At Warwick SHS we believe that our major focus should be on creating the optimum conditions at our school for our students to maximise their achievements, and to grow and develop socially and emotionally, while at school.  From this we firmly believe that we are assisting our students to “create positive futures” for themselves after their school career has finished.

We recognise that our teachers’ actions make the MOST difference to students’ learning, so we focus on creating the highest quality teachers through on going professional learning, classroom observations and formal feedback from other teachers, training to improve classroom management, and mentoring by school leaders and expert teachers. Teacher development activities may focus on use of IT in learning, questioning techniques, co-operative learning strategies (group work), and differentiation in lessons to cater for the range of learner’s abilities.

We have high expectations of both our students and our staff and we believe that every child can learn and progress in their education.  Our expectations of students includes their behaviour, as an orderly school environment is essential for all students to feel safe  and secure and feel able to take risks, and gain knowledge and try new skills, without fear of ridicule or bullying.

We are moving towards all our classrooms at Warwick operating under a common framework, which is called an Instructional Model.   All teachers will aim to operate under this structure. The lesson features include:

  • Lesson Goals: which are prominent to students, either written on the board or printed materials or verbally outlined. Research shows these are vital for students to succeed, as they know where the lesson will lead.
  • Success Criteria: are also visible and allow students to assess when they have been successful in their learning.
  • Learning: when explicit teaching of new material occurs and/or students are involved in activities that develop new understandings and skills.
  • Lesson review: at the end the teacher ties it all together, checks for understanding and concludes the lesson. Students can self assess in terms of the success criteria.

Research shows that a well designed instructional model contributes to increased learning time in class, as all students understand the structure of any lesson in the school.  Our focus is to maximise the effective learning time in all the classrooms.  All of the actions are simple but have been proven to have great impact on improving learning in classes.

In a subsequent newsletter later this year, I will report to the community how these new initiatives are progressing.

Lesley Wintle