Dear Parents & Carers
As part of our planning for 2018, we have been working on our Annual Improvement Plan (AIP). Thank-you to the parents who came and provided feedback on our AIP 2017 and suggestions for our AIP 2018. Our AIP for 2018 is in draft form and I will provide an explanation of the major features of the plan.
To begin the process of planning our AIP for 2018, we started with our vision and the Annual Improvement Plan for 2017. We also looked at a number of key data indicators including - School Satisfaction Survey (Parents, Staff and Students), HSC Results, NAPLAN results and Wellbeing indicators. We investigated the key research in regards to improving student learning and wellbeing outcomes. As part of a system of schools within our Diocese, we are also part of the Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Armidale Improvement Plan 2018. I have included a copy of the CSO Plan for 2018 with this newsletter. The process undertaken to develop our Annual Improvement has included collaborating with staff, parents and students.
The vision for our improvement plan at O’Connor is -
Our vision is a faith filled Catholic Professional Learning Community, founded on faith & focused on learning, working collaboratively to enhance the learning for all, resulting in students who are creative, confident and informed people ready to make a real difference in our world. We believe that everyone can learn, not always at the same time and in the same way, and we strive to create learning opportunities for all.
A Catholic Professional Learning Community has a number of key focus points all taking place in a Catholic context. These include:
1. Focus on Learning;
2. Culture of Collaboration;
3. Results Orientation.
Our main goals in 2018 are designed to continue to improve in these key areas. The goals for 2018 are:
To ensure Catholic Core Principles & Values are understood and embedded in learning programs.
To increase the involvement of students in parish life and engage in Year of Youth.
To work towards the development of guaranteed & viable curriculum.
To ensure differentiation underpins teaching & learning.
To guarantee engaging & effective learning environments.
To ensure pastoral academic care is a focus for the whole school community.
To develop effective Professional Learning Teams.
To develop leadership to align with the Professional Learning Community framework.
Some of the feedback from parents was in relation to the language used. We are currently developing a guide to some of the key educational language used in our plan.
From our AIP 2018 Plan, KLA (Key Learning Areas eg English, Maths) will develop their Plan for 2018. Teachers also develop their own Professional Learning Plan, choosing goals that work with our School and KLA Plans.
One of our key focus for this year and will continue next year, as part of our Pastoral Academic Care Program is for students to set learning goals. These goals, just like ours, need to be (SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).
Dylan WIliam, a key educator states the following: ‘Every teacher needs to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because they can be even better.’ (Dylan Wiliam, keynote to SSAT conference, December 2012). This statement, although discussing teachers holds true for everyone. We all can improve, not because we are not good enough but because we can be even better!
I would like to invite you to our Presentation Day to be held on Tuesday 12th December at 1.30pm. We are changing the format slightly this year to include an alumni from O’Connor as a Guest Speaker. This year our inaugural Guest Speaker is Alison Ryan. Alison attended O’Connor Catholic College from 1987 to 1992 and completed her Primary schooling at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School. She is the Supervising Solicitor of the Refugee Advice and Casework Services (RACS) Legal Help for Refugees Clinic. Alison’s career has focused on improvement of human rights and, in particular, the provision of legal services to people seeking asylum.
Her first solicitor position was at RACS in 2000. Since then she has worked in human rights and rule of law projects in Timor Leste and Palestine and undertaken consultancies in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Greece. In 2017 Alison was awarded the Partner of the Year in the Migration category of the Lawyers Weekly awards and was a finalist in the NSW Community Lawyer or Academic of the Year, NSW Women Lawyers Achievement Awards, 2017. We are very privileged to have Alison speak to us and I look forward to welcoming her to our College at Presentation Day 2017.
What new learning will you undertake this week?