High Notes, Vol 17 No 9, April 01 2016
The School Excellence Framework – Part 1
However, when we try to make such assessment of our culture visible, we need to demonstrate how elements of learning culture are measured. There are five elements to be assessed against that standard within the learning domain.
Learning Culture. “In schools that excel, school culture demonstrates the building of educational aspiration and ongoing improvement across its community. Students take responsibility for their ongoing learning.” (We rated ourselves as sustaining and growing). We haven’t demonstrated yet how there is a school-wide collective responsibility for student learning and success, with high levels of student, staff and community engagement. We will have to make relationships and how they work more visible and show how collective responsibility for learning and student engagement is a school-wide concern.
Wellbeing “In schools that excel, there is a strategic and planned approach to support the cognitive, emotional, social, physical and spiritual wellbeing of all students.” (We rated ourselves as delivering). We have many structures in place to support our students in all their endeavours. We have teams of teachers, pull-out programs, an educational philosophy with two compatible implementation models and a really wide range of student achievements. We are hard markers and need to find ways to measure improvement in individual and collective wellbeing. Also, judging the effective use of expertise and resources is difficult.
Curriculum and Learning “In schools that excel, an integrated approach to quality teaching, curriculum planning and delivery and assessment, promotes learning excellence and responsiveness in meeting the learning needs of all students.” (We rated ourselves as sustaining and growing). It is difficult to quantify effectiveness in the development of knowledge, understanding and skills in all students – a rigorous test indeed. Using evidenced-based teaching practices with known effect sizes in research, would give us greater confidence that all students were benefitting from our practices.
Assessment and Reporting “In schools that excel, consistent, school-wide practices for assessment and reporting are used to monitor, plan and report on student learning across the curriculum.” (We rated ourselves as sustaining and growing). We felt strong on this element but measuring student use of reflection on assessment and reporting to plan their learning has not yet become sophisticated or widespread enough in our school. We have embedded practices to engage parents and help them understand the learning progress of their sons but more support strategies for parents trying to help their children learn need to be communicated. We hope that our PEWCC skills reporting, commencing in Year 7, will help to start a stronger conversation with parents about learning.
Student Performance Measures “In schools that excel, students consistently perform at high levels on external and internal performance measures.” (We rated ourselves as excelling). Our boys perform at high levels in HSC tests and there are strong value added results overall. The equity groups performance is very close to the performance of all students in the school. We still have work to do to reach our student growth targets in the Junior School but overall this element is strong for us.
Sydney Boys Team Travel Fund – ASF
Students! Make Sure Your Voice is Heard!
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