Bonding, Circles and Being in the Zone!

Pretty cool week since my last blog (surprise). So much has gone on both activity wise and in my brain. Once again sectioning it out to help the process come along.  As didn’t achieve my goal of blogging more regularly. My brain was tired.


The two site visits to Ormiston and Albany Senior High at the end of last week were pretty choice. At that stage we had spent a good couple of weeks envisioning what our ideas and values would look like in practice and it was a great opportunity to see some of these in the flesh. I was really impressed by  the learning environment and came away with lots of questions. The teams were so open and reflective on their process and the opportunities and challenges that exist in such an environment. Having that opportunity to have such honest conversations with people walking the walk was great! Often schools can be really closed to each other and the  community. This was certainly NOT the case with either Albany or Ormiston. We have so much to gain and learn from each others experiences and it’s a great relationship that has been established early on! I came away impressed with how they have managed to tackle the assessment question but also VERY thankful to say that we don’t have to worry about assessment yet when our new whanau walk in the door early next year! This will give us the luxury of focussing on embedding our Habits and working on personal excellence as well as the academic.



It had been a busy week for Maurie, Lea, Di and Claire. So Monday was an wicked opportunity to come back together and explore. The art trail exploration set up by Lea and the design thinking session organised by Di were fun, challenging and pretty wicked. I even almost completed the trifecta of bus, ferry and train all in one day… almost.

Our competitive sides came out in the Waterfront Discovery art trail challenge! My knack for expression through body form and the teams creativity meant we were the clear winners (despite the disagreement of the other team). Our beautiful product is in the link below. However, winnings not important (wink) and it was all about participation on the day?!

The design thinking course at NZTE with  Peter Harrison from Better by Design was pretty challenging, and inspiring!! I came home wanting to take the design approach when approaching every situation within my renovation programme! So simple, fun and helpful! Wicked work by that team!

Finishing the ‘life explanations’ with the team on Wednesday. Was sad as it has been so fun and interesting hearing everyones stories and inspirations. The key to relationships is knowing people and we’re getting comfortable pretty quick which these opportunities to share have helped develop!


Circles & GPILSEO

Using the circle process or ‘our circles’ as some of us have begun to name it (although we probably should make sure we credit Julia) have become a regular appearance in daily life at HPSS. The perfect way to move from the values/beliefs to the principles and practices. Difficult at first but such a necessary way of making sure first of all..

  1. You know why your doing something
  2. How it’s going to look within our school/community
  3. The particular practices we will need to embed to ensure this happens.

Some evidence of those we have done can be seen below. A definite work in progress but such a useful tool!!

IMG_5775 Circles

GPILSEO was introduced to us by Maurie yesterday morning. What a productive session. A great way for us to get back together as a team and nut out what’s important to us and how we make sure our mission is sustained within the school. Also nice to see where all the bits and pieces we have been working away on sit within the puzzle. GPILSEO will now be on my wall (don’t tell Alison) reminding me that without all pieces of the puzzle it’s just an awkward picture that doesn’t feel right.


Being in the Zone…

If we didn’t have such a wicked day on Monday I would’ve said this mornings session was my fave so far. Man I love Billy Elliot and watching that clip really inspired me as to the importance of providing somewhere where students can explore their passions and get in their Zone. A picture collage of our representations of what we look/feel like when we’re in the zone is below. Even this was a great way to locate that feeling.

For me being in the zone is not doing Ballet…my mum (Debbie) said i danced like an elephant and was never very feminine…cheers mum. For me it’s sharing my passions with other people,  steam trains, cooking, laughing with my husband & brother (a regularity), engaging in someones history/experiences and bowling that wicked shot that makes my bumpy grin at Indoor Bowls. Even though I have many versions of my zone, the feelings are the same. I engage in my passions without anyone judging me or questioning the relevance, and if they do, i don’t care. Our kids need to feel the same. Ensuring our learning is truly personalised and responsive will help this happen.

In the zone

So thursday week 4…random pondering’s from my brain;

  • It’s about relationships!
  • Our team is really coming together, developing friendships, getting comfortable, challenging each other and still quirky 🙂
  • The book i’m reading…’One Kid at a Time’ Eliot Levine…AMAZING!! Blog summary to come soon. Everyone should read this book!


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