Principal School Leadership

Newsletter Week 7 term 2 2016

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A principal reflecting on the power of collaborative inquiry

Collaborative Inquiry Symposia - 26th July to 28th July - The first event of its kind on the North Coast!

So far the following people school leaders from Canada have indicated they will be attending our series of symposia days in week 2 of term 3.

  • Dr David Townsend
  • Dr Carmen Mombourquette – Lethbridge University
  • Danica Martin – Principal Innisfail Middle School
  • Carolynne Muncer – Vice Principal Ecole Innisfail Middle School
  • Della Ruston – Associate Superintendent Red Deer Public Schools
  • Ruth Isley – Isley Oilfield Consulting (Contracted by Northern Light School District)
  • Krista Lee - ‎Associate Principal at Foundations for the Future Charter Academy Calgary
  • Michelle Deleau - ‎Associate Principal at Foundations for the Future Charter Academy Calgary
  • Joshua Symonds - ‎Associate Principal at Foundations for the Future Charter Academy Calgary
  • Roger Nippard - Superintendent Foundations for the Future Charter Academy Calgary

Our Canadian Colleagues are coming all this way, covering their own costs to collaborate with us. Please don't miss this opportunity!

There has been a lot of interest in the symposia program, particularly the Lismore session. I know that everyone is very busy and Professional Learning funds are tight but if you would like members of your leadership team or other staff to attend one of the sessions please get in fast and register.

What is quality evidence of school improvement? What impact can school leaders have as instructional leaders and/or as leading learners? How can collaboration support school leadership? Do our schools have strong cultures that support productive self reflection? These are some of the questions we will seek to answer at our symposia events.

On the basis of inquiries and requests we have moved one event from Byron Bay on the 27th July to Grafton High School.

We have updated the program providing more detail about each day. The link below takes you an revised flyer, updated program and initial registration form. Participant numbers will be limited for each day to ensure that we can provide a genuine collaborative experience.

Collaborative Inquiry Symposia Information

This link will take you to a flyer with more detail about our symposia including the program as it currently stands and an initial online registration form.

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External Validation support

Thank you to those colleagues who have been working together with me to prepare for the first round of the School Excellence Self Evaluation process. I have scheduled video conferencing sessions on different days at different times so that people can drop in and out of conversations at times that suit. So far the technology has cooperated reasonably well, allowing us to share questions and approaches.

I would like to offer a big thank you to Graeme Ross for the work he is doing to support schools. The workshop he led on the 7th of June was very well attended and the collaboration that occurred helped clarify a lot of our thinking around the effective use of evidence to inform school self assessment - which is the whole point of the external validation process - building system efficacy.

The link below will take you to the most recent schedule of support strategies I am offering.

School Self Assessment is an annual process involving all schools. It is a process framed by the School Excellence Framework and drawing upon school plans and milestone evaluations. External validation adds an extra element where, every five years, school leadership teams, PSLs and visiting Principals consider the evidence schools are using. They seek to understand how this evidence contributes to a compelling narrative describing the learning journey undertaken by the school and the growth that has or is occurring.

What schools do in preparing for external validation should be what you can and will do each and every year as your school undertakes self assessment and reports the on balance findings in your annual report.

Other updates

  • I am on leave from Tuesday 14th June until Friday 17th June
  • I will be working in Coffs Harbour for the last two weeks of term 2. This means that I will be contacting some of you to discuss activities I have booked for the last two weeks of term 2. I will also have to revise the External validation support schedule. I will not be able to hold the speed meeting sessions on the 23rd. I apologise for any inconvenience this might cause
  • In term 3 I will be attend Director network days running a workshop on school self assessment and evaluative thinking in response to requests from schools. This course is registered on MyPL and I will send out an event ID closer to the date.
  • I have been receiving a lot of requests for the modified milestone template I distributed in January so I have attached a link to another copy of this. My advice is to transfer your milestone plan to this template and use this exercise as a way of reviewing your milestone plan and determining what are the really essential strategic growth components of your work for 2016.
  • I have also provided links to earlier newsletters in response to requests for those people wanting to access other resources I have shared previously.
  • I have received information from an elementary teacher in Red Deer Alberta who would love to do a teacher exchange in Northern NSW. I have provided a link to a brief biography which contains an email address if you know someone who might be interested in exploring the possibility of an exchange.
External Validation Video Conference Schedule

Click on this link to find the schedule for VCs

Modified Milestone template

Download this file and save it so you can then edit it.

Business Intelligence Reports

The Business Intelligent Unit is continually updating the kinds of reports you can access and there are a number of reports that are very useful when it comes to school self assessment.

To access these reports you must have completed training. This training can now be completed online and the picture below shows you the Business Intelligence home page where you can register to complete online training. You can access a lot of other information about what this unit can offer your school team, or your COS group.

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I would love your feedback!

If you have worked with me at all this term I would love to get some feedback. The link below takes you to a very short online questionaire. Your feedback enables me to better support you and your colleagues and can help inform the statewide PSL initiative.
Feedback to David Silcock

Click on this link if you would like to provide any feedback or suggestions for 2016.

North Coast Initiative for School Improvement Website

Check out the new resources on the Resource Page. We now have three templates for teacher growth plans aligned to proficient, highly accomplished and lead.

Contact details

David Silcock

Principal, School Leadership

Learning and High Performance

NSW Department of Education

610 Ballina Road (PO Box 4029) Goonellabah 2480

Ph: 02 66235951

Fax: 02 66235917

Mobile: 0407284031