February 18, 2021
Every five years we have to submit ourselves to the judgement of NESA (NSW Education Standards Authority) to determine whether we are worthy to operate as an Independent School in NSW and the International Baccalaureate (IB) to establish whether we can continue as an IB World School. Both of these assessments will occur this year.
With respect to NESA, the process is called Registration and Accreditation. The School has to demonstrate compliance in a range of areas including staffing, curriculum, facilities, policies, procedures, financial reporting, and the management and operation of the School among other areas. It is a comprehensive assessment of our School’s total operations which will determine whether or not we are compliant with the NSW Education Act of 1990. Our application for the renewal of our registration and accreditation as a School will be submitted on 31 March with an on-site inspection set for 11 June.
For teaching staff, this presents a wonderful opportunity to ensure the quality of our teaching programmes. Staff are working hard to assess the scope and sequence of teaching programmes as well as the programmes themselves. Coupled with this is a focus on the personalisation of student learning, assessment and reporting. A particular challenge for Senior School staff is the need to transition programmes from the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) format into a NESA schema following our cessation of the IB in the Senior School in 2020. I want to report to you that staff are diligently working to use this regulatory process as an opportunity for insight and growth; they are to be commended for their tireless professionalism.
With respect to the International Baccalaureate’s evaluation of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) offered in the Junior School, a similar approach is undertaken, although instead of the NSW Education Act, the terms of reference are the IB’s Programme Standards and Practices. Central to this survey of the quality of our School’s operations is a ‘Self Study’ which enables the School to make a critical assessment by all stakeholders of the School’s implementation of the programme. Again, this presents a wonderful opportunity for our whole school community to assess the quality of our offerings with a view to improvement. It is an exciting prospect and again I want to commend Junior School staff for the way they have dedicated themselves to the process.
Teachers, as a rule use assessment to improve learning. It is time for us to take some of our own medicine! I can assure you, however, that while the evaluation of our School’s operations can sometimes seem arduous, we are excited by the potential for the improvement of our total operations as a School. I look forward to keeping you up to date with our progress.