Deeper Learning leadership Principalship Ulladulla High School

Changing the ‘Narrative’ My Crazy thoughts for 2014.

Welcome back everyone for another excellent year of learning with our students. I’m excited! 

This little post is coming to you from sunny (its winter) Southern California, and yes it dosent rain here. I hope you all had your time in the sun and are ready, fresh and rearing to go.  We have a fabulous school which will just keep getting better.

There is not one teacher in this school who does not want the best for thier students. We need to ensure we are taking learning on the best path we can. And how are we going to show that, through ‘exhibitions of learning’.

What is project based learning?
What is project based learning?
Make Shift Poetry: A product of a project.
Make Shift Poetry: A product of a project.
Chula Vista on the Mexican Border
Chula Vista on the Mexican Border
Year 11 Student from Chula Vista High
Year 11 Student from Chula Vista High
Projects/Products are all over the campus. Projects of excellence.
Projects/Products are all over the campus. Projects of excellence.

Lets set the Scene.

We have some imperatives we have begun to set down. Call them what you like. But they look like this, they are fluid but a great ‘Narrative’ for us to build.

  • 21st Century Future Skills
  • Teachers are world-class leaders in Learning
  • Real world connections

To begin to achieve our milestones for 2014, we have a couple of whole school initiatives happening, integrated Sport and Project based Learning, among others.

This is the way it works,

“If you don’t want to be involved or do it, that’s fine, but don’t stop those who do want to try new things, from doing it.”

Secondly…. “fry little fish gently” Confucius

Now to a video… (Must Play this one).

(promise you wont laugh?)

From that I say… Project/Product based learning and its many facets. What can it look like? How will it work? How will it improve the quality of our students work? What structures need to be put in place? What is all the fuss about?

This blog post has 3 videos to look at, and 2 links to read. I would love you to engage. But like I said, you don’t have to, that’s ok, however you have to agree not to stop those who want to.


Making the Case for Project Based Learning.


2. A real project by the students at HTH Chula Vista.. beyond the Crossfire.

‘Work that Matters’  A teacher guide to Project Based Learning.



1. Austin’s Butterfly: Building Excellence in Student Work – Models, Critique, and Descriptive Feedback

2. Students speaking about their favourite Project, what was it that made it their favourite, the learning, the quality of the product, the process in producing the product, the teacher. They spoke to a large audience of 120 + people. This is a common thing for them to do, talk about what they learn and study.

HTH Winter Residency Presentations.

Have a good week everyone.

As I see my week. Week 1 Term 1 2014.

Monday: 27th Jan: Research Day and interview blogging.

MOOC Deeper Learning Panel Discussion

Tuesday 28th Jan: San Diego Research High Tech High

Wednesday 29th Jan: Travel to EugeneOregon: San Diego>via Salt Lake City>Eugene ( home of the SImpson)

Thursday 30th Jan; Oregon University Education Online Learning Centre

MOOC- Deeper Learning- Through the Lens of a Classroom Event.

Friday 31st January: Interview Yong Zhao: Entreprenaurial

Saturday 1st Feb: Prepare to Travel Home.

Sunday 2nd Feb; Eugene>Seattle> LA

Monday 3rd Feb: LA>Sydney>Ulladulla

Principal of a fantastic secondary public school where our young people enliven their dreams through a growth mindset to fulfil their potential. Focussed on leadership that makes a difference in my school.

4 comments on “Changing the ‘Narrative’ My Crazy thoughts for 2014.

  1. Donna Miles

    Good to see you on the screen.I love the work they are producing with project based learning but it doesnt necessarily produce good Naplan results. It does produce resourceful adults who can be productive in the workplace, however.

    • deniselofts

      Thank you for your time to make comment. The interesting statistic is in regards to results, they do improve. Students engaged, redrafting, refining, understanding the concept of excellence, multi-layering of skills. A focus on an academic mindset is fostered. Traditional classroom pedagogy will never get the sophistication of thought. The inquisitive, creative mindset is fostered. Initially results do take a little down turn, however the growth and acceleration of improvement is phenomenal.

  2. Reading about, discussing, watching online and visiting schools such as High Tech High, Parramatta Marist, Dandenong HS and the like is really scary because it is not what they are doing now that is impressive (even though it is), it is the foresight they had a decade ago to build the platform and programs we see today. It would have been interesting to see how these ideas materialised. I am theorising that they concentrated on what is possible (or impossible) and spent little time on restrictions such as governments and systems.

    What is our response to change? Avoiding-Apprehensive-Anxious-Afraid-Antagonistic-Aggressive-Angry-ACCEPTING-ANTICIPATING-ACTIVATING-APPLAUDING-ADVOCATING-APPROPRIATING.

    How do we know an idea or program or vision is the right one for us, and then ACCEPT it?

    What will UHS be like in 2024?

    Will travelling academics and Principals visit us one day and marvel at what we have done?

    • deniselofts

      Absolutely Right. Fantastic response. Lets build a ‘narrative’ that is our story for our students and teachers. We can only use what is pertinent to our context and our learners, so that when travelling academics come to us it will be our marvelous ‘Narrative’ and story. I am impressed with your thinking in particular your articulation of change fear response. I believe it is a journey worth taking.

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