Hereora cluster leaders share how a collaborative and future-focused inquiry has supported new cluster goals and a shared vision.
It almost became, I think, a natural progression in a way because I think the work that we had done previously had helped build the trust and the relationships which allowed us to, I think, to truly collaborate really effectively. I think one of the key features of the work that we’ve done with the facilitation, with the future-focused inquiry is really research driven and around best practice and that’s been really helpful for the schools. I think it’s helped with some accountability in a way in that we’ve had to really think carefully about what we value as a school because that needs to fit in with the cluster as well. So when we’re making decisions about a school thing, we’re looking at it through the lens of the cluster. And I think that’s been a really powerful way of moving forward because for us as a secondary school. In this learning cluster, in a sense, we’re an end point and so we need to be always thinking about what’s coming in, you know, because these students who are coming into our school have been at the schools of the other ones here and it’s really helped our level of thinking about trying to meet the needs of those young people coming in. One of the key activities that we‘ve looked at is mapping coherence. And we initially did that within our own schools but looked at it initially as a leader. And then, we took that back into our own schools and asked the leaders within our schools their perspective and how they saw it. And then, we’ve taken that further and those leaders have taken it to their teams and we’ve also asked the students so we’ve been able to map coherence across our own school. And then, we’ve brought that back as a collective, as a cluster, and looked at the coherence across the cluster and that’s been pretty amazing in terms of helping us drive our new goals and vision for our cluster. So we’ve also had a similar process where we’ve gone through and looked at a range of things that we need to be working on as a school. And, key staff have looked at that, thought carefully about what those are and then gone through a process of prioritising those. And that’s been a really good exercise for us to think about where we need to be heading and it will help sort of work out our plans and our goals for 2015 and beyond.