At the end of 2014, the College invited a team from the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to come to Dominic College to review our school using the National School Improvement Tool (NSIT). This was an excellent process in assisting Dominic to clarify our priorities and guide our direction in school improvement. It became clear to us that our improvement agenda at Dominic needed to focus on three priority areas:
Dominic needs to ensure a significant student data analysis plan that focuses on improved understanding of student needs to shape teaching and learning in the College to be more effective.
We systematically collect data on student outcomes in four main categories as outlined in the National School Improvement Tool: academic, attendance, behavioural and student wellbeing.
A high priority is now being given at Dominic to school-wide analysis and discussion of this data to support improvement in overall school performance as well as the performances of individual students from identified priority groups. Our focus is on tracking and measuring student growth in the four data areas.
The National School Improvement Tool clarified that Dominic needs a goal-based literacy and numeracy initiative across the College to raise and extend standards for all students.
This initiative requires a whole school plan which involves setting standards and prioritising targets for improving literacy and numeracy based on individual student and cohort data. It also requires creating conditions in which literacy and numeracy can be taught explicitly and systematically K-10.
Developing systematic and ongoing procedures to assess, plan, monitor and revise teaching based onstudents’ literacy and numeracy achievement is a priority.
This initiative is underpinned by the targeted use of resources in the development of an improved Learning Support model across the College.
The National School Improvement Tool (NSIT) affirmed that the College needs to continue to develop our teachers to identify and use the most effective pedagogical practices that optimise student learning.
Nurturing a culture amongst teachers that fosters professional growth and collaborative review of practice for improved teacher effectiveness is a priority. Ongoing professional review and development of teachers involving self-reflection and feedback, inclusive of classroom observation is the basis for teacher professional learning.
We are committed to using research-based teaching practices in all classrooms to ensure that every student is engaged, challenged and learning successfully. A focus on developing teacher use of explicit instruction to maximise student learning is a priority.