Lyn Sharratt and Clarity
In 2020, the Catholic Schools Office and our system of schools began working with educator Lyn Sharratt to focus on building teacher and leader capacity to increase student achievement and growth in an ongoing, sustainable way.
Improving teachers’ assessment and instruction practices in the classroom.
Lyn’s data-driven program is based on her book Clarity: What matters most in learning, teaching and leading, which outlines a comprehensive approach for system and school leaders to learn how to increase achievement levels for all students and all teachers in all schools.
Using Clarity as a guide, Lyn’s professional development tools, and with regular workshops and meetings, our leaders have been collaborating and sharing knowledge and experience to ensure our teachers’ capacity is increasing and our students are learning and achieving. Find out more about Lyn Sharratt and Clarity here: https://www.lynsharratt.com/
Lyn met with school leaders in March and October of 2020, and in 2021 and 2022 will meet in March, June and October. Her presentations and workshops focus on what research confirms matters most in learning, teaching and leading, which are summarised in the ’14 Parameters’.
In between Lyn’s visits, schools meet with CSO staff in Case Management Meetings to discuss their progress with the 14 Parameters.
Lyn’s 14 Parameters and easy-to-implement but powerful strategies for system and school improvement are supporting our teachers to meet the learning needs of all our students. The strong sense of community and collaboration that is developing within our system of schools as we continue on our Leading Learning Collaborative journey is exciting and heartening.
2021 Quotes from Leaders and Teachers
As a middle leader, I found the two days with Lyn Sharratt very valuable; for both my teaching in the classroom and in my capacity to upskill colleagues. We were challenged to think critically about our own practices and encouraged to adopt effective strategies, as was clearly conveyed by Lyn. The work around the Assessment Waterfall was most beneficial. I learnt to refine my Learning Intentions and Success Criteria to maximise their impact in the classroom. Including the ‘why’ into Learning Intentions with the statement 'We are learning this because…' allows our students to understand and articulate the relevance to their learning: a simple yet a highly effective strategy.
The LLC was a wonderful opportunity to get together as a system with a shared mission and vision around improvement. The importance of assessment being a part of the learning process was reiterated throughout the days. There were some rich conversations around student-directed lessons and involving them in the co-construction process.
Lyn places an emphasis on hearing and respecting every voice in a non-threatening environment. This allowed for robust discussion and active participation from colleagues with varied experience, qualifications and backgrounds.
Our school is excited to join the Leading Learning Collaborative journey this year…our forever work! We look forward to the impact on building teacher capacity and enriching the learning journey for each and every child. We came away from the days with an implementation plan to begin our journey.
Engaging further with Clarity through the Leading Learning Collaborative process has been invigorating. Lyn’s focus on daily, sustained, focused assessment has invited us to consider the power of quality diagnostic and formative assessment to inform instruction. This instruction will be of such benefit to our students when they are preparing for summative assessment, making every step along the way an important one. My understanding of Learning Intentions and Success Criteria was strengthened by our intensive work on the Assessment Waterfall.
Our two days of learning with Lyn Sharratt was about the intricate link between assessment and instruction. The assessment waterfall teaches us that when we give students a clear learning intention, provide them with the opportunity to co-construct success criteria, and give timely, meaningful, and direct feedback, students move from being engaged to being empowered. Empowered learners take responsibility for their learning, self-assess work based on the success criteria, provide peers with direct and explicit feedback, and set individual learning goals. This allows classrooms to become more student-focused and individualised, with rich conversation centred around learning.
2020 Quotes from Leaders and Teachers
We are developing a common understanding, a common language and a common narrative around school effectiveness and improvement.
I was surprised by how easy it will be to incorporate the 14 parameters into making our school a collaborative team.
I can see now how everything is linked together and how important it is for everyone to be on board. Data walls will be helpful and provide opportunities for rich conversations. This is a manageable process which is a systematic approach which involves a clear vision of improvement for ALL students.