Aspiring Middle Leadership Programme
The Aspiring Middle Leadership Programme takes place in Terms 1 and 2. It is intended for anyone who has an interest in developing their middle-leadership potential at a pastoral or academic level. The programme has a personalised leadership inquiry-based style, over a period of six months. With a combined approach of educational research, reflection, and discussion forums each term, our intent is that the group will conclude their key findings of their inquiry focus with a presentation at the end of the programme.
Topics covered in the programme include: self-awareness, leadership styles, team building, open to learning conversations, growth coaching, mentoring and supporting staff.
Provisionally Certified Teacher Programme
The PCT programme runs weekly every Tuesday morning before school for all first- and second-year teachers. Aligning with the professional teaching standards, the sessions provide our PCTs with extra support with a clear focus on the Westlake context. There are a variety of staff presenters, but the programme is organising and overseen by Joe Cachopa, Kelly Easton, Jude Arbuthnot and Casey de Wit.
Topics covered in the programme include: knowing your learners, teaching standards, digital technology, behaviour management strategies, boys’ education, supporting students emotionally, pastoral care, report writing, supporting international students, pedagogical approaches.
Group mentoring of Provisionally Certified Teachers
WBHS use a group mentoring approach for our teachers new to the profession. Once a week, teachers meet in the Centre in a small group of 2 or 3 with their Mentor. The philosophy behind this approach is a wraparound support system from an experienced teacher mentor and other beginning teachers. Time is dedicated in the timetable to this programme, and it has been a huge success in developing the capabilities and confidence of our PCTs. Mentoring is facilitated by Jude Arbuthnot, Kelly Easton, Casey de Wit and Joe Cachopa.
Whole Staff Professional Development
In 2023 we have timetabled two full staff Professional Development sessions a term. Two Thursdays a term the students begin their school day later so that staff have dedicated time to focus on their professional learning. The whole staff PD is coordinated by Casey de Wit and runs with four strands throughout the year. These strands link to our school strategic intent. This year, they are: Mixed Ability Teaching and Learning, Bi-Culturalism, NCEA changes and Faculty goals. Each session has a clear focus, allows for discussion with colleagues and gives staff practical ideas that they can implement in the classroom immediately.
Bite-size Professional Development
Bite-size PD has been well attended in 2023. The popular, short, and voluntary drop-in sessions run after and before school in The Centre for Excellence. The sessions are run by staff for staff and often have a practical implementation. Casey de Wit co-ordinates these sessions which are run by staff who often have a passion for a specific area of pedagogy or who may have recently been on a PD course outside of Westlake and want to share their experiences and ideas. Sessions this year have been: Te Reo Pronunciation, Excel, Classroomscreen, AI Prompt engineering and toolkit, Microsoft To Do, Junior Behaviour Management, Chinese name Pronunciation and many more.
Prior to 2020, the centre embarked on an Action Research programme for staff. Closely following the programme run by the International Boys School Coalition, a small group of staff began their research with their students with the Leaders of Learning in the centre mentoring them through the process. Unfortunately, lockdowns and subsequent events did affect the competition of these projects. Charlie Meredith and Lucy Anderson did however manage to complete their Action Research and their findings can be found here.
In term 3 of 2022, we will be relaunching the WBHS Action Research scheme and will be looking for interested staff to begin new projects. Conor Pearson and Andrea Dawber are currently undertaking Action Research with the IBSC and will be presenting their findings at the IBSC conference in 2023. Jude Arbuthnot is currently mentoring them through this process.
As future staff complete Action Research we will share their findings here.
We now have a significant proportion of staff who have been trained as Growth Coaches. In previous years, these staff have supported our Aspiring Middle Leaders on their leadership journeys. We will continue to offer the opportunity to participate in Growth Coaching Professional Development to our staff. Also, any member of staff who would like to work through the process of growth coaching, can now directly approach one of our trained Coaches. We hope that the initiative will further support our teachers professionally.
|This year Casey de Wit has continued to work with the prefects of 2023 to develop their leadership skills and potential as leaders. There is a continual need to develop our students as well as our staff and that their growth, as leaders is just as important as our staff's.|
The PD for Prefects is aimed at developing their leadership journey, looking at how they can accomplish the goals they set, having a strong connection with the junior school and hearing from leaders outside of a school context, so that they can leave with the honour of making an impact on our school.
At the start of 2022 a Book Club of 55 staff members was established. The book club is centered around texts that contribute to the professional growth of educators, covering topics like pedagogical techniques, educational theories, classroom management, and subject-specific advancements, specifically for boys.
Our Book Club includes staff members from various departments who participate in a rich discussion post reading. Our meetings foster a collaborative environment where diverse perspectives are shared. The cross curricular of ideas can lead to innovative teaching approaches and a unified educational philosophy within the school. Texts that we have read so far are: Better Boys, Better Men by Andrew Reiner, Tools for Teacher by Oliver Lovell, Boys don't Try? By Matt Pinkett and Mark Roberts and Boys do Cry by Matt Pinkett.