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From the Deputy Principal, Teaching & Learning – Ms Elizabeth Watson – High Expectations and Lesson Routines

Deputy Principal - Teaching & Learning, Ms Elizabeth Watson

Deputy Principal - Teaching & Learning, Ms Elizabeth Watson

Conscious that high achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectations (Kinder, 2014), a priority area for the College is to foster a learning culture of pride, self and collective efficacy and high standards. Our reimagined Lesson Routine (version 2.0) aims to ensure that we have a consistent approach of high expectations to cultivate classroom environments conducive to quality learning experiences and that reflect the principles of our Teaching & Learning Framework.

Click here to view our Teaching & Learning Framework

The NSW Government Education and Communities assert that ‘ineffective classroom management impacts negatively on time available for teaching’. Educators agree that effective strategies to create well-managed classrooms;

  • Establish rules and routines to provide a safe environment for students to engage in learning.
  • Reinforce positive behaviours.
  • Consistently impose consequences for ‘misbehaviour’.

John Hattie, a leading educational researcher, is well known for his work with “effect sizes”. Effect sizes measure which influences have an impact on student learning (positive, neutral or negative). He determines these sizes through meta-analysis of over 1,000 meta-analyses. (Meta-analyses combine results of several studies that address a set of related research theories). 0.4 is considered the hinge point. This represents the average effect that can be expected from one year of schooling. For influences with an effect size less than 0.4, we should consider the energy, time and resources spent to support these as they indicate progress is occurring at less than average rates.


Hattie's Effect

Hattie’s Effect

To that end, Hattie’s research supports the importance of high teacher expectations/estimate of student achievement (1.29) and highlights that classroom management (0.52) directly influences time on task (0.62) and enables effective class discussion (0.82).

Interestingly, Williamson (2012) suggests that a teacher’s expectations, either high or low, become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Students perform in ways that teachers expect. All the more compelling for Waverley to promote a culture of high expectations. Ferguson (2002) goes further to say that a teacher’s beliefs about student potential are particularly powerful for students with challenging home circumstances.

The College staff collectively agree that, to support a culture of high expectations, operating in positive and productive learning environments, our lesson routine needed to convey;

  • a common understanding of the structure of a lesson or learning sequence
  • consistent language used by teachers across the school
  • clear expectation of the learning that is to take place in each lesson or learning sequence
  • an understanding how the students can demonstrate that they have achieved their learning goal
  • guidance to allow students to transfer the learning to a different situation
  • regular and meaningful feedback

Our Lesson Routine is displayed in all classrooms and on Vivi splash screens. Our Wellbeing mentors have also gone through the shared expectations of the updated lesson routine. A respectful three-way partnership between teachers, students and families is critical for successful learning outcomes. I encourage you to engage in conversations with your son about the value of consistent routines and the importance of high expectations, not just of others but of self. 

Thank you to the teachers who collaborated on this project: Ms Helen Barrie, Mr Ed Davis, Mr Lachlan Drew-Morris, Mr John McCallum, Ms Lynsey Porter, Mr Bill Roberts, Mr Ben Steel, Ms Melanie Stephens, Ms Jenna Turnbull and Ms Elizabeth Watson.

Click here to view our Lesson Routine (Years 5-10)