Growing Great Leaders Level 2

“ Linda and Kelly are approachable and relatable. Their knowledge is invaluable and their method of delivering content through engaging discussion inspires others to share and participate. ”

“ Expert. Can answer questions and explain when required to. Highly credible. ”

“ Many things presented and plenty of food for thought. Good quality resource book with all the slides and room for notes. Really useful templates. ”

“ Chance to sum up with own colleagues and reiterate / check road ahead. ”

Growing Great Leaders™ Level 2

The Growing Great Leaders™ Level 2 course is open to any group of two or more leaders from within a school who have a team member that has ideally completed level 1 Growing Great Leaders™ and/or are in the position of leading or participating in a Kāhui Ako, and are:

  • committed to carrying out a cycle of inquiry, learning and action (Timperley, Kaser & Halbert 2014)
  • prepared to focus closely on a defined school-based problem area that needs to improve throughout the year
  • prepared to collect data and share progress on that problem as part of school strategic planning which is a focus of the course.

This course offers research-based professional development with direct relevance to participants’ own leadership and school/community development. Growing Great Leaders™ level 2 uses real-life problems from schools or communities of schools, and guides participants through the process of improvement while developing competence and skills in particular aspects of the improvement puzzle.  Sessions will guide teams through the cycle of inquiry, learning and action, involve everyone in reporting on the steps they have taken in-between sessions and provide the opportunity for group critique and advice.

Course Details
Case Studies

Growing Great Leaders™ Level 2: Auckland

2021 dates

  • 27 May
  • 5 July
  • 16 August

Register Now >

Times: 9:30am - 3:30pm

Cost: $1450 + GST each (or 10% discount for 3 or more participants)

Venue: Kohia Centre, Faculty of Education and Social Work, 78 Epsom Avenue, Epsom, Auckland

RA-PLD: To access this workshop using Regionally-Allocated PLD hours contact Colin Donald:
Phone: +64 27 886 4678

We encourage three or more people to attend from each enrolling organisation. Feedback from our workshops suggests that the learning is most valuable and has the greatest impact, when a team of three or more from a school attend together. A 10% discount applies.

Please note however that these dates may be subject to change; our website will show our current course schedule, or please feel free to contact Colin Donald
Phone: +64 27 886 4678

Growing Great Leaders covers five modules. Each module is aligned to the student-centred leadership model and is designed to provide both theoretical and practical application for the educational context. 


MODULE 1: Spiral of Inquiry, Learning and Action

Gain an overview of how the year will work. Gain an understanding of the process of effective inquiry (Timperley, Kaser & Halbert, 2014) and the principles that sit behind it. Start planning how you will scan your context to check the current quality of learning. Participants will bring data to support an inquiry approach that may focus either on how they are meeting the aspirations of Māori in their school or another inquiry that has been identified based on school evidence.


MODULE 2: Leading Improvement and Change in your school

After reporting on progress with identifying an understanding of the educational problem you are focused on; this module considers more widely how evidence and data is used strategically as part of school systems and reporting. It also addresses classroom cultural responsiveness, sustaining pedagogical practices, and assessment for learning practices that have the biggest impact on student learning and achievement and places a spotlight on those practices in your own school.


MODULE 3: Ensuring Quality Teaching

This module examines the research on culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogical practices and teaching effectiveness and how you can activate the most appropriate research theories in your own school. You will consider the most impactful teaching strategies and the degree to which teaching in your school includes those strategies. You will have a process for identifying the levels of variation within your school and your role in effective programming and monitoring of outcomes during the year and your key leadership actions to achieve this. We then share progress on your individual educational problems and critique steps you are taking and support you in deciding on next steps in the process.


MODULE 4: Annual Planning

Using what you have learnt from the year’s work, you have the opportunity to strategically think, plan and start to develop your next improvement steps into a plan for the following year, using data from your context.


MODULE 5: Leading Improvement

Bringing the year’s work to conclusion, we reflect on what we have learnt, where we have gone wrong, and how to pick up the pace in the next year.  We reflect on the inter-personal skills required to gain the personal commitment of others to make the school or organisational goals, personal goals of all involved – teachers, students, parents, community.

Anna Ready and Rob Griffiths, St Cuthbert’s College

Anna and Rob.png

What did you enjoy about the Growing Great Leaders™ Course?

The course was both practical and useful: practical in the sense that it considered real life situations and useful in the sense that it gave us a range of techniques to approach our responsibilities. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet teachers in other schools who came with entirely different perspectives and situations on the same issues. It opened your eyes to the world of education outside your own school. It exposed us to the different ways of establishing team dynamics and leading members of your team more effectively in a way that builds relational trust. As a new HOD, the module on resourcing strategically really helped to clarify how to weigh up different priorities while at the same time creating a cohesive staff. Whereas the module on relational trust was particularly well timed because it coincided with changes to our own department structure so we could utilise some of the strategies discussed in the course.

What value did you see in having four from your middle leadership team attend together?

It is the best way to gain benefit from the course because it allows you to discuss examples in a familiar context with your colleagues and gain different perspectives on the same issue. It also allows you to establish a unified voice when it comes to bringing about change. We have grown together as a group of teachers from the same school whose responsibilities do not overlap and so the course has given us a chance to interact on issues, which affect our professional lives.

What have you been able to take from the course and implement back at school level?

Immediately after the Solving Complex Problems module, we utilised the strategies we had been taught in a full staff meeting, with each of us leading a small team through the process using the template to address a common issue. Instead of jumping straight to solutions, it forced us to re-consider the actual problem and its causes. The Strategic Resourcing module gave me the knowledge and confidence to bring about positive staffing changes within my department. The Relational Trust module prepared us effectively for more professional development on this topic but also gave us the tips needed to discuss difficult situations while maintaining each person’s sense of self-worth.

How did you find the delivery of the course?

The pace of delivery was perfect: enough time for conversation but fast enough to remain stimulated. The course was really well structured in the way that it was spread over a period of time and so gave us the chance to reflect and put into practice what we had learned. It meant that we could also share ideas and ask each other for help back at school in between the courses. Colin and Linda were a brilliant combination of practical experience and its theoretical basis. They were an engaging, informative and knowledgeable pair who brought great vitality to the course.

Would you advise other schools to attend Growing Great Leaders™?

We highly recommend this course. It is a rewarding and fulfilling experience, which will broaden your understanding of what it takes to become an effective educational leader.