This is a place for Principals to share thoughts, ideas, links and resources.

A Digi story from Te Kura o Takaro sharing our story and the development of our Marautanga a kura

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Bruce Hammonds: "How long can principals ignore the dire warnings about the consequences of National Standards?"

This is a great read, really makes you think. I received an email today with much of the same in it. As principals' we really do need to consider our own stance on the issue of National Standards. I have been trying to do this for myself this week so I can have a real discussion with my board with definite beliefs in my head. The principals' meeting at Ross Intermediate generated much discussion and the numerous readings provide plenty to think about. NS is a big issue that is not going to go away in a hurry. I recommend this reading to everyone.

Ammunition to Support the Case for e-learning.
**"What is the impact of the Manaiakalani Project on literacy teaching and learning?"**
"1.0 Introduction
Seven schools in the Tamaki Cluster have been involved in an e-Learning Initiative called “Manaiakalani” (the ‘hook from heaven’ that was given to Maui so he could succeed in the world’s largest ever fishing project).
Manaiakalani was begun as a 4 year curriculum development project to raise student achievement outcomes and improve student engagement by linking key learning from Schooling Improvement with developing practices from the national e-Learning Action Plan (Enabling the 21st Century Learner). This report covers the first three years of this research."
The summary is well worth reading, and the full report can be downloaded if you are really keen.

Here's a frightening post from Kelvin Smythe. Read and share with others. Our future looks grim. Allan

SAPs being turned into goon squads
By Kelvin Smythe
"A definition of a goon squad is that it is a group of people who, in the service of employers, uses intimidation and espionage to break unions. The planned behaviours of the SAPs are close enough to this, to not make too outlandish the heading for this posting.

We always knew the declared function for the 50 SAPs (Student Achievement Practitioners) was a cover for them to be employed as a National Government hit squad, but information to hand from a reliable ministry source, points to all semblance of that cover being put aside, and their real role of bullying schools refusing to implement national standards laid bare. The SAPs’ style of functioning, comprising entry to schools, actions within schools, and ‘a series of events’ (the terminology used) if schools don’t comply, is being organised in close detail by a ministry-contracted Waikato Schools Support person (whose name I have)."

7/6/11 Here I am again getting all excited about learning. Having visited Tokomaru's blog again I have found out how to make a slideshow with photos. Saw it on Russell St 1st. Plan to do my own tomorrow with our cross-counrty photos. This will really give a bit of bling to my blog. Only problem is I'm having late nights browsing the internet (in the most appropriate of ways!) I learned how to use Photopeach which I had heard of but never visited. Its undoubtedly old hat for some of my colleagues but all new to me. The exciting things is I'm learning from others off the net. Great source of learning. I'm sold on it! Stephen out!

So I have just quickly re-read the reading about why educators should blog. I am currently working on my second blog. This one is more about my reflections as an educator and learner. I did a bit of learning over Queen's birthday by visiting Allanah King's bling for your blog site and also saw some great ideas on the Russell Street School site that I will definitely start using on on both my blog and the schools. It was from this learning that made me connect with the reading. I've learnt from these blogs I've visited and put the learning into action. Now I should repay the favour by actually leaving some comments of thanks on the sites I visited and also repay but adding some reflective thoughts on mine. I've seen good ideas from Tokomaru School, Hokowhitu School, Russell street School and my own teachers. These are the only school sites I've visited and none have let me down. What that tells me is generally all sites should be pretty good, its more a question of making time to hunt around. Anyway my new site is The Principled Principal Not much on their yet but a work in progress. Stephen out!

I'm here, Stephen. Where are you (and everyone else)?

Here's an article you all should read:
Kelvin Smythe has been on a crusade against the worst developments in curriculum since his Network Magazine in the 1990s and he continues to this day. His attacks on current educational ideologies, especially standards, are always very well expressed. Kelvin's roots go back to Elwyn Richardson. If that name means nothing then you've got some homework to do. Kelvin has a comprehensive section on Richardson under the "Schools" link. Check out the rest of the site as well.

Bruce Hammonds is a fellow traveller and his blog is another 'must read'

Read Bruce Hammonds article: Electronic Whiteboards -a waste of money? We decided to go down the track of projectors in the classroom. And Im glad we didnt jump into buying Smart boards for i know that they would have been used just like a projector (an expensive one at that).


Hi Jared
Yes I've read his article. He emailed me to let me know about it as I sent the blog article to him in the first place. I always read Bruce!

I read Most of Kelvin's articles when they are sent via email. He is a very reflective writer and stands up for what he believes. His crusade against National Standards provides much food for thought.


I recommend the reading"10 reasons to get educators blogging". There are many valid reasons on the advantages of blogging given. The need for reflective thought is probably the most compelling reason to get blogging.


Here's another Kelvin Smythe posting - a powerful email to Karen Sewell.

Stephen Soutar

Kairanga School Milestone #3

Principals section:

Hokowhitu Milestone Report

Cloverela School Milestone 3

Tokomaru School Milestone 3

Longburn School Mileston 3