2. 1   School Context

Edi Upper is a small rural community situated in the upper reaches of the King Valley, 45 kilometers south of Wangaratta. Farms, vineyards and bush land surround the school. The community hub consisting of a hall and tennis courts is situated about 5 kilometers from the school.

Enrolment has remained relatively stable over the past three years. Currently 28 children attend the school. Students are catered for in two multi-aged classes. The staffing profile consists of a teaching principal, three part time teaching staff and three part time Education Support (ES) personnel.

Edi Upper is situated on a large site with passive and active play areas, large shade tress, covered areas, chook sheds and kitchen gardens. An active school community maintains the grounds.

The single school building contains an office and staff area, two classrooms and a large commercial kitchen. The kitchen is the workspace for a cluster kitchen garden program. All cluster schools bus their students to Edi Upper to use the kitchen. A kitchen garden teacher employed by the cluster facilitates this program.

The school invests heavily in its kitchen garden program with all Year 3­–6 students attending weekly sessions and P–2 cooking fortnightly. Italian language is also incorporated into the cooking sessions. Both classes have one session per fortnight outside working in their group vegetable garden beds. The produce from these gardens is used in their weekly cooking sessions.

The school provides learning programs based on the AusVELS curriculum. The school is currently transitioning to the Victorian curriculum.  Specialist programs in Italian, Library and Art are offered by visiting teachers. Italian immersion is incorporated into the P-2 room with an Italian speaking educational support staff member working in the classroom for 3 sessions per week. Students also have weekly science and music lessons.

Edi Upper Primary School is member of the King Valley Cluster of Primary Schools. Cluster initiatives include the kitchen garden program, camps, sporting activities, cultural days, musical events and professional learning initiatives.

The school is involved in many local events and celebrations and is supported by an active school council.

 

2.2     Summary of the School’s Performance

 

2.2.1 Summary of the School’s Performance against the Previous Strategic Plan

Student achievement

It was the panel view that the previous School Strategic Plan (SSP) student-learning goal to improve student English and mathematics outcomes for all students was not achieved. The school aimed to have all students making at least 12 months growth in teacher assessed literacy and numeracy. The AusVELS data showed that not all students had achieved this target. The school also aimed to have all students achieving high or medium growth in the National Assessment Program- Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). These targets were not achieved, with the exception of reading 2016 where no student made low growth. The review panel noted that there was potential for more students to achieve higher growth with high impact teaching and learning practices.

 

Student engagement and wellbeing

It was the panel view that the goal to improve student engagement and wellbeing had been achieved.

The target to have all student opinion scores at or above 75 per cent was achieved for all factors except connectedness to peers and teacher effectiveness. The panel highlighted that there had been a significant increase in connectedness to peers and learning confidence from 2015 –2016. It was the panel view that the parent opinion target to have all scores at or above the state mean had been met for all factors except student safety. It was noted that parent opinion of classroom behaviour was significantly higher than the state mean.

Transitions and pathways

A goal was set to ensure effective transitions into, within and from the school. The panel agreed that this target had been met. The success of this goal was measured by the transition and general satisfaction questions on the Parent Opinion Survey (POS). The school set a target for these scores to be equal to the state average. Both of these variables were above the state means for the strategic plan period.

 

 

2.2.2 Summary of the considerations for the next Strategic Plan

Build teacher capacity to analyse data to inform planning for explicit teaching

The panel agreed that in order to improve student learning outcomes, teachers needed to have the capacity to collect, analyse and use data effectively. The challenge for the school was to ensure the data was reliable and that teachers used data to provide learning which was appropriate to students’ learning needs Themes, which resonated as areas for improvement, included a review of the school’s assessment schedule and practices, development of a school wide assessment collection point, collective responsibility for assessment and building teacher capacity to use a range of assessment strategies to cater for all students.

Build the instructional practice of every teacher to target learning to student point of need.

The review panel noted that a consistent whole school approach to teaching and learning was required to improve student’s outcomes. The panel identified that the agreed Teaching and learning model was not consistently applied across the school. A focus on explicit teaching, including teaching beyond expected levels, was identified as necessary to ensure that all students were being catered for. The panel agreed that ensuring consistent practice through the adoption of a common teaching and learning model would improve student outcomes.

Promote students as active participants in their learning.

The provision of feedback to students on their learning was raised as an area of interest by the panel. Indications from students and from curriculum documentation indicate that this is an area for improvement. The panel saw placing students at the centre of the learning process, along with opportunities for active student participation and feedback as foci for the next strategic plan.

Build on positive the positive school climate to further engage with parents as partners in learning.

Parents and school personnel commented on the positive school climate and the welcoming culture at the school. It was the panel view that positive student outcomes could be further enhanced by greater parent involvement as partners in student learning.

 

 

 

 

2.2.3 Next steps

In the panel’s view Edi Upper Primary School is prepared for its next stage of improvement. The school demonstrated a willingness to participate fully in the review process and supported all recommendations. The community’s positive attitudes and support will assist the school in its improvement journey.