Video transcript – Project NEST

Tracey Breese, Principal:
My name's Tracey Breese and I'm the Principal at

Kurri Kurri High School, very proud to be associated with all of the shifts in learning that we have happening here, and our future focused programs, especially in our year seven hub area.

So our vision for teaching and learning is to produce knowledgeable, creative, collaborative students of the future, who are well balanced citizens and walk out in to the world knowing their skill base. And that can be skilled from across any area.

So one of our key things it to make sure that every child here reaches their potential. So Project NEST stands for nurturing excellence in students and teachers, and so I decided that the starting point should be year seven, because I believe that year seven come in with no knowledge of high school, and no knowledge of old structures and that that’s the best starting point then for staff to really say, alright how do we introduce and embed new protocols, new explicit teaching models, and some really high order thinking through projects and project based learning, like driving questions, like managing differentiation, like having teachers working collaboratively and cooperatively in the same space.

The vision of the team that we started with, really reframing the way that this school is structured and managed.

So one of those things, one of the first things that I did was actually employ a head teacher, teaching and learning, to really shift the emphasis to teacher quality. And using that person to start the conversations with staff around what teacher quality, and what ordered practise in classroom's looked like.

Tina Pratt, Deputy Principal:
I think one of the biggest ways that it has been supported is allowing staff the opportunity to collaborate across different faculties that we have broken down some of those silos and we have started to really look at staff learning from each other as they plan. But not only as they plan, but as they then co-teach together.

David Buswell, Head Teacher TAS:
Initially some of the challenges were around our spaces in our learning environment, which we gave responsibility to the students for, which they did very well in terms of turning that around in to, to being in a space now where they feel comfortable. They know where to go, they are in a routine, and they are happy.

Geoff Allen, Maths Teacher:
It is a challenge to keep behaviour management the way you want it when you have got such a big group of people, because they have got the freedom to move around more than you would like sometimes, and we have other people coming and going from their environment as well. Other classes, computer classes and stuff, which can make it difficult.

Jeremy Rennex, Head Teacher, Teaching and Learning:
So our hub spaces are more than just funky furniture. Our furniture allows the flexibility for kids to get a little pod together and work in a group, but it also allows our teachers to break them out into larger groups. We have project walls, so kids are really clear and understand where they are going with their projects. So our spaces have been a very important part of our hubs.

So technology is playing a pivotal role in our year seven hubs, our kids engage with technology every lesson. It plays a really important part in teaching and learning.

We use Onenote a lot and our laptops.

Back in public school, there'd just be like one there'd be like a, maybe like two or three laptops, that you can use for like a whole class. You know, in high school, you can have your own. You don't have to worry about it here.

Being on the hubs helps me learn for the more teamwork that we get to do, and less individual stuff, so I get more people to help me with my work and stuff.

Lisa Scobie, Teaching and Learning:
Parental engagement in school is one of the strongest indicators for student success and achievement. We made sure that they are informed and understood where we were heading and why we were heading in that direction.

David and Kristy Harris (Parents):
I guess that our biggest concern was sending Owen from a small primary school up to a high school where primary schools were fairly involved and now we're shipping him off to high school and we've taken a backwards step and we just want to make sure he getting that sort of level of education that we were hoping for.

Lisa Scobie:
We've started this 7/360 interview process so that is a student lead conference and parents make an appointment. They come in and they spend 15 minutes. Their child has a portfolio of work and they explain to their parent exactly what they have learned, what they need to learn, what their goals are, what they are proud of, what they think they could do better in to the future, and this is something that we’ll be holding each term, so that students can develop that really authentic skill of being able to explain their learning to other people.

We got to tell them not just what we were struggling with, but what we were improving.

Tracey Breese:
We are working very hard with the community to try and embed new practises around schooling so that schooling is important to our students, and they see it as a door to opportunity.

End of transcript

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