Data and relationships

Published: 11 Jun 2017
Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua


The data helps you build the relationship and the relationship helps you look closely at the data.

Data and information about teaching and learning is made highly visible and the interpretation and response are a collaborative process. Leaders and teachers reflect on the role of data in professional relationships and how an open approach builds capability and confidence to respond to the challenges that need to be addressed.

Key messages:

  • Achievement data is consistently made visible within a safe and collaborative environment
  • The consistency and usefulness of the data is a prerequisite to constructive conversations about what it means and potential next steps
  • Respectful collaboration and shared solution seeking are features of determining a way forward that ‘adds to your kete’ and the mana of teachers.

Things to think about:

  • What role does data play in building a shared sense of purpose and direction?
  • What processes might you further develop to better support improved outcomes?

The evaluation indicators this video illustrates

  • Domain 5: Professional capability and collective capacity
    • Evaluation indicator
      • Systematic, collaborative inquiry processes and challenging professional learning opportunities align with the school vision goals and targets
      • Organisational structures, processes and practices enable and sustain collaborative learning and decision making 
  • Domain 6: Evaluation Inquiry and knowledge building for improvement and innovation
    • Evaluation indicator
      • Collective capacity to do and use evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building sustains improvement and innovation

This video is part of a series

This video is part of the series Improvement in Action Te Ahu Whakamua. We created this series to inspire schools with examples of success in action. These examples highlight the benefits of fulfilling the evaluation indicators we use to review schools.

The full video series can be found here.

Remote video URL

(The video opens on a school office. Two women and a man sit at a small table with laptops and folders full of papers, speaking quietly among themselves. A man’s voice speaks in voiceover.)


We started with realising the robustness of the data.


(The camera zooms in on one of the woman’s faces, then back to the wider meeting.)


It wasn't there, so we put some systems in place to be able to make that happen.


(We now see the speaker sitting in font of the camera, a school library shelf behind him. Text along the bottom of the screen reads, “Stan Tiatia, Principal, Invercargill Middle School”. He is the man present at the meeting.)


And then when we had reliable data, we were able to talk about that.


(Switching back to the office, a woman now speaks in voiceover as the meeting continues.)


The two most important things when working with other teachers is data and relationships. And they sound opposite, but they're actually not.


(The camera now shows the women speaking, sitting in the school library. Text on the bottom of the screen reads, “Katie Pennicott, Deputy Principal Invercargill Middle School.”)


They actually go together, because the data helps you build the relationship and the relationship helps you look closely at the data.

They're both really important together.


(As Katie says “look closely” the scene changes to a meeting in an office. A group of nine adults sit around a large table, each with a Macbook laptop in front of them. The camera zooms in on one of the screens, displaying a spreadsheet full of text.)


Having consistency in the data builds the relationship, because we know that we're communicating about the same thing.


(As her voiceover continues the camera shows Katie at the meeting, gesturing as she speaks. It then zooms back out to show the whole room.)


And it also empowers us to look closely at what's happening.


(A different woman’s voice now speaks in voiceover. The camera shifts angles to show Stan Tiatia sitting among the people at the second meeting.)


We have lots of systems and procedures, for us, as teachers.

We have planning sheets weeks one, five, and nine.


(The woman speaking now sits in the school library speaking to the camera. Text along the bottom of the screen reads, “Matalaoa Taito, Year 5/6 teacher, Invercargill Middle School”. She is the woman sitting next to Stan at the second meeting.)


And that means that we're sharing our planning, we're collaborating, we're making sure we're on the right track.


(Returning to Matalaoa at the second meeting, she speaks to the group as her voiceover continues.)


We have our wedge graph meetings to check that our kids are succeeding.


(The camera shows the computer screen again, then zooms out to show the wider meeting.)


And we have discussions if they're not making progress, well, what can we do? How do we achieve where they need to get to?


(We return to Stan Tiatia sitting in the library. As he says “held”, the camera shows a close-up of a graph filled in with yellow highlighter, along with a woman’s hands.)


The wedge graphs are a part of the monitoring book that's held in the staffroom and everyone's wedge graphs are in that book.


(Zooming out, we see the three adults at the first meeting looking over the graph while speaking among themselves, then back to the graph. Stan’s voiceover continues.)


So every class has the reading, writing, and maths wedge graphs, but also has the action plans for those that are achieving below the national standard.


(The camera shows a close-up of one of the woman’s faces, then back out to the meeting.)


The reason we have it in the staffroom and not online or in my office is to be like a cultural symbol, that we all own the kids.


(As he says “cultural symbol”, the camera briefly returns to him in the library. We then switch to Katie Pennicott in the library, speaking into the camera.)


If we look at our data in our meeting and the child hasn't moved in that area, then we might talk about that together: Well, what could we try? What have you tried? What would you like to try? And everybody contributes to that discussion.


(Her voiceover continues as the camera switches back to the second meeting, where she speaks while gesturing at a large drawing of a hamburger.)


And then that teacher is able to write that down, and go away, and say, right, now I know what I'm going to try this time.


(The other people nod as they listen.)


So it's empowering them.


(We return to Katie in the library.)


Rather than being a negative, it's a positive, and it's coming from that additive place again. What can we add to your kete so that you are able to move their child forward.