School Regeneration Projects

School regeneration projects engage schools and their local communities developing a sustainable educational provision plan that covers educating young people from birth to adulthood. The school communities usually agree to reduce the number of sites and organise the provision of education so that some campuses have sites for Years P-8, others P- 6, Years 10 – 12 and another year 9.

Such is the case with the Corio-Norlane Educational Precinct who recently had a team visit my school.  The project hit the local press in Geelong with headlines like: facilities for whole of community.

The team’s goal was to get a consistent pedagogy towards assessment for learning across the 9 schools so that when they reformed on “new or rebuilt campuses” there was a consistency of practice. This is a significant challenge. As a school leader I understand the complexities of change processes when trying to get consistency across 20 classes in the one school let alone classrooms across 9 schools.

The team that visited Elsternwick Primary included teaching and learning coaches who worked in these schools, principal class officers, leading teachers and classroom teachers. As we walked around my campus which included some open and flexible learning environments we discussed assessments we had made about students personal learning skills [goal setting, receptiveness to teacher feedback] as well as interpersonal learning skills and peer relationships that are critical to learning independence.

We affirmed the need for stable and reliable digital infrastructures if we are to take advantage of online assessments tools that enable us to analyse student achievement data and make instructional decisions. I demonstrate some new software that helped us determine whether we were adding sufficient value to our students learning over a 2 year period using the national testing or NAPLAN results.

We shared some research on effective assessments including the work of Rick Stiggins and our local contexts which impact upon our work. I was impressed with the teams committment to the challenges and am interested in hearing from other teachers and school leaders involved in regeneration type projects and what their starting points for change are.

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