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 high academic expectations thumbTTFM-reflection-high-expectations-thumbHigh-academic-expectations-poster-thumb

These resources are part of a series that summarise the research on student wellbeing and engagement. They support the department's strategic goal of ensuring every student is known, valued and cared for.

Related resources

Published in Tell Them From Me

Sense belonging thumbTTFM-reflection-belonging-thumbsense-belonging-poster-thumb

These resources are part of a series that summarise the research on student wellbeing and engagement. They support the department's strategic goal of ensuring every student is known, valued and cared for.

Related resources

Published in Tell Them From Me
Monday, 29 June 2020

Supporting advocacy at school

advocacy-paper-thumbTTFM-reflection-advocacy-thumbadvocacy-poster-thumb

These resources are part of a series that summarise the research on student wellbeing and engagement. They support the department's strategic goal of ensuring every student is known, valued and cared for.

Related resources

Published in Tell Them From Me

Supporting school improvement: Using the Tell Them From Me student, parent and teacher surveys (PDF, 1.2MB)

Supporting school improvement: Using the Tell Them From Me student, parent and teacher surveys (PDF, 1.2MB)

The Tell Them From Me student, parent and teacher surveys have been used in NSW public schools since 2013. They provide data on a range of aspects of school life, practices and procedures from the perspectives of students, parents and teachers. 

This paper provides a background on the surveys and how they can be used to inform school planning and decision-making.

Related resources

 


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Published in Tell Them From Me

How high expectations and engagement in primary school drive student learning (PDF, 6.7MB)Warwick-case-study-thumbLiverpool-west-case-study-thumb

How high expectations and engagement in primary school drive student learning (PDF, 7.4MB)

Warwick Farm Public School case study (PDF, 4MB)

Liverpool West Public School case study (PDF, 5MB)

Reflection guide for school networks (PDF, 52kB)

Reflection guide for schools (PDF, 52kB)

The text on this page is also available as a downloadable summary (PDF, 107kB)

 

Background

How high expectations and engagement in primary school drive student learning explores the role of student engagement and classroom practices for improving student learning. Specifically, it looks at the impact of engagement and effective teaching experienced in Years 5, 6 and 7 on academic performance in Year 7.

 

Key findings

• A culture of high expectations is as important for learning in primary school as it is in high school. Year 5 students who report having teachers with high expectations are over 6 months ahead in their learning by Year 7.

• Socioeconomic status has an impact on students’ engagement at school. The proportion of students engaged in primary school is lower for students in the lowest socioeconomic quartile than for more advantaged students across measures of both classroom and social engagement at school.
• Other aspects of effective teaching also matter. When students understand the purpose of what they are learning and teachers deliver clear instruction and relevant content, student achievement improves.
• Having positive peer relationships and classroom behaviour during primary school are also important for learning.
• Students with a positive attitude towards homework during the final year of primary school have better numeracy outcomes in the first year of high school.

 

Practical implications

The publication is accompanied by professional learning reflection guides for principals and school executive staff to support school leaders in considering the implications of this research for practices in their schools. Two accompanying case studies, from Liverpool West and Warwick Farm public schools, provide additional resources to showcase how schools can effectively promote engagement and ensure high expectations of their students.

 

Further information

The NSW Department of Education Strategic Plan 2018-2022 includes the commitment to ensure that every student is known, valued and cared for in our schools. High expectations reflect an understanding of students’ capacity, ensuring that they feel known at school and are challenged in their learning. Schools can use the department’s Tell Them From Me surveys to capture students’ perceptions of the expectations that they experience. This knowledge can then help build an accurate and timely picture that schools can use for practical improvements.

Published in Learning Curve

TFFM parent survey resources

Achieving high participation rates in the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) parent survey helps schools reliably identify areas of strength and areas for improvement from the perspective of parents, and helps inform practical changes where needed.

A parent poster and flyer to promote TTFM are also available on the TTFM website. 

Published in Learning Curve

HomebushWestPS

Homebush West Public School case study (PDF, 400kB)

Related: The role of student engagement in the transition from primary to secondary school

 

Summary

Homebush West Public School has an effective approach in preparing students for secondary school

The school, in the inner west of Sydney, places a strong emphasis on preparing its students for the transition to secondary school. This case study looks at their ‘middle school’ approach, where Year 5 and 6 students are introduced to secondary school structures and routines to prepare them for the transition.

‘Middle school’ helps emphasise the important transition the students will face

When students reach Year 5, the concept of ‘middle school’ is introduced. The students are given more responsibility and are provided opportunities to step into leadership roles. There is also a focus on teaching students to be more responsible for their own learning, including setting learning goals and participating in peer and self-assessment.

The approach allows students to experience secondary school structures and routines

This involves individual student timetables that require students to change classrooms, classmates and teachers according to subject and ability. The students say that this approach allows them to build relationships with more than one teacher and get used to differing teaching approaches and teacher expectations. It also creates opportunities for students to continue making new friends across the cohort.

The staff at Homebush West collaborate, engage in reflective teaching and foster a culture of high expectations

With their unique ‘middle school’ approach, the staff at Homebush West recognise the need to continually refine practice and to be able to differentiate learning to meet the needs of all Year 5 and 6 students. They also attest to the high levels of organisation and communication that are needed to facilitate this approach. They have a constant focus on high expectations, helping students to recognise the opportunities of secondary school and feel confident and excited about the transition.

Published in Case studies
Thursday, 23 May 2019

Supporting school completion

Supporting school completion: The importance of engagement and effective teaching Learning Curve (PDF, 1.3MB)Supporting school completion: Resources and case studies for schools, teachers and parents/carers (PDF, 3MB)

The Supporting school completion: The importance of engagement and effective teaching (PDF, 1.3MB) explores links between students' engagement and experience of teaching practices in the middle of high school (Year 10) and their likelihood of completing Year 12.
The Supporting school completion: Resources and case studies for schools, teachers and parents/carers (PDF, 3MB) accompanies the Learning Curve and outlines practical strategies that may help facilitate high school completion and post-school transition.

 

Background

In Australia, socioeconomic status remains a key factor in school completion. By age 19, only 61% of the most disadvantaged students have completed Year 12, compared with 89% of the most advantaged students. It is important that all young people are given the opportunity to complete Year 12, or an equivalent pathway, particularly students who are at risk of not completing school due to their socioeconomic disadvantage.

Using data from the NSW Tell Them From Me (TTFM) secondary school student survey, this Learning Curve explores the links between students’ engagement and experience of teaching practices in the middle of high school (Year 10) and their likelihood of completing Year 12 two years later.

 

Main findings

Positive engagement and effective teaching increase all students’ chances of completing Year 12. When students develop positive relationships with teachers and are supported and challenged by teachers, they are more likely to complete school. Likewise, when students put effort in at school, see value in doing homework and believe school is important and useful for future success, they are also more likely to complete Year 12.

Engaging disadvantaged students increases their chances of completing school. When students from low-SES backgrounds report high levels of engagement and effective teaching practice in the middle of high school they are more likely to complete school than students from high-SES backgrounds who are not engaged in school.

Students from low-SES backgrounds are more likely to be disengaged in key predictors of school completion than students from high-SES backgrounds. In NSW, around half of all high-SES students in Year 10 report positive teacher relationships, positive attendance and value the outcomes of school, whereas only a quarter of low-SES students report a similar level of engagement.

This Learning Curve is accompanied by the resource, Supporting school completion: Resources for schools, teachers and parents/carers, which outlines practical strategies that may help facilitate high school completion and post-school transition. The resource includes four case studies from low-SES schools across metropolitan and regional NSW.

Some of the common themes that emerge from the four case studies are:

  • Developing strong teacher-student relations in the years prior to students finishing high school is an important foundation for successful post-school transition
  • Setting high expectations for all students fosters high aspirations and encourages students to work towards those aspirations
  • Providing information and support to students and parents about post-school transition broadens their awareness of available options for post-school life
  • Having dedicated resources within the school, through staff and/or ‘drop-in’ centres that students can draw on, improves students’ chances of making a successful transition.

 

Published in Learning Curve

This course allows educators to explore the provision of advocacy and support in NSW schools and connect education theory with their own practice.

Mode of delivery: online 
Accredited hours: 1.5
myPL course code: RG03816
Themes: support for learning, advocacy

Learn more about what the course involves.

Learn more about the Supporting students' learning publications.

Enrol on myPL. 

Published in Professional learning

 

CESE talks to school leaders from two NSW schools about how they provide a supportive learning environment for their students.

Featuring: Samuel Cox, CESE.
Murray Kitteringham and Melanie Check, Sir Joseph Banks High School.
Helen Polios, Whalan Public School.

Read the transcript (PDF, 106kB)

Read the supporting students' learning publications. 

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