Evaluative thinking in the school planning process

NSW Public Schools engage in a three-year planning cycle, governed by the School Excellence policy.

As the video below demonstrates, the disciplines of evaluative thinking are woven throughout the school planning process. These include:

  • starting with self-assessment and consultation
  • planning with the end in mind
  • selecting evidence-based strategies
  • regular monitoring and evaluation
  • the plan as a living document.

For guidance, resources and contacts relating to school planning, please follow this link to School Excellence and Accountability

Video transcript


Resources for drafting a strategic direction and milestoning a process

For schools developing or reviewing their 2018-20 plans, the following workshop activities may be of some assistance:

  • download the worksheets (print these in colour, A3)
  • download the slides and notes, either as a PDF or a PowerPoint file.

This scaffolded approach uses sticky-notes and a set of colour-coded steps that connect different parts of the plan, including the ‘5Ps’ of a strategic direction and the yearly milestoning of the processes within it. The approach:

  • supports the School Excellence Implementation Guidelines – School Planning, which is the one source of truth for school planning
  • is just one way that a school might choose to go about constructing its plan
  • lends itself to a collaborative workshop environment
  • highlights the prominence of evaluative thinking in the school planning process
  • is an iterative and fluid process that allows you to come back and refine aspects of your earlier thinking at any point
  • has been developed as part of an ongoing partnership between Principals School Leadership, High Performance and the Evaluation Capacity Building team to support schools in a consistent, transparent way.

For advice on school planning, contact a PSL or your Director.

Return to top of page