Learning 2 Read


So we have planned for this as part of our “balanced literacy program”.  It will look different in different parts of our school in line with our gradual release literacy program.  Guided Reading is a key strategy within this process as we support individual learners.  Thought I would share some resources:



The PRSS Framework


You can check this out at: https://team.oneportal.deta.qld.gov.au/sites/prdss/framework/default.aspx

So you are all busily working on elements of our areas of concern from the Full School Review (along with report cards).  I have had a number of conversations with multiple staff about elements of Teaching & Learning and I had come to the realisation that elements of our Pedagogical Framework could also be found in our Teaching & Learning Cycle at: https://team.oneportal.deta.qld.gov.au/sites/prdss/teachlearn/default.aspx

I was doing some re-arranging of sections on the TeamSite as more information was coming from the different groups and as our leadership team had been discussing other elements of our curriculum.  I thought it would be good to capture this work and have it form our Pedagogical Framework.  Once I started I realised that this wasn’t all about teaching and also reflected other work we do or will do to ensure the students are achieving and that you also feel that your professional learning needs are met…

So, sometime later I have what you will see on the TeamSite in the PRSS Framework section.  It is a work in progress and your ideas are contributing to it’s development.  Again I don’t think it will all magically fall into place because I make a pretty picture…but I am confident we are heading in the right direction.  The rest of the TeamSite reflects these broader sections but they will evolve as we put more elements together.

Once again thanks for all your efforts.

Pedagogical Framework @ Payne Road State School


During the Full School Review a number of recommendations were made with respect to curriculum.  As you know these recommendations came from your feedback and also a review of documents we had at the school.  One particular reference was made to the Pedagogical Framework:

“Collaboratively review the school’s pedagogical framework and establish clearly understood expectations in relation to school-wide pedagogical practices.”

PRSS Full School Review 2016 – Effective Pedagogy Practices Improvement Strategies

I have heard on good authority that the process of reviewing the framework has happened every year with every new Principal and I didn’t want to put you all through that again, particularly if there would be no practical document or process developed from this review.  I thought I would give you some of the background and requirements from the department around Pedagogical Frameworks.  There is a bit of research material as well.  Like a lot of schools Payne Road has chosen a variation of the Dimensions of Teaching & Learning.  A number of documents have been created that outline what that means and I believe you have been through a process where you looked at elements of this draft document:


It is pretty comprehensive and in depth.  I summarised the elements in the diagram above (because you know I like pictures) and I think that I would try and build something that spells out the elements and simplify where you go to find out more information.  I think it is also important to align it with work that you have all been doing in the various PLCs and working parties.  I think this is something that I can put together with feedback from groups or individuals without taking up a lot of your valuable time in meetings and outside of school.  Ideally I would like it to be simple to follow and give new Teachers to the school a guide of where to start when organising their class and their professional practice.

Below is the requirements of this document and also some resources:

Expectations from the Department of Education and Training

Schools will implement a research-validated pedagogical framework that:

1.Describes the schools values and beliefs about teaching and learning that respond to the local context and the levels of student achievement;

2.Outlines processes for professional learning and instructional leadership to support consistent whole-school pedagogical practices, to monitor and increase the sustained impact of those practices on every student’s achievement;

3.Details procedures, practices and strategies – for teaching, differentiating, monitoring, assessing, moderating – that reflect school values and support student improvement;

4.Reflects the following core systemic principles:

  • Student-centred planning
  • High expectations
  • Alignment of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment
  • Evidence-based decision making
  • Targeted and scaffolded instruction
  • Safe, supportive, connected and inclusive learning environments


Pedagogical Framework – Learning Place

Online Tool for reviewing the different types of frameworks

I don’t think it would be beneficial to change our current model (again perhaps) but to clarify some elements to let you know what that means for your practice.  We have been building elements and I think these would all form parts of this one page document.

If I put my Teacher hat on for 5 minutes I think that if I was new to a school I would want to know these things:

  • What are our planning processes;
  • Is there a consistent or desired approach to delivering the curriculum;
  • What curriculum am I delivering specifically;
  • What data do I collect to support my practice;
  • How do I support the diverse needs of my kids (and who can help me to do that);
  • How do I engage in my own learning to improve my practice

So what am I missing?…Don’t be shy.  If you have some pressing ideas about what this document should contain or what it could do without please respond to this article. Or even if you want to discuss it in some specific format…Your feedback is valuable and we need all perspectives.  If you don’t want to post directly to this blog please feel free to email me.  If the overwhelming response is to have more time to discuss in a staff meeting I can make that time happen.

Putting Faces on the Data


You may have seen this book…once or twice 🙂 I believe it was given to all the Principals in Team 7 (Band 7 schools who work with Jeff Geise as the Lead Principal).  It is a book we often refer to in meetings with our Team 7 Principal colleagues and elements of the book have been implemented across all these schools (not to mention other schools across the country)  You will see elements of it in the work we do from time to time and obviously so key terms you would be familiar with from processes that have already been implemented or discussed.  A key element of this work is the 14 parameters which are a set of improvement areas that set apart high performing schools from other schools.

The explanation for better performance in our view lies in more carefully focused attention to the details in each of 14 improvement areas, or what we call the 14 parameters (Sharratt & Fullan, 2009). It turned out, as we have found time and again, that it is not mere acceptance or endorsement of an idea or practice that counts but rather engaging in the actions that cause implementation.

When I first came to Payne Road I did a bit of mapping of areas that these 14 parameters sit within the National School Improvement Tool.  I had put down some of the activities you were all doing and also what I thought needed to be done but I think that would have changed since then with the full school review.  This alignment of the NSIT and the 14 parameters is below:


I have also included a video below of Lyn Sharratt talking about the case management process.


The finished product: What we will be aiming for in the first 4 years


The finished product

(What we hope to achieve by the end of 4 years – items in this list include elements of the Full School Review and elaborations from discussions with staff)

Supporting all students with diverse needs to succeed in an engaging learning environment.

  • The Teaching of literacy skills
  • A Curriculum Plan
  • Planning Process


  • Budgeting and resourcing aligned with improvement agenda and teaching and learning processes
  • Collaboration
  • Explicit Improvement Agenda
  • Communication and transparency
  • Ongoing review processes
  • Line management
  • Assessment Schedule
  • Data literacy
  • Moderation – rigorous process
  • Wellbeing Framework
  • Identifying and addressing student needs
  • Professional Learning Plans
  • Induction
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Pedagogical Framework
  • Student goal setting
  • Networks – across schools and with community

Queensland Coding Academy



The Learning Place is offering this free online course that gives you a look at the C2C digital technologies curriculum:



In a rapidly changing world, the influence of technology has never been more evident. The demands of this changing landscape require serious consideration and timely action to ensure our schools, our staff and our students are able to engage with a future that will demand and celebrate creative problem-solvers, innovators and entrepreneurs.

From 2016, all State Schools in Queensland from Prep through to Year 10 will commence offering Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies as part of their curriculum. Schools will be supported through a number of departmental initiatives including:

  • Curriculum into the Classroom (C2C) materials
  • Queensland Coding Academy (for students).

Both these initiatives are central to the Advancing Education action plan in which Coding and Robotics are identified (in paper #codingcounts ) as key to developing the capacity of our students as future digital thinkers, creators and innovators.


Some research and discussion around flexible learning spaces


When discussion started about flexible learning spaces it was an idea to address some of the issues around differentiation and also modes of teaching across teams or cohorts.  There is plenty of research and exciting ideas about flexible learning spaces and I know I have shared some but I thought I would share some more from different perspectives.  I am happy to trial it where you might think everyone is ready.  I don’t want to just jump at something because it is a bit of a fad…the latest trick from your latest Principal 🙂

Let’s have a look at some research:

A growing body of educational research has indicated that we have reached the limits of educational reform with current strategies (Dumont and Istance 2010; Allegre and Ferrer 2010; Fullan 2005).  Learning theory now focuses on the significance of the relational. The connections between learning and positive social interactions with learners and teachers (Hattie 2003; Aten Lee 2003, 2006), requires a broader conceptualisation of the notion of ‘learning environment’.


Designing for Autism: Some spatial considerations

Promoting flexibility and spatial diversity appears to be an appropriate solution, but how much flexibility and diversity is too much? Allen Abend says, “flexibility…while good in concept often results in generic, single-space classrooms with uniform ceiling heights…While such “flexible” spaces may accommodate many functions, they do not serve any one function well.” For example, upon occupying Netley the staff has said the high level of flexibility “contributes to a lack of order in the teaching environment.” Additionally, individuals with autism often exhibit a strong aversion to change. If the environment is too flexible an individual might live in constant fear that the environment will suddenly be changed.

Lastly, because individuals with autism often struggle with executive functioning, transitioning from one activity or environment to another could be made more difficult in spatially diverse environments. Aitken Turnbull Architects tackled this issue by creating threshold spaces or ‘lay-bys’ between each small six-student classroom and the potentially busy and large circulation space at the New Struan Centre for Autism.  Inside each small classroom the scale is broken down again to include a small one-on-one room. It is hoped that this progression of scale will aid in transitioning from one space to the next.


An essential question to consider when designing learning spaces is what type of learning do you value and want to encourage?

21st century learning encourages the use of a variety of teaching methods to meet the individual needs of students and the type of teaching and learning occurring at any one time.

What spaces and resources will you need to do the following:

• Social and collaborative learning?

• Integrated curriculum?

• Student-directed/ teacher-directed learning?

• Independent learning?

• Project work?

• Direct instruction?

Flexible or open learning spaces are hard work. It is a challenge for teachers to adapt their practices, it is a challenge for students to adapt their behaviour. The benefits are unparalleled though, and can be translated back into any learning space.

Teachers working in teams is a significant benefit that arises from teaching in an open learning space. Teachers have the opportunity to learn from others in the following ways:

  • simply by observing excellent practice
  • being motivated by a great idea
  • if one or two teachers have developed a unit which is online, all aspects of a great lesson can be online and available not only to students, but also to teachers.
  • behavioural expectations can be set up for an entire group of students, teachers with different abilities to manage student relationships (behaviour) are supported by the development of a culture that is greater than the individual class culture they could have produced.
  • The notion of the classroom teacher becomes quite fluid – any teacher can take any class and still produce positive learning outcomes.
  • Experts and Special Needs teachers can enter the learning space and not be a distraction to students.
  • Special needs teachers can work with groups of students from a few classes and increase their influence
  • Special Needs teachers can work not only with students, but also with teachers. Teachers who typically remain content experts can transform into facilitators as they learn to communicate in ways that are developmentally appropriate.

Teachers working in teams provide a richness of experience for students and for each other.

Flexible learning space…


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