Sunday, 16 March 2014

Big Project Showtime... our big move!

Showtime - celebrating our first day at HPSS!

Showtime is all about the celebration of the development and efforts students have made during their Big Projects.  It involves sharing the learning journey with an authentic audience, students presenting their response to a challenge (or their action to make a difference) for the whole community to see.  Showtime will come in many different shapes and sizes in the future, depending on the project.  But they will always add something to a project's success and be authentic in both delivery and participation!  

On Monday 3rd of March 2014, HPSS was the newest school in the world! And we used our Big Project time to celebrate moving into the school. Students were creative, innovative and passionate.  As a result, we had so much to experience on the day and the challenge of making it special was met! 

Moving In day was definitely news worthy!

Showtime was our moving in day.  The itinerary looked a little like this:  

09.00 am - Meet with Primary students and say thank you for having us! Gift of Kauri presented.
09.20 am - Walk over to the secondary school together (with primary school).
09.45 am - Official opening of the school - Maurie to cut ribbon (with messages) and Balloons
10.00 am - Official school photo taken and presentation of flags, banners and cake!
10.10 am - School Exploration Treasure Hunt - using QR codes.
10.45 am - Obstacle Course race.
11.00 am - Shared Morning Tea in community colours.
11.30 am - Auditorium presentations - Meeting Arohanui students, documentaries, school 
                mascots, dances, music, presentations!
12.30 pm - Off to our learning modules to begin the 'normal' school day!

Pictures speak louder than words...

Adriaan gifts one Kauri for the Primary and we'll plant the other!
Walking down the road, to our brand new school!

Banners, ribbon, students... we are ready!

Excitement is definitely in the air...

Finally, Maurie our principal cuts the ribbon and balloons with messages are released!
Here we are!  The foundation students and staff at HPSS!

Showtime was a celebration

Students had a lot of fun and were an integral part of making the experience special and meaningful.  There was a lot of learning that came as a result of this project - for both the students AND for us, the team organising Big Projects.  But this will be explored more in the next blog - our Final Look stage, where we review and reflect on the process and think about the so what?  and the what next? This is the last stage, but is most critical!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

the Plan and the Action... we are DOING things here at HPSS

"What is the PLAN, Stan?"  

So, we had our Moving In Kick Off two weeks ago.  Maurie inspired our students to take up the challenge of making the first day of HPSS the most memorable day possible.  

The next stage is making a PLAN....

For Big Projects to be a success, a very through, reflective and well researched plan must be formulated.  It is co-constructed by project team members and a project guide and in the future authentic outside partners will also be involved.  The Plan stage asks students to think about the important questions- the what?, how?, when?, where? and who?  The questions could be 'endless' but are mostly based around... 
  • What are we going to do?
  • What do we need to find out? 
  • How will this address the challenge?
  • What roles do we all have?
  • Who will we need to make things happen?
  • What resources and skills do we need?  
  • When do things need to happen by? 
  • Where will we work?  What space do we need? 
To help put these answers (ideas) in a structured way, that can become an artifact and evidence, our Big Projects team have developed a Planning Template (drawn and produced by our wonderful Liz). This tool helps students to refer back to prior thinking, reflect on ideas and to see the many different components /requirements of their Big Project.. getting the big picture. 

Planning Template sheet for our Big Project teams

This template will continue to change and improve over time.  We already have a different layout for the next Big Project planning sessions.  Watching this tool evolve and develop over the year will be interesting... well for me at least!

So with a plan in place, it was time for action....

Our students haven't had much time, but in the 2 weeks they had to plan and put this into 'action' there has been a 'hive of activity' in the school on Tuesdays - Big Project time. 

Some projects our students have been working on include:  

All the amazing project ideas from our Yr 9 students for Moving In

So, lets see the students in action....

Megan's hub making a banner of foundation students and staff

Steve's hub trying to contact Eminem to send a 'good luck' message! 

Bryce's hub making Hobsonville Habit popcorn - chilli flavoured = adventurous!

Pennets designed by students in felt

Some groups worked together from many different hubs

Getting the signage together for our community shared morning tea!

Phew.. so many students engaged and worked hard!  Such a short time frame for this challenge means that students had limited ability to carry out the inquiry and connectedness needed for Big Projects in the future - but innovation and collaboration was found in bucket loads!!!  There have been successes and failures this week - but even when a project falls over, the learning is powerful and students have all understood this and embraced it.  Some have realised the importance of communication and that working together means more than just doing tasks the team needs... there will be plenty to think about when we do our Final Look.  

Tomorrow is Showtime!

Tomorrow we move into the newest school in the world! It will be the first day of this school and this day will never happen again.  Our students have worked hard to make this day as special and memorable as possible (given the limited time and resources) and I am confident they will love every minute.. and the legacy will be long lasting and one they can be proud of...

I'll keep you posted!