Review of
Learning and Teaching

As a dimension of school improvement in Sandhurst schools, Learning & Teaching will be reviewed every five years.

The self-review process involves the school exploring this dimension, making judgements about performance and illustrating those judgements to the validation panel. Discernment about culture and performance will guide further planning and action in the leadership dimension.

Scotland’s professional learning resource, The Journey to Excellence, demonstrates how schools can improve their good leadership practice and make it flourish. Some of the following review prompts and questions are adapted (with permission) from the Scottish resource and from the work of Sandhurst leaders.

The Quality Indicators of the Learning & Teaching Dimension may be considered, described, evaluated and validated by identifying the presence of a set of quality indicators:

  • Learning and teaching which is inspired by the Catholic story
  • professional learning community
  • high expectations
  • stimulating and secure environment
  • purposeful learning
  • purposeful teaching
  • leadership for learning
  • accountability.

The self-review process involves the school exploring this dimension, making judgements about performance and illustrating those judgements to the validation panel. Discernment about culture and performance will guide further planning and action.

Forming answers to the following questions may help to identify the extent of the shared vision and goals for learning and teaching in your school:

  • To what extent is there a shared vision about the desired student learning outcomes in our school?
  • How clearly communicated are the school's goals relating to student learning?
  • How well is the Catholic identity of the school communicated and understood?

Forming answers to the following questions may help to identify what a professional learning community means to your school:

  • How effectively does our school utilise the diverse expertise and knowledge of the teaching staff to assist student learning?
  • To what extent is collaborative learning fostered among the staff?
  • To what extent has the school encouraged staff or leadership groups to engage in professional interchange, collaboration or networking with other schools, or in other settings in relation to student learning?
  • How effectively has the school collaborated with other schools, other education institutions (e.g. RTOs), industry, business or the wider community in building and delivering programs to assist or support student learning?
  • How have the professional learning activities undertaken by staff contributed to student learning outcomes? What other factors affect the link between professional learning activities and student learning outcomes?
  • To what extent does the school encourage parents to be actively engaged in their child's learning?

Forming answers to the following questions may help provide a focus on leadership for learning in your school:

  • How effectively do the leadership teams within our school promote curriculum planning that is designed to improve student learning?
  • How effectively do the leadership teams within our school promote teaching strategies that are designed to improve student learning?
  • How effective is teacher participation in decisions made about student learning?
  • How effectively are connections made between staff performance and
    development on the one hand and student learning outcomes on the other?
  • How does the exercise of leadership witness to the transforming presence of Christ in our midst?

Forming answers to the following questions may help to provide a focus on purposeful learning in your school:

  • How well does our school manage the time spent on what is identified as essential learning?
  • Identify one or two strategies that have been implemented in the school to bring about improvement in the learning-teaching relationship. Analyse how effective the strategies have been. What worked well? What hindered successful or full implementation? Should the strategies be re-considered?
  • How effective are our professional learning activities that aim to improve student learning?
  • How well does our school differentiate the curriculum to take account of learning styles and preferences, cultural or social diversity?
  • How do we work together to minimize the effects of student disadvantage in the learning environment?

Forming answers to the following questions may help to clarify how purposeful teaching looks in your school:

  • Are there shared views about effective teaching and learning among the teachers and leadership group?
  • To what extent do the teaching strategies and practices used in our school accommodate the variations in the learning needs and styles of our students?
  • To what extent are the teaching strategies used in our school influenced by contemporary pedagogical understanding and practice?
  • Where are the connections across classrooms that foster the personal growth and development of students?

Forming answers to the following questions may help to identify what high expectations might mean for your school:

  • Does our school community have high expectations for the learning outcomes for all students?
  • How effective are the programs or strategies employed by the school to address the needs of students achieving either at a lower level or a higher level than expected?
  • How do our values as a Catholic school translate into the structures and processes around student achievement?

Forming answers to the following questions may help to identify how a rigorous system of accountability could operate in your school:

  • How effectively does our school use systems and data to evaluate student performance and progress?
  • In what ways do teachers provide feedback to inform student learning?
  • How effectively does our school use planning and evaluation processes to improve student learning outcomes? How well owned and understood are the accountability processes across our school community?
  • How does the school celebrate success relating to student learning outcomes, at either a student or whole-school level?
  • If there have been variations in assessment outcomes in our school, how effectively have we responded to such variations?
  • What aspects of our reporting and feedback to parents work well and what aspects do we need to improve?

Forming answers to the following questions may help to identify how a stimulating and secure environment could be organised in your school:

  • Are there particular aspects of our school's environment that are not conducive to student learning? How have we responded to the challenges presented?
  • How effective are the strategies employed for creating a positive learning environment in the school?
  • How effective are the classroom behaviour and management processes in the school?
  • How effective are the strategies for dealing with any disruptive behaviours?
  • To what extent does any student misbehaviour affect the outcomes of student learning?
 
 

Documents to be provided to the Panel Chair through the CEO two weeks prior to Validation Day.

Please use electronic templates provided as a starting point.

For All Reviews

 

Completed School Profile. May be supplemented/personalised from other school documents to assist Panel to gain an understanding of the school community.

 

Current School Improvement Plan and this year’s Annual Action Plan

 

Current Identity Statement, Vision Statement and Graduate Outcomes

 

Most recent Annual Report to the School Community

 

Program for the review day (As negotiated with the chair of the Validation Panel)

 

 

Documents and/or evidence to be made available to the Panel on Validation Day.

These may be located in various school documents.
Please provide clearly marked materials to the Panel.

Compliance and School Review

 

Previous Learning & Teaching Validation Report

 

Insight SRC,NAPLAN, VCE, VET and VCAL data (where applicable)for current and previous 2 years (if available) and ways this has been communicated and used

 

Evidence of how the school and teachers use data to develop evidence-based practice and inform teaching practice for improved student learning

 

Records that provide evidence of the school’s compliance with the Minimum Standards of the VRQA.

 

Curriculum based on Diocesan, State and Commonwealth mandated curriculum

 

Compliance with Commonwealth Government Reporting requirements

Leadership and Organisational Structure

 

Role descriptions for Principal, Leadership Team, Learning Leaders and any other role descriptions relevant to the Learning & Teaching review

 

Leadership in learning and teaching across the school

 

Overview of school Leadership and Organisational Structure (including parental involvement)

 

Records of any team or leadership reviews that have occurred in last 2 years

 

Mapping of learning & teaching formation opportunities available to staff in the last 2 years, including Professional Learning Plans

 

Induction processes for new staff and new leaders

School Community

 

School profile statistical data (Crichton Smith material)

 

Information about your school’s foundation and history

 

Copy of School Calendar and events relevant to Learning & Teaching review

 

Copies of promotional material and enrolment brochures for your school

 

Example of School Newsletter and/or School Magazine

 

Learning and Teaching Policy including

  • Domain policies (including Religious Education)
  • Assessment & Reporting policy
  • Procedures for curriculum planning, implementation, review and development
  • Learning Technologies policy
  • Pathways and Transition policy
  • Partnership and communication with families regarding student learning and curriculum
  • Professional learning policy and practices that enhance student learning
  • Intervention procedures and practices
     
 

Strategic planning for curriculum

 

School wide instructional practices based on contemporary educational research

 

Collaboration and shared responsibility between teachers in the planning, instruction, assessment and evaluation of teaching and student learning

 

Differentiation of curriculum for students including the development, implementation and monitoring of individual learning plans and/or pathways for students

 

Student learning experiences and learning environments that reflect the Quality Indicators

 

A range of assessment and feedback strategies are used across the curriculum

 

Student engagement in goal setting and decision making about their learning

 

Appropriate resourcing of curriculum

 

Procedures for shared provision

 

Aboriginal perspectives and education are embedded in the curriculum

 

Sustainability education and practices are embedded in the curriculum

 

Social Justice perspectives and education are embedded in the curriculum

 

There are three parts of the Self-Review Summary that are to be emailed to the Chair of the Validation Panel two (2) weeks prior to the Validation visit:

  1. Exploring the current reality: documented understandings in summary format (1 or 2 pages)
  2. Gauging the current reality against the School Vision and CoSSI Quality Indicators
  3. Identifying priorities for the next cycle of school improvement.

Note: Parts 2 and 3 to be documented in the Self-Review Documentation Guide provided (Download, complete and email).