School improvement around Learning and Teaching may be considered, described, evaluated and validated
according to how fully our schools provide experiences
which lead to liberated learners: relating, engaging, inquiring, persevering, challenging and reflecting .

This vision leads to a particular view of learning and teaching which is inspired by the Catholic story. The quality indicators for learning and teaching guide this critical and central aspect of school improvement.

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Professional learning community

Sandhurst schools connect teachers to one another in a professional learning community. This is a dynamic and flexible system in which there is co- responsibility and co-accountability for the quality teachers’ work in ensuring enhanced learning outcomes for students. Shared beliefs and collaborative practice among teachers ensure the quality of students’ experience of schooling.

Learning communities comprise individuals with diverse expertise and knowledge. This diversity is valued, and through collaboration, drawn out, shared and used to solve school-based problems.

Learning communities foster openness, dialogue, inquiry, risk-taking and trust. In this environment, teachers feel they can make informed and responsible decisions about innovative teaching strategies.

  • accept learning as the fundamental purpose of our schools and are therefore willing to examine all practices in light of their impact on learning
  • are committed to working together to achieve their collective purpose. They cultivate a collaborative culture through development of high-performing teams.
  • assess their effectiveness on the basis of results rather than intentions. Individuals, teams and schools seek relevant data and information and use that information to promote continuous improvement. 
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Shared and public practice

Teaching is a shared and public practice and teachers work together to plan and communicate learning opportunities for students.

Sequencing learning and teaching for students is a collaborative action and teachers must guard against the jigsaw approach where each person just does their part and hopes that it all falls into place.

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Responsive to the school vision

Planning for the improvement of teaching and learning is responsive to the school vision, graduate outcomes and to current and anticipated needs. It is informed by contemporary research and enriched by quality professional learning.

This is supported by a systematic approach to collecting and interpreting data. Tracking and analysis of such information by data-literate teacher teams ensures that decisions are focused on meeting student need.


Professional learning teams

In such environments professional learning teams are established in order to:

  • embed collaboration in the culture of the school
  • provide the engine room that drives school improvement
  • focus on issues that enhance student progress
  • set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely (SMART) goals to monitor student progress
  • provide a powerful vehicle for embedding professional practice
  • support staff to learn from each other, identify common problems and engage in action research
  • share student data to make evidence-informed decisions about the effectiveness of the different practices
  • have direct impact on classroom practice by clarifying what to teach, how to assess and improve instruction.