8 cycles of school practice

Our 8 cycles of school practice enable schools to drive their student learning and school improvement. The 8 cycles are premised on effective instruction as the keystone to successful schooling and accommodate the range of programs across multiple school settings.

Good to Great Schools Australia has developed the 8 cycles for schools. It is a compendium of practices that provide the information and guidance a school needs to support their Direct Instruction and Positive Behavioural Interventions and Support implementation.

It provides key information for schools on implementing DI and PBIS, and how they fit within 8 Cycles of School Practice. The 8 cycles have been developed by Good to Great Schools Australia into a simple framework with cycles and practices of a school.

Cycle 1 – School Professional Development

A great teaching faculty is trained with the knowledge and skills to effectively deliver their roles and regularly practice and perform all the necessary functions to make DI successful for students. As team members develop they receive further training to learn more advance knowledge and skills with greater specialisation and responsibility and then perfect and embed these practices.

This cycle ensures that the school has the right roles to build its teaching faculty and that members receive training to effectively support the instructional curricula and pedagogy.

Cycle 2 – Teacher Coaching and Feedback

Great teachers consistently display behaviours and follow routines and practices that ensure effective instruction. Great teaching is about continuously improving practice. It starts when the teacher acquires new knowledge, techniques and practices. They then apply, practice and perfect. Then they embed the practice into their instructional repertoire and regularly review student results to ensure effectiveness.

This cycle ensures that classroom visits and teacher coaching and feedback are a regular part of every school day and every instructional leader’s day.

Cycle 3 – School Data Review

In a great school, the principal and other instruction leaders and teachers regularly review student progress and achievement data to monitor the success of the instructional efforts. Teachers know that student success is paramount, and school resources are aligned to ensure that students are succeeding and efforts are prioritised on students.

This cycle ensures that the school holds a data review every week so the whole school has regular visibility over the teaching and learning taking place in al of the classrooms.

Cycle 4 – Classroom Data Feedback

Great teachers use student achievement data to inform and improve their teaching and learning.

This cycle ensures that the teaching faculty provides and receives weekly feedback on classroom data on progress and mastery of the students.

Cycle 5 – School Professional Conversations

Great teachers are in regular conversations with each other about their shared mission and the teaching and learning process.

This cycle ensures that the teaching faculty are developing individual teachers and that teaching and learning professional conversations are embedded across the school.

Cycle 6 – Peer Collaboration

Great teachers are always developing, and are engaged with their peers in that process. They collaborate to share teaching practices and to improve their practices. They share their challenges and solutions and resolve problems together.

This cycle ensures that the teaching faculty is engaged in peer collaboration so teachers observe and learn from peers to master practices, share challenges, enhance professional relationships and develop as teachers.

Cycle 7 – Community-School Improvement Partnership

Great schools have a strong sense of accountability to their parents and community and are always looking for new ways to grow and improve parent and community engagement. Great schools have parents who are committed to their children’s education and helping the school improve.

This cycle ensures that the school has a formal mechanism to be mutually accountable to the school community for school improvement process.

Cycle 8 – Classroom Family Engagement

Great teachers understand their accountability to the students and their parents, and engage parents in their child’s learning which influences parental commitment to their child’s education.

This cycle ensures that teachers facilitate engagement with parents. The principal works with the teaching faculty to set a parent classroom visit schedule. Parents are welcome to visit during any times suggested in the parent classroom visit schedule.

How a school transforms and continuously improves

At the core are teachers delivering effective instruction, and around that is everything the school does to support the teacher. Novice teachers and those unfamiliar with specific programs will not deliver to mastery immediately. It requires training, coaching and experience to develop the program knowledge and teaching practices.

The most powerful driver of the 8 cycles is the strength of the professional collegial group. Teaching colleagues, principals, coaches and trainers are all parts of the profession which affect teacher development and behaviour.

Another powerful driver is learning demand. Student performance exerts influence on the teacher’s performance. By having visibility over student data, teachers become responsive to the needs of their students.

Parents exert learning demand when teachers equip them with student performance data and invite them into the classroom to observe their child’s learning. The school exerts learning demand when it provides the community with visibility over the school’s performance — and partner with it to improve the school. Management exerts influence over the school’s improvement and fidelity achievement. Management necessary but judicious. Reporting serves the implementation.

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