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Appreciative Inquiry - School Strategic Planning

Over the past nine months, the school has been working through a staged process to develop its next 4-year strategic plan. The work completed to date has included an evaluation and analysis of our previous plan, along with stakeholder engagements focused on prioritisation and goal setting. A significant phase of our strategic planning process was concluded last term with the completion of our appreciative inquiry. During this inquiry, students, teachers, and parents were invited to share their thinking on our strengths as a school, the opportunities for improvement, areas for innovation and ways of measuring progress and success.

The feedback and input gathered through the inquiry have been invaluable in providing insight into the strategic priorities for the school as we move into our next stage of development. The strengths highlighted through the process included our holistic philosophy, focus on real-world learning, natural environment, and core value of respect. Opportunities for improvement included further integrating sustainability practices into the development of our physical environments, expanding our alumni network, and increasing community engagement. It was interesting that all stakeholders noted the challenges for communication and community engagement presented by the pandemic concerning community engagement.

In terms of directions for innovation, the inquiry highlighted areas such as wellbeing, intercultural understanding, social-emotional learning, sustainability education, and the development of additional pathways to higher education and work for our senior secondary students. In this regard, it was interesting to note the philosophical alignment of our school community. Many of the areas for innovation were linked to the traditional strengths of the school. In terms of identifying ways by which we might measure progress and success with our next strategic plan, the methods suggested by stakeholders included developing holistic ways of reporting on student growth, strong communication channels between school and home, and the nurturing of happy, engaged, and resilient students.

In Term Three, we will launch our Future of Learning Forums to provide further opportunities for students, teachers, and parents to collaborate and contribute to the design and development of our strategic plan. These forums will explore four of the topics that emerged from the process necessary for our students' future learning. In this first series of forums, we will explore education topics for sustainability, intercultural understanding, entrepreneurial learning, and the development of capabilities for living and learning. In future years, these forums will explore our ongoing progress with the strategic plan, provide opportunities for collaboration, develop our programs, and celebrate student learning.

I would like to thank everyone for their engagement with this process to date. Despite the challenges of COVID, we can continue to explore ways to involve you in this process and remind you to look out for further invitations to share your thinking later this term.

DR RICHARD OWENS
Director of Learning, Strategy and Innovation