EDvance Teaching Intensives

One hundred and fifteen West Australian teachers and 100 students have cut their holidays short, returning to school for the fifth annual Fogarty EDvance Teaching Intensives. 

Initiated by the Fogarty Foundation in 2018, the intensives are run in partnership with Dr Lorraine Hammond, Associate Professor at Edith Cowan University, and hosted at Dawson Park Primary School. Each year the intensives have grown, supporting more than 365 teachers to implement high-impact instruction practices. 

The intensive week of professional learning provides early childhood, primary and secondary teachers with the opportunity to observe expert teachers, practise key skills, and obtain feedback and coaching as they finesse their high-impact instructional strategies. Steered by Dr Hammond, the program was created following evidence-based research into how to effectively support teachers to adopt new practices.  

“Research confirms that ‘one shot’ professional learning does not work. Instead, educators can transfer new skills to their teaching practice when they have access to theory, quality teaching demonstrations and have the opportunity to practice instructional strategies with ongoing support, guidance, feedback and coaching,” Dr Hammond explained. 

“We are creating a community of teachers who have developed high-impact instructional strategies they can share with their peers and implement in their schools. By sharing best practice and collaborating with their peers, our teachers will create a ripple effect that will improve the quality of teaching in Western Australia,” she said. 

High-impact instructional strategies integrate lesson delivery and design where content is explicitly taught with frequent checks for understanding. Lesson delivery relates to how content is presented (i.e., read with me) and includes continual checks for understanding by indiscriminately selecting students to take part in discussions. Lesson design refers to how new content is organised, presented and modelled (i.e., Guided Practice followed by Independent Practice). This includes daily reviews of previously learned knowledge and skills to reduce cognitive load and build automaticity. 

High-impact instructional strategies have been used by teachers at Dawson Park Primary School since 2014. The school has seen significant improvements in NAPLAN scores since the inception of these teaching strategies. 

“Our dedicated and professional team use high-impact instructional strategies in all areas of the curriculum. There is low variability in instruction, expectations are clearly communicated and as a result, our students come to school feeling comfortable and confident in their abilities – they know what to expect,” Pauline Johnson, Principal at Dawson Park Primary School explained. 

“We’ve seen significant improvements in student results. Our students perform well above the average when compared to similar schools and they have a positive attitude towards their learning,” she said. 

Georgie Wynne, Program Director at Fogarty EDvance reiterated the importance of innovative professional learning for educators and schools. 

“It is vital for teachers to be knowledgeable about evidence-based pedagogical research so they can develop an innovative ‘toolkit’ for successful and impactful teaching,” Ms Wynne explained. 

“Fogarty EDvance aims to inspire excellence and high-quality instruction in schools by investing in teachers, school leaders and school principals to ensure that all students receive a high-quality education, regardless of their background.” 

Congratulations to the nineteen Cohort 5 primary and secondary schools who recently celebrated the launch of their Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program Impact Report. Included in the report are nineteen individual stories of impact, capturing how the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program supported them in building the capacity of their school leadership teams with the goal of transforming educational outcomes for their students. 

The leadership teams from Cohort 5 began their school improvements journeys in 2018. The Cohort consisted of nineteen schools, ten of which were from regional areas including the Pilbara, South-West and the Wheatbelt. This represented the first intake of regional schools into the Fogarty EDvance program, providing the schools with access to onsite school visits from mentors, professional development opportunities in regional areas, and regular trips to Perth for workshops and leadership collaboration, and included access to EDvance Teaching Intensives and the Secondary Teacher Leader program. 

Georgie Wynne, Fogarty EDvance Program Director, said it was a pleasure working with the leadership teams from Cohort 5, supporting them as they bravely embraced the challenge of undertaking whole-school transformation for the benefit of students in their communities. 

“Over the past 3 years the Cohort 5 schools have worked with evidence-based research and best practice tools from both education and business, they have created and responded to rich data sets, and they have been supported by outstanding mentors and their cohort of peers, to turn theory into action.”

“Every school has seen growth in outcomes for their students from improved academic performance, to increased social and emotional wellbeing, improved attendance and classroom engagement.” 

“As a result of their sustained commitment and hard work, every school has seen improvements in academic and social outcomes for their students, with sixty percent of schools in the cohort, reporting significant improvements in student outcomes.”

Louise O’Donovan, Principal at Beeliar Primary School and  2021 Primary Principal of the Year, thanked the Fogarty Foundation and the EDvance team for their exceptional commitment to supporting schools through their improvement journeys.

“EDvance is the best professional learning I have attended. It is a world class program that should be compulsory for all schools. Congratulations on an outstanding program.”

The Fogarty Foundation initiated the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program to significantly improve and sustain academic outcomes of students in disadvantaged communities in Western Australia. Each school starts the EDvance program at a different stage of student performance. Our aspiration is to see all Fogarty EDvance schools reach, or exceed, the state average for their students. When students from challenging backgrounds perform strongly, we demonstrate to our community that it is possible to achieve excellent teaching and learning for every student in the state, regardless of their postcode.

To date, EDvance has worked with 111 schools over 8 cohorts, involving over 350 school leaders and impacting more than 50,000 students across WA.

We welcome you to download a copy of the Impact Report for Cohort 5

High-Impact Instruction in a Primary Context

Teachers from our EDvance schools had the opportunity to take part in some inspiring optional sessions this term. Brooke Wardana and Anthony Chiappalone facilitated an engaging workshop about High Impact Instruction in the primary context. Fifty-nine teachers from 15 schools across Cohort 3 to 7 attended the workshop. Brooke and Anthony worked with participants on developing a firm understanding of the evidence base for high impact instruction and demonstrated daily reviews using high impact instruction lesson delivery and design strategies. Participant feedback was extremely positive:

“Participating in the hands on lesson demonstrations was useful to consolidate the research and strategies at the beginning of the session.”

“The objectives were met with lots of examples for teachers to go on and implement in their class no matter what level they are teaching.”

Explicit Instruction in a Secondary Context

Dr Lorraine Hammond presented the evidence-base for Explicit Instruction as an instructional approach to teaching and learning in a secondary context. Thirty-five participants across 11 schools and from Cohorts 4 to 7 attending the workshop. Dr Hammond took a deep dive into the Principles of Instruction and explained how including daily reviews as part of a lesson reduces cognitive load and allows information to be committed into the long-term memory. She also unpacked the elements of daily reviews by providing examples, and opportunities for participants to view videos of daily reviews in practice.  Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive:

“I thought it was fantastic!  I was able to see EI presented from the start – which helped as I had previously been taught about it in small chunks – whilst I was still a little confused.  Now 2.5 years later I was able to consolidate what I know and clear up misconceptions.”

“it is interesting to observe teachers using best practice and this helped me to consolidate my understanding of exemplar teaching.”

Congratulations to two EDvance schools – Warriapendi Primary School and Lynwood Senior High School – that have recently been nominated as finalists in the Primary School and Secondary School of the Year categories of the WA Education Awards. Both schools have seen significant improvements in outcomes for students in their communities and we are thrilled to see their achievements and efforts recognised at state level.

Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery recently announced the finalists for the WA Education Awards 2018. The WA Education Awards are the State’s premier awards for teachers, principals, school support staff and public schools. In the Minister’s words, “The WA Education Awards are a stellar opportunity to acknowledge our inspiring teachers, outstanding principals, excellent school support staff and successful Western Australian public schools.”

This year, two schools in the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program have been nominated. Warriapendi Primary School, nominated as a finalist for WA Primary School of the Year, is part of Fogarty EDvance Cohort 3 (now in their final year of the 3-year program). Warriapendi Primary School has seen significant improvements in academic outcomes, particularly in relation to students’ writing. As can be seen below, Warriapendi primary students are performing above the WA State average in writing:

Further details of Warriapendi Primary School’s recent successes in academic achievement, as well as how they did it, can be found in the Fogarty EDvance 2018 Interim Report Card.

Lynwood Senior High School, part of Fogarty EDvance Cohort 4 (and nearly 2 years through the EDvance program), has been nominated as a finalist for WA Secondary School of the Year. Lynwood Senior High School’s commitment to the student voice and community feedback has seen Lynwood’s success skyrocket. In the words of Principal Geraldine Hardy, “If schools aren’t focused on well-crafted programs with caring people in place to make sure kids can get to school, feel safe at school and enjoy school, they won’t perform well.”

Associate principal Jo Willesee agreed, adding that “The changes which have led to where we are today are things like a focus on student wellbeing, introducing academically focused programs, specialist soccer program and having a focus on sustainability, so you’ve got a unifying focus for the school.

Further details on Lynwood Senior High School’s recent successes and their nomination as a finalist can be found here.

A full list of the finalists can be found here, with the winners announced on 26 November 2018.

Congratulations to all finalists and in particular, Warriapendi Primary School and Lynwood Senior High School, for all of your hard work. We wish you all the best for the finals in November.

Lynwood Senior High School, Cohort 4, are have made a significant improvement in students’ academic performance. The Lynwood staff have a clear moral purpose of supporting their students to perform at or above the State average for key indicators, including NAPLAN and ATAR.

The recent release of ACARA 2017 data shows Lynwood students are out-performing their peers in NAPLAN reading and are close to the National average in NAPLAN writing and numeracy. This is a significant improvement in achievement of the students, as in 2015 and 2016 almost all areas of NAPLAN were close to ‘like schools’. See Lynwood’s NAPLAN profile here.

Lynwood’s high aspirations for student outcomes does not stop at Year 9 NAPLAN. The school was ranked 28th in the State in median ATAR score for 2017. They were the 7th highest ranked public school on the Better Education ranking. See the full list here.

On behalf of the EDvance community, we congratulate all the staff at Lynwood Senior High School on the dedication to supporting their students to aim and achieve high! We look forward to seeing the great results continue.

Congratulations to the people from Fogarty EDvance Schools who were announced as winners at the WA Education Awards ceremony this week. Great schools are made by great leaders and great teachers and the kids are the winners on every occasion. Well done everyone.

Mark McClements, Challis Community Primary School – WA Beginning Teacher of the Year

After a dream career with the world-famous Arsenal Football Club, Mark McClements found his calling to become a teacher and his impact on the school has been remarkable. With limitless enthusiasm and creativity, he takes a hands-on approach to teaching. He introduced a new program to the school, Talking for Writing, which is getting results – 84 per cent of Year 3 students achieved above the national minimum standard in the 2015 NAPLAN results.

Jodie Schicker, Bungaree Primary School – WA Premier’s Primary Teacher of the Year

Jodie Schicker teaches her students that circumstance does not define who they are or what they do; it is their choices that matter in life. She inspires a curiosity in her students, sharing her love of science. Mrs Schicker supports students to succeed, encouraging them to achieve their goals and be responsible for their learning. She has also spearheaded changes to improve how students with autism move on to secondary school, and how the school and parents manage challenging behaviours.

Congratulations also go to:

On Tuesday 6th of September, the FED Team, members of the FED Collective and a senior representative of the Macquarie Foundation, visited Phoenix Primary School as part of the school engagement offered to supporters of the EDvance program.

Margaret Pretty, Principal of Phoenix Primary, shared her experiences and growth as part of the FED program. There was also the chance to see one of Phoenix’s major improvement initiatives in action, with a visit to the early childhood centre to see the Kindergarten children developing early literacy skills.

Phoenix is a small primary school, with over 40% of students with English a second language. One of Phoenix’s key focuses as part of their 3-year school improvement has been to improve student literacy. To improve student achievement Phoenix has implemented a whole-school literacy approach, including a formal, game-based synthetic phonetics program in the Kindergarten classes, Cracking the Code.

The FED Collective and supporters were fortunate to meet Chrissy Kelly, co-author of the Cracking the Code program, who shared some insights into the significant improvements seen with the program in early years language development. Phoenix have already seen excellent improvements in the readiness of their Kindergarten children and they expect an improvement in on-entry assessments from next year. Through the broader whole-school approaches to literacy and numeracy, Phoenix are setting the conditions for improvements in all areas of NAPLAN in future years.

Research confirms synthetic phonics is an essential element of early primary literacy programs. The synthetic phonics approach has children practice ‘synthesising’ the sounds, identifying sounds and blending them together and breaking words down into their sounds. In pre-primary through to year 3, Phoenix Primary students’ continue their synthetic phonics approach through the program ‘Letters and Sounds’.

The FED Collective and supporters school visit is always a highlight in the FED calendar. The team and schools appreciate the opportunity to show supporters the impact the Fogarty EDvance Program and the improved student outcomes that the program drives towards. Our congratulations to Margaret and the team at Phoenix Primary School.