By Brenda Lewis, Deputy Principal Kamo Primary School
Kamo Primary is one of the first schools in New Zealand to use IRIS Connect, the leading video and cloud based Professional Learning and Development tool. Follow our journey as we begin to strengthen our teachers, and our school by sharing the excellence that happens around us each day.
Kamo Primary is a decile 5 contributing, co-educational school for Years 0 – 6, located in Kamo West, one of the northern suburbs of Whangarei. Kamo is a medium-sized urban school with a roll range of 450 – 550 students.
Our current staff includes a principal, two deputy principals and two associate principals (which make up the Senior Leadership Team). We also have part-time specialist teachers and 24 classroom teachers.
Our philosophy is based on:
- Excellence and creativity
- Challenging learning experiences
- Understanding and caring for all people
Kamo’s vision is ‘Learning for the Future – Ako mo te wā hou.’ With the aim to prepare students for the future by providing a strong learning foundation and a sense of PRIDE in themselves, their culture and achievements.
Starting the IRIS Connect journey
We were first introduced to IRIS Connect when Cognition Education Consultant, Dianne Ogle spoke about the tool while she was facilitating Mathematics PLD. The more we heard about it, the more we felt it was something we could benefit from as a school, and more importantly, something all staff could use to inform, improve and guide their own professional practice which would, in turn, improve our students’ learning.
Kamo Primary began our IRIS Connect journey in 2019, and to date we have completed training with a number of staff members. These staff are exploring their use of IRIS Connect in the teaching practice in a range of areas and subjects. The intention is that the staff will be the ‘experts’ in the school and will help the remainder of our staff with learning and using the IRIS Connect kit and platform.
At Kamo Primary, we value that IRIS Connect is a tool which captures realistic, living, pure evidence of teaching and learning. When used effectively and in a reflective manner, it has the power to transform teaching and learning, as it is honest in what is captured.
Our Objectives with IRIS Connect
We are working towards IRIS Connect being a tool we use to enhance education for all stakeholders – staff, students and parents.
The main objective our school wants to achieve is to have all staff improve their teaching practice and develop their capability in order to have equitable outcomes for all learners.
The option IRIS Connect provides to belong to other groups means that staff are able to continue their own professional learning in areas of interest to them and at their own pace. We see this tool and platform being used in a range of areas within our school – classroom lessons, meetings, professional discussions, classroom observations to name a few.
IRIS Connect enables our teachers to identify deliberate acts of teaching that make the most impact within a reflective, evaluative cycle. It has the potential to take us to places we have not yet thought of.