Teacher, student and parent expectations all play a role in ensuring optimum outcomes for students. Managing community expectations requires strong leadership and open communication channels.
- actively model change and lead professional learning for staff as per the School Leadership Strategy
- engage community for the purpose of enhancing School Excellence
- consistently communicate research findings related to a culture of high expectations
- develop processes and protocols to encourage and foster trusting and respectful relationships and conversations with the broader community
- display genuine interest in students and parents and remain non-judgemental
- support teachers to recognise and celebrate diversity in the community
- challenge the beliefs and assumptions of leaders, teachers and parents
- promote a positive self-identity for students and their families
- embrace leadership within the community
- establish policies and practices which emphasise the importance of parents and community members engaging in decision making.
What they said
"One of the hardest things was to break the chain of deficit conversations about families and children." Principal, Wiripaang Public School
"Students are starting to realise that they can make something of themselves. They have the power and they know what tools they will need to achieve their goal. They have aspirations." Teacher, Wiripaang Public School
"School leadership teams should maintain high expectations, work hard, be consistent, stay positive, be strategic, be collegial and value people." Principal, Woonona High School
"Sometimes it’s a measure of people’s attitudes rather than the success of the actual strategy. If you are coming from a place where staff morale is low, and everyone is tired and overwhelmed, then the perception of community involvement is going to be low as well. If staff feel supported and that they are making a difference in classrooms, then you are going to see changes in culture." Teacher, Werrington Public School
How they did it
Werrington Public School used the National School Improvement Tool as a baseline for setting expectations for students. The school’s leadership team recognised that student learning and enrolments would be improved if the school community worked together. A culture of high expectations was established through:
- training for staff and parents
- an extended transition to school program
- establishment of an out of school hours centre
- a playgroup for preschool children.
Community and culture
Biraban Public School has established strong learning alliances that support the educational outcomes and wellbeing of Aboriginal students. An Aboriginal community member is employed full-time as an Aboriginal education officer.
The school committed to lifting expectations for students by examining its strengths and core purpose in collaboration with community groups. The annual ‘yarn up’ consultation with the local Aboriginal community, students and staff contributed to feedback on specific focus areas. Professional learning for staff around Connecting to Country was developed. Workshops on MGoals engaged staff, parents and the broader community.
The school welcomes the community to annual events such as local blokes’ day, local ladies’ day and has established partnerships with the local Men’s Shed and the Salvation Army. The school also runs several playgroups for local preschool children.