CPD 4 Teachers began working with Xavier College in 2012. Xavier College is a Catholic School with students from Pre-Year 12 on a beautiful campus at Eli Waters, Hervey Bay.
The College leadership sought a united curriculum and pedagogical approach that would professionally engage their staff with research based “best bets” teaching strategies across the year levels from the Junior, Middle and Senior School.
With the new ACARA syllabus documents released, it was critical to look at not only what was necessary to learn, but which effective teaching and learning strategies would enhance students’ knowledge, skills and processes. School leaders required an approach that allowed all staff to head in the same direction with regards to the language they used across learning areas in their classroom planning and practice.
For a number of years, leaders at the College were focused on how they could improve particular CCEs – Common Curriculum Elements (e.g. analysis, synthesis etc…) School data showed that this was an area that was necessary for the school as a whole to work together and improve student learning and outcomes.
The relationship with CPD 4 Teachers began with a keynote to Leaders and Middle Leaders (academic and pastoral) to discuss how a school-wide approach might benefit the learners at Xavier College. Based on the research at that time, leaders at the college reflected and evaluated pedagogical frameworks that might suit the context and needs of their school.
Once a decision was made on a College Pedagogical Framework, CPD 4 Teachers over the next
year ran training days with groups of staff (up to 12) to understand the theory and practice outlined in the framework. Staff not only undertook the training but were coached to embed the theory into the planning of a unit of work. Particular coaching days were also added to support teachers who were unsure and needed further support with their planning or practice.
The following year, as new staff came to the College, they too undertook training to understand the Curriculum and Pedagogical Framework. As this was a regional school, CPD 4 Teachers undertook the training and coaching on consecutive days. The professional learning groups varied with some teachers from similar areas and subjects in the College, but some groupings included teachers from across the school and from a range of subject areas.
Leaders and a number of key teachers played pivotal roles in ‘Creating a Culture of Shared Practice’ beyond the training and coaching sessions. This approach has continued to gain momentum and today the school has set up professional learning groups/teams whereby professional conversations are centred on effective teaching strategies from their instructional framework. Additionally the college is about to move to the next phase of professional learning where teachers will go into each others classrooms to learn from their colleagues, provide feedback and develop mentoring systems.
Hear reflections from key stakeholders:
Create a culture of shared practice around excellence in teaching and learning in your school in 2015.
Contact Lisa at CPD 4 Teachers to discuss your school’s needs.