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Developing learning stories

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Time: 2:25 mins


Linda King, Assistant Principal, Allenvale School:

"We had heard of Learning Stories back in 2007 and initially people were a little bit reticent because they thought it might be a lot of work. So as a school we saw the importance of it and realised that if we wanted to drive it through the school successfully it would need to be taken slowly with our staff as a new initiative. And so we felt that it was very important that an M-unit was assigned to a teacher or someone to drive it through the school and in doing that it became enormously successful because that person knew the staff, knew how slowly to take the process, to do it in small steps and to get other teachers and leaders, senior teachers, on board with doing supportive work around the Learning Stories. In addition we also assigned release time.

The first year that we looked at the ATOL contract we concentrated on the tool kit and we put staff into teams and teachers that were teaching like groups, and that worked very, very well. So they had all that base to draw upon and so the following year we did workshops and things around, in staff meeting time, we devoted meetings to workshops around Learning Stories. So a little sort of assignment would be given to the teachers: Could you come to the next workshop with a Learning Story, we’re going to focus on…the narrative part, or we’re going to focus on… you know different parts of it. And then we would share in the workshop. And it was wonderful people reading out Learning Stories of different students.

And another wonderful thing too was that teachers like me, who are non-teaching, we can write them whenever we see them as well, so you go into a classroom to do lunch duty or something, and I’ve written them in lunch duty time and you see students helping another student or taking some initiative or something, and so that’s been great. The teachers love them. We have a wall at school, a display wall where learning stories get put up and everybody can read them and the students, they stop and look."