Centre for Educational Multimedia
     
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DEEWR

Leadership and Learning

Interface with the Community

Australian schools routinely involve parent and local business or service agencies into curriculum as well as to source relevant and highly contextualised student tasks. These efforts are largely conducted as peripheral, or at least in addition to core teaching activities. Research indicates (Sanders 2008; Heppell 2007) the critical nature of being organised in this way and the subsequent need to systematize these relationships.

At Reece High School, restructuring the curriculum and organization of the school was partly driven by a desire to better engage the school and local community activities. This was reflected in the "team teaching" design and the implicit use of ICTs across the curriculum

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It's a smaller community and if you get people along to our presentation assemblies, end of year assemblies, which many of the public come and see, and then if they think, 'Gee, Reece students can do a reasonable job', they'll go back and talk at their Rotary or Lions Club or whatever and then they'll approach us. So if you're showcasing what the students can do then people will come. And we get people hiring our facilities here and saying, 'Can we have the students to do the sound, do the lighting, do the videoing?'. The school - I'd say that in our wider community the school's got a good name of what - the quality of work and the reality of our students as well. (Teacher, Reece High School)

 

My kids will do their work and then they'll put it on their MP3 player, bring it home and finish it off at home, you know, English or whatever they're doing. So I suppose that's sort of using technology to do that. Yeah, Daniel was in Grade 10 last year and he brought home a disk from the school and loaded them onto our computer and was doing maths from home, and then would follow it up with the teacher the next day. And it was a SharePoint, so he'd being doing work at home and putting it onto SharePoint, saving it to SharePoint, so that the teacher could look at it at home, to mark his work. (Parent, Reece High School)

Communicating with parents at Tasmania School is conducted electronically and is proactive.

. through our phone home program, through newsletters, all that sort of thing. Parents can get everything electronically or voicemail or whatever else that they want. They just have to determine it. So like it's hardly part of the IT is it but one of the things that we do here is that in the next week or two we have our phone home program so as our school year only started on 14 February - by the end of the first six weeks every principal teacher will have contacted every parent of the children who are in their class. So every principal teacher has 25 students, so they contact those, their families. Then we send out a progress report which is the support of that, the staff do it electronically, and then we print it off. But in that they talk about the conversation and the future focus for learning so we're always very much into that future focus as well. (Principal, Reece High School)

 

 

References

Heppell, S., (2007) The community will lead.  Bliog entry and video. Retrieved May 28,2008, from http://heyjude.wordpress.com/2007/10/26/the-community-will-lead-from-stephen-heppell/

Sanders, M.G., (2008). How Parent Liaisons Can Help Bridge the Home-School Gap. The Journal of Educational Research, 101(5), 287-297,320.  Retrieved May 28, 2008, from ProQuest Education Journals database. (Document ID: 1481821711).

Waters, T., Cameron, G. (2007). The balanced leadership framework: Connecting vision with action. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning. Online : http://www.mcrel.org/pdf/leadershiporganizationdevelopment/4005IR_BL_Framework.pdf

 

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