Hi, my name is Stephen Bevan and I am Principal at Madeley Primary School in Perth, Western Australia. Research shows that open and clear communication between home and school is important which is why I have created this blog. As Principal of Madeley Primary School I value your opinions and encourage your comments. Feel free to comment on any of the posts. Comments are moderated prior to going live on the blog.

I will endeavour to provide you with regular and informative posts about our school and its activities. I ask that your comments be constructive and positive with any concerns or complaints directed to me personally at school.

Madeley Primary School prides itself on the positive, open and friendly culture that has been established. Our core values of Curriculum, Community and Care are guiding principles that shape our school.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Unpacking our Vision Statement

Our school vision statement:

How was this vision statement created?
Staff and the School Board participated in planning activities in which we explored why our school exists, its purpose and what we hope to achieve for our community. Through these activities the key components of the vision statement were created. This was then refined and the final statement created.

Why is a vision statement important?
Our vision  statement outlines what Madeley Primary School stands for as an educational institution in the local community. It is meant to aspire and inspire and to shape and guide what we do into the future. Everything that we do should work towards achieving the vision that we have set ourselves.

What are the key parts of our vision statement?
1. Promotion of life-long learning
2. A positive School Community
3. Respect is valued
4. High expectations for independence and excellence

Life-Long Learners
Life-long Learners are the people that make a real difference in the world. These kind of learners are often the best innovators and problem solvers. They are people who seek out knowledge and information and then apply it in a meaningful way to their lives and the lives of others. They are social learners who appreciate the knowledge of others and enjoy the company of people who can add to their own knowledge base. Life-long learners never think they have reached the end of their learning and constantly self-reflect in an attempt to apply new knowledge to their lives. 

How we will develop life-long learners?
High literacy and numeracy skills are essential for life-long learners. This means that the basics of speaking, reading, writing, calculating, problem solving need to be explicitly taught. Social skills are also essential to life-long learners. The school will continue to promote Play Is The Way as a basis for social-emotional learning. Students will learn essential life skills like self-regulation, self-motivation and responsibility for actions. The school will focus on these areas as a priority over the next three years and beyond. Teachers will work to differentiate instruction to cater for the preferred learning styles of students. A wide range of experiences and activities will be provided which will include many incursions and excursions as these broaden the range of experiences for students. Students will be taught to ask questions especially when they do not understand something. Student will also be provided with opportunities to consolidate what they know by teaching and supporting peers in the classroom.

The school's Performance Development process will have 'reflective practice' at its core. Through this process staff will model life-long learning and use self-reflection as the basis for improving their teaching and the impact this has on student learning.

A Positive School Community
Our school's guiding principles of Curriculum, Community, Care outline our focus on excellence in learning through positive interaction and involvement with a supportive and connected community. We believe that care, compassion, respect, understanding and inclusion are important values that need to be developed, taught and modeled. We want students, parents and staff to feel like they belong and are connected in a way that promotes the health and well-being of all.

How we will develop a positive school community?
Regular opportunities to talk and give feedback are essential to a healthy and positive school environment. The school will work at providing plenty of interaction points including parent meetings, special events, newsletters, social media, digital communication and surveys. Parents will be regularly reminded that they can arrange a time to meet with their child's teacher whenever they feel they need to. The role of our P&C and School Board will be regularly promoted and close relationship with these important groups and the school will be maintained. The school will continue to explore ways of improving communication with members of our community who come from language backgrounds other than English and the diversity of our community will be celebrated through the curriculum and special events.

Our school's focus on Positive Education will provide students with the understanding and skills needed for them to be successful members of society. Our school's golden rule "Treat others as you would like them to treat you" will form the basis for this learning. 

The school aims to develop the intrinsic motivation of students so that they succeed because they want to and not because of any external reward or consequence. Students will be encouraged to set their own behaviour and learning goals and monitor their achievement of these goals. 

The school will work at developing the health and well-being of the community including its staff through the promotion of healthy practices and relationships. Information about good nutrition, physical activity and sleep will be promoted.

Respect is Valued
Respect involves being careful and thoughtful with other people. Students, teachers, parents and other members of the community show respect when they use kind words or actions regardless of the situation or the emotions that may be involved. Respect is so important that the school has included it as one of its three core values (Respect, Responsibility, Resilience). Respect for self is also important.

How we will develop respect?
The Positive Education approach adopted by the school incorporates processes in which respect for self and others is promoted and developed. The school has established protocols that outline how people will treat each other. The way that the school seeks to communicate and consult with parents and the community models and promotes respect for the opinions and ideas of others. The school will continue to develop the way it communicates with parents. 

Independence and Excellence are Expected
The school promotes students pursuing their 'personal best'. We believe that students who are achieving to their full capacity are also achieving excellence. We will expect all of our students to strive for excellence in their academic achievement as well as their social-emotional learning.

A study conducted in the Netherlands found "Students in self-regulated learning environments are more motivated to learn, report more enjoyment of the material and are more actively involved in their learning than those who study in more restrictive environments." Our staff will work to provide students with the skills they need to succeed as independent learners. They will provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their independence through well planned learning tasks.

How will be develop independence and excellence?
Excellence starts with having high expectations. Our staff will assist students to have high expectations for their own learning. Our approach to Positive Education will encourage students to "be brave - participate to progress' and 'pursue your personal best no matter who you work with.' 

All teachers will complete a Department of Education endorsed professional learning program called CMS (Classroom Management Strategies). This will assist teachers to employ techniques and strategies that raise student accountability and engagement while maintaining a safe and friendly classroom environment.Co-operative learning will be promoted across the school as a tool for engaging students at a level appropriate to them.