Monday, October 31, 2016

Fall News (and how to submit your inquiry focus)

You know what’s exciting about this school year? Inquiry and team work seems to be a buzz all over the province! We’ve already heard from quite a few of you asking about how to submit your inquiry plans for this year – we love it when you are a step ahead of us!

So without further ado, here it is – the 2016– 2017 NOII/AESN Inquiry Proposal Template. This is up on our website too. Similar to last year, the process is streamlined. School teams use the template to submit their inquiry focus at the beginning of the year (due November 25th) and then submit case studies at the end of the year to document their experience and learning. Please share this template with your colleagues. It may also be helpful to review these helpful notes on the Spiral of Inquiry as well as the Four Key Questions for Scanning and Checking.

We also have lots of news to share – both from our recent Network Leader’s Meeting as well as all the interesting collaborations and events we have lined up for this year. If you haven’t already, please take a look at our Fall 2016 Network Newsletter for an update.

Finally, the 2015 – 2016 case studies are now posted on our website – see both NOII and AESN focused inquiries. For now, the case studies are listed in alpha order by school name, but we’re excited to let you know that we are in the process of planning for a new Network website! One of our ‘wish list’ items that we’ve heard from many of you is to have a searchable database for all the rich case studies documenting school learning. This will help to more easily and quickly see what other schools are working on and connect with school teams working on similar inquiries. We’ll work to incorporate that into our new site, but also welcome your feedback on other ways you’d like to use the site or access information. Please contact Sarah with your suggestions at

Monday, October 17, 2016

Update from Network Leader Meeting

Earlier this month we held a Network Leaders meeting in Vancouver, with over 40 educators from across the province gathered to deepen our conversations about inquiry and planning our Network activities for this school year.

As a Network, we discussed how we might put more formal coaching practices into place this year, with Leaders taking on coaching roles within and across districts. Lynne Tomlinson shared this helpful document outlining an approach to coaching calls that Leaders can use with Network school teams. We think you will find her 5-4-3-2-1 framework provides a very accessible approach to coaching calls. We also had one of our colleagues – Rosie Palmer – from the Whole Education Network (WEN) in the UK share how they have been structuring support for their schools engaging in the Spirals of Inquiry through coaching. Rosie kindly shared her presentation with us, which outlines their approach. She also provided some good insight and tips, including sending out a simple agenda ahead of the call in order to allow everyone to think about the discussion ahead of time. Both of these resources will be helpful as you plan your coaching practices this year.  Rosie noted that one of the most common coaching questions they engage is “what are the learners telling you?”

We also heard from our Network colleagues in Australia – David Sim and Natalie Mansour. They joined us via videoconference to share how their Network activities are shaping up this year. Earlier in their school year, they hosted an inquiry “master class” led by Judy and Linda, supporting educators to get started get started with the Spirals and plan their inquiries. They have several Network events planned throughout the year, including a full day of pro-d around the Spirals of Inquiry as well as videoconferences showing good practice in action. They will also be hosting first Australia Network Symposium in July 2017 – very exciting!! We’ll share more details soon.

A few articles and books were mentioned as reading for professional learning over the coming weeks. Learn more about the Expeditionary Learning Model by reading this article. Expeditionary Learning is built on ten design principles that reflect the educational values and beliefs of Kurt Hahn, founder of Outward Bound. Also, explore Gregory Cajete’s Rekindling the Teachings of the Seventh Fire – a good book club selection for school teams.

Please also remember to save the date for our BC Network Symposium on May 12 – 13, 2016 in Richmond. We anticipate a full house again this year, so ensure you register early. We’ll let you know when registration opens early in 2017.