Cohort 9 School Visits

Cohort 9 school leadership teams had the opportunity to attend school visits to Aveley Secondary College, Coodanup College, Serpentine Primary School and Woodland Grove Primary School to see high-impact instruction and a whole-school behaviour framework in action.  

School visits are an important element of our School Improvement Program, allowing leadership teams to see high-impact instruction practices, as well as evidence-based literacy and numeracy programs, implemented consistently throughout classrooms across the school.

Participants had the opportunity to speak with host school leaders about their school improvement journeys, including how they encouraged staff to explore the benefits of high-impact instruction strategies, and how long it took to implement these practices in the classroom. 

Many thanks to everyone involved, especially those teachers who welcomed the leadership teams into their classrooms.

Annie Fogarty was a member of a panel discussion at the recent Science of Learning (SOL) Leadership Accelerator in Melbourne. The SOL Accelerator was organised by Knowledge Society and hosted by the Crowther Centre, Brighton Grammar School.  

One hundred and thirty educators from around Australia attended to discuss and accelerate evidence-based change in effective teaching practice, and how the Science of Learning can be scaled in Australia from niche to mainstream.  

The Science of Learning is the cognitive-science on how students learn and connects learning to practical implications for teaching. It includes how students: 

All educators should be able to connect these principles to their classroom practise. Speakers at the conference included Dr Jenny Donovan CEO of the Australian Education Research Organisation, Pamela Snow Professor of Cognitive Psychology, Ollie Lovell author of Cognitive Load Theory in Action and Tools for Teachers, and Ross Fox Director of Catholic Education (Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn) who is working to ensure their whole system is based on the Science of Learning.  

With Australian students’ academic performance declining and 28% of our Year 7 students not functionally literate enough to be able to access further learning, we need to teach reading with evidence-based practises. This will ensure that at least 95% of our students can read effectively, not just 60 to 70%.  For this to happen, universities will need to base their Initial Teacher Education courses on evidence-based practises and professional learning for teachers will need to focus on developing this mindset and toolkit for present teachers.  

The Fogarty Foundation support the Science of Learning through the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program and our Teaching Intensives. Learn about The Science of Learning here.

Year 1 students in public primary schools in Western Australia will commence a phonics screening test from the beginning of 2023 – which is already mandated in NSW and South Australian schools.

Education Minister Sue Ellery and Premier Mark McGowan committed to the screening tests, following a push from education and business leaders.

The test will involve students reading a list of words to assess whether they can identify and blend sounds. This follows the evidence-based research that spelling or decoding skills are derived from phonemic awareness, including a knowledge of the alphabet, phonic sounds and sight words. The test will consist of 40 words, some nonsense and some real, and be used to identify students who need extra help, by assessing their specific phonic knowledge skills.

“One in six students in Australia start high school with poor reading skills which inhibits their ability to fully access the curriculum – if we can identify struggling readers much earlier, this could ultimately reduce the time it takes for children to move from learning to read, to reading to learn.  The phonics screening checks will help schools to intervene much earlier and provide students with the extra help they need to read fluently.”   

Georgie Wynne, EDvance Program Director

“Many schools throughout Western Australia are already following an evidence-based phonics program, including a large number of Fogarty EDvance primary schools. We’re excited that now all schools will get access to the six evidence-based phonics programs that they can use to assist their teaching,” Georgie explained.

“This initiative will ensure that all schools will be encouraged to adopt this highly regarded and effective model of teaching, which will improve the educational outcomes of all West Australian children.” 

In response to recent challenges, Fogarty EDvance workshops are now being delivered with a livestream option via the Microsoft Teams platform. This is a hybrid approach so participants can attend workshops in the easiest and safest way.

Throughout Term 1, this was a popular option for school leaders, allowing them to include team members who were not available to attend the face-to-face sessions. For some regional schools who were understaffed it meant they were able to participate in the program, without needing to travel to Perth during a challenging time for their schools.  Breakout rooms were also advantageous for connecting schools and allowing them to network, a great strength of the EDvance program.

Whilst these challenges remain, this will be a method we will offer in addition to face to face workshops, which is the recommended way of participation. We look forward to returning to the all ‘face to face’ approach soon.

Grattan Institute is an independent think tank. To better understand how teachers manage curriculum planning, they are running a survey on high quality curriculum resources and teachers’ workloads. They are particularly interested in teachers’ use of instructional materials.

By participating in the survey, teachers can use their voice to inform the Institute’s recommendations to government on education policy.  No individual or school will be identified in reporting the results.

The survey is anonymous and will take around 10 minutes.

If you’re a teacher or school leader, we invite you to take part in our survey here.

If you’re not a teacher or school leader but know any, please forward this link on to them!

The Secondary Teacher Leader (STL) Program is a 9-month professional development program for Heads of Learning Areas and Level 3 teachers in EDvance secondary schools. 

This year, over 70 middle level leaders from 12 Fogarty EDvance schools are part of the fourth group of schools to participate in the Program. Their first workshop focussed on:

With EDvance schools located throughout Western Australia, a more tailored program has been designed so that regional school leaders can access professional learning. The three clusters of the STL Program for 2022 include:

Many of the EDvance Alumni schools have taken part in the STL program a number of times, allowing for their newer middle level leaders to benefit from the professional learning. 

The STL program is designed with a focus on building the capacity of middle level leaders by introducing them to the evidence base for effective school improvement and driving leadership in their learning areas.

Fifteen West Australian schools have commenced their school improvement journey with the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program. School leadership teams from primary, secondary, regional, metropolitan, public and Catholic schools have now begun their 3-year journey; a journey that for previous EDvance schools has significantly improved the academic outcomes for many West Australian students. 

Established by the Fogarty Foundation, the program focuses on building the capacity of school leadership teams to make informed, evidence-based decisions, strategically plan and ultimately, improve the academic outcomes of students in challenging communities.  

Congratulations to the following schools who make up Cohort 9 of the Fogarty EDvance School Improvement Program:

The Fogarty EDvance program has engaged with 126 schools, working with more than 400 school leaders who are impacting more than 58,000 students. 

Thirty school leaders and teachers attended the first EDvance Alumni workshop for 2022, with a webinar focused on a Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum. These schools have established professional learning communities and a whole school approach to high-impact instruction.

The Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum workshop builds on the work already commenced by the schools by ensuring all students are provided access to the same curriculum content in a specific course and grade level, regardless of their assigned teacher, and that this curriculum can be taught in the instructional time available.

Run as a full-day webinar, due to COVID-19 restrictions, feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with participants enjoying how the content was delivered, noting that it was relevant and easy to understand, providing participants with comprehensive knowledge.

In February, a fourth group of middle-leaders commenced the Secondary Teacher Leaders (STL) Program, a 9-month professional development program for Heads of Learning Areas and Level 3 teachers from EDvance Secondary schools. 

The fourth group of the STL program is aligned to Cohort 8 schools and commenced with Karratha Senior High School. With many of the secondary schools in regional locations a more tailored program has been designed so that regional schools are able to access the program.  The three clusters of this program for 2022 are;

Due to the current circumstances with COVID-19, the first two workshops for Karratha Senior High School were delivered as three half-day webinars, with support from their mentors both in-person and remotely. Feedback from participants were positive, noting the most valuable sessions were being able to collaborate to develop action plans, and having an opportunity to discuss evidence-based practice in their context.

The Science Of Learning Accelerator aims to engage enthusiastic teachers and middle leaders from across Australia and build their knowledge and skills in making and sustaining evidence-based change. Over two days, participants will be guided through workshops on evidence-based models for change in both Primary and Secondary contexts, and every participant will be supported to develop their own action plan to implement in their school.

The event will be facilitated by Ollie Lovell and Annie Fogarty AM will be speaking during the panel discussion. Keynote addresses and workshop sessions will be presented by Dr Jenny Donovan, Dr Lorraine Hammond, Dr Pamela Snow, Toni Hatten Roberts, Ross Fox and Elena Douglas.

Day 1 will consist of keynote addresses and presentations on alternate models for change in streamed sessions. There will also be an Educators Dinner for participants to network with like-minded colleagues.

Day 2 will provide participants with facilitated small-group sessions to plan how to lead a change in their schools.

Participants are selected for the program after a rigorous application process including presenting a school-specific plan or initiative in line with evidence based practice. Once selected, participants will complete assigned readings and an online unit to ensure that everyone comes to the SOL Accelerator with a shared language and understanding. Scholarships are available to encourage application from low socioeconomic schools.

Find out more here.