Andrew – Leading improvement, innovation and change

classroom Andrew
“I lead and influence others by being involved in the change with them.”

Andrew is a mathematics teacher across years 7 to 12 at the Knox School, an independent Early Learning to Year 12 college in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

He also provides leadership within the school through his role as the eLearning Coordinator, Head of Chisholm House, and head of one of the school’s professional learning teams (PLTs).


Through the working day, Andrew demonstrates many of the Professional Practices from the Australian Professional Standard for Principals (Principal Standard). He participates in leading teaching and learning, developing himself and others, leading improvement, innovation and change, and contributes to managing the school.

Andrew starts today by reviewing the pastoral care notes for Chisholm House students, checking what needs to be followed up with teachers, students or parents.

Chisholm House has around 150 students, five tutors (teachers who provide daily pastoral care for students) and a number of other school staff. As Head, Andrew’s role involves leading house meetings, overseeing pastoral care and the organisation and running of sports and art carnivals.

Capitalising on his knowledge of the school’s Learning Management System (LMS), Andrew is encouraging colleagues to use it to record pastoral commentary, communication and intervention. He regularly monitors tutors’ reports and supports new teachers to understand and manage their new role. “Some of the tutors may have never experienced a certain issue before, or a very challenging issue may present itself, so I provide support to those tutors to work with the students.”


Classroom teaching forms a significant part of Andrew’s working day and today he is teaching a Year 8 maths class.

The students are using a maths program that he recently introduced for all Year 7s and 8s. It allows for self-paced learning aligned to the curriculum, supporting some to work on gaps in knowledge and allowing others to work at higher levels. “This has been done in alignment with the school’s strategic intent of creating and sustaining a personalised, student-centred learning environment. ”

Having piloted the program with a colleague at the end of last year, Andrew is currently leading implementation and developing his colleagues’ skills through training, modelling teaching, professional conversations and effective use of data to target teaching. He has also introduced the program to parents and carers, emphasising the benefits and showing how they can get involved with the program at home.

One of the areas I am focusing on with my own teaching is ensuring the educational goals of my students are aligned with the vision and values of the school.

Andrew has time at his desk to work on aligning the school’s online professional learning modules to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

As eLearning Coordinator, Andrew administers the school’s LMS, which he introduced a few years ago to draw together a number of programs and systems. In heading up this project, he investigated options, assessed staff IT skills, completed a needs analysis, and ran staff focus groups to demonstrate different programs. Based on his extensive investigation and consultation, he produced a business plan for a new LMS, which he presented to the school’s executive. Since its introduction, Andrew has continued to refine the system to better meet school and staff needs.

One use of the LMS is to provide colleagues with “just in time”, self-paced learning. Short videos on relevant topics for professional learning can be created or modules can be selected from the system. Andrew works with middle leaders and the Curriculum Committee to determine the professional learning requirements of their staff and to select content that aligns to the Teacher Standards. Learning activities are then sent to staff via email with a due date, allowing staff to select the best time to undertake the learning activity.

Hear Andrew talk about the LMS

Part of the ongoing implementation involves engaging with the community. Each year Andrew invites parents to an information session to highlight what they should expect to see and how they can assist learning and organisation from home by using the LMS.

The introduction of the school LMS has meant that parents have been better able to deepen their engagement with student learning.

After lunch today, Andrew meets with teachers and leaders from a school interested in introducing the same LMS used at the Knox School.

Having spearheaded the implementation and ongoing management of the LMS, he provides a full picture of the system, from the technical workings and user experience through to understanding the program from a management level.

Andrew demonstrates and explains the ways in which his school uses the LMS, outlining how he has up skilled staff to use it effectively and how he engages with parents and carers so that they can support learning at home. He provides valuable insights and advice to assist the other school to introduce a similar system.


After the school day, Andrew meets with the professional learning team (PLT) he leads. Today they are discussing their progress using digital technologies to capture feedback, and how to make this available to students as well as to parents through the school’s LMS.

Knox has a whole-school focus on creating and sustaining a personalised, student-centred learning environment. Andrew’s PLT has been working towards achieving this by investigating how feedback is given to students and emphasising student self-reflection to improve learning.

This group has been working together for a number of years. “After trialling and testing feedback strategies we presented to the whole staff some of the findings and what we found to be effective.”

To further influence the adoption of feedback strategies across the school, “one of the goals of the group is to spread the message around effective feedback and strategies that can be used.”

Staff are hearing positive comments from students and parents, and the PLT is continuing to adapt its feedback practices and exploring the impact they are having on student learning outcomes.


Andrew plays a role in the management of the school through introducing computer-based systems and processes that underpin and improve the day-to-day functions of the school. Having a Masters in Education Technology, he uses his expertise and knowledge around effective use of technology to enhance the learning of teachers and students throughout the college.

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