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Newman News Term 3 Week 8: From the Principal

13 Sep 2019

Literacy Collective

One the most pleasing outcomes of the development of Shine through Discovery – Let Your Light Shine (Matthew 5:16) has been the alignment of the PK-12 College. Four years on, we are more connected than ever in the faith and learning continuum from the sandpit of Marian Campus to the Siena Learning Centre at Marcellin.

This was highlighted this week at our College Staff Professional Learning Meeting. A key strategic priority of our Annual School Improvement Plan is to implement a coherent sequenced based framework for Literacy PK-12.

This year each teaching unit in the Primary School and faculty in the Secondary School have been collaborating to achieve this strategic priority. This has been supported by a wider Catholic Education WA (CEWA) initiative called the Literacy Collective where staff have received professional learning on the use of student data to improve literacy outcomes. The primary beneficiary of this project has been the increased student engagement in literacy and overall experience of learning.

The teaching staff presented their strategies at the meeting with video footage of our students and their response to this program. Their voice articulated a more collaborative engagement in their learning in the comprehension of functional and critical literacy. An example of this is demonstrated in our PK-2 Program. Click here to watch the video.

As a teacher, the benefits of this project have been in the enthusiasm and commitment of our teaching staff to align and collaborate in our professional practice. In the Primary school this has been exemplified by the introduction of guided planning in each unit to ensure a consistency of approach in each class across each year group.

Our staff and students have developed a culture of presentation as a consequence of our Vision for Learning. We have deprivatized our classrooms, seeking to be more accountable, opening up our practice for critique with a view to support each individual student in their learning pathway. Staff are to be commended on this development and we look forward to our students bearing the fruit of their work.

Proposed International Marist Education Network

Globally, the Marist family is exploring the concept of an International Marist Schools Network. Echoing calls from the last Marist General Chapter held in Colombia in 2017 and the Marist International Mission Assembly held in Kenya in 2014, a group has been convened of Marists in leadership positions from different regions throughout the world to lead a process of consultation and discernment.

On the Feast of the Assumption 2019, people working in and associated with Marist schools in 80 countries across the globe are invited to respond to a short survey which has been translated into the four major language groups used by Marists: English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

Marist educators throughout the world are being invited to:

  • imagine the reality of an international network of Marist schools as a global family with an evangelizing action rooted in the world of school and education;
  • explore together the benefits this could bring to the children and young people whom Marists serve, as well as to their families.

Parents and Guardians are being invited to complete a short online survey. The survey has ambitious participation targets, which underscore the critical importance of every Marist educator’s voice – 100% of Marist Principals, 100% of Marist teachers and staff, 15% of students, 5-10% of parents, and an open invitation to all Marist Brothers and those Marist lay teachers who have moved to new employment or have retired. Similar to our own Australian Plenary Council consultation, the data gathered will be processed through computerised qualitative research tools, in this case undertaken by the internationally renowned Creativity Laboratory at the Marist University in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

I therefore invite parents and guardians to participate in the survey which will be open until 15 October 2019. Please click here to access the survey.