2018 External Validation Report

The external validation process is an important component of a system-wide approach to school excellence. Lake Heights staff, students and families participated in the process during 2018 and produced the following report.

Lake Heights Public School is a small school with an enrolment of 148 with six classes (K, 1, 1/2, 3/4, 4/5 and 5/6). Our school ICSEA value is 934. The school is comprised of students from a range of social and cultural backgrounds with 9% Indigenous, and 23% with a language background other than English. We embrace the diversity that this brings to our learning environment.

After careful examination of the School Excellence Framework and consideration of our school context, six evidence sets describing the school’s practices were identified by the self-assessment committee, comprising the principal, assistant principal, and a classroom teacher and agreed upon by the whole staff.

Teams were formed to take on responsibility for each area. The Microsoft OneNote application was used during this stage enabling all staff to access and view progress as teams collected and evaluated their evidence. We found this a very helpful tool because teams were able to see one and other’s progress at any time. It also helped us to achieve a uniform approach and easy transfer of collected evidence between sets.

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Teams worked to reflect on our current context and those school practices that supported the statement of excellence. With this in mind, teams collected evidence that supported these practices, and aligned them with the School Excellence Framework.

Evidence sets describing the school’s practices were identified by the self-assessment committee and agreed upon by the whole staff during staff meeting time. The approach taken was to consider the statement of excellence for each element of the School Excellence Framework and reflect upon those school practices that supported the statement of excellence. Artefacts were collected and mapped using the School Excellence Framework.

Learning

The results of this process indicated that in the School Excellence domain of Learning, Lake Heights Public School is sustaining and growing.

Lake Heights Public School has a positive learning culture supported by the high expectations of staff and parents. We work with parents, our active P&C and the wider community to enable students to reach their full potential. The staff has a strong commitment to improve the wellbeing and attendance of all of our students and student wellbeing measures, such as the KidsMatter framework, the Bounce Back program and inter-agency partnerships have fostered a thriving school climate.

To engage our students in rich learning experiences from their first introduction to school life, we have transformed our transition to school program so that parents and students form strong relationships with teachers and the wider school community, even before their schooling experience begins. This allows teachers to gain greater insight into the capabilities of the children starting school and can better support students’ individual learning paths, allowing them to flourish at school.

While we have a number of positive, both established and emerging assessment practices at our school, we recognise the need to refine and expand on the use of external assessments such as NAPLAN to monitor and evaluate student progress.

Teaching and learning programs are personalised for students, to connect and engage all learners. As an Early Action for Success school (2017 – 2020), Lake Heights has an Instructional Leader and Interventionist who play key roles in building staff skills and knowledge in teaching and assessing literacy and numeracy. They also assist our teachers to customise interventions for individual students through approaches that include Language Learning and Literacy (L3) and Targeted Early Numeracy (TEN).

Teaching

The results of this process indicated that in the School Excellence domain of Teaching, Lake Heights Public School is sustaining and growing.

Teachers at Lake Heights Public School individually and collaboratively reflect upon and evaluate their teaching practices, to ensure that the strategies implemented for teaching are both evidenced based and effective. Our core pedagogies are centred around explicit teaching, differentiated instruction and the effective use of formative assessment. We have undertaken professional learning so that all teachers can provide explicit and timely feedback based on success criteria and learning intentions.

To ensure that our classrooms provide effective conditions for  learning, we have implemented a school wide, systematic approach to effective classroom management which includes the use of Class Dojo. By encouraging parents to interact with this online platform, we promote a culture of shared responsibility for student learning, where students, parents and teachers all play active roles.

Leading

The results of this process indicated that in the School Excellence domain of Leading, Lake Heights Public School is sustaining and growing.

The school leadership team fosters a school wide culture of high expectations and a shared sense of responsibility. The leadership team actively supports collaborative performance development and staff efforts to improve their performance through the PDP process and use of the Professional Standards.

School resources have been allocated to processes and projects that support our school vision and direction. This is evident in the establishment of our outdoor adventure playground. This project has been highly successful and is constantly used by our children and their parents after school hours, fostering a stronger sense of community in which Lake Heights Public School plays a central role.