In 2017, as part of the College’s School Improvement Plan, we are undertaking an ‘Inclusive Learning’ review. The purpose of the review is to:
- Investigate and determine how effectively as a College we support the learning needs of the entire range of our students, and
- Identify, and subsequently implement, best practice teaching and learning strategies that support all learners to maximise their learning progress.
The review process has been conducted in a highly collaborative manner, and led by a key team of St. John’s and Concordia campus staff members, who due to their roles, skills and experience, have brought a high level of richness and rigour to the review.
The review commenced with the group analysing and interpreting educational research and case-studies that outlined both contemporary and evidence-based approaches which are known to have a high impact on student learning. This task led to the identification of the following key principles, which were identified as critical in ensuring as a College we effectively support and maximise the learning of all students.
- An inclusive culture increases student engagement through valuing and respecting diversity;
- School Leaders lead strategies and approaches that enable a high level of learning for all students;
- Enhancing learning outcomes for all students is a shared and collaborative responsibility;
- Differentiation is crucial in enabling all students to access the curriculum and demonstrate their knowledge, capabilities and skills;
- Wide ranging, high quality assessment and data supports student growth, and
- Early and targeted intervention is essential for addressing student needs and improving learning outcomes.
The next focus in the review, was to determine the degree to which our current approaches as a College support student learning, especially in relation to these key guiding principles. To assist in achieving this, individual parent, student and teacher surveys were developed. We experienced a very high level of engagement, with over 480 individual responses. Collaborative analysis of these survey responses identified the following common themes:
- Parents feel highly engaged and involved in their child’s learning.
- Students identified that their parents/caregivers have a high level of positive involvement in their learning.
- Students articulated that teachers genuinely care about them, both as young people and as learners.
- Students felt the primary goal of all teachers is to support the progress of all students in their learning.
- Students experience a high level of support from teachers in their learning.
- Teachers place a high degree of focus on catering for the wide range of student needs, interests and strengths.
Collaboratively analysis of these survey responses (along with the analysis of other key student learning-based data) has also led to the identification of specific recommendations, relating to how as a College we can further develop our capabilities and approaches in supporting the learning needs of the entire range of students. Currently, the team leading this review is working strategically and collaboratively to plan the implementations of these recommendations. Further communication to the College community will occur in the near future, outlining areas of development and transformation. As a College we are genuinely excited by the outcomes of this review and its potential to further enhance our commitment and desire to ensure that all our students are progressing strongly in their learning.
Acting Director of Student Learning - Concordia Campus