Saturday, June 27, 2015

Global Schools Alliance

I recently had an interesting email from the New Zealand High Commissioner's office in Delhi inviting me to accept and invitation for Freemans Bay School to become a member  of The Global Schools Alliance

This is an organisation that was established in 2014 with members from all over the world. These educationalists agree to share practice to support other progressive thinking schools in their journeys to provide education that is personalised, innovative, authentic and relevant to their learners.

The current schools involved are: 

AB Combs School, USA - rated No 1 Magnet School in the United States of America. Each child's journey is mapped for success in the real world based on the timeless principles of Steven Covey's "7 habits of highly successful people". 

Matthew Moss School, UK - ranked by Innovation Unit (UK Govt) amongst the top 10 schools (of the 21st century) in the world. Is known for its ability to align learning (through projects) with individual passions of children.

EOS Teaching Alliance, UK - Hartsholme Academy, member EOS, is rated as the most innovative primary school in the UK. Vega is a member of the EOS Teaching Alliance. 

Hilltop Road Public School, Australia - A 'learning frontiers' school that leads in embedding technology in Teaching & Learning, awarded NSW School Cohesive Awards for strong community links.

Ørestad Gymnasium, Denmark -  an award winning Scandinavian school that constantly tests new ways of organizing teaching and uses modern technology to support it. Also among the top 10 schools (of the 21st century) in the world. 

I have been spending a bit of time learning about these schools.This is an interesting clip that explains thinking from Mathew Moss School around "Slow Learning" at their school.

I can see connections with what we do at Freemans Bay School - particularly around our Passion project learning. Definitely links to personalising learning and student choice. 

It is amazing to have this opportunity to connect with The Alliance is an opportunity to connect with like-minded schools across the globe.  It will be a new journey to explore the thinking and  the journeys of these schools and their leaders. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

3 countries in one week

Tangshan No 1 Middle School, Hebei Province, China

This week I am travelling in Asia with a group of international marketing directors and school principals from Auckland inner city schools.The first school we visited this week was Tangshang No 1 Middle School. which is a highly prestigious public in Hebei province, China. It was established in 1902 by the Yong Ping Government (Tangshan Government) during the Qing Dynasty, known as the Yong Ping Zhongli High School.  This school has a strong international focus and is very innovative. While the Youtube clip is about their Canadian Teacher recruiting programme it does demonstrate the schools modern approach to curriculum and their outstanding facilities. They really do have a push for their students and staff to have partnerships with schools in other countries all over the world. This encourages dialogue and sharing of ideas about teaching and learning and promotes an understanding of different cultures through exchange.

Dr Liu Changsue spent time with us on the visit and explained his thinking and recent school innovations. 
These innovations  include an indoor zoo. This is a display of many creatures from all over the world and Dr Liu is hoping to extend this exhibition in the near future.They also have created a hill out of trash. This has been landscaped and planted with over 1000 varieties of trees including fruit trees. 

The school has established relationships with many schools and universities overseas and continues to build new relationships to support their future focused curriculum which has a strong focus on globalization and research. While we visited they signed a Memorandum of Agreement with St Mary's College in Auckland. St Mary's College is a neighbouring school to Freemans Bay and we collaborate over marketing strategies for international students. We hope to see some students from Tanshan No 1 school in Auckland in the near future.