St Joseph's, Chinchilla - TCS Quadrennial school review Full report 02 - 05 M arch 2020 - St Joseph's School Chinchilla

 
St Joseph's, Chinchilla - TCS Quadrennial school review Full report 02 - 05 M arch 2020 - St Joseph's School Chinchilla
St Joseph's, Chinchilla

TCS Quadrennial school review
Full report

                          02 – 05 M arch 2020
St Joseph's, Chinchilla - TCS Quadrennial school review Full report 02 - 05 M arch 2020 - St Joseph's School Chinchilla
Foreword
    Although much has been written about school reform in past decades — national reports, studies, descriptions of
    findings — insufficient attention has been given to the important relationships among the adults within the school,
    and to a consideration of how the abundant untapped energy, inventiveness and idealism within the school might
    be encouraged.

                                                                  Roland Barth, Harvard Graduate School of Education

    The philosophical approach to the review is based on Appreciative Inquiry, a well-established approach used
    by organisations varying from international corporations to not-for-profit social organisations. Appreciative
    Inquiry begins with the assumption that there are good things happening in the organisation and identifying
    these. It then moves to what people see as areas needing attention, improvement or change. The key principle
    is that these are placed in the context of what the organisation does well, so it moves beyond a problem-solving
    agenda to an improvement agenda.

    Appreciative Inquiry aims to bring ownership to the school. The review team hears ‘the story’ of the school
    through its stakeholders, and this informs the key findings and improvement strategies that the review team
    has recommended. Exactly how the school addresses the key findings and improvement strategies is left for
    the school to determine, but it is mandatory for the school to address them over the following four years.

    Leaders of continuously improving organisations bring a learning mindset to the work of their staff. They focus
    on establishing disciplined processes for developing, testing, and improving core work and programs to build
    capacity. They invest time and energy in enabling staff to embed these processes into day-to-day work and to
    create an organisational openness to review and change.

    Park, S., Hironaka, S., Carver, P. and Nordstrum, L. (2013). Continuous improvement in education, Carnegie Foundation,
    Stanford.

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St Joseph's, Chinchilla - TCS Quadrennial school review Full report 02 - 05 M arch 2020 - St Joseph's School Chinchilla
Methodology
    The review was conducted from 02-05 March 2020

    Reviewers
    Norman Hunter           External reviewer, former Principal Hillbrook Anglican School
    Louise Pfingst          Principal, St Anthony’s School Toowoomba (Peer Principal)
    Marty Savage            Senior Education Leader, Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office
    Jim Midgley             Director: Teaching and Learning, Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office
    Paul Murphy             Senior Education Leader

    The review consisted of structured interviews of the following school community members

    • The Principal
    • Fr Gonzalo Duran, Parish Administrator
    • Assistant Principal Religious Education/Middle Leader (APRE/ML)
    • Teaching staff (16)
    • School Officers including Administration and Teacher Aides (7)
    • Parents including Parents and Friends Association (P&F) and Board members (23)
    • Students school captains (4) house captains (4) Year 5 students (10)

    School Renewal and Improvement (SRI) domains and components
    The reference document for the review was the SRI domains and components from the Toowoomba Catholic
    Schools (TCS) School Renewal and Improvement Framework.

            Domain 1 Teaching and learning
    Component 1.1 Students and their learning
    Component 1.2 Curriculum structure and provision
    Component 1.3 Pastoral care and student wellbeing

            Domain 2 Mission and identity
    Component 2.1 Religion curriculum
    Component 2.2 Religious life of the school

             Domain 3 Continual renewal
    Component 3.1 School improvement culture
    Component 3.2 Community partnerships

            Domain 4 Strategic resourcing and stewardship
    Component 4.1 Staff development and wellbeing
    Component 4.2 Use of resources facilities and the learning environment

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Prologue
    The purposes of the Toowoomba Catholic Schools Quadrennial School Review are
    a. to engage the school community in a process of self-reflection and continual renewal
    b. to ensure the school review focuses on the quality of teaching and learning
    c. to provide the school community with an opportunity to participate in a thorough reflection on their
    school’s effectiveness
    d. to provide an external panel perspective including findings and improvement strategies to affirm and
    improve teaching and learning

            Domain 1 Teaching and learning
    Component 1.1 Students and their learning
    Findings

    Explicit improvement agenda
    It is clear that the school leadership team have established and are driving a strong improvement agenda for
    the school. The Leadership team is drawing on the expertise offered by TCSO for evidence-based practice
    and expressed in terms of improvements in measurable student achievement. Explicit and clear school-wide
    targets for improvement have been set. These are yet to be communicated to the wider community. The
    Principal and other school leaders are united, committed to and explicit about their core objective: to improve
    learning and achievement for all students in the school.

    The leadership team has led the school in an effort to understand current student achievement levels, and
    how achievement levels have shown minimal improvement over time. The improvement agenda is
    substantial, and teachers describe the agenda as 'what we need to know to improve academic results’.
    Coherence around priorities, timelines, success indicators - the project management aspects of this complex
    agenda – is still being established.

    85% of students at St Joseph’s are reaching Toowoomba Catholic Schools (TCS) reading targets. The
    percentage of students below National Minimum standard (NMS) has decreased significantly in both cohorts.
    The over-time assessment data (OTADA) in NAPLAN shows a slight negative trend in mean scale scores in
    both year 3 and year 5. The growth between Year 3 and Year 5 is not yet matching national trends. In
    response to the data, the leadership team has devised and clearly articulated a number of strategies under
    two goals for improving these trends:
    Goal 1: All students to achieve above the National Minimum Standard (NMS)
    Goal 2: An increase in the percentage of students achieving in the top two bands

    Strategies:
         Reading improvement strategy (RIS) to have a specific focus on reading comprehension strategies -
          best practice in place, letting go of a range of 'other' strategies

         TCSO Phonics to Spelling program P-3 2020 and 4-6 in 2021

         Coaching in guided reading from the reading coach and leadership team

         Planning for Personalised Learning (PfPL) to reflect progress and achievement for all students

         Consistent expectations of teaching and learning across the whole school

         Expectations to be followed up in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), walkthroughs,
          observations

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The school leadership team and teachers are clearly committed to finding ways to improve current student
    achievement. This is reflected in an eagerness to learn from TCSO Education Officers using research
    evidence, and consultation with systemic schools who have shown significant improvement. There is
    evidence of a school-wide commitment to every student’s success and students tell stories of significant
    improvement in their learning since joining the St Joseph's community from other schools. Notable
    improvements in NAPLAN in 2019 data from 2018 include
          year 3 writing (all students bands 4-6)

          year 5 reading

          year 5 grammar and punctuation

          year 3 writing and numeracy (no students in bands 1 and 2)

    Analysis and discussion of data
    The Principal and other school leaders clearly articulate their belief that reliable data on student achievement
    is crucial to the school’s improvement agenda. The school has established and is implementing a systematic
    plan for the collection, analysis and use of a range of student achievement data. Teachers acknowledge that
    their skills in data analysis and using data to drive planning has significantly improved. Test data in areas
    such as literacy and numeracy are key elements of this plan. Data are used throughout the school to identify
    gaps and strengths in student learning, to monitor improvement over time and to monitor growth as students
    move through the school. A high priority has been given to professional development aimed at building
    teachers’ and school leaders’ data literacy skills.

    There is evidence of growth in all cohorts from January to December. Where low growth is identified in the
    collaborative discussions, a response is formulated. The panel was provided with evidence showing the
    agile response to what the data is indicating.

          Middle Leader (ML) assisted in guided reading (GR) delivery

          ML supported in guided reading cycle and small group intervention for sound letter knowledge (SLK)
           and sight words

          Learning Support Teacher (LST), ML and school officer timetabling in literacy blocks to support
           uninterrupted literacy focus
          Reading assessment book updated with specific guidelines on collecting, entering data with
           consistency across the school

          In response to any decline in NAPLAN data the following strategies are enacted

          Reading Improvement Strategy (RIS) specific focus on reading comprehension strategies – best
           practice in place/ letting go of a range of ‘other’ strategies

          TCSO Spelling program in P-3, 4-6 in 2021

          Professional learning and coaching in guided and shared reading with support from TCSO Reading
           Coach

          Inspire Maths

          Planning for Personalised Learning to reflect progress and achievement for all students

          Consistent expectations of teaching and learning across the school

          Expectations followed up via PLCs, walkthroughs, peer observations

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Learning culture

            Moving between Cath Ed schools has been a breeze - the strategies and expectations are
            the same everywhere.
            (New St Joseph’s teacher with experience in two other TCS)

    The WESTIE program is having a substantial impact on school culture. Students are Welcoming,
    Encouraging, Sorry(forgiving), Thankful, Inclusive and Enthusiastic. The learning culture is less well defined
    and articulated, and dispositions of a St Joseph's learner are under construction. The goal is to have the
    learning dispositions as embedded as the WESTIE meta-language. The school community behaves as if all
    students are capable of successful learning, and this is supported by an obvious high degree of quality caring
    relationships between students and staff.
    The leadership team is developing a collegial culture of mutual trust and support among teachers and school
    leaders. The majority of parents state that they feel they are treated as partners in the promotion of student
    learning and wellbeing.
    There appears to be some tension around recent changes in the learning support model. Many teachers and
    parents see this as a funding issue because all that is apparent to them is that there are fewer school officer
    hours. They say they are seeking clearer explanations for the changes. It appears that the ways in which
    support for students with special learning needs is now provided is still not clear to many parents and some
    staff.

    The Maths Inspire project appears to be engaging staff and students. Many students can name a number of
    strategies that they see as options when working with numbers. The notion of investigating, experimenting
    and finding alternative methods to solve problems and share learning with peers sits comfortably with them.
    The upper grades students are using the language of Visible Learning, and they express enthusiasm for this.
    In particular, students can articulate the purpose and benefits of teacher clarity around learning intentions
    and success criteria.

    The school is working to maintain a learning environment that is safe, respectful, tolerant and inclusive.
    Intellectual rigour and high academic expectations are relatively new to the agenda and are in the early
    stages of development. There is an expressed intent to focus on high potential learners and increase the
    numbers in the upper achievement bands.
    The tone of the school reflects a school-wide commitment to purposeful, successful learning. The majority of
    staff report that there are relatively few behavioural, attendance or engagement problems and that behaviour
    management takes up little of school leaders’ and classroom teachers’ time. The introduction of the whole of
    school rules in 2020 - the Four Bs (Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be a Learner, Be Safe)- has had a
    positive impact. Teachers describe it as a whole school approach to behaviour management and cite
    numerous occasions where they have witnessed students of all ages reminding each other of the rules and
    consequences.
    It is apparent that students are engaged in challenging, meaningful learning. Parents and families are
    encouraged to take a genuine and close interest in the work of the school, and they say they are welcomed
    as partners in their children’s learning.

    It is clear that students and staff have an obvious sense of belonging. All parents feel welcome, and all staff,
    students and parents speak highly of the school. It is widely agreed that staff morale is high.
    Some parents observe that St Joseph’s teachers utilise a wide variety of assessment modes - writing, oral,
    visual, art, music, drama - giving students different ways to show what they have learned. The parents
    contrast this favourably with other schools in the area that regard written assessment as the only way for
    students to show what they have learned.

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Improvement strategies

           explore ways to involve teachers, students and the wider parent community in the setting and pursuit
            of learning targets within the broad academic aspirations of the school

           continue the focus on teachers using data to inform planning and building knowledge of their
            students’ learning needs, including those of high potential learners

           continue to build coherence and connections across the curriculum

           invite TCSO Education Officers to assist with establishing a framework around learning support to
            provide coherence and clarity to the community around the new model

           collaboratively design and document a strategic response (part of the strategic plan) that takes into
            account the “big picture” and consolidate major items - those requiring staff development and mindset
            changes- before moving onto the next major item

           consider using the diocesan Teaching & Learning Framework as a source document for the St
            Joseph's learning dispositions. Market and promote in the same way the WESTIE culture has been
            imbedded

           explore opportunities for involvement in the Support School Officers’ Supporting Learning (SSO-SL)
            project

    Component 1.2 Curriculum structure and provision

    Findings

    Systematic curriculum delivery
    Evidence-based teaching is clearly the predominant philosophy at St Josephs. Evidence about where
    students are in their learning is used to guide and personalise teaching. The stated objective is to develop a
    good understanding of where all students are in their learning so that they can be provided with appropriately
    targeted teaching and learning opportunities. Evidence-based practice depends on the integration of local
    reliable practitioner-collected evidence and systematic external research. Along with the Diocesan Teaching
    and Learning Framework (2018), the Diocesan Learning Profile (DLP) is the best tool to plan, collate and
    disseminate such information to assist with planning, delivery and assessment.

    The Diocesan Learning Profile (DLP) is the mandated resource for curriculum planning and a data base for
    student achievement records and reporting. Its purpose is to collect and make available the record of school
    activity in planning, teaching and assessment. When used effectively it contains practitioner collected
    qualitative and quantitative short, medium and long cycle assessment data. It imports long cycle (annual)
    standardised test data, it is interactive, and it produces a multitude of reports for teachers.
    St Joseph's teachers are interacting with the DLP, and at this stage it is yet to be utilised to capacity or with
    consistency. This is not to say that planning and assessment are not done well; it does suggest that the full
    benefits of the resource for teachers and students are yet to be accessed.

    Personalised learning in the DLP has substantial data entry at the ‘master class grid level’ for all students
    across all classes. At this stage it is not clear that teachers are applying this data in ways that show
    adjustments to the curriculum to allow access to all students regardless of needs. This may not mean that
    differentiation is not occurring, only that it is not documented in the appropriate year level units.

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In the general planning category, Year 1, 2 and Year 3 units show strong evidence of collaboration.
    Currently few year levels show recording of learning intentions (LI)and success criteria (SC), and at this
    stage of development alignment from the intended curriculum to the assessed curriculum is unclear.

    Teachers know their students well and are developing consistent school-wide pedagogical approaches.
    More work is required in the evidence-based teaching domain of "Know the curriculum". New teachers
    would benefit from the General Information tabs being complete. Learning Area Programs (LAPs) are the
    documentation that indicates alignment with the Australian Curriculum along with the considered learning
    needs of particular cohorts of students.

    Historically the school has had a reliance on textbooks and off-the-shelf programs. The school has a whole
    school scope and sequence document for curriculum offering. It is not evident that a whole-school curriculum
    plan is driving the lesson plans of individual teachers. The leadership team believe curriculum delivery is
    monitored through planning reviews, participation in collaborative planning days, timetable reviews and
    learning walks and talks. Teachers appear less certain of the consistency of these approaches and believe
    that the strategies, pedagogy and knowledge of students drive the agenda ahead of knowledge of the
    curriculum.

    School context

    Key projects driving the improvement agenda a St Joseph's include eLearning, the reading improvement
    strategy (RIS), Maths Inspire project and TCSO Phonics to spelling. The school focus on data is relatively
    recent. Historically, engagement with TCSO initiatives and support has been limited, and the Middle Leader
    and Principal are endeavouring to increase the school’s access to the available support. TCSO has made
    clear its willingness and ability to support the school whenever necessary.

    It is an intense agenda, one which seems appreciated by the teachers rather than being regarded as
    overwhelming. ‘How else will I learn?’ is one response from a graduate teacher when questioned about the
    intense improvement agenda. With the current leadership team benefiting from such good will and
    enthusiasm, there may be a fear of missing out on TCSO supported opportunities, which could lead to staff
    burnout as the year progresses.

     Parents have shared concerns about what they see as a high level of staff turnover. Additionally, parents
    indicate that they would appreciate any efforts from the employing authority to find suitable male teachers.

    Other contextual factors impacting on the learning achievements and improvement agenda include

         Town and property families – Many walk to school vs others travelling 45minutes each way

         Families range across single parents, two working parents, FIFO arrangements and other blended
          families

         Significant changes to staffing over the past 3 years

         Changes to the leadership team – A new team as at 2019, new Principal, new (acting) APRE (now
          continuing), and the Middle Leader started in 2018

         Continuing growth in student enrolment

         ICSEA – above the national average and

         Students have access to early literacy and numeracy concepts at home before attending Prep

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The school is moving from a model of withdrawal of students not at expected level to one of in-class support
    and expert teachers who can differentiate and cater for the majority of students with advice from the Learning
    Support Teacher (LST). This model of expert teacher and differentiation ensures the most qualified people
    are working with the students who need most support.

    The previous model of withdrawal with large numbers of students becoming the responsibility of the Learning
    Support Teacher (LST) and school officers alone is discredited in research, and the panel commends the
    leadership team’s efforts to diffuse this. The replacement model needs to be well understood and well
    supported. At this stage many school officers, parents and some teachers do not appear to be fully familiar
    with the new support model and its accompanying advantages and expectations.

    Improvement strategies

           clarify expectations in regard to the use of the Diocesan Learning Plan, improve awareness of new
            and updated capabilities, and ensure that entries to the DLP are kept up to date

           research best practice in learning support and differentiation, and engage TCSO inclusion coaches in
            assisting with adjustments to the learning support model in the inclusive ways that are supported in
            research and desired by the leadership team, with confinement of the withdrawal model to highly
            specialised needs

           ensure that the rationale for the recent changes in learning support are communicated clearly to the
            school community

    Component 1.3 Pastoral care and student wellbeing

    Findings

    Student social and emotional wellbeing

                            I feel part of a family at Joey’s. (Parent)

                            WESTIE is in the DNA of our school. (Teacher)

    Staff, students and families consistently state that there is a very welcoming and inclusive culture of
    community at St Joseph’s The positive community feel that exists at St Joseph’s is evident in all
    conversations with staff, parents and students, and was experienced by the review panel. Many staff and
    parents affirm the use of a shared language about learning and expectations for everyone to be positive
    contributors at St Joseph’s.

    Many students say they strive to achieve a WESTIE award during Friday assemblies
    and can clearly articulate what this means, including the expectations around being a
    WESTIE at St Joseph’s. It is clear from conversations with parents and students
    across early, middle and senior years that they have a shared and school-wide
    understanding of what it means to be a WESTIE. Related to this, parents express
    appreciation for the positive nature of the school’s award system.

    Conversations with students highlight that they are aware of and utilise members of
    staff that are part of the Student Protection Team. This team offers students pastoral
    care and support as required.

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Relationships

    Students and parents acknowledge that staff know all students and families by name and that the school is
    very welcoming and accepting of everyone. Students and parents indicate that all staff demonstrate genuine
    interest and support of all students across the school. Parents highlight that along with the enrolment growth
    and size of the school, the friendly, welcoming and inclusive community feel continues to pervade life at the
    school.

    Effectiveness of systems and structures

    Staff indicate that they are receiving training in the school-wide student wellbeing program You Can Do It,
    and identify that this is a priority for embedding this year. The leadership team present the following as
    initiatives and priorities for St Joseph’s in relation to the pastoral care and wellbeing of students.

           Whole School Student Wellbeing Plan implemented Term 2 2020 (planning started 2019) – Will
            incorporate You Can Do It, Making Jesus Real, Daniel Morcombe Program, and school-specific focus
            areas linked to the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework

           Review and launch the updated Student Behaviour Support Plan

           Increased information to students and parents regarding Student Protection Officers

           Strengthening the Buddy Program

           More access for students to the Counsellor

           Strengthening links with the Parish Priest

           Indigenous Story Poles

           Leadership roles of the Student Representative Council

           Deepening the student leadership program

           Mini Vinnies, Choir, links with St Vincent De Paul, Rosie’s and Drought Angels

           Staff professional learning about student wellbeing

           Increased use of Positive Postcards and

           Enhancing the experiences of camps and excursions

    There is general consensus that student behaviour and general conduct have improved in recent times.
    Some parents express a desire for increased consistency and follow up when addressing inappropriate
    student behavior, along with clear communication to families throughout the process.

    Improvement strategies

           continue to nurture and deepen the WESTIES concept in the school culture

           ensure consistent approaches by staff and leadership in dealing with inappropriate student behaviour,
            and ensure the families are informed throughout the process

           communicate the new behaviour plan and its related processes to the school community

           continue to engage staff in professional development around the You Can Do It program to embed a
            school-wide and consistent implementation

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Domain 2 Mission and identity
    Component 2.1 Religion curriculum

    Findings

    Systematic curriculum delivery
            My kids have a great relationship with Jesus and the religion taught at this school
             makes them better people. (Parent)
    The Religious Education (RE) curriculum taught at St Joseph’s is based on the Toowoomba Catholic
    Schools' (TCS) Religious Education Guidelines which utilise the resources of the Archdiocese of Brisbane
    Religious Education guidelines. Teachers have access to the quality units devised by the TCSO RE team.
    The School Learning Area Program (LAP) is devised by the Assistant Principal Religious Education (APRE)
    in consultation with teachers and the Toowoomba Catholic School’s Education Officer Faith and Identity and
    is reviewed in a three-year cycle.

    Professional Learning Community (PLC)
    The APRE is present during the collaborative planning days each term and assists teachers with their RE
    planning. There is one Professional Learning Community (PLC), a term dedicated to formation of staff
    particularly related to the school’s Josephite charism and the religious life of the school.
    St Joseph’s has had a high turnover of staff, and the leadership team has identified the importance of
    ensuring that as part of their induction, all teachers are familiar with the St Joseph’s ‘story’ and can share
    this consistently with their classes across the school. The school is developing units that will focus on the
    school charism in RE lessons in the first two weeks of the new school year, including telling the ‘story’ of
    St Joseph’s.
    Teachers identify the APRE as being approachable and supportive with both teaching RE and assisting with
    resourcing. The APRE conducts regular walk-throughs, ensuring there is a visible prayer space and the
    school prayer is displayed. Lesson observations are also conducted as part of the APRE’s support for
    teachers in their RE teaching. The APRE collects class timetables each term to confirm that RE is being
    taught for the allocation of 2.5 hours per week across the school.
    Two teachers are enrolled in the Religious Education Accreditation Program (REAP) in 2020, and eight
    teachers are currently accredited to teach RE. All staff participated in professional development at the
    beginning of the year on the Josephite charism, and new staff as part of their induction are walked through
    the St Joseph’s scope and sequence ‘Mandated Spiritual Texts and Explicit Teaching About Prayer’.
    There is general agreement that Religious Education at the school is still developing, and is not yet taught
    with the same rigor as other key learning areas.
    School context
    The school currently has an enrolment of 269 students with 43.9% identifying as Catholic. A number of
    students each year are involved in the sacramental program. Currently the preparation of students for the
    sacramental program is a collaborative effort between the parish and school staff. The APRE identifies the
    challenge of involving the parish and parents more in the formation of students who make these sacraments.
    Many members of the school community identify Fr Gonzalo as a visible presence and a positive supporter
    of the school.

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Improvement strategies

           utilise the TCSO Formation and Identity staff and Education Officers in developing more robust whole
            school RE planning, teaching and assessment

            implement co-facilitation of the sacramental program, upskill parents in this, and encourage the
            support of parishioners

           promote and deepen the Josephite tradition and the ‘story’ of the school

           strengthen the monitoring and supporting of teachers in collaborative planning opportunities in RE

    Component 2.2 Religious life of the school

            People are accepted into the Joey's community without fear or favour.
            (St Joseph’s Parent)

    Findings

    The school’s Vision and Mission Statement is deliberately and articulately linked to the WESTIE values, and
    is visible in some areas of the school.

    Signage at the front gate identifies St Joseph’s as a Catholic school in the community. Some staff and
    responders in the RADII survey suggest that that there are few visible symbols identifying the school’s
    Josephite charism of Mary MacKillop evident around the exterior of the school.

    Evangelisation and formation

    On pupil free days teaching staff participate in a formation day focusing on the religious life of the school and
    ways to embed the Josephite charism into the life of the school.

    This year, the school has introduced parish family masses twice a term, where families and staff are
    encouraged to take part in the various parts of the mass. There are also informal activities for the children to
    participate in following mass, to allow opportunities for families to engage. This is well supported by the
    parish priest.

    Prayer and worship

    Developing whole school expectations around the teaching of prayer including embedding the St Joseph’s
    School Prayer and the ‘WESTIE’ Prayer is a continued focus at St Joseph’s. There is a prayer space in each
    classroom to display icons such as a Mary Mackillop statue as a focal point for students to relate to the
    charism of the school. The APRE has developed a Liturgical Calendar for the
    school year. Teachers in Prep to Year 3 plan two liturgies in the year and it is an expectation that
    Years 4 – 6 plan one liturgy and one school mass. The APRE supports teachers with planning these liturgies
    and masses.

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Social action and justice

    Never see a need without doing something about it. (Mary Mackillop)

    Year 5 students are able to link this Mary Mackillop quote to their outreach to those in the school and wider
    community. Students, staff and parents are able to articulate the many ways in which the school demonstrates
    acts of social action, through supporting initiatives such as Caritas, Drought Angels, the ‘Fill a backpack’
    initiative, and purchasing waterproof sleeping bags for the homeless.

    Improvement strategies

           investigate ways to further represent the school’s charism visually through iconography around the
            school campus

           develop quality liturgies and masses, including an annual Liturgical Calendar

           ensure reverence is maintained in daily class prayer through teacher professional development, clear
            expectations of daily prayer rituals, and monitoring of these

           promote and encourage families to attend and participate in parish family masses

             Domain 3 Continual renewal
    Component 3.1 School improvement culture

    Findings

    Collective teacher efficacy
    Parents and students indicate that all teachers at the school know and take responsibility for all students,
    whether or not they teach those students. Students say they feel valued and supported by all teachers. Staff
    and parents see the examples set by the Principal and leadership team as a major contributor to this, and
    use words such as ‘welcoming’, ‘open’, supportive’ and ‘helpful’ in describing their interactions with teachers
    and the school leadership. This is widely seen as one of the major strengths of the school, especially by
    parents. It is not evident that all staff are aware of educational research showing a link between such
    collective responsibility and improved student academic achievement.
    Collaboration and teamwork are seen as key elements in the school culture, modelled by the collaborative
    processes of the Principal and leadership team. Radii data for 2019 indicate that staff acknowledge and
    appreciate the collaborative and consultative nature of decision-making by the school leadership.
    Teachers are confident in their teaching areas, and express keenness to engage in professional learning in
    order to improve on their current teaching strategies and expertise.
    The leadership team has put in place structures that include three professional learning teams (PLTs): Prep
    and Year 1, Years 2 and 3, and Years 4,5 and 6, as well as a professional learning community (PLC) which
    involves the whole teaching staff and meets weekly. PLTs are able to discuss issues relevant to their
    particular contexts, while the PLC addresses school-wide issues, often led by teachers in a ‘Showcase’
    section of the meeting, enabling teachers to learn from their colleagues’ insights and practice.
    Peer observation and leadership team walk-throughs are in the early stages of implementation. Teachers
    indicate that they believe these initiatives are contributing to improved practice. The Swivel technology is
    used by some teachers to observe their own lessons with a view to identifying strengths and weaknesses in
    their teaching.

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The Principal and leadership team join teachers in classrooms to model teaching in areas where teachers
    have expressed a need for assistance, or a desire to improve the ways they are currently teaching. A TCSO
    Education Officer works with staff in classrooms on designated areas such as digital pedagogies and Inspire
    Maths.

    School culture

    The leadership team and staff have continued to build on the school’s longstanding WESTIE tradition, and it
    is clear that students, staff and parents see it as an integral element in the school culture.
       I’ve observed students intervening in bad behaviour by saying ‘You’re not acting like a good
       WESTIE’. (Teacher)
    The leadership team are in the early stages of linking the WESTIE concept with the four ‘Bs’ of the formal
    behaviour management plan (Be respectful, Be safe, Be a learner, Be responsible).
                  A good WESTIE will follow the four Bs. (Student)
    Many parents speak highly of the ways the school communicates with families, which include newsletters,
    the Kit Book, Facebook, various apps and email.
                             The Kit Book is amazing. (Parent)
            We always know what’s coming up. So do the kids. (The same parent)
    The leadership team and staff have begun working to identify what they see as the desired dispositions that
    St Joseph’s students should develop over their time at the school, and take with them when they leave.
    The leadership team sees improving the collection, analysis and use of student achievement data as a key
    vehicle for improvement. This includes NAPLAN, the Reading Improvement Strategy (RIS) with its suite of
    assessment tools including PM, PROBE and PAT R/M programs. Teachers are engaging in their own
    professional learning in interpreting student achievement data. This is in its early stages and developing
    strongly.
    Professional learning is clearly valued by the leadership team, with teachers saying they are supported in
    their requests for targeted professional development.
    Parents and staff speak highly of the leadership team, particularly their collaborative and consultative
    approach. Several teachers suggest that the Principal and other leadership team members may be over-
    stretched in what the three of them are currently covering. A number of staff have expressed concern about
    potential ‘burn-out’ for the three members of the leadership team due to the weight of responsibilities and
    activities they are involved in.
    Teachers new to the school say that their induction through TCS and school-based resources was very
    helpful: formally through TCS learning modules, and informally through the way they were welcomed by staff
    and the leadership team and are supported by colleagues.
    Many teachers speak about devising extension and enrichment activities for their high potential learners. At
    this stage it is not evident that there is an agreed school-wide approach to nurturing the learning of these
    students.

    Improvement strategies

           strengthen peer observation, walk-throughs and other related processes so they become a normal
            feature in the professional life of the school

           consolidate the developing links between the WESTIE concept and the school’s behaviour
            management plan

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   investigate the growing body of research suggesting links between student academic achievement
            and the kind of collective responsibility for students that is such a strong element in the St Joseph’s
            culture

           the leadership team undertake an audit of the responsibilities they currently cover and the activities
            they spend time on, with a view to prioritising both so they are under less pressure to cover such wide
            territory, and are able to rationalise their involvement in so many activities

           build on and strengthen the work being done to identify the desired special dispositions that St
            Joseph’s students will have developed by the time they leave the school

           develop and document a school-wide in-class approach to the identifying, extension and enrichment
            of high potential learners

    Component 3.2 Community partnerships

    Findings

            The leadership team at St Joey's is very approachable, very relational and genuine. (Parent)

    Partners

    The school has an ongoing positive relationship with Our Lady Help of Christians Parish. Fr Gonzalo is a
    regular visitor to the school and is well known to students, parents and staff, all of whom refer to him as
    'Fr Gonzo’.

    The school is currently in the process of becoming a member of the local Chamber of Commerce. The
    ‘First Five Forever’, a Queensland State Library collaborative early years literacy network partnering with
    Chinchilla families, is an initiative of the school that is benefiting the wider Chinchilla community.

    Students have been involved in local charity work through Mini-Vinnies including sorting garments at the
    St Vincent de Paul store, as well as supporting projects with the Toowoomba Rosie’s group. Through
    surveys students have expressed a desire to explore opportunities for further community service
    involvement.

    Student support services from the Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office including speech language therapy,
    occupational therapy and hearing services are utilised by the school.

    Procedures

        Communication is done very well here. Shame about the school website. It doesn't
        create a good impression for perspective enrolments. (Parent)

         My learning is as comprehensive as the children's. I'm learning all the time and being
        supported. I love it. (Teacher)

    Teaching staff overwhelmingly support the school’s focus on improving student achievement through building
    teacher capacity. Teachers are committed to becoming the best they can be. A number of teachers believe
    a coordinated yearly plan of professional learning and performance development opportunities would be a
    benefit, with follow up during the year between teachers and the leadership team.

    School concludes at 2:55pm each day, and all teachers exit classrooms with their students and are available
    to informally greet and meet parents and carers who are collecting students.

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Teachers acknowledge the benefits of the professional learning community (PLC) meetings as a
    collaborative opportunity to analyse and respond to student performance data. A number of teachers
    express a desire for the school to explore opportunities to implement a staff forum to discuss general school
    organisational matters or to feed up issues from staff to leadership.

    St Joseph’s utilises a variety of communication modes to meet the needs of the community. Parents
    appreciate this quality of this communication. Many parents identify the currency of the current website as a
    concern. Some see it as detracting from the school’s reputation in the wider community.

    Some parents have expressed interest in providing more opportunities for cultural immersion for students.

    Two formal parent representative bodies, the Parents and Friends Association and School Board are in
    operation at the school. Parents interviewed found it difficult to explicitly identify the current priorities for the
    School Board.

    Student needs

    Some new prep parents to the school suggest that it would have been beneficial to have some information
    sessions prior to their children transitioning into prep.

    Improvement strategies

           continue to build on the positive relationship with the parish

           investigate and implement student service programs through partnerships with local service providers

           develop a whole school professional development and training plan that supports all staff to improve
            student learning and achievement

           update the school website so its information is current. In the longer term review the website so it
            becomes a contemporary communication mode for information sharing and marketing

           review the School Board’s collaborative goal setting, review Board priorities and communicate these
            to the school community

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Domain 4 Strategic resourcing and stewardship

    Component 4.1 Staff development and wellbeing

    Findings

    School culture

            The whole staff seem to be very unified in the way they work and communicate
            messages. (Teacher)

            As a new teacher to the school I felt incredibly welcomed by the community. (Teacher)

    Consistent feedback from staff indicates that there is a strong culture of collaboration and sharing of
    knowledge and resources. There is a strong sense of teachers working together and committed to
    improvement.
    Conversations with parents highlight the impression that the teachers collaborate and work well together and
    present as a coherent team during parent information nights. They say that there is a consistency across
    each year level (horizontally) as well as from Prep through to Year 6 (vertically).

    Caring for the individual

    Parents indicate that overall communication from the school is effective and ranges across several platforms.
    Many parents point to the need and importance of updating the school website as this is what many
    prospective families would look at first when choosing a school in the area.
    Staff indicate they are very happy at the school, feel well supported by the Principal and leadership team,
    and remain committed to continual improvement. Many staff acknowledge the positive impact the leadership
    team have on the culture of the school. The leadership team are visible and contribute
    significantly to the life of the school. A number of staff express concern that the leadership team seem to be
    'always under the pump’ and question whether the current level of their workload is sustainable. Some staff
    relate this concern to the availability of leadership team members to staff at important times.

    Attraction, selection and retention

    Staff and parents note there have been significant staffing changes over the last three years across the
    teaching staff and leadership team. There is a strong desire from these two target groups to establish
    greater stability in staffing at the school.

    Nurture and empowerment

    Many parents and staff identify the existing culture of collaboration amongst the staff and the positive impact
    this is having on the students and school community. The staff are committed to working collaboratively with
    one another and value allocated times where shared planning occurs.
    Some staff indicate they use Swivel to video and critique their lessons, and also engage in peer observations
    to improve their pedagogy. This is in its early stages and not all teachers have yet had an opportunity to be
    involved. Staff share the view that they would appreciate further opportunities to engage with this, as well as
    consideration given to visiting other schools.
    Staff indicate that they set goals at the beginning of the year with a member of the leadership team and that
    they would appreciate an opportunity to meet again with the same leadership member during the year to
    review these goals and their progress.

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Some parents and school officers indicate that they are not clear on the use of technology in the school and
    its role in accelerating student achievement. They express the desire for detailed information around the
    purpose and educational benefits of the students engaging and using devices such as iPads and laptops,
    especially in the early years.

    Improvement strategies

           schedule opportunities for teachers to meet with a leadership team member to follow up on the
            progress of their professional goals during the year

           investigate ways to provide further opportunities for teachers to reflect on practice using resources
            such as Swivel, peer observations and visiting other schools

           review the responsibilities of the leadership team with a view to a more balanced allocation of their
            roles and their time

           provide opportunities to communicate to families and school officers the learning experiences offered
            to students through the integration of Information Communication Technology (ICT) into classroom
            practice

           explain the use and purchase of devices, and how this is beneficial to student learning and
            achievement

    Component 4.2 Use of resources facilities and the learning environment
    Findings

                    The digital pedagogies focus certainly pushed us out of our comfort zone.
                    We were in the pit for a while, but we are now seeing the benefits. (Teacher)

    Resources

    St Joseph’s is on a steady enrolment growth trajectory, having increased enrolments from 100 students in
    2004 to a current enrolment of 269. Enrolment growth is predicted to increase to 335 students in 2024. An
    enrolment of 335 students means that in the future St Joseph’s will become a full two-stream school.

    Analysis of the school’s student, parent and staff perception data indicates that the school community’s overall
    response to questions relating to the quality of teaching resources and the maintenance and development of
    facilities is comparable to the Diocesan mean.

    Many parents and staff believe that the iPad program is now beginning to have a greater positive educational
    impact. Parents express a desire to have further education on how iPads are connected to student learning.

                    I think the iPad is a fabulous learning tool. (Parent)

    Some concern is expressed by parents in relation to the laptop program introduced into Year 3. Parents
    indicate that they are taking a ‘watch and see’ approach to the laptop program before purchasing a device.
    Recently the school reviewed the approach in the provision of school officers to augment the learning support
    program. A number of teachers and school officers interviewed say they would appreciate greater clarity as to
    why these changes were made and what the model for learning support provision at the school is now. Many
    school officers interviewed believe it would be beneficial to have regular meetings with the school leadership
    to ensure clear communication occurs in relation to their roles in supporting student learning.

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Increasing enrolments and greater administrative complexity may require a review as to how the school
    leadership and administration staff communicate, an assessment of role duties and the nature of the human
    resources required for an effective administration office.
    Concern is expressed by a significant number of parents about the public face of the school when people
    make what is often their first contact, or when parents phone or visit. A small number of parents suggest that
    this has negatively impacted on potential enrolments.
    Facilities

    St Joseph’s presents as a neat, tidy and welcoming school with expansive grounds. Steady enrolment growth
    has resulted in pressure on general learning areas and collaborative staff facilities. Four classrooms were
    constructed in 2019 with the assistance of the Block Grant Authority. An application is currently being
    developed for four new classrooms and extension of the Administration area to provide for future growth.

    Many parents and staff are pleased that the school is not only concentrating on new buildings for enrolment
    growth but also refurbishing older parts of the school and completing a backlog of maintenance.

    The school is working with the local council to explore solutions to school oval flooding which occurs after most
    local rain events. Many parents express their on-going desire to see this resolved with the local council.

    Improvement strategies

           develop a school-wide ICT classroom resource plan that identifies that all classrooms have the ICT
            resources available for teachers to enhance student learning

           continue to provide collaborative opportunities for staff to embed ICT within the curriculum and
            provide opportunities for parents and carers to be partners in this process

           explore opportunities for formal meetings during the year with school officers to ensure all staff are
            included in whole school planning and development

           explore opportunities for school officers’ involvement in the SSO-SL project

           review, formalise and document the roles and responsibilities of administration staff, and support their
            development, particularly those who are the first contact for the families and the public with the school

           review communication protocols between the leadership team and administration staff in order to
            ensure communication between the two is as effective as possible

           review the effectiveness of the current allocation of administration hours and duties as the school’s
            enrolments grow

           continue the development of a school facilities Masterplan in conjunction with TCSO staff,
            incorporating provision for continued student enrolment growth

           continue to investigate options to mitigate localised storm water inundation of the school oval

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Conclusion

    The review panel thanks the school community of St Joseph’s for the hospitality, openness and trust that
    characterised the review process. The panel found itself in an impressive school with much that is good. We
    wish St Joseph’s every success as the school moves now into the next stages of its ‘story’.

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