Carraragarmungee Peer Review Report

Executive Summary December 2016

2. 1 School Context

The Carraragarmungee school is located in an isolated rural setting 265 kilometres north east of Melbourne and 16 kilmoetres from the rural city of Wangaratta. The school is surrounded by farmland. The nearest settlement is the small township of Eldorado, which is 8 kilometres away.

The school is set on a large, well-maintained block with active and passive areas, raised vegetable and flower beds and shade trees for summer. Students have access to play equipment, a basketball/netball court, an extensive covered area, manicured lawns and a small oval.

At the time of the review the school’s 31 students were catered for in two multi-aged classes. The school consists of a Building Education Revolution (BER) building, a two classroom portable, and an older portable classroom. The BER building has two classrooms, an office staff and administration area and a library area. Students from Prep – Year 2 are catered for in the BER building and the Year 3–6 students are catered for in the two classroom portable building. The school’s Out of Hours School Care (OHSC) program operates from the single portable building.

The curriculum provided covers all domains of the AusVELS standards. Students are offered art, music, library and Indonesian as specialist subjects. The school is currently transitioning from AusVELS to the Victorian Curriculum. The school has been successful in obtaining grants to support their sustainable food program initiative. Through this initiative students are supported to develop entrepreneurial skills in growing and marketing produce.

The school provides opportunities for learning beyond the classroom and is actively involved in its cluster through sports days, arts performances, excursions, local cultural and community activities.

2.2 Summary of the School’s Performance

2.2.1 Summary of the School’s Performance against the Previous Strategic Plan
Student achievement

The 2013–16 School Strategic Plan (SSP) for Carraragarmungee set a goal to improve literacy and numeracy learning for all students. Targets set to measure this goal were AusVELS and National Assessment Program–Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data.

AusVELS data showed that the target to have 85 per cent of students at or above expected levels in reading, writing and number was achieved. The target to have at least 50 per cent of these students achieving above expected levels was not achieved.

The NAPLAN target for this goal related to increasing the percentage of students who made high growth in their literacy and numeracy learning. This target was not reached for any year of the SSP. There was no high growth in reading or writing during the SSP period. In number, there was a small percentage of high growth in 2015 but none in any other year.

It was the review panel’s view that the student achievement goal had not been met.

Student engagement and wellbeing 

The Strategic plan set a goal to engage all students in their learning and develop a sense of wellbeing and connectedness to school and peers.

Targets were set using Parent Opinion Survey (POS) data and Student Attitudes to School Survey (ATSS) data. The parent opinion data indicated an upward trend for most measures in 2016.The panel highlighted that the parent opinion data was below state means for most school climate measures.

It was the view of the panel that the overall wellbeing and engagement goal to was not achieved.

Transitions and pathways

The transition goal was to improve transitions into, within and beyond the school. The set targets used POS data for transitions and general satisfaction as a measure of this goal. The lower than state average response rates of parent opinion surveys, was considered to be a barrier to the achievement of school improvement targets.

There was an upward trend in all transition and general satisfaction measures. In 2016 the school exceeded the transition target. Despite the general satisfaction measure being slightly below the target set, the panel considered that the overall goal had been met.

2.2.2 Summary of the considerations for the next Strategic Plan

Developing collaborative teaching practices will support richer learning activities and improved student outcomes. 

The panel identified that student outcomes would be enhanced if there was a greater emphasis on a collaborative approach to professional learning and the sharing of expertise. The panel considered the continued development of teacher capacity through peer observation and open and transparent practices to be an area for future focus.

Establishing processes and procedures relating to the consistent implementation and analysis of data will support teachers to cater for all student needs.

The continued development of teacher’s skills to analyse data to provide a student with learning targeted to their point of need was recommended. The panel highlighted the need for a collective responsibility for all student data, with teachers sharing and moderating assessment tasks. It was the panel view that the performance of both higher and lower achieving students would be enhanced by consistent and collective assessment practices.

Establishing clear processes for excellent home school communication will support student and family engagement with the school. 

The panel suggested that the school audit its current communication processes and procedures. It considered that greater positive parent perceptions of the school would result if clear and transparent lines of communication were in place. Accurate and timely information to parents was required for effective communication.

Developing opportunities for parents to be involved in their child’s learning will increase parental engagement. 

The panel view was that opportunities for parents to be more actively engaged with their child’s learning should be considered. A school culture, which encouraged ongoing communications, was required to support parents to help their child with their education.

2.2.3 Next steps

In the panel’s view Carraragarmungee Primary School is prepared for its next stage of improvement. The school demonstrated a willingness to participate fully in the review process and supported all recommendations. The school will need the support of the community to ensure recommendations are implemented.