Developing Scholarship as our new normal.

I keep threatening this idea that all of our senior students will complete scholarship pages as normal practice. The reality of making sense of this exam in Visual Arts is in fact, exhausting. At least I found it so.

For the second time in the time I have been at Hornby High School, we had a student submit a scholarship work book for painting. The work was beautiful, but the pages were regenerated based on work she had done to fit the exam. So she entered it blind.

The focus was on her completing the folio with an excellence (you cannot be considered for scholarship unless you first attain excellence in the field you are submitting for). And she did that. But missed out on the scholarship. The most beautiful Excellence board I have seen though maybe I am biased, as she was also one of the most beautiful people to know as well. 

Why are we doing this?

Three good reasons why;

1) If it is normal, it is achievable. High expectations allow for higher achievement, you get what you expect and that is in line with Carol C. Dweck's mindset theories too
2) Again being fed up with the idea that we can't because of the stigma of being in the wrong area of a not that big city anyway... my blood boils over that one. 
3) The tools we have with GaFE and digital learning, the support of Manaiakalani in developing resources, lends us to be able to support learners to achieve this exam with more surety. So why on earth wouldn't we? If we were encouraged to have low expectations of our learners and ourselves, I suppose we may not... that is to to be our pathway though. 

So the development of such a plan for our learners here begins. 

Steps in the process:

- Reaching out to other schools who already offer a scholarship programme without offering a scholarship class (I feel that defeats the whole purpose of what a scholarship is, though I do understand that many schools see this as a highly competitive thing that adds a special kudos to their wider community)
- Breaking down Scholarship into meaningful chunks of understanding and clearly relating them to how our students learn throughout the year, so they can be completed in real time alongside real work.
- Making sure all resources and supports are ubiquitous and accessible online
- Using SAMR appropriately to support online development. 

Now onto do the work. 

I'm starting with moving our site into the new google sites platform, within that, it may well just be easier to develop scholarship resources, as we are starting afresh somewhat. As e-learning is a role I already have, making the switch to the new platform is in my best interests.


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