DAY 1: 1:30 - 2:20pm
Cultivating Growth: Our Assessment Revolution
Room 203

Presented by: Kerri Batch, Ben Lawless, Kim Forward
Organisation: Aitken College VIC

Schools should prioritise growth over achievement, showing students what progress looks like.

We were determined to develop higher order thinking, differentiate instruction and enhance student skills. This presentation shows how we transformed our assessment practices, based on the work of Melbourne University's Assessment Research Centre.

We introduced skill-based developmental rubrics and have seen improvements in motivation and student ownership. Student feedback is higher quality and more focused on learning. Teachers can now articulate the requirements for growth. We now use evidence rather than intuition about student learning.

We will share lessons learned about program implementation: how to engage all staff, the power of teacher collaboration, the importance of foresight and documentation, and the significance of having others critique one's ideas.

We draw on the work of Griffin, Hattie, Dweck and Masters; the recent Gonski review validates our approach. Our presentation examines the use of academic research, how leaders solve problems together and how to promote our ideas to the community.

DAY 1: 1:30 - 2:20pm
Intriguing Professional Learning Conversations
Room 204

Presented by: Deb Kember, Rita Anderson, Claire Cummins
Organisation: Department of Education QLD

Hear about how Queensland state schools are engaging in the School improvement model inquiry cycle to ensure continuous improvement. Together, we are using a common language and processes to describe our work, developing our understanding of what works, for whom, and in what context, and sharing that evidence to sustain and scale our success. This hands-on and highly engaging workshop demonstrates how inquiry cycles are strengthened by planning a chain of evidence. Identified measures assist inquiry teams to monitor and respond to changes in teacher knowledge and practices within their improvement initiatives, to help secure desired student outcomes. Adapted from the work of Thomas Guskey, participants learn how a chain of evidence can help inquiry teams link professional learning within their improvement initiatives to student outcomes. This workshop will be of interest to upper primary and junior secondary teachers and those interested in the logistics of planning school improvement initiatives across school sectors.

DAY 1: 1:30 - 2:20pm
All The World's a Stage
Room 205

Presented by: Matthew Brown
Organisation: NSW Department of Education NSW

From my work for Bell Shakespeare I learnt to be a much better school leader and an improved classroom teacher. Willem Dafoe stated that: 'Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to'. Great school leadership does much the same. It is essential that we reflect on how we can become more effective in our school leadership roles through observing and adapting the skills and capacities of other professions.

Successful professional theatre companies provide an interesting reference point to consider our educational practice and how this may be viewed by others; in theatre, as in education, there is always an audience. There is much we can learn as school leaders and managers from the world of theatre; with reference to its performance, direction and management. There are theatrical skills that every school leader and teacher may wish to access to allow them to become more effective in their respective roles.

I will provide leadership advice that can be contextualised for a broad range of schools, referencing my experience working in, with and for professional theatre companies from the point of view of direction, management, and the rehearsal process; as each of these elements can teach us how to be more productive and successful school leaders. I will also explore how Jennifer Gore’s Quality Teaching Rounds, John Hattie’s ‘effect size’ research and David Hopkins' work each have valuable links to the artistic leadership skills evidenced in professional theatre. Attendees will be provided school leadership and management strategies, as well as an understanding of how this will also benefit classroom pedagogy.

DAY 1: 1:30 - 2:20pm
Meetings or High Learning Opportunities?
Room 206

Presented by: Aine Maher, Karen Milkins-Hendry
Organisation: Independent Schools Victoria VIC

The most effective teams are committed to learning. Appropriate processes for learning include asking questions, challenging assumptions, actively seeking feedback at every opportunity and being prepared to change and adapt the processes for new and emerging contexts. The learning team commits to an ongoing cycle of reflection, evaluation and action. Formal meetings can be designed to be effective and powerful learning experiences.

Participants will engage with some approaches used by Independent Schools Victoria when working with middle leadership teams in schools. A learning cycle of awareness 'where frameworks and knowledge are presented, audit where participants reflect on their current practice in light of these and stretch', where participants are invited to commit to a new action based on their learning to grow their effectiveness as leaders, is employed.

Participants will engage in this learning cycle as they consider new information. The session will be interactive with opportunities for participants to reflect and learn with others.

DAY 1: 1:30 - 2:20pm
Assessing Readiness for the Principalship
Room 207

Presented by: David Gurr and Daniel Arifin
Organisation: The University of Melbourne VIC

Leadership is important in schools and the principal's role is the one that has the most responsibility, expectation and opportunity to exercise leadership. It is therefore vitally important that those with the potential to be outstanding principals are identified early in their careers, and then supported to develop appropriate characteristics, qualities, skills and knowledge. An assessment process is being developed by Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership and The University of Melbourne to allow aspiring principals assess their readiness to apply for a principal position. This session provides an overview of the project, key findings from a review of aspirant principal preparation nationally and internationally, and insights into the construction of an aspirant principal developmental framework.

DAY 1: 1:30 - 2:20pm
Curiosity and Powerful Learning: A Systems Framework
Room 208

Presented by: Brad Russell
Organisation: NSW Department of Education NSW

The Rural South and West Operational Directorate of the NSW Department of Education covers 75% of the land area of the state of NSW. This has led to an agreement to take a collective responsibility approach to improving learning, build leadership and to increase teacher capacity.

To address continuous improvement in all schools in our current education system, our solution was to enhance, implement and evaluate.

Finding a way to navigate whole school improvement, this presentation describes the cohesion, data for improvement, data for accountability and disciplined execution of our operational model for systems leadership.

Adopting the protocols of Curiosity and Powerful Learning has engaged the Directorate with 'Theories of Action' for educational leadership, a deep analysis of current practice and a series of system audits.

DAY 1: 1:30 - 2:20pm
Shifting from 'Culture of Compliance' to 'Culture of Collaboration'
Room 209

Presented by: Steve Borthwick, Chad Ferris
Organisation: St Mel's Catholic Primary School Campsie NSW

Education continues to struggle in a paradigm that places too much importance on 'top-down', autocratic decision making. This is prevalent in Government, school systems and schools, where it is easier to create a 'culture of compliance' rather than a 'culture of collaboration'.

Schools require processes of compliance and governance in order to exist within an equilibrium, but all too often there is an overemphasis on ensuring 'teachers and leaders do what they are told' and not enough allowance for showing initiative or being innovative.

It is time for leaders to reflect on their context and consider an alternate paradigm. We have made positive steps towards creating a flatter leadership structure, which questions the way schools operate today. We will outline critical adjustments leaders can make that challenge teachers' perceptions of internal accountability and capacity for proactive leading, and will promote a gradual shift from a managerial, compliance-focused paradigm, to one that is growth promoting and organic.

DAY 1: 1:30 - 2:20pm
Investment in Middle Leadership: AIS 'Leading from the Middle' Programme
Room 210

Presented by: Christopher Day, Christine Grice
Organisation: The University of Sydney NSW

Between 2014 and 2017, a number of Australian K-12 schools opted to join an innovative programme offered by the Association of Independent Schools Leadership Centre entitled, 'Leading from the Middle: A school-based strategy for mid-senior level leaders in schools.' It is 'designed and delivered to contribute significantly towards developing participants' confidence, competence and vision in leading the learning and personal growth of students, staff and the school communities in which they work'. This presentation explores what investment in middle leadership looks like from multiple perspectives. Evidence of influence and impact was collected through interviews with principals, middle leaders and program presenters. The multi case study research investigated how this collaborative and responsive professional learning programme changes the commitment of middle leaders and their inner and outer journeys, based upon participant experiences of leadership and learning culture. Participants can learn and reflect upon evolving research about middle leading, and apply it to their context.

DAY 1: 1:30 - 2:20pm
Insights for Early Action: Building Evidence to Identify At-risk Students
Room 211

Presented by: Matt Tibble, Danielle Toon, Mark Rickinson
Organisation: Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership VIC

Approximately 70,000 Australian students did not attain a Year 12 certificate in 2016. Drawing upon an international literature review and case study investigations of Victorian schools, this workshop will unpack key insights on using data to predict which students are more at risk of disengagement.

Schools that can use data in such a way are more likely to intervene earlier to reduce the level of study disengagement. The workshop will provide information about the indicators, processes and conditions for schools to better identify and take action for students at risk of disengagement. It will outline international evidence on the best predicators of disengagement as well as lessons from practice in Victorian schools.

The session will be interactive with opportunities for participants to reflect and learn with others, as well as inform the next steps of the project.

DAY 1: 1:30 - 2:20pm
Authenticity in the age of anxiety
Eureka Room 2 & 3

Presented by: Bruce Armstrong PSM
Organisation: Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET)

Whilst people may not know the content of the Pulitzer prize winning book W.D. Auden’s “The Age of Anxiety”, they know the title, as it is a phrase that seems to capture the consciousness of our times in pointing to the existential threats of climate change, nuclear war, terrorism and artificial intelligence, to name a few.

Rapid and accelerating change characterises our society. Its effects and impacts are manifest everywhere. How then should we lead? What emotional competencies of leadership are needed? How can we be authentic as leaders as we help navigate uncharted waters? Is positivity the only stance in the seasons of life and leadership?