Teaching and Learning

Promoting a Culture of Learning at Newman College

Newman College is driven by a deep belief that every student can successfully learn. Renowned for meeting students where they are, a high priority is given to building and maintaining positive and caring relationships between staff and students. Teachers build and maintain a safe, supportive, orderly learning environment promoting intellectual rigour. This begins at the door, whether it is as a 3-year-old enters the Pre-Kindy room or when a Year 12 student enters the class.

The redevelopment of the Newman Norms

The Newman Norms for Marcellin Campus (Primary soon to come) have been reviewed by student leaders, staff, middle leaders, and the College Executive to explicitly state the high expectations of students, from our Marist spirituality to our personal presentation, attitude, engagement, personal success, and integrity for ourselves and others.

A vibrant and enriching learning community results when these everyday norms are clearly aligned. Our collective commitment to the Newman Norms sets the stage for a dynamic and inclusive educational environment where each student is encouraged to surpass their potential and contribute meaningfully to our shared success.

Improving Student Outcomes

School improvement is intricate yet essential to guarantee our continuous efforts in enhancing student outcomes, encompassing levels of achievement, engagement, and overall wellbeing. Evidence-based research (Louis and Lee, 2016) identifies four key aspects of school culture that significantly contribute to improved student achievement:

  • Setting high academic standards
  • Supporting students in all aspects of schooling
  • Cultivating Trust, Respect, and Shared Values Among Staff
  • Nurturing a Professional Culture Among Teachers

By prioritising these fundamental aspects of school culture, we aim to fortify the foundation for academic success, student engagement, and the holistic wellbeing of each student at our College. We do this through:

Setting high academic standards for students:

  • Learning intentions and success criteria for each year and learning area provide a roadmap for both teachers and students, outlining the skills and knowledge they are expected to acquire.
  • Teaching and Learning Programs and alignment to the Western Australian Curriculum.
  • A continuous cycle of review of assessment.
  • Formative assessments provide real-time feedback for students on understanding. They also allow teachers to identify gaps in knowledge, tailor instruction to meet individual learning needs, and make timely adjustments to their teaching methods, ensuring that the content aligns with the established academic standards.
  • Setting pre-requisites for students entering into pathways.
  • Revision programs for students
  • Enrichment programs such as Shine provide opportunities for student growth.
  • Academic Mentor Programs that support metacognitive thinking.
  • Creation of Frameworks to support programs at Newman College.
  • Opportunities such as homework club.
  • Integration of meaningful technological experiences into teaching and learning practices, including Teams, One Note, and SeeSaw.
  • Partnerships with the University of Western Australia, Notre Dame University, and Curtin University.
  • Ongoing engagement with professional reading and the creation

Support Students in All Aspects of Schooling:

  • The availability of support services, including counselling, tutoring, and mentorship programs, to address students’ academic, social, and emotional needs.
  • Social and Emotional programs embedded in pastoral care, including Ur Strong, Zones of Regulation and Microsoft Reflect.
  • Regular communication between teachers and parents facilitates a collaborative approach to supporting students inside and outside the classroom.
  • Peer support programs, such as in Year 11, help foster relationships and provide additional support for social and emotional development.
  • Extended PCG activities targeted at social and emotional development in line with the Vision for Wellbeing.
  • The Year 10 Mentoring program and development of My Guide.
  • Career Mentoring and Pathway Guidance Counselling.
  • Student Leadership opportunities.
  • Service Learning opportunities and faith based co curricular.

Teachers’ Professional Culture – Sharing Teaching Practice and Reflection:

  • The Newman Teaching and Learning Carousels are opportunities for teachers to discuss teaching practices, share insights and engage in reflective discussions, promoting continuous classroom improvement.
  • Teachers’ Yearly Growth Plans are aligned to the ACER School Improvement Tool.
  • The IgnitED program (Early Career Teacher Program) supports new staff entering the profession. It allows for peer observations and constructive feedback among teachers, creating a culture of shared learning and professional growth.
  • Recognising and celebrating teachers’ successes, innovative practices, and contributions to the school community have been present, with staff winning National Awards for their work at Newman College.
  • Collaborative Lesson Planning sessions
  • Moderation sessions
  • Staff completing Action Research Projects for further study.

Trust, Respect, and Shared Values Among Staff:

  • Staff continually engage in professional development at the unit group, learning area, middle leader, and executive levels, which encourages collaboration and shared learning among staff.
  • Seeking staff input through surveys and making data available, which provides avenues for feedback and suggestions, creates a culture of two-way communication.
  • Implementing regular team meetings to discuss goals, progress, and challenges.
  • Providing opportunities to be on committees and have a shared voice.
  • Wellbeing initiative to support staff and contribute to a positive workplace culture.

PK-12, our professional learning in 2024, has focused on deep diving into the ACER (Australian Council of Education Research) National School Improvement tool, particularly using data to inform and enhance our educational practices. Our approach involves systematically collecting and analysing student data to examine the effectiveness of our teaching methods, identify areas for improvement, and tailor our educational strategies to meet the needs of our students. Furthermore, this commitment to data-informed practices extends to the holistic development of our students, considering factors such as wellbeing, extracurricular involvement, and post-graduation achievements.

Middle leaders across the College have also been actively engaged in professional learning, taking a focused approach to the ACER deep dive into their specific contexts. Recognising the crucial role that middle leaders play in shaping the educational landscape within their respective domains, we have empowered them with the tools and knowledge needed to conduct thorough analyses and drive targeted improvements. This deep dive into their contexts involves quantitative data on student performance and qualitative assessments of the learning environment, teacher practices, and the overall student experience. These workshops allow middle leaders to work together to lead their staff teams to ensure that it is embedded across all parts of the College.

By immersing themselves in this data-driven process, middle leaders are better equipped to make informed decisions that positively impact their students’ educational journey. They play a pivotal role in fostering a culture of continuous improvement, collaborating with teachers, and implementing tailored strategies to address specific needs identified through data analysis.

As a community, we strive to create an environment that fosters academic excellence and prepares students for success in their future endeavours.