Appreciative Inquiry – Developing the next School Strategic Plan

School strategic planning is a core process for improving a range of outcomes for Woodleigh students concerning their learning, engagement, and wellbeing. The process involves reflecting on our past school performance, establishing future directions, deciding what constitutes success, and taking action. The school recognises that improvement is a complex task requiring attention to curriculum planning, teaching, learning, school culture, community engagement, and infrastructure development. Strategic planning is a central focus for the Principal and School Leadership Team (SLT) work at Woodleigh and includes ongoing meetings with students, teachers, and parents.

With the current School Strategic Plan finishing up at the end of this year, the Principal and SLT have commenced the process for developing the next strategic plan for the period of 2022 – 2025. The method includes evaluation and analysis stages, prioritization and goal setting, development and planning, and implementation and monitoring. As we enter into the goal-setting phase goal, the school will be engaging with students, teachers, and parents to support the development of crucial goals, targets, and improvement strategies. In particular, parents will be invited to participate in this phase through engagement with surveys, workshops, and focus groups.

As a first step, the school is inviting parents to complete a survey as part of an appreciative inquiry into the school's ongoing development. An appreciative inquiry is a strengths-based approach that seeks to build on past and present strengths while identifying improvement and innovation areas. The survey will be sent out to all parents via email and is built around four simple provocations:

  • What are our strengths? What can we build upon?
  • What are our opportunities for improvement? Where are there gaps in our support for student learning, engagement, and wellbeing?
  • What are our aspirations for the school? What are areas for further innovation?
  • How will we know if we are succeeding? What will improvement and innovation in student learning look like for you?

This initial survey's scope is intentionally broad to include a range of diverse ideas and perspectives on future school development. In turn, the survey findings will be used to inform strategic planning and the identification of topics that we can explore further with parents through the use of workshops and focus groups during Term 2. An email with additional information and a link for the survey will be sent out later this term from the Principal's Office.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Director of Learning, Strategy, and Innovation