The magic of connection

SVA’s Bright Spots Schools Connection (The Connection) was created to support and empower school leaders in disadvantaged schools to improve outcomes for their students, and to build a network of exceptional educators who will influence change throughout the system. Towards the end of 2015 The Connection expanded to include 18 Star Hub schools in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. Together with eight Powerhouse schools, the Star Hubs connect regularly to share insights and best practice from their own school improvement journey’s – increasing their collective efficacy.

On a visit to three Star Hubs as part of a roadshow day, I was fortunate to see The Connection in action. Its impact was tangible.

The educators participating were alive with excitement and possibility. As each school shared the exciting new practices they were introducing in to their schools – they acknowledged those from other schools in The Connection (some of whom were in the room), or people they’d been linked up with through SVA, for inspiring or influencing their new approaches.

The Curran Public leadership team are exploring how to incorporate neuroscience in their teaching practice, following the example of Broadmeadows Primary; and the Blairmount Public School team are jumping on Twitter each evening to interact with others from the education community (both in Australia and overseas) to stretch their thinking and share insights on what they’re testing and trying in their own school.

At Casula High, where student results are climbing rapidly, a staff member told the group of Star Hubs educators, ‘Your two cents are turning into something we’re achieving, and our students are growing from that!’

The Connection model doesn’t just sound fantastic in theory – it’s working in practice. And it’s the educators’ passion, dedication and unending drive to improve the lives of their students that fuels it.

In schools like that – anything is possible!