The ‘ETA’ Executive Team Address
TERM 3 WEEK 7 REFLECTIONS
Enhancing Professional Collaboration through Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
Jo Earp in an article for Teacher Magazine entitled ‘Sharing good practice: Gonski and professional collaboration’ (17 August 2018) cites The Gonski Report “Through Growth to Achievement: Report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools”, which proposes a set of impactful and practical reforms that build on existing improvement efforts using evidence-informed strategies.
Explaining what this means, the Gonski panel quote Emeritus Professor Dylan Wiliam:
“Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better.”
Recommendation 10 of The Gonski Report highlights the need to:
“Accelerate the development of contemporary pedagogy through the use of collaboration, mentoring, observation and feedback, including from colleagues and students, by incorporating these practices into the core role of teachers and creating the conditions to enable teachers to engage in them.”
The report says ‘embedding professional collaboration as a necessity in everyday teaching practice’ is one of three key actions needed to support a focus on individual student learning growth.
EACS staff have embraced the notion of PLCs as part of our focus on Effective Pedagogical Practices. PLCs has been established to drive school improvement by using evidence-informed strategies in the classroom. Teaching 101 is essentially at the core of this approach, which includes a back to basics approach consisting on:
SHARING LEARNING INTENTIONS
Clarifying and sharing learning intentions and criteria for success
Activating students as owners of their learning
Providing feedback that moves learners forward
Activating students as instructional resources for one another
Engineering effective classroom discussion, questions and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning
The Gonski panel highlight three benefits of teacher collaboration:
- collaborative structures are more efficient and flexible;
- collaboration can lead to more authentic engagement of teachers, a greater sense of belonging among staff, and a way of working where teachers feel able to challenge each other to keep improving their professional practice;
- a collaborative approach means teachers can get differentiated support specific to their individual needs.
The report cites that ‘Active collaboration—such as peer observation and feedback, coaching, mentoring, team teaching and joint research projects—allows teachers to learn from each other and typically has a positive impact on students.’
The Gonski report says PLCs illustrate the power of collaboration, where teachers meet regularly to talk about student achievement and strategies to support learning. Teachers also take part in regular informal and formal classroom observations and feedback sessions.
This approach is aimed at empowering groups of teachers to become a strong-professional community, where they work together in ways that will review and improve each other’s teaching practices. Thus, it is a shared commitment to work together to create an effective learning environment for students and for teachers.
At the heart of the matter is putting the interests of the clients first – how well are we serving the interests of our kids? But also, hard questions:
- Are you keeping up with research in your teaching area?
- What can we do here to encourage more leadership amongst ourselves?
- What can we do to encourage connections to best practice elsewhere?’
A focus on Effective Pedagogical Practices and Professional Learning Communities will continue to be at the forefront of our teacher professional learning strategy at EACS throughout 2021.
Education Perfect Science World Championships
Final results from the recently completed Education Perfect Science World Championships reflect well on our school and students.
- 236th overall globally (out of 1874 schools) TOP 13%
- 13th overall in the 101-250 students’ category (out of 320 schools) TOP 4%
- 146th overall in Australia (out of 1281 schools) TOP 11%
- 24th overall in WA (out of 189 schools) TOP 13%
- 11th in Australia for the 101-250 students’ category (out of 222 schools) TOP 5%
- 2nd in WA for the 101-250 students’ category (out of 38 schools) TOP 5%
Top Performing Student results:
- Ashton Davies 2308 pts and 818th overall globally SILVER CERT
- Vaughan Clarkson Jones 2200 pts and 864th overall globally SILVER CERT
- James Powell 2007 pts and 1025th overall globally SILVER CERT
- Toby Jones 1668 pts and 1163th overall globally BRONZE CERT
- Spencer Davies 1472 pts and 1277th overall globally BRONZE CERT
Student iPad and Internet use
Recently there has been some concern over the apps and content that students are viewing on their ipads. Whilst the school has strong filters in place to prevent access to a lot of potentially harmful web content, often the same filters and restrictions are not present in the home environment. One such app to be wary of is the Yolo app, which is the latest popular teen app to hit the headlines following fears that its anonymity feature could put young people at risk of cyberbullying and online abuse.
Below are links to two good websites that might be helpful to parents when engaging your children in conversations to ascertain the extent of their app and internet usage.
Padlocks on lockers
Students have recently been instructed to obtain a padlock for their personal locker at school. Please assist your child in obtaining a padlock (combination preferred) at your earliest opportunity.
What's on this week (Week 7)
- Monday Rd 2 Online Literacy and Numeracy Testing (OLNA) commences
- Tuesday Education Perfect Maths World Championships commences
- Tuesday CEO on the ASC in School (Rev’d Peter Laurence OAM)
- Tuesday Executive Principal in School
- Wednesday Executive Principal in School
- Wednesday Year 12 ‘Colour Run’ Fundraiser
- Thursday Executive Principal in School
- Thursday EACS Open Morning
- Friday Student Representative Council meeting
What's coming up
- 08 September Education Perfect Maths World Championships concludes
- 07 September Year 7&8 Rotation 3 electives commence
- 22-24 September Executive Principal in School
- 22 September Inter-house Athletics Carnival
- Tuesday Junior Band 7.30am
- Wednesday Senior Band 7.30am
- Thursday Stage Band 7.30am
- Monday English HELP Club 3.15-4.15pm (Editing skills focus)
- Wednesday Maths HELP Club 3.15-4.15pm
- Thursday Chess Club 3.15-4.15pm
Best wishes for the week ahead.