From the Head of Junior School

Posted 4 December 2020 9:00am

Earlier this year I promised the Junior School and ELC community information regarding the result of our five-year International Baccalaureate Evaluation. As this is the last Enews of the year, it is the perfect forum to communicate the essence of the report and to explain a little about the evaluation process.

Continual School Improvement

Every five years, International Baccalaureate schools are visited by a team of accredited school evaluators who look closely at curriculum, programs, pedagogies, resources and culture and write a lengthy report against the many International Baccalaureate standards and practices. The report typically contains both commendations and recommendations with the recommendations feeding into the school’s action plan for the next five years. The evaluation report, and to a lesser extent the verbal feedback from the visiting team during the visit and at exit interview, also help a school to more confidently position itself within the global education community.

The Evaluation Visit

Canberra Girls Grammar Junior School and ELC’s five-year evaluation visit took place in late October 2020, following an 18-month collaborative self-study process. During the visit, the evaluation team - comprised of two highly experienced IB practitioners - worked from the report generated by the School as part of the self-study. Guided by the standards and practices, the self-study documents, extensive video footage of teaching and learning, and interviews with all stakeholders, the visiting team triangulated the evidence and drew conclusions.

The visit was comprehensive and thorough, with every teaching team spending time with the visiting team over the course of the three days. In addition, the Junior School Leadership and Management Team, our Principal, Mrs Anna Owen, Chair of the School Board, Mrs Sue Hart, the Academic Engagement Team, and many of our wonderful students were interviewed. We were also fortunate to have a strong group of parents that volunteered to take part and talk about their experiences as part of the Canberra Girls Grammar Junior School and ELC community.

During the exit interview at the conclusion of the visit, the evaluators described us as ‘an exemplary PYP school’ and one which other IB PYP teachers ‘absolutely need to visit’. To quote the team leader: ‘When you feel so passionately about the PYP, it is quite overwhelming to see a school where it is so beautifully and purposefully implemented.’

The Evaluation Report

We received the Evaluation report from the IB World Schools Department much earlier than expected. The report contains a total of 45 commendations with no recommendations. Those of us with extensive experience in IB schools can attest that this is an extraordinary result, solidifying our position as an exemplar IB World School and as a globally recognised leader in the delivery of the Primary Years Programme.

The Report is divided into sections (Philosophy, Organisation and Curriculum) with each section containing a number of standards and many accompanying practises. We are very proud and humbled by the result. The 45 commendations can be found here – I hope you enjoy reading them.

With warm regards

Ms Angela Whitaker
Head of Junior School