Ivanhoe Primary School, located in a residential area in Melbourne’s North Eastern suburbs, can trace its roots of providing education to the local community back to 1853.
The current site contains the original building. Built in 1923, it houses an administration block and 10 classrooms. This wing is complemented by a 14 relocatable classroom. In 2010, a Building Education Revolution school hall was added and has provided enhanced facilities for performing arts and physical education. Existing facilities will be upgraded as a Capital Works Grant has been provided to replace portable classrooms and refurbish parts of the main building on Waterdale Road by 2018.
During the period of the 2013 – 2016 Strategic Plan an enrolment ceiling of 550 students existed. This figure has been increased to 650. The February 2016 enrolment of 588.8 students had a Student Family Occupation (SFO) Index of 0.1820, below the state median of 0.5166. The 2016 index figure places the school in the high socio-economic group of schools. Enrolment patterns are reflected in the growing number of classes across the school, which increased to 24 in 2016, consisting of: four Preps, one grade 1 and 2, three grade 1s; three grade 2s, three 3s, four grade 4s, and three grade 5s and three grade 6s.
The 2016 school teaching team comprised of 24 classroom teachers, a principal and acting assistant principal and four specialist teachers. Ten full time effective (FTE) education support staff cover areas such as administration, library, integration and learning support. The Principal and acting Assistant Principal were appointed in 2016, and with three leading teachers (two acting) form the leadership team. Specialist classes are offered in Music, Art, Physical Education and Italian Language.
The school has maintained a focus on differentiation and feedback to maximize teacher capacity to address the needs of all learners across the different levels. Differentiated learning, along with Reading Recovery for Year 1 students and a variety of effective support programs catered for students at either end of the learning spectrum. The school has a firm commitment to providing opportunities for students to develop their artistic, physical and technological talents. The Curriculum incorporated the teaching of thinking skills and the innovative use of Digital Learning Technologies.
Summary of the School’s Performance against the Previous Strategic Plan
A broad range of evidence suggested that Ivanhoe Primary School has been effective in showing improvement in student learning, engagement and wellbeing outcomes over the period of the Strategic Plan.
Various teacher assessments and NAPLAN indicators revealed that measurable progress was made to improve student achievement across all AusVELS domains with a particular emphasis on English and Mathematics. Year 3 to 5 relative growth indicators for students in Year 5 in 2015 revealed high percentages of students making medium or high relative gain compared to their Year 3 starting point and results, greater than the state percentages.The SSP target to increase the proportion of Year 3 students achieving at NAPLAN Bands 4-6 to 90% was achieved for English but not for numeracy. The Year 5 target was not achieved, with the 2015 percentage of students in NAPLAN Bands 6, 7 and 8 for English and Numeracy below the targeted 90%.
Students’ perceptions of their cognitive, emotional and behavioral engagement with schooling remained at consistently strong levels during 2014 to 2016, with all 2015 and 2016 student Attitudes to School Survey (AtSS) measure scores in the third or fourth quartile. The average number of days absent per Years Prep to 6 student declined, and in 2015 was nine days, well below the state average.
There was no productivity goal, however there was sufficient evidence to indicate that the school managed its resources effectively to support school goals and improvement strategies. Professional learning was targeted to support teachers to develop capabilities to implement school directions.
Summary of the considerations for the next Strategic Plan
The Review panel endorsed the schools current directions and made the following recommendations.
Within the good performance patterns recorded in NAPLAN results some data outcomes highlighted speaking and listening and some areas of Mathematics as potential focuses for the next SSP. As a result, it was suggested that goals to ensure students excel in English and Mathematics and to develop students who are resilient, curious and exhibit respectful behaviors reflective of the school values.
The panel’s considerations of strategies designed to achieve the student learning goals and targets were based on the rationale that if the school’s teaching and learning model is embedded in every classroom then consistently high quality teaching will occur and every student will demonstrate good learning progress. The review panel suggested the following key improvement strategies be incorporated into the next strategic plan:
- Develop and embed an instructional model, designed to move each student to the next point on the appropriate learning continuum, and incorporating effective evidence-based instructional practices that work, in every classroom.
- Build a guaranteed and viable curriculum for Numeracy and Literacy learning domains that reflect Victorian Curriculum.
- Continue to build teachers’ knowledge and skill in using data to plan and teach for student growth in Literacy and Numeracy, with an emphasis on higher achieving students and students where English is an additional language.
- Build a consistent instructional practice in Literacy and Numeracy of every teacher.
- Build and monitor a whole school approach to Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) and Professional Learning Community (PLC).
Develop a whole school approach to the way PLTs are conducted and reviewed.
- Revising the current team structures
- Using assessment data/identification of point of need
- Discussing of teacher knowledge of appropriate teaching responses to the data
- PLTs to focus on individual data to develop individual goals.
The clear student survey evidence of positive student perceptions about their cognitive, emotional and behavioral engagement with schooling resulted in the panel endorsing the school’s current directions. It was suggested that the new School Strategic Plan contain a goal to develop engaged, connected and empowered students who make positive contributions to the whole school community.
A target based on the student Attitudes to School Survey to increase school connectedness measure mean score to be at or above the state median score was suggested. Based on the rationale that if students are cognitively, emotionally and behaviorally engaged with schooling then their outcomes will improve, two key improvement strategies were suggested for consideration:
- Ensure students have an active role articulated in the Ivanhoe Primary School teaching and learning model.
- Empower students through approaches that provide them with a greater voice in decisions that affect their school experience.
Based on the rationale that children and young people with higher resiliency are more likely to thrive in learning and achieve greater educational outcomes the panel suggested a possible goal for the new SSP was for all students to be resilient and display behaviors and attitudes that reflect the school values. A possible target based on the students Attitudes to School Survey is to achieve Wellbeing factor mean scores at levels similar to or better than the state median scores and to identify some relevant measures contained in the DET resilience project survey and develop improvement targets from baseline data.
A strategy suggested was build school and teacher capacity to undertake whole school approaches to enhance students’ resilience, optimism, confidence, and social and emotional skills based on the school values.
The review panel’s opinion was that the school is very well placed for its next Strategic Plan period. Observations of the panel were that the school’s current directions should lead the school to be optimistic about future gains. The panel was impressed by the clarity in directions articulated by the Principal Class team. Presentations by teachers highlighted their enthusiasm and willingness to take on new challenges.