Glenroi Heights Public School teachers, Kirstie, Tegan, Karla in discussion.

Glenroi Heights Public School, in Orange NSW, has embedded Quality Teaching Rounds in its school plan following positive feedback from teachers.

After attending a QTR workshop in Orange in 2019, principal Liz Beasley put all her staff through online training in the first half of 2020 and implemented Rounds in terms three and four.

“We are in our second year of implementation [in 2021], and our experience so far has been extremely positive. Our staff have really taken the process on board,” Ms Beasley said.

QTR is embedded in the School Improvement Plan as part of the strategic directions “Building Belonging Becoming” and “Confident Capable Learners”.

Glenroi Heights has 240 students and has created smaller class sizes to facilitate personalised learning for all students. The school promotes inclusivity throughout their nine mainstream and six support classes and strong Aboriginal education programs.

“We understand the significant impact teachers have on student learning outcomes, and I believe the quality professional learning and feedback our teachers participate in has a positive effect on their teaching practice,” Ms Beasley said.

“The feedback from teachers has been extremely encouraging and demonstrates that teachers have found the process beneficial.”

Comments from teachers include:

“It has made me more aware of addressing criteria in my lessons, especially learning and success criteria”

“After completing my discussion with my PLC [professional learning community], I realised that my students did not have a deep understanding of a key concept in my unit; this allowed me to adjust my teaching for the following cycle and ensure that all students had this knowledge”

“The ‘scaffold’ allowed me to provide meaningful feedback to my peers and to assess my own teaching, which supported my growth and helped me think deeply about my practice”

“I appreciated the opportunity to discuss different perspectives in a safe and encouraging environment.”

Ms Beasley said both experienced and beginning teachers had benefited, particularly through interacting with each other.

“Having cross-stage teams is really powerful, as it helps add different perspectives from others as well as discussion around cognitive development aspects of student learning,” she said.

“It also promotes our whole-school focus on both staff and student growth and learning.”

Ms Beasley said continuing Rounds in 2021 had been a challenge because of the lack of available casual teachers to cover classes.

“You need to persevere through the challenges of scheduling and covering classes, but it’s definitely worth committing to,” she said.