My last Newsletter focused on academic achievement and I would like to further elaborate on this topic. During the week I was most fortunate to attend a lecture by Professor Geoff Masters. His topic focused on highly effective leadership and I came away feeling reinforced about what is happening at Santa Maria College.
Geoff Masters listed four practices of highly effective leadership where schools performed above expectations. They were:
- Leaders focus on outcomes (including academic). They know what they want to see ie where the College is at and where it should be. They also share this with their community.
- A realisation that you cannot improve outcomes without improving practices ie we need to change what is happening inside classrooms. A good example of this is using data to determine where students ‘are at’. Within any junior school and middle school class there could be a five year gap between the most able to the least advanced student. To cater for this, teaching needs to be differentiated rather than ‘teaching to the middle’.
- Leaders focus on building a culture of improvement as every child is capable of improvement.
- There is a major focus on teaching and learning to build capacity within teachers. Teachers never stop learning about learning and we need to devote time to improve our educational offerings.