Dear Parents and Friends,
On Monday the 5th and Tuesday the 6th of June Megan, Anna and I had the opportunity to attend the 2018 Regional Leadership Conference:
"Leading excellence in teaching and learning –Unleashing greatness together”
The conference provided us with the opportunity to learn and engage with local and global leaders in education and to develop a deeper understanding of how to lead improvement work within our school, looking explicitly at evidence informed practice that will support teachers to improve their professional practice and impact on student learning and achievement.
Over the two day program we attended multiple interactive opportunities including, expert practice practitioner workshops and peer learning labs facilitated by schools. Highlights included:
Dr Simon Breakspear Leading Teacher Learning. The workshop focused on how to support teachers to continually enhance their expertise. Drawing on research studies confirming that teacher quality has the largest in-school influence on student learning, and that high-quality professional learning can lead to improvements in student achievement. The session explored the role school leaders play in designing and leading evidence-informed professional learning across their school. Including; providing an overview of the research-base on effective approaches to professional learning and teacher expertise development, examining the practical challenge of shifting practice in schools, especially when teachers feel overwhelmed and overloaded and introducing us to a Learning Sprints approach to running job-embedded, evidence-informed, collaborative professional learning in your school.
Professor Stephen Dinham. What works best in teaching and what do quality teachers do? The importance of evidence and collegial approaches to improving teacher quality and student outcomes. This workshop provided us with the opportunity to encounter and consider current research evidence on teaching for learning. The importance of using known high impact strategies and approaches was stressed in order to most effectively meet expectations and intended outcomes. The session also asked us to reflect on current practices which might be less effective. The importance of collaborative planning through improvement cycles, models and measures of impact consistent with the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes model was stressed.
Michael Fulan and Joanne Quinn: Leading Coherence Making in Complex Times.
This key note presentation asked us to reflect on leaders who thrive in turbulent times to unleash powerful cultures of learning and create coherence. The session explored a four part Coherence Framework that builds the capacity of schools to deepen student learning, encouraging leaders to focus on school coherence in relationship to system priorities. The session also encourages us to prioritise the use of protocols to cultivate collaborative cultures and deepen student learning through increased student agency and engagement.
Viviane Robinson: Make it Count! How to Reduce Change and Increase Improvement. In this presentation Viviane Robinson described how leaders at all levels can increase improvement while reducing ineffective change and innovation. She attributed the failure of many change efforts to the way leaders ‘bypass’ the tacit theories of action that sustain the teaching practices they wish to improve. Viviane advocated the more effective ‘engage’ approach, where leaders build trust and discover common ground by inquiring into those theories before suggesting or constructing alternative practices. The contrast between bypass and engage was richly illustrated and participants were engaged in structured activities to deepen our understanding of how to lead improvement through engagement.
On Friday night we welcomed family, friends and staff members to the McGuire College and Shepparton High School Debutante Ball for 2018.
Our debutantes and their partners looked stunning and represented their school communities with poise and polish.
A huge thank you to the team of champions who have worked tirelessly over the last months to ensure the night went off went off without a hitch.
Thank you to
- Gabrielle Ryan and the McGuire College School Band and Lachlan Gallacher and the Shepparton High School Jazz Band who entertained us beautifully whilst dinner was served.
- Rachel Bell School Captain from Shepparton High School and Nimi Jumapili McGuire College Vice Captain who presented the debututantes and their partners.
- Cosi Rando and the student photography team.
- Jamason Miller for teaching the students all of the dances.
And a huge thank you to Paige Martin and Robbie Muston for coordinating our debutante ball this year.
Well done team on your work towards a fabulous night and a great celebration of our school communities.
Kind regards, Claire Kelly