Appendix 3: Improvements that focus on acceleration

The evaluation framework in Figure 4 reflected schools’ capability to respond to underachievement and accelerate progress.

  • The strategic and successful schools had the capability, plans and systems in place to know which students needed supplementary support, how to accelerate progress for them, whether the actions were effective or not, and how to learn from the experience. Leaders and teachers were trialling and evaluating a range of actions at classroom and school levels.
  • The leaders of schools that had strategically trialled a new approach knew which students needed supplementary support, how to accelerate progress for particular individual students, and whether the actions were effective or not. They were now implementing systems to ensure all teachers and leaders learnt from the acceleration focus.
  • Schools that were aware of the need to raise achievement knew what might support some students, but did not know what worked or plan to use any successes to improve school capability.
  • The schools with little urgency did not have a trigger to do something different.

Figure 4: A framework for an innovative response to underachievement

this graph show the framework for an innovative response to underachievement.the centre is a circle which  starts with description of the students below or well below national standards for their year group, next is identification of learning strengths and needs and setting priorities in reation to school goals, then responding with innovations that accelerate learning, next is responding to the impact of innovations that accelerated and improved student outcomes and lastly refocus.  The questions that arise of these are what can be built onto focus accerleation? what needs to be done differently? how can the capability be built to do this? What triggered the need to do something different? what triggered knowing what to do differently? how did the school know what worked when why and for who? How is the school ensuring it has learnt from this focus on accereation so there are improved outcomes for more students?

This is a slow walk to system improvement. All schools need to be strategic and successful, and strategic and successful schools need to continue evaluating and innovating beyond the ALiM or ALL inititiave, i.e. doing something different when actions do not have the desired impact. Schools do not need to approach the framework for an innovative response to underachievementstep by step. Instead they need to be supported to design improvement plans that deliberately design for all actions and build all four capabilities (as described in the main report) from the outset (as shown in Figure 5).

Figure 5: An urgency in improvement plans

This graph shows and urgency in improvement plans. There are three boxes the first is groups of schools in this box is strategic and successful, strategic trialled a new approach, aware of the need to accelerate progress and little sense of urgency or ownership. The next box is deliberate design for actions from the begining with four bullet points which are identifying student learning strengths and needs, responding with innovations that accelerate learning, responding to the impact and refocus. this box has and arrow that points to the last box which reads all schools strategic and successful with sustained practices beyond the initiative.

Six key effective practices were identified in the main report:

  • Clearly explained reasons for the urgency to improve outcomes of targeted groups of students.
  • Deep understanding of expected progression, acceleration and curriculum used to develop responses.
  • Improvement plans developed with short-term tactical response to student achievement along with longer-term strategic responses to build teacher and leader capability.
  • Students and their parents and whānau involved in designing and implementing the plan to accelerate progress.
  • Student achievement information used actively and relentlessly in decisions.
  • Comprehensive systems with tools and resources embedded to sustain the gains made and ensure more teachers and leaders benefit from the focus.

A further three are from this evaluation of ALiM and ALL schools:

  • Classroom curriculum demands guide the supplementary support.
  • Formal collaborative inquiry.
  • Teachers understand the expectation to critique the effectiveness of their practices and to make changes.

Table 2 describes the improvements needed for each group of schools based on the analysis of their response to underachievement.

Table 2: Improvements that focus on acceleration

 

Identifying needs

Responding to strengths and needs

Responding to the impact

Refocus

Strategic and successful schools

Clearly explain reasons for the urgency to improve outcomes for targeted groups of students.

Deepen understanding of expected progression, acceleration and curriculum used to develop the responses.

Develop improvement plans with short-term tactical responses to student achievement along with longer-term strategic responses to build teacher and leader capability.

Involve students and their parents and whānau involved in designing and implementing the plan to accelerate progress.

Use classroom curriculum demands to guide the supplementary support.

Undertake formal collaborative inquiry.

Use student achievement information actively and relentlessly in decisions.

Extend teachers understanding of the expectation to critique the effectiveness of their practices and to make changes.

Embed comprehensive systems with tools and resources to:

  • sustain the gains made
  • ensure more students and teachers benefit from the focus on acceleration.

Schools that strategically trialled a new approach

Clearly explain reasons for the urgency to improve outcomes for targeted groups of students (rather than just one group).

This means:

  • boards have specific information about why particular groups of students need support
  • more students, their parents and whānau know that the teachers and leaders are supporting students to succeed.

Extend the reach to more students and teachers.

In particular, this means teachers and leaders build education teams that include all students, their parents and whānau, and boards.

Monitor the impact.

This means:

  • close-monitoring and short-term responses in the classroom by all teachers
  • a focus on the students who have had support and the unintended consequences on them or on other students.

Differentiate support to teachers.

This means leaders:

  • understand individual teacher’s capability to accelerate progress
  • develop teams that build on individual strengths to develop a shared understanding of effective practices i.e. build social capability
  • work with teams to trial a range of tools and resources to build capability.
 

Identifying needs

Responding to strengths and needs

Responding to the impact

Refocus

Schools aware of the need to raise achievement

Clearly explain links between short‑term tactical responses and longer‑term strategic responses.

This means leaders:

  • think strategically
  • appoint strategically
  • confidently analyse and interpret a range of information
  • understand acceleration
  • guide teachers towards agreed best practice
  • champion urgency.

Identify what works and extend the reach to more students and more teachers.

This means teachers and leaders work as teams to understand and apply:

  • expected reading, writing and mathematics progressions
  • agreed ways to build reading, writing and mathematical capabilities through rich curriculum experiences in both the classroom and supplementary programmes
  • effective partnerships with students, their parents and whānau.

Monitor and respond to progress.

This means leaders:

  • monitor closely and develop nimble short-term responses to underachievement
  • understand long-term patterns and trends
  • look for unintended consequences.

Evaluate for improvement.

This means teachers and leaders:

  • focus on students needing to accelerate progress
  • apply the principles of assessment for learning and evaluation for improvement to their practices
  • plan for doing something different if the outcomes are not as good as they need to be
  • design and refine teaching as inquirytools that support and formalise the focus on improvement.

Schools with little urgency

Undertake a trial that involves explaining - the urgency to improve outcomes for a group of students; the actions to accelerate progress; the ways everyone will help; and sharing process and outcomes.

This means leaders and teachers:

  • identify and describe the learning needs of a group of students that urgently need support
  • agree on actions (including the appointment of a capable teacher who is well resourced to lead the trial)
  • agree on formal monitoring and reporting processes
  • learn quickly from any failure and apply any success elsewhere in the school.

Design and implement high quality supplementary support either within or outside the classroom that is closely linked to a high quality classroom programme

This means teachers and leaders work as teams to understand and apply:

  • expected reading, writing and mathematics progressions
  • agreed ways to build reading, writing and mathematical capabilities through rich curriculum experiences
  • strategies to accelerate progress for students who need to ‘catch up’ to peersassessment for learning.

Develop urgency in actions to improve outcomes for more students

This means leaders develop:

  • a culture with shared ownership and urgency for improving student achievement
  • a long-term plan with a tight focus on improvement
  • professional networks within the school
  • educational partnerships with students, parents and board.

Provide coherence between school-wide and individual classroom practices.

This means teachers and leaders:

  • understand and apply principles of assessment for learning and evaluation for improvement at both class and school levels
  • design and refine teaching as inquirytools that support and formalise the focus on improvement
  • design and refine school self‑review processes that link the strategic plan to teacher actions.