Dear IPS Community,

The School Review - The importance and power of feedback.

Feedback is a powerful influence on learning. As teachers and / or parents we know that the impact of our feedback can be positive or negative depending on how we approach it. Sometimes challenging, sometimes affirming, timely feedback is paramount to improvement. Of course there is high-level feedback and low level feedback. For example praise simply for performance does not in itself increase learning or lead to improvement however feedback that addresses questions like where am I going? How am I going? And where to next? This is more meaningful and far more likely to lead to progress and illicit positive outcomes.

Of course feedback isn't just for students. At an organisational level for our school feedback is just as important, just as relevant and just as powerful. School education is about continual improvement and meaningful feedback is a key driver. Fundamentally it is also about looking at what we do, how we do it and actively seeking ways to do it better.
Over the course of the year we have endeavoured to be transparent in our intentions, be collaborative in our conversations and solicit feedback to evaluate our school’s performance and inform our decision making to drive improvements in teaching and learning, wellbeing, facilities and resourcing of programs.

Department of Education and Training initiated surveys such as the Student Attitudes to Schools Survey, the Parent Opinion Survey and the Staff Opinion Survey provide us with a great deal of data. We have supplemented these surveys by asking for specific feedback from you on student wellbeing, curriculum programs, extracurricular activities and facilities. The way that we have managed these in the last three years as well as what the community would like to see by way of improvement moving forward. We have also taken on board views from Junior School Council, sub committees of School Council and interested individuals. As a staff we have interrogated a vast range of academic performance data to inform our curriculum planning and teaching practice.

These are some examples of how we have endeavoured to work with the entire community. A recent outcome of this work led to the evaluation and the restating of our Ivanhoe Primary School, Mission and Vision statements as well as our school Values and Objectives.

The much anticipated School Review occurs next month. A Peer Review Panel consisting of DE&T principal representatives, our regional education leader, school council president, myself and our assistant principal along with key staff will work through the feedback gathered from those sources listed above to evaluate our schools current performance and set the direction for the next four years.

On behalf of the School Council, students and staff I thank you for your continued support and your feedback. I look forward to working with you to build on the excellence that is Ivanhoe Primary School.

Confidence, Independence, Persistence, Resilience, Respect

Mark Kent