Organising for action

Staff from this Australian primary school talk about how they organised for taking action by attending to the important issues of developing collaborative processes and weekly team planning.


Things that we are doing to take action …

Creating a culture of collaboration

I guess, the major things have been creating that culture of collaboration. So, we no longer have our two teams. We have team planning. We have our PLCs all together. So, really trying to build that. And, that’s been our big focus all year.

So that’s been one aspect … Using our professional readings … 

Using the Spiral of inquiry

The spiral  and using that as a tool of school improvement. So, it’s not a programme we’re doing. It’s not something that we go away and do when we come to these days. We’re using it as a tool for us to improve.

Common formative assessments 

The development of common formative assessments across the school. These things may have been happening in pockets of the school or in separate teams but it is now something that happens across the school for everyone and we do that together.

Creating a continuum

So, when we first met with Bernadette, I think it was the last time we were here, we almost wanted to rewrite the curriculum … it was looking huge! So, we’ve kept it simple. We’ve used the AusVELS and we’ve used that to create ourselves a continuum across the school. So, that’s normal for us now, and that’s something we’d like to take into other areas and other subjects.

Essential learnings

Something else that we’ve been working on is our essential learnings, from foundation to year 8. Coupled with our continuum that we now have … [For example] at the level of foundation, every single student, by the end of the year, will have these understandings of place value.

So that’s been something we’ve been working on … and how we’ve been taking action. So, it’s more sort of as a staff and PLC development and now we’re looking into what actual change will happen in that classroom, which is what Suzie will talk about.

Where to next?

What is effective teaching of place value?

Peer coaching. So, us observing each other and feeling comfortable with that, for someone to come in and say, ‘Hey, that’s great. Let’s try this this time.’

Just at our staff meeting, our PLC meeting last night, other staff members quite happy to say, ‘Hey, I’ve got this great website. It’s got brilliant activities on it for the kids,’ you know, ‘It fits in with our essential learnings, try this.’ So, there’s certainly a lot more talk about place value as a staff.

Where to from here? We’re going to, obviously, do the post-test across the whole school again, look at our data, and assess where we need to go. We haven’t done the post-test yet.

We’ve just started this week on our place value unit. But, us and the year 1-2 class have already said this three-week unit is going to need to be five or six weeks. So, already we’re thinking, yes, that’s the immediate, short-term goal, where to next, but this is where we’re at at the moment.

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