Applications are invited for the new role of ‘Leading Teacher’ for the new Don Valley Campus of The School for Student Leadership (Trading as the Alpine School). This facility and program represent the latest development of 20 years of excellence in residential year nine education, catering to students in Victorian government schools. The original Alpine School at Dinner Plain was opened in 2000, Snowy River Campus Marlo in 2007, Gnurad-Gundidj Campus Glenormiston in 2009. The school began operating international leadership programs in 2014 with a collaboration between the DET International Education Division and Utahloy International School, Guangzhou, Guangdong, PRC. Nearly 9000 students have attended our campuses in Victoria and China in this time.
The New Don Valley Campus
The Don Valley campus is being built in 2020, is brand new and will have its first cohort of students in Term 1, 2021. The expected completion date for the facility is early December 2020 and represents the fourth campus of this school. All four campuses conduct identical programs with minor place-based differences due to location, environments, climates and resultant outdoor and recreational activities.
Don Valley Campus is located at Estate Road, Don Valley, adjacent to the Don Valley Primary School. It is a purpose-built, specifically designed facility in a deliberately delightful semi-rural setting. The design work for this campus began in 2015 with the appointment of Maddison Architects. Peter Maddison is the face of Grand Designs Australia. The school has valued the exciting collaboration from a variety of stakeholders to complete this world-class facility.
SC1 Demonstrated expert knowledge of the relevant curriculum. Demonstrated ability to lead and manage the implementation of school priorities, and the teaching of literacy and numeracy skills across the curriculum.
SC2 Demonstrated ability to lead the planning and implementation of high impact teaching strategies that respond to student learning needs. Demonstrated ability to support teachers to evaluate the impact of learning and teaching programs on student learning growth.
SC3 Demonstrated exemplary ability to monitor and assess student learning at a class, cohort or whole-school level and use this data to lead improvement initiatives. Demonstrated ability to support others in using data to inform teaching practice and to provide feedback on student learning growth and achievement to students and parents.
SC4 Demonstrated exemplary interpersonal and leadership skills. Demonstrated ability to lead collaborative relationships with students, colleagues, parents and the broader school community focused on student learning, agency, wellbeing and engagement.
SC5 Demonstrated ability to model behaviours and attitudes consistent with Department values and support colleagues to adopt these behaviours and attitudes. Demonstrated ability to reflect upon their own, others and whole-school practice and contribute to the provision of whole-school professional learning.
SC6 Demonstrated exemplary educational leadership with year nine students living and learning away from their normal environments.
Leading teachers will be highly skilled classroom practitioners and undertake leadership and management roles commensurate with their salary range. The role of leading teachers is to improve the skill, knowledge and performance of the teaching workforce in a school or group of schools and to improve the curriculum program of a school.
Typically, leading teachers are responsible for coordinating a number of staff to achieve improvements in teaching and learning which may involve the coordination and professional support of colleagues through modelling, collaborating and coaching and using processes that develop knowledge, practice and professional engagement in others.
Leading teachers are expected to lead and manage a significant area or function within the school with a high degree of independence to ensure the effective development, provision and evaluation of the school's education program.
Leading teachers will be expected to make a significant contribution to policy development relating to teaching and learning in the school. A leading teacher has a direct impact and influence on the achievement of the school goals.
Leading teachers are usually responsible for the implementation of one or more priorities contained in the school strategic plan.
Teachers currently registered or eligible for registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching and qualified to teach and/or have demonstrated experience in the curriculum area(s) specified for the position.
The Department values diversity and is committed to workforce diversity and equal opportunity in schools and all education workplaces. The Department recognises that the provision of family friendly, supportive, safe and harassment free workplaces is essential to high performance and promotes flexible work, diversity and safety across all schools and Department workplaces.
Victorian government schools are child safe environments. Our schools actively promote the safety and wellbeing of all students, and all school staff are committed to protecting students from abuse or harm in the school environment, in accordance with their legal obligations including child safe standards. All schools have a Child Safety Code of Conduct consistent with the Department’s exemplar available at http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/health/protect/Pages/childsafestandards.aspx
The Department’s employees commit to upholding DET’s Values: Responsiveness, Integrity, Impartiality, Accountability, Respect, Leadership and Human Rights. DET’s Values complement each school’s own values and underpin the behaviours the community expects of Victorian public sector employees, including those who work in Victorian Government Schools. Information on the DET values is available at http://www.education.vic.gov.au/hrweb/workm/Pages/Public-Sector-Values.aspx
Roles and Responsibilities
Due to the multi-campus operation, residential year 9 setting and 24/7 operation, the teacher will be a person with a flexible, enthusiastic and team-oriented approach. All staff work in a close team environment with their colleagues at this campus and at the other three campuses, and a culture of collaboration, sharing and feedback permeates this relationship.
The school, as a co-educational residential school, has two gender specific, but not gender-identifiable, accommodation wings and has a highly trained team of teacher and non-teacher support staff to maximise the desired educational outcomes. The school has a particular focus on ensure the safety of students through the Child Safe Standards.
There is provision in The Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic), Section 25 to select staff based on gender due to the residential nature of the program.
Because of the unique nature of the operation of the school, the delivery of the programs involves a range of evening, overnight, early morning, holiday and weekend duties for all staff. Flexibility in working hours and arrangements is a vital part of this role.
Student Achievement, Engagement and Wellbeing.
The school has a clear and unique approach to maximise student achievement, engagement and wellbeing. It operates all year ‘round, four terms per year, 24/7 for the full-term duration which is between 7 and 10 weeks. The student cohort comprises of small teams from their home schools, mixed gender groups and formed from both regional and metropolitan regions of Victoria. This maximises diversity and challenges societal, regional and other stereotypes. Students live on site. A small number of staff support students overnight. The teaching and learning program has a very favorable staff-student ratio due to the residential nature of the school.
A multi-disciplinary staff team of up to 20 staff will be engaged. This will be comprised of a School Principal, Campus Principal, a Leading Teacher, 8.6 teachers, and 7 education support staff of differing loads and fractions whose roles include overnight supervision, catering and office management among others.
Teachers and ESS work to a variation of the VGSA as agreed in local consultative agreement.
The governance model is by a single school council of ministerial nominees. The Campus Principal is a non-voting member of the council, and the Principal is executive officer of the council.
Staff do not live at the school except to be at work and supervising. No permanent accommodation is provided.
Excellence in Teaching and Learning
A strong PLC model has been established across the school in 2020. This has been both a response to the DET PLC initiative and to address some staff opinion survey variables identified in our AIP. These are aimed at supporting the development of excellence and consistency in teaching and learning, data literacy, formative feedback from students among others.
The curriculum model of the school is unique and bespoke and is the result of a process of thorough and rigorous review in 2020. It has as its core a fundamental valuing of the psycho-social needs of adolescents and the learning model is underpinned by this. Experiential Education is at the foundation of the school pedagogical approach. That is, students learn by doing and create new knowledge through a reflective process. The content follows a belief that leadership is a function of a young person’s ability to know self, others and the environment in which they live. The curriculum themes underpinning this leadership model are closely linked to and corroborated by a strong mapping to elements of the VCAA F-10 capabilities and Health and PE curriculum.
The outdoor, adventure and environmental education components are essential to the success of the learning program. The location of the campus in this region reflects the desire to have an active interaction with the local natural environment. Teachers will lead and fully participate in, assess and report on the outdoor and adventure component of the program.
A Positive Climate for Learning
The school has had a clear emphasis on the excellent in teaching and learning dimension of FISO for the past three AIP years, thus the interpretation and implementation of current DET initiatives such as FISO, HITS, Practice Principles, and Amplify for example are required. Our model of a community of practice across the school is seen to remove the variability that could afflict a multi-campus school of this nature.
The school has a long-standing relationship with VAEAI, has a strong advocacy role by being on the statewide steering committee of the Koorie Academy of Excellence. This relationship is critical for the mutuality of benefit for the SSL and KAE. The school is an inclusive leadership education provider, consistent with the Education State Target of Breaking the Link and reducing the impact of disadvantage in our schools.
Community Engagement in Learning
A close cooperation is required with the local community and education sector in the area. Yarra Valley has several outdoor education settings and providers, being able to collaborate in accessing facilities and environments is vital for everyone’s success. There is a school network in the area that encompasses secondary colleges and primary schools. The program at the campus will access National and State Parks, areas managed by Melbourne Water and the local Shire among others.
Parents and home schools play a significant part in the successful operation of the school and to maximise the ability for student learning. Counter-intuitively parents/families/carers need to be able to “let go” of their child for the educational experience to succeed. Separation and self-reliance are essential features of the intention of the program. Students’ stakeholders need to be able to trust the school to care for and educate their child without their direct intervention. This ability to successfully separate and learn away from home is fundamental to the school’s philosophical approach to creating an environment conducive to a “rite of passage” in a contemporary educational setting.
The role of the Leading Teacher at the School for Student Leadership includes but is not limited to;
The development of a campus level teaching and learning program inclusive of a staff roster.
Work cohesively with a multi-campus team to develop and Implement the Victorian Curriculum.
Develop the capacity of staff to implement and deliver curriculum to achieve desired outcomes.
Highly skilled classroom practitioner with the ability to model best practice and build the teaching capacity of others
Develop key improvements in the teaching and learning program, consistently across the school.
The capacity to build the skill, knowledge performance of the teaching workforce.
Play a significant role in achieving the school strategic plan and annual implementation plan goals in regard to improvements in teaching and learning.
Has the flexibility in practice to work collaboratively with various groups of staff across various campuses.
Work as a part of a team to make school –wide decisions that affect content, practice with particular focus on curriculum, assessment and reporting.
Highly skilled in managing and overseeing a safe working and teaching environment with the campus principal.
Well versed in DET safety in Outdoor Activities and school policy.
The ability to develop and maintain collaborative relationships with community stakeholders and external providers.
Leading and managing staff performance and development
Play a significant role in collating, analysing student and improving student data to drive school improvement.
Build the structure of and oversee the key waypoints of the program to ensure they run to a high standard.