What does the Stronger Smarter Approach (SSA) look and feel like when it is enacted in a school?
In the SSA, we describe the three spheres of ‘personal’, ‘school’ and ‘community’. When the SSA in enacted, we see these spheres coming together as a connecting space of innovation and creation. This cross-over or flow space between separate moving parts is part of Indigenous Knowledge thought worlds.
The Personal Sphere – Agents of Change
In the Personal Sphere, the SSA is visible as a strong sense of cohesiveness, with a shared vision for success, a culture of using data to inform change, and a mindset of continual improvement.
The Personal Sphere is also a place of deep reflection where all educators can recognise and understand their leadership responsibilities within their own roles. When we recognise our own responsibility for change, we unlock our potential to instigate transformations.
When the school creates spaces for built on High-Expectations Relationships for professional conversations and collective decision making, staff are more likely to question the status quo and consider alternative approaches. The result is a space where everyone has a belief in their ability to contribute to change and understands their role in achieving the school’s vision.
The School Sphere - High-expectations classrooms
In the School Sphere, the SSA is visible as an orderly, safe and inclusive learning environment for students and families from all backgrounds. Teachers take the time to build High Expectations Relationships with their students so that all students are supported in a positive environment where they can be proud of their culture.
As teachers take a strength-based approach to understand the knowledge and skills their students bring to the classroom, there is a greater focus on culturally responsive pedagogies and curriculum that connect to individual learning styles. The result is a school environment with strong and smart classrooms where all students feel they belong and where they know they can succeed.
The Community Sphere – Cohesion and Collaboration
In the Stronger Smarter Community Sphere, the notion of ‘co-creation’ and doing things ‘with people’ rather than ‘to people’ ensures meaningful community involvement in the school planning process where the strategies and visions for school transformation are influenced by the people they affect.
When High-Expectations Relationships are in place across the school community the visions and expectations for student learning, and the strategies to reach those visions are co-created together with the community.
As staff reach beyond the school gate, the interaction and understanding increases between the school and students and their families. With this greater level of engagement and interaction, where all groups have a meaningful involvement in the school, the Stronger Smarter Approach creates a more informed and dynamic environment for educational transformation.
A Change for Success
We know the outcomes we need to achieve – and now we have the ‘how’. By enacting High-Expectations Relationships and Strength-Based Approaches, the spheres move together with staff, students and community all working together towards the same visions of high expectations and transformational change.
When everyone in the school community shares a common goal of Strong and Smart, developing collaborative and innovative ways to support student success is more achievable and becomes more sustainable in the long term.