 6-8 teachers met at Darfield High School for a day of sharing and reflection.  

"The group that meet at Darfield last week had a great PD day. A big highlight was seeing Matt's class 9MM working on their e-portfolio and developing their reflection skills through this. It was really interesting to talk with them about how they found this - they were very positive and were able to discuss what they were doing.

"What a wonderful time to network with the team today. I really enjoyed the opportunity to talk to year 9 students and see their portfolios. I have learnt new skills which I will be introducing to my students and I also have more to share with other teachers.

Graeme and I have got a moodle up and running for our reading groups so I am excited about that.

All in all a wonderful day of reflection and new learning, of networking and socialising. We are on an exciting journey."(educo forum extracts)


South Canterbury workshop at Waimate - late June

A group of 8-10 teachers met at Waimate High School for a day of sharing and reflection.
This day was entirely organised and facilitated by the teachers involved.

"It was great to catch up with everyone again and talk about things. Thanks to all of you! I wish we could have had more time! Hopefully the new people from TBHS and Craighead have some idea of what we have been doing and are keen to join us. Thank you for your hospitality, Justin. It was great to see what your Year 7's were doing so comfortably too. I'm keen to try some Google docs now."

"Thank you for last Thursday. It was good to touch base and discuss where we are all heading or aiming for."


Collaborative projects - in progress


Hakastory - Vanessa Burton, Vicki Smith

This continuing project has completed its first phase: the planning, writing and performance of a haka for South Westland Area School's 150th reunion. Students worked closely with local iwi Te Runanga o Makaawhio and used Moodle, wikis, video conferencing and other tools to collaborate with distant schools and Kapa Haka groups while planning.

Phase two is proceeding, SWAS students are teaching Paparoa Range School students using the online performance tool UpStage.

Reefton Area School staff development - Pat Lewis

  • students developed a much greater knowledge of Te Reo and Tikānga Māori
  • principal’s previous attempts at working with local iwi had not gained traction - Hakastory changed that

  • Web 2 tools widely integrated in RAS teaching and learning


ULearn 2011

Attendees: Darren, Trevor, Pete, 20 [?] project teachers.
Southern Divide BLP – The way to collaborate and educate together. The Blended Learning Approach. - breakout Workshop and Presentation by Justin Thompson, Linda Hutt, Louise Davy, Matt Maude and Mary Chisnall

This presentation summarised some of the projects that individual teachers have been working on over the last 18 months and the use of new tools. The teachers adopted the approach of being 'not experts' but coal-face teachers  trying to blend the way ICT is used in the classroom to enhance face to face teaching. The session showcased approaches for the effective and successful use of these tools in both Primary and Secondary areas.

  • simply attending uLearn refocused the group
  • presenting on the journey so far encouraged critical reflection

"Thanks to everyone for making the conference so much fun as well as such a great learning experience. We can thank the project for allowing us to go. next year would be great as well!" "I wanted to add my thanks to everyone too, especially Darren and Trevor - and Justin - for organising everything for us. It was an amazing few days and my mind is still reeling. I will sort through my notes and add some to the google doc folder, but like Mary I had to deal with things pre-term 4 first. It was great catching up with everyone again too."

  • Communities of Practice Established 
  • CantaNet - Geography teachers, eDeans, Digital Technology

eDeans COP

The most successful COP so far has met three times face to face to develop strategies and resources to improve the role of eDean and the virtual experience of new eStudents.  Here is link to the resources they developed.

  • WestNet - Visual Arts, English
  • Visual Arts
  • established online resource and inspiration area on WestNet Moodle: WESarT [guest login OK]
  • CoP grew out of regional PD day of West Coast Visual Arts teachers in Greymouth
  • driven by Westland HS teacher and VLN eTeacher of L3 Art History Madeline Campbell
  • this CoP involves teachers currently outside the project cadre
  • English
  • built on existing collaboration between Karamea AS's sole senior English teacher and Buller HS Department
  • aims include establish a wider moderation network, collect local exemplars, develop and share resources
  • CoP works across 4 schools currently: KAS, BHS, Murchison AS and South Westland AS
  • still in planning stages, will kick-start during 'Big English Day' on Nov 18th
  • led by Ray Curnow, HOD English at Buller HS, includes cadre member Angela Roberts from KAS
  • Communities of Practice - lessons learned
  • initially highly dependent on motivation and energy of 'driving' teacher
  • face-to-face meetings vital in the establishment phase
  • teacher IT skills and confidence critical to maintain momentum online
  • 2011 a planning and establishment year for both WestNet CoPs

4.3. Reflections

This reflection is also available on the VLN

What was important for us?

  • To develop communities of practice where teachers can support each other to develop blended learning opportunities for their learners.
  • To continue to develop our core group of teacher leaders so that they are able to act as elearning leaders within their own school and within their community of schools
  • To challenge school leadership to raise their own expectations of what elearning can offer to their learners and also establish the critical role of school leadership within and across communities of schools.

Why was this important?

Blended learning offers a means of engaging learners and encouraging learners to take responsibility for their own learning, provided that pedagogical styles support this approach. Additionally, by establishing communities of practice we aim to provide a support mechanism for teachers changing their pedagogy and also lever economies of scale to provide both pedagogical and time benefits to learners and teachers. The key role of school and communities of schools leadership is essential if any changes to pedagogy are to be sustained at a system-wide level.

What did we do?

  • We facilitated the attendance at ULearn of 14 SCD delegates.
  • We (SCD delegates) presented four separate presentations at ULEARN
  • We facilitated PD meetings for our CoP of of lead teachers
  • We facilitated the seeding of other CoP’s in the cluster
  • We facilitated a collaborative project involving WestNet
  • We facilitated a leadership/blue skies visioning event
  • We reviewed our activities

What happened as a result?

In general terms, this milestone period has been relatively quiet from a cluster perspective, but as the year draws to a close, cluster activity is beginning to increase again. The ‘quietness’ is probably due to the needs of senior students consuming teacher efforts: many project teachers have been completely absorbed with ensuring their senior classes do as well in NCEA examinations as possible.

The core group of lead teachers, whom are developing themselves as blended learning pioneers are now largely self-organising and self-motivating. It has been an extra-ordinary journey for them and their attendance at ULearn was both a reward and rewarding! This group almost entirely organised themselves for the conference (apart from transport and accommodation) by having virtual meetings and collaborating online (using google docs) to produce their presentation. The group functions as a healthy CoP. Looking forward to 2012 a major challenge will be to ensure that this CoP sustains beyond the end of the project funding. It’s survival will likely be a function of both the individual group members and the support that their schools provide to the group. Some of our lead teacher CoP presented at ULearn. This marked a major shift for the group as it signified a shift from being receivers of PD to an acknowledgement that they have developed expertise that is worthy of sharing with others. The cluster facilitators also presented 3 workshops with the purposes of: sharing the cluster story, inviting comment on what to do next and in light of the proposed Network for Learning (which post ULearn is now confirmed) suggesting educational policy changes which will allow collaborative blended learning across schools to be more easily organised and funded. We recognise and are actively engaged in promoting a vision and practice of blended learning that extends beyond the SCD cluster.

We provided seed funding to facilitate CoPs as suggested by teachers in the cluster. The uptake of these CoPs has been sporadic and the impact of Term Three (see above) has been high. As Term Four progresses, these CoPs will be more active.

We organised and facilitated a leadership event for principals and senior leaders during Term Four. This event was designed to challenge leaders to: take ownership of the cluster as a collective, understand the potential of a N4L and it’s impact on schooling and wield the influence they have as a collective to improve educational outcomes in the region.

What have we learned?

We have learned that the CoP of lead teachers is now maturing. The CoP is self-organising and very useful to it’s members. We have also learned that seeding CoP’s is difficult and it is ‘hit and miss’ if suggested CoP leaders actually do as they suggest. We have also reaffirmed our learning from earlier in the project that targeting school leadership needs to be a priority for the remainder of the cluster funding. Combined, our learnings reinforce our opinion that CoP’s that operate across schools require deliberate interventions - at the level of teacher, facilitator and school leader level if they are to thrive and (eventually) have a positive impact on learning.

What are our next steps?

Our next steps are a logical progression of the project thus far: continue to develop our lead teacher group as teacher leaders; work with school leaders to implement a vision of collaborative blended learning, support the development of CoPs across cluster schools.

Who are we: The Southern Central Divide Cluster consists of the 30 or so area and secondary schools that comprise WestNet and CantatNet, geograpically we are between Oamaru and Karamea.

4.4. Progress towards cluster goals

Cluster Goal One: Cadre of eLearning Leaders continues to develop their eLearning capability

As mentioned earlier it has been a quiet couple of terms where teachers (and the groups as a whole) have been consolidating practice within their own school. Some teachers have taken time away from the class to give themselves timed for sustained PD. The teachers themselves organised two opportunities for face to face PD. Initially a group of around eight of the North Canterbury teachers met at Darfield in term two and then a similar number of South Canterbury teachers met in Waimate in term three. These days were useful for maintaining the community of practice and sharing of learning. What is significant is that they were organised by the teachers themselves.

As highlighted earlier we also took ten of the teachers two Ulearn, which they thoroughly enjoyed. It was an excellent opportunity for sustained PD and networking opportunities which the teachers seemed to really enjoy. Four of them presented which was good to see.

Overall the group is continuing the momentum developed in the first year, although that momentum has slowed somewhat. Of slight concern is a very small number of teachers in the group who seem on the periphery and somewhat isolated. Another positive is that some teachers from schools that had dropped out of the core group have shown an interested in joining for the final year

Key Lessons:

  • Participation in communities of practic ebb and flow over time
  • Clear goals and a structure to achieve them is vital
  • Resourcing of time is a key investment in teachers' professional learning
  • Teachers do not need directed professional development opportunities to develop their own learning. They need the opportunity to connect with like-minded teachers.

Next Steps:

  • Project Teachers will reflect on the positives and negatives of the year and use this in planning for 2012
  • The project group will plan 2012 in the upcoming retreat, including the university course (in conjunction with Niki Davis)

Cluster Goal Two: School leadership is actively involved in realising the vision of the SCD

The leadership event earlier in the year was successful in highlighting some of the key themes underpinning the regional cluster and this was taken on board by a number of the principals. The spread of blended learning through cluster schools is variable and largely depends on the buy in of senior leadership. Some of the project teacher group are working very successfully with their senior leadership team in developing schools’ capacity for blended learning. In other schools very little has happened.

Our second leadership event focused on a think tank approach that examined the role networked schooling has within the cluster once fibre is rolled out. Attendance was good with almost all the CantaNet schools represented. Unfortunately the WestNet schools weren't able to attend so a similar event will be held on the West Coast early next year. Some important discussion was had throughout the day and while much of the ideas slacked specifics they still provided a very clear foundation for future developments. It was good to turn the strategic thinking on eLearning and networked schooling over to the principals and a positive step forward.

Key Lessons:

  • Successful school and cluster wide change requires senior leadership to support the key themes and initiatives of the cluster
  • Project teachers who have made progress in school wide adoption of blended learning do so in partnership with their senior leadership group
  • Project teachers who have made progress have taken the initiative

Next Steps:

  • Teacher leaders need to continue to work with their school leadership in adoptions of online practices
  • Successful leadership practice (by project teachers) needs to be shared widely
  • School stories related to the project need to be shared widely
  • Further leadership events need to be planned for 2012

Cluster Goal Three: Sustainable communities of practice have been developed from which the region can build leadership of blended learning

The core group of teachers are still an active community of practice who continue to take responsibility for their own learning. A good number of these teachers have developed very strong working relationships. A few have gone very quiet and are not participating in online discussions or organised days.

Various other communities of practice have been formed and are in various stages of organisation. The most active is the eDean community of practice who have already met, set goals and will meet again on the 16th and 17th of November. This group plans to develop and share resources, guidelines and ideas for other eDeans around the two clusters.

Key lessons:

  • See key lessons in cluster goal one
  • Forming effective communities of practice requires at least one enthusiast to drive activity

Next Steps

  • New teachers will be introduced to the project group in the upcoming retreat. Planning for 2012 will need to include a community aspect
  • New COP's will need to be supported in 2012. This will be the key year in getting these up and running on a sustainable basis (which it isn't at the moment)

Cluster Goal Four: Foster new and exisiting relationships with the region's community

There hasn’t been any major follow up with primary schools although we would still like to do this in the near future. Stronger relationships have been formed with key people in the GCSN, which holds much promise for the future collaboration between the regions.

Next Steps

  • Look to engage some primary schools in opportunities for online / blended learning
  • Continue to connext with the wider community

Cluster Goal Five: Ongoing professional reflection on the progress of the SCD regional cluster informs the wider community on the challenges and opportunities of blended learning

Our reflection has always been put in the public domain so that all stakeholders can get the information they want.  Coupled with this portal in Wikieducator is the blog which allows information to be fed to the public domain on an ongoing basis

Disbursement schedule

This table should be used to account for the MoE funds only. You will need to separate out the MoE and cluster funding contributions from the budget figures in your contract

ICT Professional Development Cluster:

Southern Central Divide
Contract No. 10-0279
Milestone No.


Neil Melhuish

e-Learning Unit

Ministry of Education

PO Box 1666



Trevor Storr

Waimate High School

Paul St


For Professional and Operational Costs:

3yr Budget Actual-to-date Cumulative %
Professional Fees $10,000 MOE funding rest is FTTE
Professional Costs $31,150
$24130 77%
Operational Costs $1500
$2080 139%
Teacher Development Costs (if relevant) $312,350
$191419 61%
plus Goods and Services tax $51,531 $32980
Total $406,531 $258942 64%

Explanation of variance of predicted expenditure of the MoE funding

At this point we would expect, being 2/3 of the way through the project, and having transfered to the flat funding model to have expenditure of 66%.  The costs outlined above do not deviate far from that amount.  The figures that are above 66% are relatively small sums - so they result in a higher percentage deviance. 

Cluster Budget Contributions

Cluster contribution is in the form of facilitator funding - FTTE's.  The clusters have contributed 0.75 FTTE  as in the original budget.  Therefore there is no negative variance issues.  The work of the facilitators in their roles as ePrincipals and as facilitators of the SCD project often difficult to tease apart.  The clusters will have contributed more time to the project than was originally budgeted for.  

Cluster Contribution Variance Issue Impact Action Planned

When you have had your Milestone approved by your National Facilitator then you can submit it as per the instructions on page 1 of this template.