Albany Junior High School
School leader of a 1300 student school (from 1022 in 2013) where we deliver awesome educational experiences to year 7 to 10 students. Leading 75 exceptional teachers and 31 passionate support staff.
After the usual 'storming' phase, 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, World Class Learners (Zhao), Visible Learning research (Hattie), and the Challenging Learning Framework (Nottingham). We are now at the performing phase. My personal learning around change leadership has grown exponentially during this process. We are now on a journey to become a best practice model for middle years education. We had an ERO review soon after my taking on this role, 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.
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.
- Created online learning progressions to ensure a guaranteed and viable curriculum alongside critical vocabulary for each learning area.
- Moved further towards personalised learning through a focus on student voice, co-creation, social construction, and self-discovery (Zmuda, Curtis, and Ullman, 2015).
- Added over 70 extra-curricular clubs, two mornings each week, and a Make A Difference (M.A.D) session per week, with over 65 elective options, for academically-focused personal passion projects. Inspired teachers to make this a reality.
- Increasing partnerships, community networking and parent information meetings, helping to grow our roll by an average of 55 students per year, in competition with high schools of great reputation.
- Implementing a developmental appraisal model and a walkthrough process to ensure effective teaching in every classroom, aided by our team of excellent teachers. We also introduced a common language of instruction and learning.
- Implemented a TRIAD and Professional Learning Team process to improve collaborative teaching practice whilst honouring teacher professionalism.
- Increased student and parent voice, e.g., surveyed parents and subsequently changed our 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.