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 the entire NSW Education system through targeted support and advice to schools. The program is designed to recognise the practice of our most effective schools so that we can scale it across similar schools in NSW to help lift performance across the entire system.
The Ambassador Schools program will to generate a robust evidence base of practices that drive high performance to enable improved learning outcomes for all students across NSW public schools.
The department announced the first three Ambassador Schools in February 2021. Three more schools have joined the Ambassador Schools program in Term 3, to be followed by more later in the year.
Researching and sharing effective practice
In order to undertake robust research into our Ambassador Schools to identify their highly effective practices, the Department will partner with a university consortium to establish a NSW Research Centre. The Research Centre will co-design research with Ambassador Schools to identify which practices implemented by our Ambassador School are having the greatest impact on student achievement.
The Research Centre will have focus streams of research on both metropolitan and regional school contexts. This will ensure the Research Centre delivers an evidence base considerate of different school contexts, particularly across regional and remote areas of NSW.
Our Ambassador Schools
Ambassador schools are selected for their strong performance compared with like schools across a range of measures, including reading, numeracy, attendance and HSC performance. Ambassador schools will represent a range of NSW public schools, covering both primary and secondary schools, metropolitan and regional schools, and schools across a range of socio-economic contexts.
Our first three Ambassador Schools, announced in Term 1, are:
- Auburn North Public School
- Fairvale High School
- Millthorpe Public School.
Millthorpe Public School Student Success
Duration – 03:05
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.
Penny's a wonderful principal. She's just the most loving and warm and approachable person. The kids just absolutely love her.
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.
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.
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.
The teachers are constantly improving their practice. Each year they improve so the students can improve and the school can improve.
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.
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.
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.
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Three more schools have joined the Ambassador Schools program in Term 3:
- Bonnyrigg Heights Public School
- Huntingdon Public School
- Macarthur Girls High School.
Video – Bonnyrigg Heights Public School
Our community, our parents, love the school because of what we do for the kids.
Well, they help us learn. Out of 1 to 10, it’s 10,000.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We really created a culture of high trust with our staff but we really made sure that we supported people very well.
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.
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.
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.
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Huntingdon Public School
Macarthur Girls High School
Future ambassador schools
Our final group of Ambassador Schools will be announced later in the year.
For more information, contact: AmbassadorSchools@det.nsw.edu.au