Tiered support helps public schools to thrive
Targeted educational support in areas of need is reaping benefits across the public school system.
14 March 2022
Public schools across New South Wales are benefitting from a ground-breaking system of high quality, targeted support aimed at improving educational outcomes for their students.
The Minister for Education and Early Learning, Sarah Mitchell, said the tiered support system, a central aspect of the School Success Model, means schools can receive high-impact resources and programs tailored to their unique needs.
“The success of every student is at the heart of the NSW education system, which is why it’s so important we provide better support for all schools, and especially those that need it most,” Minister Mitchell said.
Minchinbury Public School, in Sydney’s West, is thriving after receiving support to improve the teaching of literacy.
Principal Rebecca Webster can’t speak highly enough of the program.
“It’s awesome,” Ms Webster said.
“It’s wonderful that schools can access this level of professional learning and expertise.”
Minchinbury Public received Strategic Support, the most intensive form of support available under the program.
The School worked closely with Teacher Quality Advisors to identify areas that needed improving.
In Minchinbury’s case, it was vocabulary and comprehension.
The advisors then worked with the teachers to map out how they would offer more impactful teaching in these areas.
“We analysed our school data and found that we had a large number of students sitting in the middle bands. We knew that with strategic professional learning we could move these students forward in their understanding of vocab and comprehension,” Ms Webster said.
One practice adopted under the changes is the “think aloud” method, where students are encouraged to talk about what they’re thinking as they read.
And the teaching of vocabulary and comprehension is now sewn into lessons on all subjects at the school.
“There was a strong positive reaction to the professional learning as teachers were able to very quickly see a difference in student understanding,” Ms Webster said.
“Our students are ready to learn. Their engagement level has always been high, however they are learning to look deeper into a text which has enhanced their enjoyment of literacy. They love being able to justify the inferences that they have made by referencing their understanding of the vocab.”
Through the School Success Model:
- 259 schools are receiving strategic support which includes intensive help to uplift performance in reading, numeracy and attendance.
- 872 schools are receiving targeted guidance to support the use of universal resources for a focus area at schools who require support.
- All schools can access the Universal Resources Hub with the latest evidence-led learning resources and tools categorised by identified focus areas.
“The School Success Model will drive systemic improvement; it will champion our best schools and help those that are struggling,” Minister Mitchell said.
“Support ranges from looking at whether teaching practices and learning programs reflect evidence-based best practice, to exploring the best use of a school’s unspent additional funding according to educational need.
“Support is also being offered in the areas of behaviour, Aboriginal HSC attainment, attendance and financial management.”.