A curriculum design journey

by Bernadette Newlands

Report overview

At Macandrew Bay School the revised New Zealand Curriculum was a vehicle for growing leadership capability and strengthening the staff culture of learning together.

In her project report principal Bernadette Newlands writes about the influence that Peter Senge’s book The Fifth Discipline (1990) has had on the way she thinks about learning communities. She describes how she brought this to bear on the process the school used as it worked through a school-based curriculum design and implementation.

Reflective questions

These reflective questions might guide you in your reading of this report:

  • With other leaders in your school, or with an adviser, consider the strengths that each of your teachers could contribute to a school-wide initiative that builds on your teaching and learning strengths to improve outcomes for each student. In order to build genuine respect for each other’s capabilities work out ways to share this information with staff in order to build confidence and trust amongst them.
  • Bernadette Newlands focused on her role as a fellow learner with her staff. She concentrated on the quality of ako. What qualities of leadership are your particular strengths in leading teaching and learning in your school? What qualities do you need to build in yourself in order to strengthen your leadership? How can you gain support to develop those areas?
  • At Macandrew Bay School they decided on a number of professional learning experiences to assist them: external experts, conference attendance, School Support courses, teacher-only days are some examples. What professional learning opportunities will you plan for to support you, individual staff, and the staff as a whole, as you work to strengthen teaching and learning across the school?
  • School initiatives to strengthen teaching and learning, and improve learning outcomes for all students also provide opportunities for staff through the school to ‘step up’ to leadership roles. As you plan for implementation of initiatives in your school who are the people who could provide leadership for it, and how will you provide opportunities for them to develop leadership skills?

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