Welcome to our Cohort 10 Schools
Congratulations to the fourteen West Australian schools who commence their school improvement journey with the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program this week.
School leadership teams from primary, secondary, regional, metropolitan, public and Catholic schools began their 3-year journey; a journey that for previous EDvance schools, has significantly improved the academic outcomes for many of their students.
The Fogarty EDvance program focuses on building the capacity of school leadership teams to make informed, evidence-based decisions, strategically plan and ultimately, improve the academic outcomes of students in challenging communities.
Congratulations to the following schools who make up Cohort 10 of the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program:
- Ashdale Primary School
- Bruce Rock District High School
- East Hamersley Primary School
- Katanning Senior High School
- Kellerberrin District High School
- Kewdale Primary School
- Meekatharra District High School
- Mundaring Primary School
- Singleton Primary School
- St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School
- St Thomas More Catholic Primary School
- Yalgoo Primary School
- York District High School
- Yulga Jinna Remote Community School
The Fogarty EDvance three-year School Improvement Program offers an integrated leadership, management and support program, tailored to the needs of each school. We believe supporting school leaders is one of the most effective ways to improve educational outcomes for students.
Congratulations to the eleven Cohort 7 schools who recently completed the three-year EDvance School Improvement Program.
Despite beginning their improvement journey in 2020 with the onset of COVID-19, the cohort participated in the program through a combination of face-to-face and online learning, including via livestream. Together, these schools have managed and adapted to the challenges of the pandemic and were able to share their ‘green shoots’ for school improvement at the final workshop this term.
We look forward to welcoming these schools to our FED Alumni Network in 2023 and publishing the Cohort 7 Impact Report next year. The full list of Cohort 7 schools who successfully completed the program can be found here.
The Grattan Institute recently published an article on curriculum planning in schools, outlining workload challenges faced by teachers in the time taken to plan curriculum to facilitate student learning experiences in their classrooms.
A lack of detailed resources and direction for teachers has led to teachers having to create lessons from scratch and searching for appropriate materials or activities online to support learning. This often leads to variability between classrooms in what is being taught, and privatised classroom practice, which leads to students in the same year groups not having equal access to grade level content.
Of the schools surveyed, the majority did not have robust curriculum planning processes in place, with only 15% of teachers having access to common materials for their classes – with teachers working in disadvantaged schools being half as likely to have access to common materials than teachers in more advantaged schools.
Having common materials has a significantly positive effect on teachers and teaching, such as consistent learning in classrooms, increased teacher collaboration, decreased workload, and greater satisfaction with their schools’ planning process.
The report outlines what can be done to ease the workload for teachers – which equates to 20 million teacher hours per year – by education systems investing in the creation of high-quality curriculum materials made available to schools and investing in developing deeper pedagogical content knowledge for teachers to create these materials.
We are excited that two EDvance Alumni schools, Aveley Secondary College, and Serpentine Primary School, were recognised in the article as exemplars of curriculum planning and development and were able to share how they implemented low variability curriculum across their schools, and the subsequent positive impact this had on their teachers and student outcomes.
You can read the full report here.
Congratulations to the eighteen primary and secondary schools who recently celebrated the launch of their Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Impact Report.
Cohort 6 schools commenced their journey in 2019, with 10 primary schools and 8 secondary schools – one of the largest contingents of secondary schools for the EDvance Program. The inclusion of such a large group of secondary schools enabled the EDvance Program to further develop support structures and gain critical insights into the strategic and operational challenges faced by secondary schools.
The Impact Report includes a story of impact for each school, capturing how the EDvance Program supported them to improve student outcomes by building the capacity of their leadership teams, catalysing changes in teaching practice, and developing robust strategic plans.
“It has been a pleasure and a privilege working with Cohort 6 during the EDvance program and beyond into the EDvance Alumni program. They have bravely embraced the challenge of undertaking whole-school transformation and all that entails, for the benefit of the students in their communities,” said Georgie Wynne, Fogarty EDvance Program Director.
“Belmay Primary School staff have always been committed to providing quality education for each child. The EDvance Program has given us the skills, tools, and confidence to continue to improve the quality of that education.”
– Sarah Durham, Principal at Belmay Primary School
“The Fogarty EDvance program has allowed Coodanup College to grow and achieve genuine improvement around our shared moral purpose. The guidance and support we received to lead staff through the implementation of research-based best practice was invaluable.”
– Mark Utley, Principal at Coodanup College
“The Fogarty EDvance program allowed our school to develop a greater sense of direction and provided opportunities to celebrate success. This program was the most beneficial professional learning I have been part of in my 25+ years in education.”
– Steve Beaton, Principal at Hampton Senior High School
“The impact of the Fogarty EDvance Program on the leadership team’s focus and solidifying the direction of the school, I believe, has directly impacted on the improved educational outcomes of the students across the school.”
– Andrew Jack, Principal at Tom Price Senior High School
You can read the Cohort 6 Impact Report here.
In 2022, EDvance celebrates 10 inspired years of working with West Australian schools in challenging communities. The program has impacted 125 schools, over 430 school leaders and more than 57,000 students. All schools have seen improvements in student outcomes, including behaviour and attendance data; with over 50 percent of schools achieving significant improvements in student academic outcomes.
Established by the Fogarty Foundation in 2012, in a unique partnership with the Department of Education and Catholic Education WA, the goal of EDvance is simple yet bold – to improve student outcomes and bridge the inequality gap in education.
Annie Fogarty AM, is delighted that Fogarty EDvance has seen all 125 participating schools achieve improvement, and over half of these, realise significant improvements for their students.
“Fogarty EDvance believes that with strong leadership, a whole school improvement strategy can be successfully implemented, transforming schools, and improving educational outcomes for students,” Annie Fogarty explained.
“We looked around the world for best practise in education and we gathered a diverse group of highly qualified and committed people to discuss how we could improve outcomes in challenging communities,” Ms Fogarty explained.
“We brought together wisdom, ideas and different approaches, and using this knowledge, we created and have continued to refine what is now the Fogarty EDvance program,” she said.
Georgie Wynne, Fogarty EDvance Program Director, explained that the program improves academic outcomes for students in challenging communities by enhancing the leadership skills of principals and their leadership teams.
“The program has a two-track agenda – school improvement and leadership development. It brings together the best tools from education, business and philanthropy, shares these tools and practices with school leaders, and supports them as they translate these practices into their schools and classrooms,” Georgie Wynne said.
“We work within each school’s context, mentoring and supporting schools for the entire three-year program. We focus heavily on the school’s organisational health and use data to inform ongoing strategic planning – with the ultimate objective of improving student outcomes. Unlike other ‘off the shelf’ development programs, we also hold school leaders accountable for measuring and reporting their progress at the end,” she said.
“One of the main reasons why EDvance has been so successful, is because it has been brought together and supported by an exceptional group of people from within education and across the business and community sectors – all who bring knowledge and expertise from a wide range of sectors. They are involved because they all believe in the importance of quality education for all and the benefits this brings to our whole society,” Ms Fogarty said.
Cohort 9 school leadership teams had the opportunity to attend school visits to Aveley Secondary College, Coodanup College, Serpentine Primary School and Woodland Grove Primary School to see high-impact instruction and a whole-school behaviour framework in action.
School visits are an important element of our School Improvement Program, allowing leadership teams to see high-impact instruction practices, as well as evidence-based literacy and numeracy programs, implemented consistently throughout classrooms across the school.
Participants had the opportunity to speak with host school leaders about their school improvement journeys, including how they encouraged staff to explore the benefits of high-impact instruction strategies, and how long it took to implement these practices in the classroom.
Many thanks to everyone involved, especially those teachers who welcomed the leadership teams into their classrooms.
Annie Fogarty was a member of a panel discussion at the recent Science of Learning (SOL) Leadership Accelerator in Melbourne. The SOL Accelerator was organised by Knowledge Society and hosted by the Crowther Centre, Brighton Grammar School.
One hundred and thirty educators from around Australia attended to discuss and accelerate evidence-based change in effective teaching practice, and how the Science of Learning can be scaled in Australia from niche to mainstream.
The Science of Learning is the cognitive-science on how students learn and connects learning to practical implications for teaching. It includes how students:
- Understand new ideas
- Learn and retain new information, and
All educators should be able to connect these principles to their classroom practise. Speakers at the conference included Dr Jenny Donovan CEO of the Australian Education Research Organisation, Pamela Snow Professor of Cognitive Psychology, Ollie Lovell author of Cognitive Load Theory in Action and Tools for Teachers, and Ross Fox Director of Catholic Education (Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn) who is working to ensure their whole system is based on the Science of Learning.
With Australian students’ academic performance declining and 28% of our Year 7 students not functionally literate enough to be able to access further learning, we need to teach reading with evidence-based practises. This will ensure that at least 95% of our students can read effectively, not just 60 to 70%. For this to happen, universities will need to base their Initial Teacher Education courses on evidence-based practises and professional learning for teachers will need to focus on developing this mindset and toolkit for present teachers.
The Fogarty Foundation support the Science of Learning through the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program and our Teaching Intensives. Learn about The Science of Learning here.
Year 1 students in public primary schools in Western Australia will commence a phonics screening test from the beginning of 2023 – which is already mandated in NSW and South Australian schools.
Education Minister Sue Ellery and Premier Mark McGowan committed to the screening tests, following a push from education and business leaders.
The test will involve students reading a list of words to assess whether they can identify and blend sounds. This follows the evidence-based research that spelling or decoding skills are derived from phonemic awareness, including a knowledge of the alphabet, phonic sounds and sight words. The test will consist of 40 words, some nonsense and some real, and be used to identify students who need extra help, by assessing their specific phonic knowledge skills.
“One in six students in Australia start high school with poor reading skills which inhibits their ability to fully access the curriculum – if we can identify struggling readers much earlier, this could ultimately reduce the time it takes for children to move from learning to read, to reading to learn. The phonics screening checks will help schools to intervene much earlier and provide students with the extra help they need to read fluently.”Georgie Wynne, EDvance Program Director
“Many schools throughout Western Australia are already following an evidence-based phonics program, including a large number of Fogarty EDvance primary schools. We’re excited that now all schools will get access to the six evidence-based phonics programs that they can use to assist their teaching,” Georgie explained.
“This initiative will ensure that all schools will be encouraged to adopt this highly regarded and effective model of teaching, which will improve the educational outcomes of all West Australian children.”
In response to recent challenges, Fogarty EDvance workshops are now being delivered with a livestream option via the Microsoft Teams platform. This is a hybrid approach so participants can attend workshops in the easiest and safest way.
Throughout Term 1, this was a popular option for school leaders, allowing them to include team members who were not available to attend the face-to-face sessions. For some regional schools who were understaffed it meant they were able to participate in the program, without needing to travel to Perth during a challenging time for their schools. Breakout rooms were also advantageous for connecting schools and allowing them to network, a great strength of the EDvance program.
Whilst these challenges remain, this will be a method we will offer in addition to face to face workshops, which is the recommended way of participation. We look forward to returning to the all ‘face to face’ approach soon.
Grattan Institute is an independent think tank. To better understand how teachers manage curriculum planning, they are running a survey on high quality curriculum resources and teachers’ workloads. They are particularly interested in teachers’ use of instructional materials.
By participating in the survey, teachers can use their voice to inform the Institute’s recommendations to government on education policy. No individual or school will be identified in reporting the results.
The survey is anonymous and will take around 10 minutes.
If you’re a teacher or school leader, we invite you to take part in our survey here.
If you’re not a teacher or school leader but know any, please forward this link on to them!