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Cobden School – Developing a Graduate Profile to underpin teaching, learning and assessment

Cobden School.

Cobden School is a small full primary school in Greymouth, on the west coast of the South Island, with a roll of around 150 students.

This story illustrates how Cobden School has worked to improve teaching and learning for the students in its community. 

The Principal, Noula Markham, and the DP, Mandy Dodds, have been working alongside staff on the development of a Graduate Profile over the past couple of years. They read a wide range of educational research, sought advice, visited other schools and deliberately targeted Leadership and Assessment PLD for themselves and their staff. All these actions informed their decision for change.

Profile development

Developing the Graduate Profile

In the development of the Graduate Profile, the school initially consulted with stakeholders (students, teachers, parents and whānau) on what they wanted for their school, a process that took a number of months. Both leaders are adamant that consultation shouldn’t be rushed, that it takes time, and that it’s essential to involve all stakeholders so that they also feel commitment to what is developed.

When the survey responses were consolidated, it was surprising that there was considerable alignment between all stakeholders, students, teachers and parents and whānau. Responses were developed into 10 goals, and from there formed into a Graduate Profile (see below), comprising the dispositions desired in Cobden School students. These dispositions align with the values, principles and key competencies outlined in The New Zealand Curriculum.

The graduate profile includes 10 indicators underpinning each goal. This formed a rubric that includes progressions, emergent to developing to proficient. Of particular note is a description of what each goal looks like for adults within the school community. The school is adamant that everybody should be invested in and striving to live up to the values embedded within the profile, children and adults alike.

Download a copy of the Graduate Profile below.

PDF icon. Cobden - Graduate Profile August 2017 (PDF 81 KB)