Albany Junior High School
School leader of an 1170 student school delivering awesome educational experiences to year 7 to 10 students. Leading 70 exceptional teachers and 31 passionate support staff.
After the usual 'trying' time of developing deep relational trust and addressing mental models at use in the school, we introduced curriculum and pedagogical change based on the professional knowledge of the team in the school, the Visible Learning research (Hattie), and the Challenging Learning Framework (Nottingham). My personal learning around change leadership grew exponentially during this period and I celebrate my growth. We are now on a journey to become a best practice model for middle years education. We had an ERO review after nine months, receiving a 3 year review cycle, but the ERO noted that this would have been a 4-5 year cycle had there been more time to provide evidence of our initiatives being embedded. They expressed confidence that major improvements would result from our change programme.
Other processes introduced over the last three years include:
- Shared visioning: Reviewing and replacing the previous vision and mission statement in collaboration with our teachers, parents, students, and Board.
- Added over 70 extra-curricular clubs two mornings each week, and a Make A Difference (M.A.D) session per week, with over 65 student elective options, for academically-focused personal passion projects.
- Increasing networking and parent meetings at our feeder schools, helping to grow our roll by over 50 students in one year.
- Implementing a developmental appraisal model and a classroom walkthrough process to ensure effective teaching in every classroom, something aided by our team of excellent teachers. We also introduced a common language of instruction and learning.
- Implemented the Teacher Learning Community process to engage collaborative inquiry into Assessment For Learning (Dylan Wiliam).
- Identified learning progressions to ensure a guaranteed and viable curriculum alongside critical vocabulary for each learning area.
- Increased student and parent voice, e.g., surveyed parents and subsequently changed our reports towards standards referenced reports, including not only achievement towards National Standards but also progress (using effect size analysis).
- Increased our knowledge of co-creation through Glaser's Conversational Intelligence method (of which I am now an accredited coach).