School improvement is a mandate shared at
the national, state, system and local level.

The Melbourne Declaration is committed ‘to supporting all young Australians to become
successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens’

and to promoting equity and excellence in education. 

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Needs, possibilities and solutions

In many ways school improvement will emerge from local needs, possibilities and solutions.

The Charter further assists schools as they plan strategic responses to emerging issues by promoting an inquiry approach to school planning.

It places reflection at the centre of a process designed to ensure ongoing monitoring and review of student wellbeing and learning to ensure continuous growth and development.

Schools get better so that students can flourish.

Within this context school improvement occurs in response to two forces – the push of student and community need; and the pull of vision, expectations and hope.

Schools can therefore find themselves responding to competing demands and conflicting responsibilities. In order to provide the best possible Catholic Education for the young people in their care, schools need to develop a sound understanding of who they are and how they are.

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Divine possibilities

In answering such questions, schools can find themselves responding to competing demands and conflicting responsibilities; and need to position themselves carefully in order to be effective. This demands a sound understanding in schools of who they are and how they are in a rapidly changing, technology-focused environment.

In planning and implementing school improvement, schools listen deeply as they consider lived experience, contemporary imperatives and current research.

The starting place is always our people.

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Developing culture

School improvement occurs within and through the development of a culture marked by:

Covenant
Relationships

This echoes the relationship between God and God’s people and is grown through mutual trust, respect and responsibility. Such relationships include:

  • welcome and inclusion
  • shared leadership and authority with clear understanding about responsibilities
  • effective processes of communication to promote open dialogue
  • thoughtful, just and effective decision-making
  • encouragement, challenge and a sense of dignity
  • reflection and imagination.
 

Focus on Learning and Teaching

Quality learning and teaching are key to improving outcomes for students. Intentional and sustained focus on learning and teaching builds a
culture  where day-to-day demands are balanced with renewal and development. The school’s capacity for continuous improvement grows through:

  • evidence-informed practice
  • reflective dialogue
  • whole school approaches
  • collaboration
  • meeting the needs of individual students
  • purposeful resource allocation.
 

Professional Learning Communities

Members of a professional learning community engage with the core mission of schooling and commit to collaborative practice.

The powerful collaboration that characterizes professional learning communities is a systematic process in which teachers work together to analyze and improve their classroom practice. Teachers work in teams, engaging in an ongoing cycle of questions that promote deep team learning. This process, in turn, leads to higher levels of student achievement. 

They develop shared values and norms, collaborate around student learning and engage in reflective dialogue.

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