1. Peer Review Report Executive Summary (published on school’s website)
1. 1 School Context
Osbornes Flat Primary School is located in a bush setting, six kilometres from the township of Yackandandah and thirty kilometres southeast of the rural city of Wodonga. The large school site includes a memorial garden, large shade trees, undercover play areas, an oval, play equipment and vegetable gardens.
The school is the centre of the community at Osbornes Flat and parents take responsibility for the maintenance of the large school site. Upper Murray Regional Library Mobile Service visits fortnightly, enabling all members of the community to take advantage of this service.
The school’s 68 students are catered for in in four multi-aged classes. Enrolment has remained around 70 for the past four years. There are 5.2 full time teaching staff, 0.2 integration support staff and 0.8 clerical support staff. An art specialist from the Mobile Art and Craft Van and a librarian from the Mobile Area Resource Centre provide students with fortnightly specialist art and library sessions. The school offers weekly Italian sessions for all students.
The school’s curriculum reflects all domains of the Victorian Curriculum Standards. Throughout the year all students are offered camps and excursions, which support the curriculum.
The school is involved in a local small schools network which provides students with the opportunity to participate in a range of sporting and cultural events.
1.2 Summary of the School’s Performance
1.2.1 Summary of the School’s Performance against the previous Strategic Plan
The 2014–18 School Strategic Plan (SSP) set a goal to foster high student achievement, particularly in English and mathematics. The target set as a measure against the goal was to ensure at least one years growth as reflected in teacher judgments against the AusVELS and Victorian Curriculum.
In 2015, the target was achieved at Years 2 and 6 for reading and at Years 5 and 6 for writing. The target was achieved in speaking and listening in Year 2, 5 and 6. In 2015, the target was not achieved at any year level for mathematics. In 2016, the target was achieved for all domains of English and mathematics in Year 1 and for writing in Year 3, however it was not reached in any other year level. The panel highlighted the increase in the percentage of students who had not made one years growth in 2016.
Although not set as measures of achievement in the Strategic Plan, the review panel considered additional National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) student achievement data. The school’s NAPLAN performance against similar schools was considered. The top two bands for all domains were analysed and it was noted that the trend was for the school to be below similar schools in both Year 3 and 5 for the period 2012–16. An improvement in 2017 NAPLAN data was highlighted, with an upward trend for all Year 3 and Year 5 areas noted by the panel.
Overall it was the panel view that the achievement goal and target had not been met.
The school set goals to provide a motivating and engaging learning environment and to improve student-learning opportunities. The panel considered the achievement of the school against the selected targets and found that the goals were partially met.
The first target was to reduce student absences over the four year period. The panel examined the absence data and noted that there was a positive trend in absence data over the SSP period. The school had reduced absences throughout the school from 15.37 days in 2014 to 12.99 days in 2016. The schools absence data was below state averages in 2015 and 2016. This target was met.
The second target related to student opinions of learning confidence, stimulating learning and motivation. All of these student opinion variables increased over the period 2014—16. In 2016, the schools results for Learning confidence and Stimulating learning were above state mean factor scores. Student motivation was 4.41, which was slightly below the state at 4.55.
The panel considered the 2017 student opinion data and agreed that due to changes in questions and year levels participating, it could not compare results to previous data. The panel did note that relative to all Victorian Primary schools in 2017 the schools results for Stimulating learning was at the 43rd percentile and Motivation and interest at the 39th percentile. The schools result for Sense of confidence was at the 23rd percentile. The panel considered that this target was partially met.
The goal to improve student wellbeing with particular emphasis on transitions into and out of the school and connectedness to school were partially met, based on achievement against the targets set.
The Student Attitudes to School Survey (SATS) was used as a measure for this target. There had been an upward trend from 2014 to 2016 in the target measures of school connectedness and connectedness to peers. Both measures were above the state mean factors in 2016.
The panel did not compare 2017 data to previous data due to changes in survey questions and year levels that participated. It did however note that the school’s score as compared to all other schools in 2017 was at the 29th percentile for sense of connectedness.
Parent opinion survey data was used as a measure for the second target. The panel noted that the school was below similar schools and the state for the transition variable during the 2014–16 period. In 2017, there was a positive response rate of 88 per cent for transitions. The panel considered the 2017 data to be generally positive and therefore the target was partially met.
The panel agreed that the goal to effectively allocate resources to maximise student achievement, student wellbeing and student engagement levels at the school had been met.
The selected staff opinion measure of Collective efficacy had decreased slightly in 2016 but still remained high at 79 per cent. The measure for Collective focus on student learning had increased from 92 per cent in 2015 to 96 percent in 2016. The 2017 staff opinion data indicated that Collective efficacy was at 79 per cent and Collective focus on student learning was at 75. The panel considered this target had been reached.
1.2.2 Summary of main findings and considerations for the next Strategic Plan
The panel discussed considerations for the next Strategic Plan for improving performance and student outcomes. Suggestions for improvement were aligned to the Framework for Improving Student outcomes (FISO).
A goal to maximise learning growth for all students was suggested by the panel. The panel proposed that this could be achieved by building teaching capacity to implement an agreed approach to literacy and numeracy instruction and by building teacher capability to utilise data and a range of assessment strategies to teach to a student’s point of need. The panel view was that continued improvements to student learning would also be achieved through the development of a culture of professional feedback and accountability. The panel suggested that there should be professional accountability to an instructional model and agreed practices in the teaching of literacy and numeracy. These strategies would achieve school improvement in the priority of Excellence in teaching and learning, and the initiatives of Build practice excellence and Curriculum planning and assessment.
The panel suggested a second goal to promote a collaborative and supportive learning community. Key strategies to support the achievement of the goal included the enhancement of processes to support parents as partners in learning and through building a range of approaches to empower students. The panel recommended that the school develop and implement practices to empower students to take a more active role in the learning process. A focus on involving parents and students in a collaborative approach to learning would build school improvement in the FISO priority areas of Positive climate for learning and Community engagement in learning.