Ambassador schools

We're identifying high-performing public schools in NSW and working with them to share their effective practices with other schools across the state and beyond.

A key initiative in the School Success Model, the Ambassador Schools program is one way we are lifting performance across NSW public schools.

The Ambassador Schools program will build a strong evidence-base of effective practices from a diverse range of schools across the state. This involves identifying high-performing schools and researching their effective practices. We will then scale and implement these practices in other NSW public schools in order to improve learning outcomes for all students.

Our Ambassador Schools

Ambassador Schools have been selected for their strong performance compared with contextually-similar schools across a range of measures, including reading, numeracy, attendance and HSC performance. A total of 10 Ambassador Schools will take part, representing a range of NSW public schools including primary and secondary, metropolitan and regional, and schools across a range of socio-economic contexts.

The department announced the first three Ambassador Schools in February 2021. Three more schools joined the Ambassador Schools program in Term 3, 2021.

The final four schools, announced in Term 1, 2022, are:

  • Cabramatta High School
  • Charlestown South Public School
  • Mathoura Public School
  • Winmalee Public School

Video: Charlestown South Public School

Duration – 03:13

Charlestown South Public School

Video: Cabramatta High School

Duration – 02.56

Cabramatta High School

Mathoura Public School

Image: Mathoura Public School

Winmalee Public School

Image: Winmalee Public School

They join six other Ambassador Schools in the program:

  • Auburn North Public School
  • Bonnyrigg Heights Public School
  • Fairvale High School
  • Huntingdon Public School
  • Macarthur Girls High School
  • Millthorpe Public School

Video: Millthorpe Public School

Duration – 03:05

Milthorpe Public School Student Success

Penny:

I started at Millthorpe as a prac student in 2002. My relationship with Millthorpe has been as a teacher and Assistant Principal and now the pre school.

Parent:

Penny's a wonderful principal. She's just the most loving and warm and approachable person. The kids just absolutely love her.

Student:

It's just got a lovely community It's just got a lovely community feel and all the teachers just are so good and their ways of learning are just so different.

Penny:

We have a really strong strategy around literacy and numeracy, and that's then enveloped within a well being strategy. With teachers having the greatest impact obviously on learning outcomes, we have made a decision to invest in our teachers professional knowledge and learning.

Tom:

I have 29 different students with 29 different ability levels. You've got to tailor fit each of your lessons to each of them to try and get the best out of them.

Penny:

The teachers are constantly improving their practice. Each year they improve so the students can improve and the school can improve.

Tom:

The teacher will know their students best and they will be working day to day to try and get the best out of their children. But Penny and the exec would be looking over the data that's coming through and kind of analysing it to see if there's any students that are at need, that maybe we might not have identified and possibly looking into different programs that we could offer to support those children.

Student:

I feel that my writings improved a lot. Mr Mason, he explained everything so well and he made all these new ways to write and I've never forgotten them. They understand if you're having trouble and they like, say, stuff like it's not all about the grades, it's about trying.

Penny:

They other kids that are the first to hug you and say thank you.

You know there are the children who I don't know, will always have a pretty special place in your heart and we we always say that they're are Millthorpe kids.

They really focused on the individual relationship with each student and helping them learn at their best in the way that is best for them.

That individual sort of attention to the kids learning needs has been evident across across the board with my kids.

School success is based on context and it's based on the students that sit in front of you and the community that envelopes you. And it's having the ability to meet the needs of your students, your community and the staff that can really make the school hum. As we like to say here, we like to make our good kids great.

[End of transcript]

Video: Bonnyrigg Heights Public School

Duration – 02:23
Bonnyrigg Heights Public School

DARYL

Our community, our parents, love the school because of what we do for the kids.

SAMIR

Well, they help us learn. Out of 1 to 10, it’s 10,000.

DARYL

Community are outstanding in terms of the fact that they trust us. And of course, we open up to the community. They’re able to ask the questions they want to know.

KIM

I see that the teachers recognise the importance of a partnership between both the parents and the students. I love how they use apps where they share what is happening in the class. As parents, it’s really cool to be able to see that and to be able to talk to our children about what they did that day.

JEMMA

We are so collaborative. Everything we do is done together in little professional learning communities whether it’s our grade team, as an exec team, as a committee. It makes you feel confident in that you are implementing best practice and that you are really impacting kids.

JANET

The whole observation process and the peer observation, the demonstration lessons that happen. There’s always a whole culture of let’s do this together.

DANIELA

Being able to walk into a classroom and have your lesson observed if it’s best practice and showing one another how to help one another. I think that’s a massive strength in our school and that’s why we get the results that we do.

SHARON

We really created a culture of high trust with our staff but we really made sure that we supported people very well.   

SAMER

So I’ve had a student come to me this year. His parents are illiterate in English. In collaboration with everybody, even his school teacher from last year, we were able to form some goals and put in some strategies in place to help him achieve those goals. One piece of work that he’s written, I had laminated it and it’s displayed in the school and he’s so happy and proud of it.

JEMMA

When you see a kid excel and they’re excited about it, that makes you excited and it makes you want to show up every day because you’re actually making a difference.

KIM

We know that she wants to be a teacher. And for someone to, that’s a huge compliment to this school because obviously Haley here is watching her teachers, seeing it as a cool job and wants to take it on herself. 

[End of transcript]

Huntingdon Public School

Macarthur Girls High School

Researching and scaling effective practice

The Ambassador Schools Research Centre has been established with university partners to research, identify and understand effective practices in Ambassador Schools, following a competitive grant process.

Led by the University of New South Wales in collaboration with the University of Canberra and Charles Sturt University, the Research Centre will work across both metropolitan and regional areas to identify what our Ambassador Schools are doing that is having the greatest impact on student achievement in their unique context and scale these evidence-based practices across schools.

The Research Centre will strengthen our knowledge on ways to maximise student academic achievement while reducing educational disadvantage in NSW public schools.

The university consortium will begin co-designing the research approach with the department and Ambassador Schools from early 2022. Research will continue until 2024.

Get in touch

For more information about the Ambassador Schools program, contact: AmbassadorSchools@det.nsw.edu.au

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