Talking Point Blog

Bringing together a variety of social media activities into the one space, Talking Point provides news updates from Bastow that readers can comment on and add more value for other readers. If you read a news item that you would like to comment or reply to, you can simply complete the Comments form on the website. Once the comments are approved for publication, they will appear at the end of the article for all future readers to view, adding a deeper level of collaboration and sharing.



Back to Basics2017-03-08T13:00:00Z<img alt="Park Ridge Primary School" src="/Assets/Blog/park-ridge-ps.jpg?RenditionID=7" width="250" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> to Basics<p> <em>​​​​Principal David Mann and Literacy Leader Anna Christofis were moved to action after identifying a drop in literacy performance at their school. Recognising that they needed support to make improvements, they enrolled in Bastow’s Creating a High Performance Learning Culture course.</em></p><p> Park Ridge Primary School had maintained a strong track record in literacy for some years. However, in 2015, the school noticed a drop in the literacy performance of students across all levels after receiving lower than expected NAPLAN results. <br> David Mann, the school’s principal, took decisive action to turn the school’s literacy levels around.</p><p align="center"> <img src="/Assets/Blog/park-ridge-ps.jpg" alt="​Principal David Mann and Literacy Leader Anna Christofis" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:333px;" /> <br> </p><p> As a strong believer in leading by example, David enrolled himself, a leading teacher and two classroom teachers in the Creating a High Performance Learning Culture course at Bastow. </p><p>‘We felt it was a good time to look at just how we were teaching and how our reading program was being delivered across the school,’ says David.</p><p> The course was ideal for the team in that it offered them the opportunity to carefully investigate and analyse evidence from their own context to better understand their existing approach and how well it aligns and connects with the Victorian curriculum. <br> Anna Christofis, a team member and a foundation teacher, literacy leader and library coordinator, had a vested interest in improving the school’s performance in literacy. Anna saw the course as a way to integrate literacy into a positive learning moment, making it a natural element of every student’s school experience.</p><p> Throughout the course, the team reported back to the other staff, providing updates and sharing what they were learning. Curriculum days were also spent expanding that learning and planning in a collaborative environment.</p><p>‘The whole school had input, rather than just the four people in the team,’ says David. ‘We wanted people on that journey rather than just saying, “Look, we've got a plan, and here it is”.’</p><p align="center"> <img src="/Assets/Blog/park-ridge-ps-team.jpg" alt="Park Ridge Primary School team" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:333px;" />​​<br></p><p> Bastow’s facilitator coach was a vital part of the team, boosting flagging morale, keeping them on track when they lost focus, and offering insight gained from many years’ experience.</p><p> Park Ridge Primary School have every reason to be proud of their achievements in improving literacy. The entire school has embraced initiatives like ‘book boxes’, keeping books and stories in plain view of students; ‘reading conferences’ between teachers and students to set individual literacy goals; and the development of a comprehensive literacy document and resource kit so that all teaching staff have access to a consistent source.</p><p> David recognises the importance of this common understanding and language around literacy.</p><p>‘I feel confident you could walk into this school tomorrow, walk up to any of my teachers and say, “Tell me what literacy looks like”, and they would be far more articulate than before—everyone is on the same page.’ </p><p> <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=ec694153-cd72-4e1d-a5e7-43776794658d&TermSetId=e170de58-ad97-4be8-898c-ec5ec1ca7900&TermId=8f9f817d-7868-4cf2-b797-251299ab0cb6">​<em>Creating a High Performance Learning Culture</em></a><em> supports the Positive Climate for Learning initiative wit​hin the Education State Framework for Improving Student Outcomes. </em></p> ​
Horizon: Thought Leadership - Issue 52017-03-06T13:00:00Z<img alt="Horizon: Thought Leadership - Issue 5 " src="/Assets/publications/Horizon_epub5.jpg?RenditionID=7" width="250" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> Thought Leadership - Issue 5<p>​This edition features papers from Larry Rosenstock and Rob Riordan of High Tech High, Jan Owen, of the Foundation for Young Australians, and Dr Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, and Pippa Rowcliffe of the University of British Colombia. All three articles consider what we can do to better educate and support our children and young people to be successful in the 21st century.</p><p> We hope that these articles will assist in the efforts many of you—our emerging and current school leaders—are making to explore new ways of thinking about curriculum and improving student outcomes for the future.​ </p><p>Read <a href="" target="_blank">Horizon: Thought Leadership - Issue 5​ ​</a></p><p><img src="/Assets/publications/Horizon_epub5-medium.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p> <br> </p>​
Supporting the team that supports the school2017-02-26T13:00:00Z<a href="/courses/leadership-for-business-managers"><img alt="" src="/Assets/Blog/MGC-LBM.jpg?RenditionID=7" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /></a> the team that supports the school<p>​Sending members of its educational support team to Bastow’s <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=ec694153-cd72-4e1d-a5e7-43776794658d&TermSetId=e170de58-ad97-4be8-898c-ec5ec1ca7900&TermId=6e1ac894-aeff-46d1-a8f5-5671534600a1">Leadership for Business Managers</a>​ course is delivering wide-ranging benefits for Melbourne Girls​’ College.</p><p> Mella Pescos and Emma Frankenberg returned from Bastow feeling more confident in their ability to create efficiencies and support teaching, learning and wellbeing outcomes within the school. </p><p style="text-align:center;"> <img src="/Assets/Blog/MGC-LBM.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:500px;" /> <br> <font size="-1">Emma Frankenberg, ​Mella Pescos and Nancy Sandilands</font>​<br></p><p> While completing the course together, the pair implemented a capacity-building project to embed a practical approach to multi-skilling within their office. Team members learned how to perform each other’s roles and developed detailed process guides documenting each position. </p><p> The college’s Business Manager, Nancy Sandilands, says the project has significantly increased efficiency, continuity and teamwork within the administration office. Their project also piqued the interest of many other course participants, who wanted to produce similar process guides for their own schools. </p><p> Mella, Emma and Nancy were invited back to Bastow in mid-2016 to present to the next intake of course participants about their project and its outcomes, which sparked another wave of requests for examples of their guides.</p><p> ‘This course really covers all bases; it’s training, it’s leadership development and it’s mentoring,’ says Mella, the college’s HR Payroll Officer. ‘Before Bastow, we knew we were reasonably good at our roles, but now it’s a completely different ball game. Bastow has lifted us up to affirm that we are already leaders in our own roles and that we can eventually become business managers further on in our careers.’</p><p style="text-align:center;"> <img src="/Assets/Blog/lbm-news.jpg" class="bastow-Position-4" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:333px;" /> <br> </p><p> Mella and Emma’s experience is one of many positive outcomes being repeated across the college as successive members of their team attend Bastow. Eight colleagues have completed the course so far and Nancy intends to send each new team member to Bastow, regardless of their position or level of experience.</p><p> The course supports the Professional Leadership priority area identified within the Education State Framework for Improving Student Outcomes and reinforces the Department’s commitment to public sector values of integrity, accountability, respect, leadership, impartiality and responsiveness. </p><p>For more information on the course: <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=ec694153-cd72-4e1d-a5e7-43776794658d&TermSetId=e170de58-ad97-4be8-898c-ec5ec1ca7900&TermId=6e1ac894-aeff-46d1-a8f5-5671534600a1">Leadership for Busines​s Managers​​</a>​<br></p>
2017 Professional Practice Guide2016-12-15T13:00:00Z<img alt="2017 Professional Practice Guide" src="/Assets/publications/prof-practice.jpg?RenditionID=7" width="250" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> Professional Practice Guide<p>​​​​We are pleased to present Bastow’s 2017 Professional Practice Guide. The Guide is an overview of our highly interactive professional practice workshops. These workshops focus on specific skills development and are delivered over one to three days.</p><p>A copy of the Guide has been sent out to Victorian government schools together with our 2017 Calendars.</p><p>Read the <a href="" target="_blank">2017 Professional Practice Guide​​​</a></p><p> <a href=""> <img src="/Assets/publications/Professional-Practice-Guide_cover.jpg" alt="2017 Professional Practice Guide" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:354px;" /></a> ​</p>
Practise makes perfect2016-11-23T13:00:00Z<img alt="Principal Janet Di Pilla and students at Brunswick East Primary School" src="/Assets/casestudy/JanetDiPilla.jpg?RenditionID=7" width="250" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> makes perfect<p> <em>​​​​​When approached </em><em>to implement a new ethics curriculum, Principal Janet Di Pilla, leading teacher Katie Backholer and their team attended Bastow’s Leading Pedagogy course to build the strongest framework possible for the task at hand.</em></p><p>Philosophical inquiry and flexible learning are at the heart of Brunswick East Primary School’s ethos. So when it came time for Principal Janet Di Pilla, Leading Teacher Katie Backholer and their team to implement a new ethics curriculum, they wanted a course that would not only support them to develop a framework, but also to help them measure results in a meaningful way.</p><p style="text-align:center;"> <img src="/Assets/casestudy/janetdipilla-small.jpg" alt="Principal Janet Di Pilla with students" style="margin:5px;width:500px;" /> <br> <font size="-1">Principal Janet Di Pilla with students </font>​ </p>​<span style="word-spacing:normal;">Bastow’s Leading Pedagogy course’s holistic, team-based approach to a real world project made it a natural fit for the school.</span> <p> The course supports school leaders to design and implement integrated whole-school approaches to quality teaching practice. It made sense that the course could help the team form the foundation of the implementation process. </p><p> The school was approached by the Victorian Curriculum​​ and Assessment Authority (VCAA) to participate in a pilot program for a new ethics curriculum ahead of its proposed statewide 2017 roll out. </p><p> Endorsed by the Victorian Association for Philosophy in Schools (VAPS) and consistent with Brunswick East Primary’s vision to create confident, passionate and curious learners, it was important that the project have the best possible chance at success.</p><p> As Katie explains, ‘We specifically focused on ethics, because this is one area that this school is very strong in. Also, the Victorian Association for Philosophy in Schools asked us to develop the professional learning to roll out to other schools.’</p><p style="text-align:center;">​<img src="/Assets/casestudy/KatieBackholer-small.jpg" alt="Teacher Katie Backholer with student " style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:334px;" /><br><font size="-1">Teacher Katie Backholer with student </font>​ </p><p> In line with BEPS own Learning Community structure and approach, the Leading Pedagogy course allowed the team to collaborate in diverse and practical ways through facilitated workshops, group tasks and discussions. </p><p> As a result, the BEPS team was able to implement the new curriculum by developing an understanding of how to establish goals and expectations, strategically allocating resources, leading teacher learning and development while ensuring a safe and orderly school environment. </p><p> Dr Warren Marks, one of the course’s facilitators believes, ‘The long-term benefit for the participants, and the school students, is a much deeper awareness of, and capacity to implement an evidence-based approach to leading improved instructional practice across the school.’</p><p> Katie agrees. ‘The Bastow course has helped us by making sure that we have evidence for what’s actually working, not just doing things and saying it feels better, but really looking at our effect size and how you can monitor this.’</p><p> <em>Find out more about how you </em><em>can support quality teaching practice in your school at </em><em><a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=ec694153-cd72-4e1d-a5e7-43776794658d&TermSetId=e170de58-ad97-4be8-898c-ec5ec1ca7900&TermId=d8e8b81a-a2de-4bff-a7a2-b6b3f9c77242">Leading Pedagogy</a>.</em></p>
Bastow Strategic Advisory Council2016-11-01T13:00:00Z<img alt="Strategic Advisory Council " src="/Assets/StrategicAdvisoryCouncil/strategic-advisory-council.jpg?RenditionID=7" width="250" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> Strategic Advisory Council<p><img src="/Assets/StrategicAdvisoryCouncil/strategic-advisory-council.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:600px;height:401px;" /> </p><p>In 2013 Bastow commenced work to establish a Strategic Advisory Council (Council) to provide high level advice on Bastow’s operation and strategic directions. The Council was to comprise of individuals with extensive expertise and experience in education, educational leadership and the corporate sector.</p><p> Since then, Bastow has been fortunate in attracting exceptionally high calibre leaders to the Council and members represent Victorian government schools, academia, the corporate sector and the Department. </p><p> The Council has met four times this year to discuss the Bastow Strategic Plan the role of leaders in a <em>Communities of Practice</em> approach, and growing high potential leaders.  <br> The final meeting for this year focused on the performance and development process for principals – how the process works across the system and how it could be enhanced by leveraging practice used in the corporate world. </p><p> On behalf of Bruce Armstrong, Gene Reardon and Neil Barker Bastow would like to acknowledge the support of Gill Callister and the Deputy Secretaries who have contributed to the robust Council conversations and the ongoing contribution of the Council members: <strong> </strong></p><ul><li>Larry Kamener, (Chair) Senior Partner Boston Consulting Group</li><li>Maria Arias, Senior Practice Expert, McKinsey & Company</li><li>Distinguished Professor Viviane Robinson, The University of Auckland</li><li>Tanya Deery, Senior Director ANZ</li><li>Tom Bentley, Consultant</li><li>Mr Alan Ross, Ambassador School Improvement Programs</li><li>Ms Jeanette Nagorcka, Principal Regional Director, North-Western Region</li><li>Marcus Wicher, Principal Auburn South Primary School</li><li>Kerrie Dowsley, Principal St Albans Secondary College</li><li>Pitsa Binnion, Principal McKinnon Secondary College</li><li>Leonie Roberts, Principal Camp Hill Primary School</li><li>Dennis Mitchell, Principal Ranfurly Primary School. </li></ul> <b>Strategic Advisory Council – Terms of Reference</b><br><br>The role of the Council will be to:<br> <ul><li><b>advise</b> on and ensure Bastow’s direction and priorities align with organisational, departmental and government strategic goals, and provide critical input into Bastow’s strategic plan</li><li><b>challenge</b> Bastow to ensure its products and service lines are “best in class” by ensuring decisions are made in line with educational and pedagogical best practice, tapping local and international expertise</li><li><b>support</b> Bastow to achieve its commercial objectives and effectively position itself in a competitive market, and provide guidance on how to be a high-performing organisation</li><li><b>provide assurance</b> – through ongoing advice and review – to senior Department Executives and the Minister around the quality of services Bastow provides, and ensure it is accountable for the expenditure of public resources</li><li><b>maintain</b> oversight of financial management and, if necessary, advise on strategic allocation of funds</li><li><b>provide strategic advice</b>, insight and review.</li> <br> </ul>
A balancing act2016-09-11T14:00:00Z<img alt="A balancing act " src="/Assets/Blog/IP015.20150803.90031831.jpg?RenditionID=7" width="250" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> balancing act<p>​​Good governance in a school is not only essential for financial stability and effective strategic planning, but it can also significantly boost the quality of the education provided. Student outcomes will improve in an environment where parents, teachers, students and community members can work together and learn from each other.</p><p> To make this possible, the <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=ec694153-cd72-4e1d-a5e7-43776794658d&TermSetId=e170de58-ad97-4be8-898c-ec5ec1ca7900&TermId=7c65c12b-54cd-48f7-8f1a-b009883a8a0e">School Governance</a> module in Bastow’s Strategic Management for School Leaders course is designed specifically for principals to develop their understanding and skills as executive officer of school council.</p><p> School councils can, by their nature, be challenging, time-consuming and demanding, and with their capacity to make major decisions effecting the whole school community, effective management and leadership are crucial.</p><p> ​<img src="/Assets/Blog/governace-small.jpg" alt="A balancing act" align="right" style="margin:5px;width:350px;height:233px;" />To balance both the conformance and partnership facets of school council, principals as executive officers must be multi-skilled, according to Sharon Butler, School Governance facilitator and Director of Silent Partners Learning Services.</p><p> ‘There is the technical competence to be able to guide school council and to be able to know how to conduct an election, and so on … and then there’s the relationship aspect of council, which is just as critical.’</p><p> For Chad Ingram, Acting Principal at Labertouche Primary School, completing the School Governance module earlier this year assisted him in dealing with both these aspects when inducting the new school council president.</p><p> ‘I could clarify questions and provide directed support to the new president regarding the standing orders and their purpose, in particular in relation to positive behavioural expectations and clear, reasonable processes.’</p><p> Reflecting the dual nature of the role, School Governance is delivered in two parts. The first part is via online vodcasts to provide an overall understanding of what governance is, including critical aspects of key roles, strategic planning, public administration and reporting and elections; and the second part is a half-day workshop.</p><p> ‘The workshop is more practical and draws on the experience in the room. There is no explicit instruction, although input is provided by facilitators as needed – the focus of the whole session is really a facilitated discussion,’ says Sharon.</p><p> Employing a variety of scenarios, the workshop puts learning into practice by giving participants the opportunity to identify key issues and then share ideas, strategies and tools for addressing these issues.</p><p> For Chad, learning content and then applying that knowledge in realistic scenarios was highly valuable.</p><p>‘I really liked the fact that it wasn’t cut and dried and given to you on a plate. It actually made you think, and from that I've gained so much more than I would have had it been a traditional tick-the-box-type approach.’</p><p> Chad was able to immediately use this knowledge when supporting his school council to develop an approach for fundraising.</p><p> ‘I found it much easier to define and put in context the respective roles of fundraising and parents and friends,’ explains Chad. ‘As a result, Council decided to adopt a tiered approach and introduced a fundraising subcommittee.’</p><p> Because of the complex nature and balancing act involved in being an executive officer, as well as the fact that he is principal of a small country school, Chad also appreciated the chance to collaborate with other principals and find out how they approached particular situations. </p><p>‘This course really is a must, if you are a principal or an aspiring leader, to broaden your perspective and actually engage in things that perhaps you hadn’t before,’ says Chad. ‘My network of contacts grew from attending the course, and I really believe the more contact points you have, the better the advice to help you make decisions.’ </p><p>For more information on the course: <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=ec694153-cd72-4e1d-a5e7-43776794658d&TermSetId=e170de58-ad97-4be8-898c-ec5ec1ca7900&TermId=7c65c12b-54cd-48f7-8f1a-b009883a8a0e">Strategic Management for School Leaders, Module 9 - School Governance </a>​</p><p> </p> ​
School and teacher leaders collaborating to design for change2016-09-01T14:00:00Z<img alt="School and teacher leaders collaborating to design for change" src="/Assets/Blog/IP026.20160720-80020896.jpg?RenditionID=7" width="250" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> and teacher leaders collaborating to design for change<p>​​​On their first day at Bastow’s <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=ec694153-cd72-4e1d-a5e7-43776794658d&TermSetId=e170de58-ad97-4be8-898c-ec5ec1ca7900&TermId=b979a5d6-e4c6-401c-9e8d-9a3407bea5db">Leading Curriculum and Assessment</a> course, Assistant Principal Brian Pender and teachers Elle Borgese and Sasha Kober from Princes Hill Secondary College, were unsure of what to expect. But over the five and a half workshop days they were surprised by the journey and how positive the experience was, especially the way the facilitators really listened and took on board what they wanted to achieve.</p><p> The Leading Curriculum and Assessment course is designed to achieve excellence through a shared aspiration for every student to experience deep and inspiring learning that enables them to progress. This reflects <em>New Directions to Action: World class teaching and school leadership</em>, which is part of the Victorian Government’s vision for excellence in school leadership.</p><p> Informed by contemporary research and quality principles, the program provides leaders with the opportunity to better understand what constitutes excellence in curriculum and assessment design. Participants analyse evidence from their own contexts to better understand their existing approach, and learn how to lead change to collaboratively strengthen curriculum and assessment across their schools. </p> <p align="center"> <img src="/Assets/Blog/Princes-Hill.jpg" alt="Sasha Kober, Brian Pender and Elle Borgese" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:333px;" /> <br> <font size="-1">Sasha Kober, Brian Pender and Elle Borgese</font></p><p> For the team from Princes Hill, the Leading Curriculum and Assessment course was perfectly ‘in tune with what we wanted to do in our school’.</p><p> ‘We wanted something to assist us with curriculum design, in particular documentation,’ explains Brian. ‘We are designing units of work and documenting them so we can better support teachers across the school from years 7‒10 in all learning areas.’</p><p> As a way to take a systematic approach, the school developed a wikispace, where teachers can feed in their documentation such as unit designs and lesson plans, so that they make connections between topics and across faculties, which is now linked to the Victorian curriculum. Ultimately, there will also be a space where parents can access their child’s curriculum.</p><p> ‘This consistent approach means we can look at big questions in each topic and ask “What else can we include that will enrich the students’ learning?”’ says Elle.</p><p> For all team members, collaborating with other teachers was a real highlight of the program, especially as a way to focus on their successes.</p><p>‘Finding what we do really well enables us to feel confident. We can look at the areas we know well and then see how we can enrich these even more.’</p><p> They also took the time at Bastow as an opportunity to do some ‘very high intensity work’ as a team, as well as learn strategies they can apply to successfully lead professional learning back at school.</p><p>‘From my perspective, it's about this team really driving what's happening in the school, and the program has really given us a lot more confidence and backing to do this,’ says Brian. ‘The approach and strategies the facilitators use for our learning is very transferable. We actually ran a couple of activities from the program with our own staff.’</p><p>For more information on the course, see <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=ec694153-cd72-4e1d-a5e7-43776794658d&TermSetId=e170de58-ad97-4be8-898c-ec5ec1ca7900&TermId=b979a5d6-e4c6-401c-9e8d-9a3407bea5db">Leading Curriculum and Assessment</a>​. </p>
Horizon: Thought Leadership - Issue 42016-08-31T14:00:00Z<img alt="Horizon: Thought Leadership - Issue 4" src="/Assets/publications/Horizon_epub4.jpg?RenditionID=7" width="250" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> Thought Leadership - Issue 4<p>​​​​​​​The fourth edition of our Horizon e-publication is now available online. This edition features two papers written exclusively for Bastow by academics through the Science of Learning and Research Centre (SLRC). The first paper focuses on the role of social interaction in promoting learning in mathematics classroom settings. The second examines the important role that confusion, error and feedback play in learning. </p><p>We hope the articles will be a conversation starter with your colleagues and pique your interest to explore the concepts further at the Horizon events in September and November. </p><p>Read <a href="" target="_blank">Horizon: Thought Leadership - Issue 4​</a></p><p> <img src="/Assets/publications/Horizon_epub4_medium.jpg" alt="Horizon: Thought Leadership - Issue" style="margin:5px;width:400px;height:371px;" /> <br> </p>
Reading more into literacy teaching2016-08-28T14:00:00Z<img alt="Reading more into literacy teaching" src="/Assets/Rollups/IMG_8717.jpg?RenditionID=7" width="250" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> more into literacy teaching<p> <em>​​​​​​​​Re-energised and motivated by attending Bastow’s Leading Literacy course, Principal Maryanne Moody and Assistant Principal Gaye Carrigan now have a clear path forward for taking </em> <em>literacy teaching and learning to the next level at their school.</em></p><p> As Principal and Assistant Principal at Haddon Primary School, Maryanne and Gaye decided that enrolling in Bastow’s Leading Literacy course would give them the best chance for introducing whole-school change in literacy instruction at their school.</p><p style="text-align:center;"> <img src="/Assets/Blog/haddonps.jpg" alt="Principal Maryanne Moody and Assistant Principal Gaye Carrigan" style="margin:5px;" /> <br> <font size="-1">Assistant Principal Gaye Carrigan and Principal Maryanne Moody</font><br> </p><p> Attending the course together also meant they had the opportunity to discuss and plan their approach and present a united front to the other teachers.</p><p>‘And we were fortunate because we didn’t have to do any convincing up the line; we were the ones who were able to make decisions and drive change, in collaboration with our staff,’ says Gaye. </p><p> As they progressed through the 12-month course, the pair developed a school-based literacy project with an emphasis on building teacher capacity. A key part of this was sharing their Bastow learning in fortnightly professional development sessions for their nine classroom teachers, stepping them through the course content and professional reading, and encouraging reflective group discussions. </p><p>‘Our role as school leaders is to equip them to perform the magic that the students need, and the Leading Literacy program was a very valuable, structured and accessible means by which we were able to do that,’ says Maryanne. </p><p> Closely aligned with the instructional leadership priorities in the state government’s Education State FISO, the course provided Maryanne and Gaye with valuable knowledge around ‘core teaching and learning areas of literacy and numeracy.’ </p><p>‘I knew straight away that this was something we were really going to get a lot out of,’ says Gaye. </p><p style="text-align:center;"> <img src="/Assets/Blog/gaye-carrigan.jpg" alt="Assistant Principal Gaye Carrigan with students" style="margin:5px;" /> <br> <font size="-1">Assistant Principal Gaye Carrigan with student​s</font></p><p> As part of the new instructional model, literacy teaching is compartmentalised into separate 2-hour blocks of time for reading and writing workshops each day. And rather than incorporating spelling into these blocks, it is now taught as a separate half-hour session. </p><p> With this new approach, as well as a consistent, shared language around literacy, the school is already seeing positive results.</p><p>‘Within the 12-month period, especially in spelling, the relative growth from grade 3 to grade 5 was very high for the majority of our students,’ says Maryanne. </p><p> <em>Find out more about how you </em> <em>can support exemplary literacy practice in your school at <a href="/_layouts/15/FIXUPREDIRECT.ASPX?WebId=ec694153-cd72-4e1d-a5e7-43776794658d&TermSetId=e170de58-ad97-4be8-898c-ec5ec1ca7900&TermId=f2ebda7c-3e29-4a26-b232-11658189c343">Leading Literacy </a></em></p><p> <em>Celebrate the importance of numeracy and literacy teaching and learning during National Literacy and Numeracy Week, find out more at <a href="" target="_blank"></a></em></p>