WHOLE SCHOOL PERCEPTIONS SURVEY

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					WHOLE SCHOOL PERCEPTIONS SURVEY
I N T R OD U C T ION




In the developed world data-driven decision-making is regarded as a
valid way to effect positive change. Rapid development of technology has
enabled data collection to become more desirable and accessible.
Wesley College advocates informed, data-driven decision-making in
partnership with subjective information in order to achieve an holistic
outcome for parents, staff and students. As such, the College is committed
to improving systems for generating, recording, managing, utilising,
analysing, tracking, monitoring and reviewing both qualitative and
quantitative data.
As a result of the College’s Assessment, Monitoring & Reporting
(AMRPMT) project undertaken in 2006, two recommendations provided
the impetus for Wesley to conduct a survey, notably:
   ‘To consult the voice of its primary stakeholders by a Whole School
   Community Perceptions Survey’.
   ‘To ensure that this perceptions data is utilised and valued alongside
   other quantitative and qualitative data routinely generated and
   gathered within the College’.
The Whole School Perceptions Survey has provided valuable information
that can be used by the College for future planning. It is envisaged the
survey will be conducted triennially to enable longitudinal trends in
perceptions of the College to be identified.
The aim of sharing the perceptions data is to enable an engaged
partnership between parents, staff and students, with a view to improve
communication, philosophical alignment and service provision for the
Wesley College community.
S U RV E Y R AT ION A L E




The broad aims of the Wesley          •   Enables the College to reference the
College Whole School Perceptions          opinions and ideas of the wider College
Survey were to gather                     community, when considering existing
information which:                        College policies, systems and practices, and
                                          potential future community-based
•   Reflects the College’s
                                          initiatives.
    philosophy that student-
    based data collection should      •   Allows the College to track the order of
    not be limited to academic            prioritisation of core educational values
    performance, but focus on the         and objectives articulated by different
    ‘whole student’.                      stakeholder groups represented in the
                                          community.
•   Enables the College to gather
    perceptions data from its key     •   Enables the College to do its best to
    community stakeholders                provide alignment between the valid
    about satisfaction ratings in         priorities expressed by community
    respect to their broad                stakeholders and those targeted in the
    experience of the College and         Strategic Plan along with other relevant
    its diverse daily operations.         College policy documents and plans.
•   Enables the College to identify   •   Over time, enables the College to gather
    and prioritise for further            perceptions data on a triennial basis,
    research and action, areas that       facilitating the longitudinal analysis of
    are commonly itemised by              perceptions data trends within sectors of
    community members as                  the community and an overall summary of
    warranting improvement.               whole-community trends.
                                      Three groups within the Wesley College
                                      community were involved in the Wesley
                                      College Whole School Perceptions Survey,
                                      notably parents, staff and students. The key
                                      perceptions of each of these groups are
                                      presented in the following pages, with the
                                      intention of providing feedback about the
                                      broad findings of the survey.
PA R E N T PE R C E P T ION S




Parents are an important and pivotal part of the Wesley College             There were three areas identified by parents
community. Their involvement enables the College to offer a broad and       where there is scope for improvement, as
rich education, and their support of staff and students is a vital link     follows:
between school and home. It is well known that students who have the
                                                                            •   The College’s management of the incidence
support of their parents perform better at school. The feedback received
                                                                                of bullying on the campus.
from our parents via the Whole School Perceptions Survey is a valuable
                                                                            •   The range, quality and timeliness of student
source of information for the College.
                                                                                support services provision within the
Core Purposes of a Wesley College Education                                     College.
The five most important aspects of a Wesley College education, as           •   College staff role-modelling College values.
identified by parents, were for students to (in order of importance):
                                                                            Open-ended Data
1. Achieve mastery of literacy and numeracy.                                Parents were keen to take the opportunity to
2. Become prepared for adult life.                                          share their experiences or offer views, opinions
3. Be well-rounded individuals with the capacity to refer to a wide field   and observations held on a wide range of the
   of general knowledge and rich life experiences.                          College’s features, services and operations.
4. Establish genuine and enduring, positive self-esteem, including the      The most recurrent positive insights offered by
   development of confidence, resilience and a positive attitude in a       parents included the following aspects of
   changing world.                                                          Wesley:
5. Aspire to achieve their academic potential.
                                                                            •   A clear sense of students’ affinity with
These priorities reflect a consistent degree of alignment of educational        Wesley and a strong feeling of loyalty and
philosophy with both staff and students of the College.                         pride in belonging to the College and their
                                                                                House or Boarding House.
Wesley’s Program and Life
                                                                            •   Enduring, supportive and affective
A model was developed to determine a ‘threshold of acceptance’, to help
                                                                                relationships between parents, students
us identify issues of concern amongst parents. Responses received from
                                                                                and many committed members of staff.
the parent body were consistently below the threshold ‘of concern’,
                                                                            •   The perception of a committed and
indicating a pleasing degree of parental satisfaction with the surveyed
                                                                                genuinely caring professional body of
aspects of Wesley College life. Generally parents view the College
                                                                                teachers.
positively, indicating the general perception of a healthy, vibrant and
flourishing College community. This survey data also indicates a well-      •   The benefit of a vibrant and rich co-
respected organisation, whose operations are met with a consistently            curricular menu for all interested students.
‘high’ to ‘very high’ level of satisfaction from our parent community.
•   A sense of a positive, balanced (well-rounded) and holistic     •   The behaviour of some members of College staff, at
    approach to student development.                                    times conflicting with College Core Values and the
•   A sense of genuine community with many initiatives                  Christian ethos articulated in Strategic Planning
    aimed at supporting students to develop positive notions            documents.
    of responsibility and positive citizenship.                     •   Resource issues, for example class sizes, equity in
•   Good community structures in place with a range of                  treatment and support of sporting teams, allocation of
    personal support structures available for those requiring it.       class resources, toilets and capital spending priorities.
•   Some courageous academic innovations in place with              •   Improvement of individual academic support to match
    relevance and application to contemporary youth.                    the needs of individual students, including meeting the
•   Great facilities and opportunities supporting student               needs of the average achiever.
    learning.                                                       •   Consistent disciplinary standards and student
•   Friendliness and approachability of staff on campus.                behavioural expectations from K-12.
                                                                    •   Consistent student support initiatives and interventions.
There were some aspects of the College that parents
                                                                    •   The incidence of bullying and the need for the College
identified as areas that may need some attention, including:
                                                                        to improve bullying case management.
•   Differences or inconsistencies in teaching staff expertise
                                                                    •   The possibility of interruptions to the curriculum
    and professionalism and the recruitment of staff.
                                                                        hindering student progress.
•   Literacy and numeracy standards ranging from K-12.
                                                                    •   A sense of ambivalence relating to the College’s
•   Communications between the College and home, with                   promotion of its Christian identity or ethos.
    particular reference to the quality and timeliness of
                                                                    •   Uniform standards.
    communication.
S TA F F PE R C E P T ION S




The quality of teaching staff is      Core Purposes of a Wesley            Staff and parents identified an identical
one of the most important factors     College Education                    four out of five most important
that influence student                The five most important aspects      priorities, with achievement of literacy
achievement and their                 of a Wesley College education, as    and numeracy objectives clearly being
development into happy,               identified by staff, were for        identified as the most important
successful and engaged students.      students to (in order of             priority.
Whilst our teaching staff are of      importance):
utmost importance to the
                                                                           Wesley’s Program and Life
                                      1. Achieve mastery of literacy       The survey results indicated many
College, the administrative and
                                         and numeracy.                     members of staff at Wesley are highly
support staff are equally as
                                      2. Establish genuine and             satisfied with many aspects of the
valuable in enabling the College
                                         enduring positive self-esteem     College as a place of learning and as a
to run smoothly. Pleasingly a
                                         and demonstrate confidence,       place of employment, with 72% of the
majority of staff indicated in the
                                         resilience and a positive         questions eliciting responses of
survey that they envisaged
                                         attitude in a continually         ‘positive’ and ‘strongly positive’.
continuing their employment at
                                         changing and challenging
Wesley for three years or more,                                            Highest rates of staff satisfaction were
                                         world.
and a third of staff indicated they                                        indicated in the following areas:
would continue for over six years.    3. Become lifelong and
                                         independent learners.             •   The range of College services
Staff perceptions of the College
                                                                               adding to a positive sense of
are a valuable source of              4. Aspire to achieve their
                                                                               community.
information, and the alignment of        personal academic potential.
staff perceptions with parents’                                            •   The camaraderie between
                                      5. Be well-rounded individuals
and students’ perceptions is a                                                 colleagues.
                                         with the capacity to refer to a
very positive outcome.                   wide field of general             •   The scope for staff to pursue
                                         knowledge and rich life               innovation and creativity in their
                                         experiences.                          work.
                                                                           •   The range of College facilities and
                                                                               resources (including ICT) available
                                                                               to enhance College members’
                                                                               experience.
•   The range and appeal of co-curricular          •   Remuneration/equity of pay/terms and
    opportunities offered to students.                 conditions of employment contract issues.
•   The general X-factor of enjoyment of           •   Staff voice.
    working at Wesley College.
                                                   In addition, staff identified the following areas
•   The encouragement provided to students         for potential future consideration:
    to achieve their personal best.
                                                   •   Future scope for career development and
•   The positive value-for-money Wesley
                                                       progression.
    package offered to students’ families.
                                                   •   Role of staff leaders as effective College
•   The increasingly positive reputation of the
                                                       ambassadors.
    College within the broader community.
                                                   •   Recognition and reward, based on staff
There were more ‘negative’ responses received          merit.
from staff than from parents. Areas of
                                                   •   Protection from workplace bullying and
improvement identified by staff related to ‘the
                                                       harassment.
College as a place of education’ and ‘the
                                                   •   Health and safety.
College as a place of employment’.
                                                   •   Resource management.
Staff identified the following areas in which to
improve the College as a place of education:       Open-ended Data
•   Consistency in student discipline standards.   Many of the comments offered by staff
                                                   members reinforced much of the positive data
•   Uniform.
                                                   from the main part of the survey. Features that
•   Communication from management to staff.
                                                   were frequently celebrated as positive aspects
•   The monitoring and tracking of student         included:
    progress.
                                                   •   The support experienced for creativity,
•   Academic expectations.
                                                       innovation and risk-taking initiatives in the
Staff identified the following areas in which to       workplace.
improve the College as a place of employment:      •   The friendly, positive, dynamic atmosphere
•   Frequency/intensity of experience of stress.       and relationships between staff members.
•   Staff input into decision-making.              •   The general, holistic direction in which the
•   Relevance and efficacy of the provision of         College is felt to be heading.
    personal development opportunities.            The negative comments received from staff
•   Staff morale.                                  pertained to the following areas:

•   College Executive leadership.                  •   Communication, consultation, decision-
•   Equal opportunities for professional               making and data management.
    amelioration and career advancement.           •   Community-wide relationships.
•   Limited efficacy of College cross-             •   Curricular issues.
    departmental teamwork.                         •   Co-curricular issues.
•   Unreasonable employer expectations of          •   Core values, Christian ethos and College
    employees.                                         reputation.
S T U D E N T PE R C E P T ION S


                                                   S E N IOR S C HO OL
                                                   STUDENT
Some students attend Wesley College for their
                                                   PE R C E P T ION S
entire 14-year education from Kindergarten to
Year 12, while others commence in either the
Middle School or Senior School. Regardless of
when they start at Wesley, students spend a        Core Purposes of a Wesley College Education
significant amount of time at school, and we       The three most important aspects of a Wesley College
hope that, upon graduation, our students look      education, as identified by Senior School students, were (in
back on these years as some of the best in their   order of importance):
life. From the age of 12, influences outside the
                                                   1. To provide me with the academic requirements and
family unit become increasingly important to
                                                      relevant skills needed to enter TAFE, university or the
our children. We want the experiences our
                                                      workforce after leaving school.
students have at Wesley to help shape them
                                                   2. To develop specific skills in particular areas of interest to
into healthy, balanced and well-rounded young
                                                      me both academically and in areas such as sport, music
men. The survey feedback received from
                                                      and drama.
students from Years 3 to 12 gives us an insight
into current student perceptions of the            3. To make lifelong friendships and connections with
College.                                              people.

Students from Years 8 to 12 were offered an        These results indicate an expected shift in priority of the
opportunity to participate in the full Whole       core purposes of a Wesley College education by students
School Perceptions Survey. In addition,            compared to that articulated by parents and staff members.
students from Years 3 to 7 were offered a          We would arguably expect students to be more focused on
modified survey.                                   being equipped with the necessary skills to achieve their
                                                   future aspirations. The attention to specialisation in certain
                                                   academic and co-curricular areas of interest links in with this
                                                   and reflects a narrower field of focus than that expressed by
                                                   adults undertaking the survey, who prioritised the all-round,
                                                   holistic merits of a Wesley education.
                                                   Despite these subtle differences in prioritisation of core
                                                   educational experiences, the overall philosophies of the
                                                   three groups are generally aligned.
The Wesley College Experience                                    •   How the College deals with the incidence of bullying.
There is evidence to suggest that students perceive their        •   Perceived lack of interest in listening to the student
Wesley College educational experience to be enjoyable and            voice by the College.
satisfying.                                                      •   Limited meaningfulness of House affiliation and Tutor
Areas of College life which received the highest satisfaction        Group experience.
ratings from the student body include the following:             •   Limited opportunity for interaction with other schools,
                                                                     including co-educational experiences with girls’ schools.
•   General enjoyment of school life.
                                                                 •   Perceived lack of support with helping students to lead a
•   Teachers’ friendliness and approachability.
                                                                     balanced life between personal and family interests and
•   Positive parental perceptions of the College.
                                                                     school commitments.
•   Involvement with co-curricular activities including sport,
                                                                 •   Uniforms.
    the arts and community services.
                                                                 Student data identified a clear distinction between students’
•   The College’s improving reputation within the broader
                                                                 broad levels of satisfaction with the social and academic
    community.
                                                                 provision made for them by the College and their levels of
•   Experience of learning and the provision of support with
                                                                 dissatisfaction with the provision of personal pastoral care
    challenging work.
                                                                 and student health and welfare services.
•   Positive perceptions of staff leadership.
•   Opportunities for student leadership.                        Subject-specific Data
•   Opportunities for socialisation and friendship building      This section was completed only by students in Years 8 to12.
    within the College.                                          Strong correlations were observed between:
Areas of improvement for College life identified by the          •   Students’ personal enjoyment and a sense of pride and
student body include:                                                achievement in any given subject.
•   Assistance from the College in understanding the             •   Perceived parental and societal esteem of a subject and
    Christian background and traditions of the College.              the students’ drive to succeed in that subject.
•   Assistance and support from the College in dealing with      •   Students’ personal rapport with a subject teacher and
    personal welfare issues, such as stress and anxiety,             their subsequent enjoyment of that subject.
    personal challenges, feeling personally valued and cared
    for, lack of mentorship and feeling that there are trusted
    adults to turn to in times of personal need.
Y E A R 8 S T U D E N T PE R C E P T ION S




Although results from Year 8 students suggest that students are
more preoccupied with personal development, it appears that by
the conclusion of the Middle School years, students share with their
Senior School counterparts the priority of the acquisition of specific
skills that will enable them to fulfil particular objectives and career
pathways after completing school.
The three most important aspects of a Wesley College education, as
identified by Year 8 students, were (in order of importance):
1. A positive student perception of parental satisfaction with the
   College and positive sense of the College’s reputation within
   the broader community.
2. High calibre sporting opportunities.
3. House/Tutor Group affiliation.
Areas of improvement for College life identified by Year 8 students
include:
•   Teachers’ management of student behaviour.
•   The inconsistent Christian aspect of Wesley education.
•   The College’s capacity to deal with the incidence of bullying.
•   The College’s consistency with regard to its provision of equal
    opportunities for all students.
•   A level of dissatisfaction with the student voice not being
    listened to.
•   Questioning the relevance of Habits of Mind initiatives.
•   Lack of personal support with personal challenges.
•   Dissatisfaction with the balance between home and school life
    commitments.
•   Lack of support from adults with organisational issues and
    resource and stress management.
Y E A R S 3 TO 7
STUDENT
PE R C E P T ION S


Students’ responses from this
group indicated results consistent
with the survey population’s
general capacity for critical
evaluation at their respective
stage of cognitive development.
Interestingly, where deviations
occurred these were in line with
the rates of negative response
elicited elsewhere within the
Wesley community.
The positive perception of
personal relationships within the
Junior School, articulated by the
Years 3 and 4 students,
particularly stands out with 100%
of respondents affirming that
they ‘always’ or ‘mostly’ enjoy a
great relationship with their
teachers and then again with
their peers.
S UM M A RY OF F I N D I NG S


POSITIVE
PE R C E P T ION S
Parents                                           •   General enjoyment of working at Wesley
•   Students’ sense of belonging to the College       College.
    and loyalty.                                  •   Students’ encouragement to achieve their
•   Excellence in co-curricular programs.             personal best.
•   Approachability and friendliness of staff.    •   Positive value-for-money student package.
•   Wesley teachers being dedicated and           •   Positive reputation of the College within
    professional.                                     the broader community.
•   Balance between innovative and traditional    Students
    teaching methods.
                                                  •   General enjoyment of school life.
•   High quality of College publications.
                                                  •   Teachers’ friendliness and approachability.
•   Students’ strong relationships with
                                                  •   Parental perceptions of the College.
    individual caring and supporting staff.
                                                  •   Involvement with co-curricular activities
•   A sense of genuine community with many
                                                      including sport, the arts and community
    initiatives aimed at students’ development
                                                      services.
    of a positive notion of citizenship.
                                                  •   The College’s reputation within the broader
•   A sense of a generally holistic approach to
                                                      community.
    child development.
                                                  •   Experience of learning and getting support
Staff                                                 with challenging work.
•   The range of College services adding to a     •   Positive perceptions of staff leadership.
    positive sense of community.                  •   Opportunities for student leadership.
•   The camaraderie between colleagues.           •   Opportunities for socialisation and building
•   Scope for staff to pursue innovation and          friendships within the College.
    creativity.
•   Range of College facilities and resources
    (including ICT) available to enhance
    College staff members’ experience.
•   The range and appeal of co-curricular
    opportunities offered to students.
RECOMMENDED AREAS
F OR I M PR O V E M E N T
Parents                                            •   Academic expectations.
•   The College’s management of student            •   Frequency/intensity of experience of stress.
    bullying incidents.                            •   Staff input in decision-making.
•   The range, quality and timeliness of student   •   Relevance and efficacy of the provision of personal
    support services.                                  development opportunities.
•   College staff role-modelling College core      •   Low staff morale.
    values.                                        •   Consistency in quality of Executive leadership.
•   Differences/inconsistencies in teaching        •   Equal opportunities for professional amelioration and
    staff expertise and professionalism.               advance.
•   Literacy and numeracy standards.               •   College teamwork/cross-departmental cohesion.
•   Communications between school and              •   Employer expectations of employees.
    home.
                                                   •   Remuneration/equity of pay/terms and conditions of
•   Individual academic support to match               employment contract.
    needs of the particular student.
•   Lack of cohesion regarding disciplinary        Students
    standards and student behavioural              •   Assistance and support from the College in dealing with
    expectations including uniform standards.          personal welfare issues such as stress and anxiety, personal
•   Interruptions to progress and continuity of        challenges, feeling personally valued and cared for, lack of
    curriculum.                                        mentorship/feeling that there are trusted adults to turn to in
                                                       times of personal need.
•   Perceived ambivalence towards teaching of
    the Christian identity or ethos of the         •   College management of bullying issues.
    College.                                       •   The College’s inclusion of the student voice in certain
                                                       matters.
Staff
                                                   •   Improvement of the House/Tutor Group experience.
•   Consistency in student disciplinary
                                                   •   Introduction of greater opportunities for interaction and co-
    standards.
                                                       educational learning with other schools, including co-
•   Uniform.                                           educational experiences with girls’ schools.
•   Communication from management to staff.        •   Increased support with helping students to lead a balanced
•   The monitoring and tracking of student             life between home and school.
    progress.                                      •   Perceived ambivalence towards teaching of the Christian
                                                       identity or ethos of the College.
C ONC L U D I NG R E M A R K S




As a result of the survey, College Council and the College        Whilst the College will always be on a path of continuous
Executive have already begun to implement some identified         improvement, I do think it is important to celebrate the
initiatives, including:                                           positive feedback and general alignment of the three survey
                                                                  groups. The survey results highlight the sense of community,
•   The introduction of a staff health and wellbeing
                                                                  the sense of pride in the College, and enduring relationships
    program.
                                                                  formed whilst at the College. These have all established a
•   A focus on improving centralised storage of electronic
                                                                  strong and healthy environment in which our students can
    data on students.
                                                                  develop and grow. This provides a wonderful opportunity
•   The introduction of Scholaris, to be used by students,        for our students to take responsible risks on their journey to
    staff and parents from 2009.                                  strive for their personal best in academic, co-curricular and
•   Communication with staff, students and parents.               community pursuits.
•   Formal monitoring of literacy from Kindergarten to Year       I personally thank the Wesley College community - parents,
    12 and the appointment of a whole of school Literacy          staff and students - for their participation in the survey. I
    Coordinator.                                                  value the honesty and openness that was clearly evident
•   The development of a proactive student wellbeing              throughout the survey data.
    curriculum program.
                                                                  I also thank the Wesley College staff members that were
•   Modifications to the structure of the Student
                                                                  involved in the AMRPMT project in 2006, and subsequently
    Representative Council (SRC).
                                                                  the Whole School Perceptions Survey in 2007 and 2008.
•   All middle and senior managers to be given the                Finally, I extend my gratitude to Ms Raffaella Fecondi who
    opportunity to undertake a leadership styles review and       has dedicated a significant amount of energy to this project,
    development process.                                          and has ensured the successful completion of the Whole
These initiatives address just some of the issues identified by   School Perceptions Survey.
the survey data. Additional projects are also planned and         Mr David Gee
these will be communicated to the College community as            Headmaster
and when the appropriate planning and budget                      November 2008
implications have been considered.
WESLEY COLLEGE
40 Coode Street South Perth 6151
Western Australia
TELEPHONE: +618 9368 8000
FACSIMILE: +618 9474 1051




www.wesley.wa.edu.au

				
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Description: WHOLE SCHOOL PERCEPTIONS SURVEY