Evidence sets

This page presents and discusses examples of evidence submitted by some of the NSW government schools involved in the first year of external validation in 2016. These may be useful in seeing how other schools have organised their external validation submissions. Schools approached the process of collecting, analysing and presenting evidence in different ways. These examples should not be considered prescriptive templates.

The evidence sets were identified by Principals, School Leadership in 2016 as examples of how evidence can be collected, analysed and presented for external validation. Each set was also discussed by a broader group of PSLs, providing the basis for the comments shown on this page. The principal from each school is aware of the extracts and comments that are shown on this page, and has given permission for them to be made available to other schools. All identifying details of staff and students have been redacted from the evidence sets.

Most of the examples shown here are extracts from a larger submission of evidence. In some instances, the example shown does not fully address a School Excellence Framework element and further evidence may have been provided within the school’s complete submission or during the external validation process. The comments regarding ‘other evidence the school could consider’ should not be interpreted as comments about the schools’ full presentations of evidence for external validation. The comments are included here to address the limitation of only showing extracts of evidence.

Some of the evidence sets refer to commercial products that schools have purchased to meet their identified needs. These products have not been evaluated or endorsed by the department.


School:

Figtree Public School

Link:

Download the evidence set (requires login) (PDF 4053.3KB)

School type:

Primary School

Evidence set:

Extract – 1 of 8: ‘Assessment and Reporting’

Elements covered:

  • Curriculum and Learning
  • Assessment and Reporting
  • Effective Classroom Practice

Comments:

This extract relies heavily on photographs of classroom environments and student work, supported by detailed annotations. This makes the evidence set easy to follow. While photos may not always convey details of activities and impacts, they have been used here to outline a clear process of improvement.

To take one example, the ‘bump it up’ wall (3b; page 7) shows how two well-chosen photographs of a classroom can provide powerful evidence of effective practices and impact on students. The photos show that the teacher has:

  1. Identified a specific area of focus
  2. Mapped out the stages of learning in a way that is visible to both her and her students, so everyone knows the goal and how they will get there
  3. Assessed each student’s initial progress and mastery
  4. Systematically focused on providing support to all students
  5. Assessed students once more and updated the wall, again making the learning process   explicit to the students and providing outside observers with clear evidence of impact.

This evidence set clearly shows that the school is embedding evaluative practices across all its activities. The school shows that it collects data, identifies the problem, designs a solution, and then evaluates effectiveness. This can be seen through examples of formative assessment (1b; page 5) and reporting practices (5a-b; pages 9-10).

Other evidence the school could consider:

(see also sources of evidence)

To strengthen assessments in Curriculum and Learning, the school could consider including more information about extra-curricular activities, as well as examples of scope and sequence plans or teaching and learning programs.

In terms of Assessment and Reporting and Effective Classroom Practice, the school could consider including evidence of the use of external data sources, such as NAPLAN assessments or Tell Them From Me survey results.

For a different example of a school’s self-assessment processes for Effective Classroom Practice, see the Blue Creek Public School case study.

School:

Parklea Public School

Link:

Download the evidence set (requires login) (PDF 2751.34KB)

School type:

Primary school

Evidence set:

Extract – 1 of 8: ‘Quality Teaching’

Elements covered:

  • Learning Culture
  • Wellbeing
  • Curriculum and Learning
  • Assessment and Reporting
  • Effective Classroom Practice
  • Data Skills and Use
  • Collaborative Practice
  • Learning and Development
  • Professional Standards
  • Leadership
  • School Planning, Implementation and Reporting
  • School Resources

Comments:

This evidence set includes six sections addressing specific aspects underpinning quality teaching. It includes:

  1. Referenced links to quality teaching through tracking and monitoring systems
  2. Scaffolds and systems supporting professional learning
  3. Effective use of evaluative tools: photo elicitations, lesson plans, professional learning schedules, graphic organisers, timelines and student products to demonstrate evidence
  4. An evaluation sheet used by staff to demonstrate impact of professional learning
  5. A detailed annotation on each page explains each artefact and informs  the school context.

The evidence set includes a comprehensive analysis that uses the ‘School Excellence self-assessment process’ from the Evidence Guide as a scaffold for reflection on the evidence provided.

Other evidence the school could consider:

(see also sources of evidence)

The school could consider providing additional evidence on: learning support practices and resources for Wellbeing; extra-curricular activities aligned to the school plan for Curriculum and Learning; and evidence of succession planning for School Resources.

For a different example of a school’s self-assessment processes for School Resources, see the Myrtle Bay Public School case study.

School:

Henry Kendall High School

Link:

Download the evidence set (requires login) (PDF 3802.22KB)

School type:

Secondary school

Evidence set:

Extract – 1 of 8: ‘Collaborative Practice, Learning and Development, and Professional Standards’

Elements covered:

  • Collaborative Practice
  • Learning and Development
  • Professional Standards

Comments:

This evidence set is highly targeted to three elements in the teaching domain. The evidence set includes artefacts that guide readers through each part of the practices being presented: evidence of policy; evidence of activity; and evidence of impact. For example, in terms of teacher observation, the evidence set includes:

  1. The strategic context of collaborative observations (extracts from the school plan and milestones)
  2. The processes and protocols of observations, to ensure that all participating staff agree on the purpose of the activity (artefact 2)
  3. The rubric used by observers, to show that the observation is highly structured and focused on the elements of teaching that will lead to the greatest positive changes in practice (artefact 2)
  4. An example of a detailed completed observation guide, to show what this activity actually looks like in the school (artefact 4)
  5. An example of feedback provided by participants of the process, giving some indications of how the observations are affecting practice (artefact 5).

The evidence set also includes comprehensive analysis that ties the artefacts together.

Other evidence the school could consider:

(see also sources of evidence)

The school could consider providing more detailed evidence on the impact of many processes – evidence of how activities are leading to substantial and positive changes in teacher practices, and the effect on student outcomes.

Some specific artefacts referencing external resources used in the evidence set (such as the Stephen Covey book in artefact 1, or the neuroscience article in artefact 6) could be replaced by evidence of how activities in the school are being informed by these resources. Because there is a completed lesson observation form in artefact 4, the blank template in artefact 2 could potentially be removed or replaced.

For a different example of a school’s self-assessment processes for Collaborative Practice, see the Colgullie High School case study.

School:

Engadine High School

Link:

Download the evidence set (requires login) (PDF 992.65KB)

School type:

Secondary school

Evidence set:

Extract – 1 of 9: ‘Student Achievement Analysis Process’

Elements covered:

  • Learning Culture
  • Curriculum and Learning
  • Student Performance Measures
  • Effective Classroom Practice
  • Data Skills and Use

Comments:

This evidence set is a targeted overview of the sorts of analysis of student performance data that are undertaken by the school. Where other evidence sets in the school’s submission include qualitative and quantitative evidence of school policies, practices and impact, this set is focused solely on analysis of student performance data. As such, this set is most directly related to Student Performance Measures, and Data Skills and Use elements. The evidence set contains examples of:

  1. Reports of student growth that are available to teachers, showing internal data collected through ongoing processes
  2. Data from formative assessments being compared to emerging performance from subject grades to identify students achieving below their potential, allowing for students to receive support in a timely fashion
  3. Analyses of trends in HSC results, which provide valuable summative data allowing school staff to evaluate the impact of their practices
  4. An example of a template showing how the school encourages teachers to reflect on available data to improve their practice.

The analysis of HSC data shows a dramatic and consistent improvement in student performance, with the school increasing the proportion of subject results in the top two bands more than four-fold since 2001. While this does not provide direct evidence of which practices teachers are engaged in, it provides a strong indication that changes the school has undertaken are having the intended effect on student outcomes.

Other evidence the school could consider:

(see also sources of evidence)

To justify assessments in elements such as Learning Culture, Curriculum and Learning, and Effective Classroom Practice, the school could consider using other evidence sets to present examples of school processes or classroom practices that are leading to the improvement in results seen here.

To more fully support the school’s self-assessment in Data Skills and Use, the school could present evidence of how widespread the reflection on data is across the school, as well as an example of a completed monitoring and review form to get some sense of how these processes are leading teachers to reflect on and change their practices.

For a different example of a school’s self-assessment processes for Student Performance Measures, see the Hopewood Boys High School case study.

School:

Bulli High School

Link:

Download the evidence set (requires login) (PDF 3279.08KB)

School type:

Secondary school

Evidence set:

Extract – 1 of 8: ‘Teaching and Learning’

Elements covered:

  • Assessment and Reporting
  • Student Performance measures
  • Data Skills and Use
  • Collaborative Practice
  • Learning and Development
  • Professional Standards
  • Leadership
  • Management Practices and Processes

Comments:

This school structured evidence sets around major school projects in the school plan (as well as the core business of teaching and learning), and then mapped each project to the School Excellence Framework. Each set demonstrates the use of a small number of carefully selected artefacts to inform the validation of overlapping lists of elements.

The evidence sets include examples of:

  1. Trend data showing an improvement in school value-add, used to demonstrate the impact of improved teaching and learning practices
  2. Internal school analysis of HSC data for self-reflection and to inform future practices
  3. Photo elicitations demonstrating collaborative practices and professional learning conducted to develop collaborative practice
  4. An analysis of self-evaluation conducted internally, with recommendations for school action.

The evidence set maps all artefacts to the elements and a comprehensive analysis of the entire set supports the school’s submission.

Other evidence the school could consider:

(see also sources of evidence)

The school could consider referencing the School Excellence Framework in detail in the set analysis.

To  support the school’s self-assessment in Assessment and Reporting, the school could consider including evidence of student reports, which identify reflective practices used by students to support their learning progression.

To further support the school’s self-assessment in Leadership, additional evidence demonstrating productive relationships with external agencies would substantiate community engagement with the intended outcome of improving educational opportunities for students.

For a different example of a school’s self-assessment processes for Collaborative Practice, see the Colgullie High School case study.

For a different example of a school’s self-assessment processes for Student Performance Measures, see the Hopewood Boys High School case study.

School:

Newcastle Junior School

Link:

Download the evidence set (requires login) (PDF 5064.97KB)

School type:

School for Specific Purpose (SSP)

Evidence set:

Extract from 6 of 14 evidence sets

Elements covered:

  • Learning Culture
  • Wellbeing
  • Curriculum and Learning
  • Assessment and Reporting
  • Student Performance Measures
  • Effective Classroom Practice
  • Data Skills and Use
  • Collaborative Practice
  • Learning and Development
  • Leadership

Comments:

The complete submission includes fourteen evidence sets each containing a selection of artefacts, appendix notated and referenced to the elements covered on a key.

This evidence set includes a demonstration of alternative sources of identified by the school as appropriate to its context. All students in this school have complex needs, and are exempt from NAPLAN. A wide variety of evidence is used to demonstrate how student performance data is collected, analysed and reported in this setting, including:

  1. The use of developmental profiling tools as an external assessment tool
  2. Detailed use of student individual learning plans across five domains to monitor student progress and inform assessment of achievement
  3. The use of a functional skills checklist for formative assessment for students transitioning to the school and as a summative assessment tool at Stage 1
  4. A communication assessment tool used to inform teaching and provide evidence of growth
  5. Trialling and evaluation of SWANs as a tool to profile student developmental standards.

The school’s submission presents evidence succinctly and in a sequential order which makes it easy to follow and reference to every element of the School Excellence Framework.

Other evidence the school could consider:

(see also sources of evidence)

The school may have included a mapping matrix identifying each Appendix to the elements. The annotations and analysis were often combined which requires external validation panel members to question the evidence more deeply.

The school could consider a separate analysis section that ties together the entirety of the evidence sets and how they relate to the School Excellence Framework.

For a different example of an SSP’s self-assessment processes for Student Performance Measures, see the Bay View School case study.

School:

Bankstown Hospital School

Link:

Download the evidence set (requires login) (PDF 1429.63KB)

School type:

School for Specific Purpose

Evidence set:

Full submission

Elements covered:

All elements

Comments:

This is an example of a small school’s full submission for external validation (excluding only the school plan and annual school report). The submission contains eight evidence sets, each collated into one­page documents that include School Excellence Framework connections, annotations and analysis. While the text of most artefacts in this version is not legible, external validation panel members were provided with access to the full documents, so they could review the details of school practices and the impact they were having on staff and students.

The submission systematically presents representative evidence for every element of the School Excellence Framework. This means that the school can support its self­-assessment with relatively few well­chosen artefacts. The analysis frequently links the school practices presented here with strategic directions from the school plan, as well as relevant departmental initiatives.

The school responds to its unique context by appropriately de­-emphasising elements that are less relevant in the school (for example, the school’s limited access to student assessment data), while highlighting other aspects that are more important than in other schools (such as collaboration with census schools and with medical staff).

Other evidence the school could consider:

(see also sources of evidence)

The school’s ability to collect and present further evidence is likely to be constrained by resourcing, with the school having fewer than 4 full-time equivalent staff. However, the school could consider using the analysis section to explain how the evidence links to specific descriptors or language of the School Excellence Framework, to make the mapping of each evidence set to broad elements more clear to external validation panel members

Larger schools are likely to have access to more detailed evidence on each of these aspects – perhaps providing multiple pieces of evidence on many practices, to detail the policy framework, the practices undertaken by staff, and the impact they are having on students. In larger schools, evidence of consistency of practice is also likely to be far more important (that is, to what extent the processes evidenced are representative of the whole school).

For a different example of an SSP’s self-assessment processes for Student Performance Measures, see the Bay View School case study.


For examples of how schools have gone through the self-assessment process, view case studies. For more suggestions for evidence that could be used in external validation, see sources of evidence.

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