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And observational data collected by the LC uuhen uuorking in classrooms indicated that teachers had made changes to their pedagogy. In 2011 the Test of Reading Comprehension (TORCH) school data indicated a slight improvement in outcomes for some students. Houuever, student results overall had not shouun much progress in 2011, so it uuas thought that the shift in teacher pedagogy in classrooms needed more time to have an impact. This uuas accomplished by the LC targeting some ujilling teachers to implement particular strategies in the classroom, follouued by the LC uuorking uuith those teachers to develop their expertise uuith the strategies, and then those teachers modeling the strategies to other teachers, supported by release time to cover classes uuhile the modeling uuas going on. A revieuu of the implementation strategies uuas undertaken at later Professional Learning Team (PLT) meetings, involving all teachers. Finally, the teachers used the strategies in classrooms by themselves, fit the end of this process, the teachers uuere asked to reflect on the process and the outcomes. Independent reading routine (I RR) The PLT leaders had observed that students in classrooms uuere not engaging in reading, in a context uuhere teachers uuere predominantly teaching to the uuhole class, and uuorksheets formed the basis of literacy lessons. To overcome this practice, the PLT leaders implemented the IRR initiative in all Year 3-6 classrooms at the beginning of term 3 in 2011. It commenced uuith both PLT leaders modelling a single comprehension strategy in classrooms to teachers, fill teachers then implemented that strategy in their classrooms.
This uuas follouued by the PLT leaders introducing a further four comprehension strategies uuith teachers, and each teacher then taking responsibility for implementing these comprehension strategies in their classrooms. In order for teachers to share knowledge, PLT leaders released teachers to watch strategies being used by peers. Teacher observations, records and diagnostic testing data indicated that the observation activity was successful and would be repeated in 2012. In conjunction uuith the IRR initiative, PLT leaders implemented weekly conference meetings based on student journals in which students reflected on the books they had read.
Anecdotal feedback from teachers and students indicated that this initiative was working. Inquiry Process The TLC had responsibility for improving teacher pedagogy and for implementing a whole-school, inquiry- based approach to learning with students, which was to be strongly linked to student engagement.
This work involved professional reading, professional discussions about linking inquiry to the students, and modeling skills and processes. Building Teacher Capacity The majority of staff had worked at the school for a long time, some for 20 years or more. LUhereas the principal had made changes to the leadership team earlier in 2011 through the appointment of the TLC. The teacher component of the 2011 feedback surveys, reflecting on the 2010 school culture, indicated that teachers believed they had no voice in the school, reflecting the directed leadership approach taken by the principal. Teacher data also indicated that they 134 held low expectations of the students and had the belief that students were not motivated to learn. Paradoxically, student and parent data indicated the opposite: that students were motivated to attend school and to learn. Pin important outcome of the school review has been the development of a whole-school vision and ethos. Prior to 2011, teachers were reluctant to contribute, reluctant to collaborate, and reluctant to change.
Students learned to play the instruments based on memory, not reading music, and it was expected that many of the students would continue with the instruments in secondary school. Over the four years of involvement with the Song Room, students at the school have been given experiences with the arts that they had previously not encountered. Teachers have explicitly taught the students how to behave as an audience and the students have practised these skills during the performances held at the school. The program had been in operation for four years and diagnostic and formative assessment data indicated that it was working effectively. The program has provided the primary students with additional academic help as well as exposing them to good role models.
Adult Volunteer Program The school has had connections with the Ardoch Youth Foundation, providing adult volunteers to help disadvantaged people and build connections between 135 Research and Mapping for MCEECDYA Project: Student Academic Engagement community and school. The adult volunteers ujere provided uuith training during 2010 before becoming involved uuith the students. In developing relationships betuueen the students and the adult volunteers, the school has included the volunteers on some of its big excursions into the community during 2010 and 2011. Through its connections uuith Ardoch, the school also made connections uuith a large computing company, uuho since 2010 provided students in Years 5 and 6 uuith computing buddies in the uuorkplace.
Structured uuriting of letters to their computing buddies provided the students uuith authentic literacy opportunities. This further exposed students to people in the community. The Homework Club The homeuuork club had been operating at the school since 2001. A nun initiated the club, supported by some Vietnamese mothers ujho best essay help review felt they uuere unable to help their children uuith homeuuork. In 2001 the club catered for 18 students, and by 2011 it catered for 140 students from tujo primary schools, mostly from this school.