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Kingswood has been committed to the Professional Learning Community (PLC) approach to school improvement since 2017. Professional Learning Communities are teams of teachers who work collaboratively to improve student outcomes using an inquiry centred approach. There is a relentless focus on improving student outcomes by building the professional knowledge and practice of teachers. Kingswood’s team culture aligns strongly with the idea that students learn more when their teachers work together.
2021 has seen our PLCs focus in on our Annual Implementation Plan focus of Reading. The PLCs worked through the improvement cycle (evaluate and diagnose, prioritise and set goals, develop and plan, implement and monitor) based on the specific needs of their cohort.
Focuses have included:
Prep – To build an awareness of rhyme through sound manipulation and syllables
Year 1 – To build vocabulary through the use of synonyms
Year 2 – To learn how to discuss character traits and how they change throughout a text
Year 3 – To infer character feelings, actions and motivations
Year 4 – To build comprehension – fluency & phrasing
Year 5 – To use discussion to build the students’ love of reading?
Year 6 – To improve students ability to identify theme and message of texts
Specialists – improving teacher questioning to elicit deeper student thinking.
We are also one of few schools who have established a Specialist PLC. Our specialist teachers have been working through the improvement cycle for 2-3 years now and have had to think flexibly about how they could collect meaningful data to inform their improvement cycle. We are currently planning for how we could develop a Specialist Community of Practice with other schools in the Bayside Peninsula Area
An important part of this work is the sharing within our own school of the learning that has occurred throughout the improvement cycle and the impact that the learning and change in practice has had on student outcomes. Our PLC Leaders shared their successes and challenges from term one and with a continued focus on Reading in term two could identify next steps forward.
We also have a strong commitment to building the knowledge of other schools within the Bayside Peninsula area around how to work effectively as a PLC. We offer open mornings each term where teams of teachers, middle leaders, school leaders and staff from regional offices can come and observe our PLCs at work. Our staff conduct their usual meeting in a fish bowl set-up to highlight the professional conversations, the focus on data and impact and to showcase some of the documentation that records the work. We emphasise that ‘it is not the work we do that is the focus but it is how we do it’. Please feel free to contact Megan Franklyn (Assistant Principal) to find out more about our open days or to organise a mutually convenient time to see some of our PLCs in action.
Coming soon: links to some of our whole school documentation that supports our PLC work.