NoTosh and Plans………

We spent the evening fleshing out further plans with NoTosh. Much of that involved just getting to know each other really. It was as important as they understand us as it is that we understand them. We talked to Tom and another of the team joined us as well – Hamish. Then, over drinks down at the Beach Bar, we met the whole team including Ewan Mcintosh, the found of NoTosh.

As part of this conversation we talked to Steve Borthwick (twitter: steve_borthwick) who is a principal from a group of school who have been working with NoTosh for the last 2 years as part of a project on design thinking. He discussed with us things they have put in place as a result of their work with NoTosh.

Specifics of their initial PD working with NoTOSH: one day face-face with all staff
one day with all teachers from each ‘stage’ together with Tom to do some planning.

Other things they have done:

20% time or Genius Time with three teachers taking a whole one day release per fortnight for each year level with each group of students working on student driven projects.  As a school we have experimented with this under the banner of The Legacy Project see here.

This project for this school actually takes up 10% of their time – resulting in students receiving day per fortnight of student driven learning and teachers having one day a fortnight of release at this same time. This was 2 thirds funded as in NSW they are entitled to 2 hours per week non-contact. This amounted to 4 hours per fornight with the rest of the one day topped up by the school.  This time for the teachers included an action research project of their choice. This was funded for a 6 week period and if there wasn’t work being done on this project, the time for this did not continue.  Many of their work is shared within a Google form….and we will be given information to enable us to access these resources.  Steve also talked about the opportunity for us to visit him and the other three schools in Sydney.

Can we do this? Can we work with our current model of release and justify giving children 10% of their time for an authentic inquiry learning model with design thinking at its heart?  Can this model be implemented alongside support from NoTosh as we use design thinking to get staff engaging with the curriculum and inquiry pedagogy in deep and meaningful ways?

Nicola currently provides 1 day QUEST and we have 2 other teachers doing this. We have non-contact provided in the form of Science. Can we do this? What kind of shift it is going to take to achieve this?

My first thoughts about what this achieves and what this brings together (from what we know and what we have trialled and what we know is important).

  • students being given the opportunity to work within an inquiry and design thinking framework – true motivators of autonomy, mastery and purpose visible here.
  • whilst in this framework, they are able to achieve ‘being in the flow’ which has been mentioned in literature as being important for learning
  • teachers being given the opportunity for  full day release and also action research. We know teachers being involved in action research is a key indicator for progression.
  • Teachers having time to share, converse and learn from each other is crucial and this model achieves this in a non-segmented way – full day release one day a fortnight.
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