To ensure that there is a culture of continuous improvement at JMSS there are many ways in which the school identifies areas for growth, development or change in the learning of its students. These processes are all informed by the collection and analysis of a range of data.
Every Learning Area at JMSS prepares an annual Learning Area Action Plan or LAAP. This document aligns with JMSS’s strategic intent and indicates priority areas for each learning Area based on data collected and analysis and reflection about successes against stipulated goals and targets.
The following is a list of data sources that are used and analysed in the day to day activities of JMSS:
All students applying for entry to JMSS sit five separate assessments. These assessments seek capacity in literacy, numeracy, scientific reasoning and scientific thinking. A wide range of students are then selected for a follow-up activity-based process including a one-to-one interview;
Once the final cohort of students is selected the data for these students is provided to Heads of Learning and Assistant Heads of Learning at JMSS for analysis to identify strengths, weaknesses and other aspects that may need to be tailored into programs;
The entry interviews also identify a range of interests and attributes that can be documented and used to inform programs at JMSS. This includes student interests and expertise, ability to collaborate and teamwork;
ICAS competitions provide data and feedback annually to students and staff about strengths and weaknesses in particular domains of Maths, Science, English and Informatics. All students at JMSS in year 10 and 11 compulsorily have to participate in these competitions. Again the Heads of Learning and Assistant Heads of Learning have this data at their disposal to inform Learning Area directions;
VCE data from the VASS data service gives a variety of data that can be used to improve performance across VCE subjects. VASS data is used to assess authenticity of assessment, moderation practices, exam performance, cohort data and comparative data with other cohorts. This data is powerful and is a compulsory element of the LAAP. Nearly all Learning Areas have a trained VCE data person in their faculty to interpret data relevant to each Learning Area. A dedicated computer has been set up in the VCE area for trained staff to access the VASS secure site. Each year a staff meeting is dedicated to exploring VCE data and its interpretation;
On-Track and VTAC data is accessed and analysed to align with JMSS beyond school goals. This data is shared with all JMSS staff and Monash University. As a specialist science school there is particular interest in the transition into science related careers after secondary school and there are goals related to this in our strategic plan;
Attendance data is used by all mentors, House Leaders and Learning Area Managers as an indicator of levels of learner engagement across studies;
Progress reports are published to the entire school community five times per annum in addition to semester reports. Teachers make judgements about student attitude, student organisation and learning progress that are collated over time to show apparent trends. Analysis of this data allows for interventions to be put into play that might include remediation, extension or another action.
The school’s Leadership Team, Teaching and Learning Committee, Faculties and House Teams all regularly interrogate data to ensure students are on track, and intervene when they either need extra support or on the other hand are in need of genuine extension.