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Regency Park School

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					                                                        Regency Park School
                                                   Rose Williams and Helen McLeod


                                     Attending to culture requires us to build a positive learning cul-
                                     ture focused on continuous improvement and growth for all.




Regency Park School (RPS) remains a specialist school for students with physical and associated dis-
abilities. There are currently approximately 90 students on the roll including those in the Link Pro-
grams at Mitcham Primary School, Unley High School and Ross Smith Secondary School. Regency
Park School on Days Road at Regency Park remains the only school in the state on private property.

Regency Park School was identified as one of the seventeen DECS schools to relocate as part of
DECS Education Works Stage One. In 2008 a new site was identified by DECS and plans prepared
for the new building. The school community at the Days Road site will be moving to a new purpose
built stand alone DECS private Public Partnership school at Taperoo in 2010. It will be built alongside
Ocean View College. Whilst this is a very exciting time for the staff, students and the school commu-
nity, the RPS Wellbeing Committee saw this as a time of possible anxiety for some. Consequently, in
order to assist in keeping the school community informed, as well as being responsible for reporting
on this project with a view to recording the history of the school, the school’s Wellbeing Committee
decided to monitor the steps in the transition to the new site as well as facilitate a positive transition.

In order to build capacity to sustain the Wellbeing for Learning Inquiry through to the effective estab-
lishment and running of the new school at Taperoo, the Regency Park School staff committed to iden-
tifying and underpinning the project with the DECS Learner Wellbeing Framework specifically devel-
oped for students from Birth to Y12. The DECS Learner Wellbeing grant was utilised to support part of
the school’s Key Strategic Directions for 2009 – 2011 by implementing the Inquiry through a whole
school approach. The DECS Learner Wellbeing Framework was distributed and discussed and Well-
being for Learning Professional Learning days were attended by key players on the school’s Wellbeing
Committee with information shared with the remainder of the committee and staff. It has enabled Re-
gency Park School the opportunity and challenge of reflecting on and formalizing the transition proc-
ess, as it identified clear intended outcomes, which will be utilized in the new school site.

Embedded in the DECS Learner Wellbeing Framework are Domains of Practice where we selected
the Partnerships Domain was specifically chosen to encompass the Care and Education Settings fac-
tors. Our Inquiry stands on the foundations of maintaining a focus on positive relationships, with edu-
cators and peers needing to feel safe and connected. This is a pre-requisite to the students, for whom
the inquiry is ultimately directed, reflecting those relationships and feelings in their behaviors as learn-
ers. Members of the Wellbeing Committee noted the connection to the DECS Improvement and Ac-
countability Framework self review under “Attend to Culture” informing our inquiry as the guiding prin-
ciple for involving the staff and school community which was informed in developing a positive attitude
towards the move to Taperoo. The Wellbeing Committee formed transition working parties and a Tran-
sition Wellbeing project was commenced. Attending to culture requires us to build a positive learning
culture focused on continuous improvement and growth for all.

The Wellbeing Committee discussed ways to plan and observe ‘how we could form effective partner-
ships and maintain a supportive culture in preparing for transition and building a positive learning cul-
ture focused on continuous improvement and growth for all.’ By clarifying our expectations of behav-
iors and practices, our purpose was to create a supportive environment for the numerous relationships
that needed to exist to support learners and their learning, with and between sites, services, families,
agencies and community members. This became the primary focus of the inquiry process.
DECS Education Works, which has defined the school’s project, has also enabled the school community
to have significant input at several levels. To ensure a smooth transition to the new site at Taperoo stake-
holder involvement is essential to achieve intended improved learning outcomes. Student opinion is val-
ued throughout the Education Works process enabling the students and school communities at both the
current and new site to be informed, prepared and welcoming. With the effective information sharing, and
a familiarity with the Regency Park School students, positive partnerships are being formed with the
Ocean View Community.

The potential enormity of the inquiry project, led the Wellbeing Committee to address the Dimensions of
Wellbeing and their relevance to whole school needs. By identifying what underpins current pedagogy
staff identified a standard of practice that they wished to measure against once at the new site. The con-
tinued successful fulfillment of students’ cognitive, emotional, physical, social and spiritual wellbeing
through their individual, achievable, measurable and observable goal setting at the new site would qualify
as an indicator of positive transition.

In order to form a baseline to measure the school’s understanding, ethos and culture around the move,
the teachers and the Student Support Officers (SSOs) in the school were surveyed separately. There are
fifteen teachers and twenty- eight SSOs during a week and approximately 66% of teachers and 57% of
SSOs responded to make up the twenty- six returned surveys.
Results indicated that there was a 100% awareness of the move, but not all knew where the new school
would be located. The major concern was that overall knowledge of the area was minimal and 84% of the
staff who responded did not live locally. So for the staff at Regency Park School an immediate priority was
to familiarize themselves with the new school site and surrounding area.

Following an initial visit to the site for the DECS staff members, classes at RPS were encouraged to visit
Taperoo and its surrounding area to assess student accessibility and identify relevant and interesting ven-
ues for student outings. Each class group conducted an excursion with a completed feed-back form sub-
mitted to the Wellbeing Committee. Information was collated for inclusion and consideration with the
Education Works’ working party and local council representatives.

Follow up surveys, show evidence of several clear indicators that Regency Park School’s Learner Wellbe-
ing Inquiry holds significance and relevance to those who are involved. There is increased awareness of
the new site amongst staff and students and there is an increased information base to demystify the area
through our links with community, council members and visits. School leadership staff have met with the
local Mayor to identify need for modifications in the community to enable student access. The identified
concerns are being thoughtfully addressed by the local council.

Now, mid term three 2009, the inquiry continues to progress. Regency Park School staff have been re-
cently presented with the footprints, designs and plans for the new school. Staff continue to meet in topic
specific cluster groups and as a whole. Ideas are contributed, discussed and presented to the Pinnacle
Education consortium as part of a process to attain the best possible outcome for the school community.
The learning spaces and surrounding environment which will become the new school will offer the plat-
form to continue and build on what occurs at Regency Park.

				
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Description: Regency Park School