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Ashfield Public School

Ashfield Public School

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High Expectations 92)

Never underestimate your capacity to achieve more than you thought
A new publication by the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE), What works best, brings together seven themes from the growing bank of evidence for what works to improve student educational outcomes.
High expectations is one of the themes and is the understanding that teachers and schools will continuously call students at all levels to apply themselves to mastering challenging learning whether the challenge is intellectual, physical or performance-based. When challenging learning is scaffolded and supported, it is engaging and fulfilling for students who positively perceive themselves as successful and capable learners.
High teacher expectations that make a positive difference to student's outcomes encompass a very wide range of factors, such as encouraging students to apply themselves to a more complicated task, challenging them to set and achieve their own goals, and developing their ability to assess and evaluate their own learning.
Research indicates that along with a culture of high expectations, the teachers and the school must implement successful strategies that support every student's learning needs and ensures that they receive the right instruction to achieve their full potential.
Rigorous data collection by teachers and schools is an example of a strategy to support high expectations. At Ashfield Public School, a Data Summary Sheet (DSS) is completed at the end of a term for every child not attaining minimum proficiency. The sheet sets forth remedial actions, interventions and adjustments for the coming term. It is about setting criteria for success that gives high expectations a concrete form, which students can understand and aim for.
Also, if we expect capable students to progress through some aspects of the curriculum at a faster past with deeper knowledge and understanding, then support must be given for them. Ashfield Public School's Triple E (Engagement, Enrichment and Extension) program is a strategy for engaging students identified as high achieving and requiring acceleration.
It is not unreasonable to expect that student achievement will rise or fall in relation to the expectations placed upon them. High expectations for students tend to be self-fulfilling and students who are expected to learn more or perform better, at any ability level, typically do so.
Clear, reliable and accessible evidence shows that high expectations really work in schools and classrooms and are at the centre of sustainable improvements in student outcomes. When teachers and schools maintain high expectations, they encourage in students a desire to aim high rather than to merely get by. To expect less is to do students a disservice, not a favour.