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Better NAPLAN because ‘we write MORE’

Watch Principal Conroy talk about the college NAPLAN success VIDEO

St Thomas More College (STMC), Sunnybank ranked number two in NAPLAN learning growth.

College Principal, Les Conroy talked about the “spectacular success”.

“Over the past two years, we’ve deliberately focused on the ‘We Write More’,” Principal Conroy said in the video above.

“Where classroom teachers have been working very strategically on some very pointed aspects of writing and writing skills.

“To tell some of the journey that we’ve been on at STMC – is also to link to the strategy that, the system strategy, that Brisbane Catholic Education put in place with its excellent learning and teaching.”

Further, Principal Conroy talked about future steps being taken to go from “great to outstanding”, building on the impressive success currently being celebrated.

Listen to the Principal Conroy talk about the college NAPLAN success PODCAST

Read the Principal Conroy talk about the college NAPLAN success TRANSCRIPT

Over the past two years, we’ve deliberately focused on the We Write More. Where classroom teachers have been working very strategically on some very pointed aspects of writing and writing skills. The focus on that was to increase students’ ability to access the curriculum, but also to value add and growth to their learning. And so, with the release of the recent NAPLAN data, the proof is in the pudding, if you like. Our students ranked number two in learning growth and that’s spectacular. And that means that the teachers every day are working hard, focusing on those writing skills and the students obviously have been picking up on those writing skills, and it’s come out in those NAPLAN results. And we’re very proud of the work that one, the teachers are doing, two, what the work the students are doing in the classroom to improve their skills, and the support of the parents at home in engaging with the school in our learning journey.

To tell some of the journey that we’ve been on at STMC is also to link to the strategy that, the system strategy, that Brisbane Catholic Education put in place with its excellent learning and teaching. And the excellent learning and teaching strategy set about to saying, “Here’s some high yield strategies, that when they’re properly implemented into the classroom, they work, they gain traction and they value add to what the students are learning.” The excellent learning and teaching strategy that we took on at STMC, we focused on the We Write More and it was very deliberate and focused writing strategies which helped improve the students’ literacy. We partnered with parents to explore some of that language and how they can be supportive at home, and within the classroom of the classroom teachers. So Stacy Reedman, our Assistant Principal for the Middle Phase, took it as part of her role to work with teachers in the middle phase of the school, to focus on those strategies.

We balance our results with NAPLAN. So NAPLAN’s a national indicator to show us where we stand nationally, and as our school, we are well above the state national means. So that’s a good indicator for us. But we also see it flow on too, because the real proof is in the pudding, for what we call SRS. So student reporting system results, and that’s the report card based on our in-school testing. And so, we balance that again with our own diagnostic tool, that’s been developed in consultation with Brisbane Catholic Education around a writing analysis tool. And with those three tests, we can then actually look at diagnostically, one, that we’re consistent in our marking, that we’re consistent in our approaches to our classroom teaching, and that the students are getting lifted… we’re value-adding to their learning journey.

One of the things that we like to think that we do well here at STMC is that we go from good to great, and we go from great to outstanding. And so, there’s no end point to what we gain. And so, we’re always trying to push for that extra 10%, 10%, 10%, so we can build on the successes and continue to grow the students’ learning outcomes.

I think one of the things that we can pride ourselves on a particularly at STMC, is that we have high-performing students. We know that we’ve got the capacity within our school to develop those results that students want and need, and their families want and need for their child. But we also develop the whole person. So spiritual development, sporting, cultural, music. It’s a whole package. It’s not just one dimension. So we’re a multidimensional school that hangs our hat, if you like, on a faith-learning community. And we think that’s the edge that we think our students will take into the future, given that critical thinking, that ethical thinking, and the ability to be that voice for those who don’t have a voice.

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