School Vision Statement
Merrylands East Public School is a creative and innovative school where students “create the future” in a safe, supportive learning environment through personalised learning.
All students develop knowledge and skills necessary to be self-regulated and collaborative problem solvers in a local and global society. Underpinning this vision is the instilment of strong core values for all students of fairness, participation, excellence, honesty, respect and responsibility.
Founded in 1928, Merrylands East Public School is situated on traditional Aboriginal Dharruk land, near the main central business district of Parramatta.
With the assistance of Microsoft Partners in Learning Program 2012, Social Ventures Australia and a strong collaborative network of global innovative educators, Merrylands East is creating the future for learning through school hours from 8am to 1:15pm, building a broad range of open learning spaces, and increasing the use of ICT as a tool for learning and problem solving, and connecting via twitter @merrylandseast.
The student population is drawn from over 45 socio-cultural backgrounds predominately from Islander, African, Middle Eastern and Asian communities. Ninety per cent of students speak a language other than English and around 10% have refugee experiences. The student population, while stable around the 370 mark, has a proportion which is transient (20%), with students leaving being replaced by new arrivals. The vast majority of students commence learning English for the first time when entering school at varying school years. English as a Second Language programs and a parent program support students and parents to access the school’s curriculum.
Celebration of cultural diversity and student achievements are recognised through the Student Welfare programs. Leadership skills and showing the highest public education values are fundamental to these programs.
The school key emphasis is an integrated curriculum with emphasis on outcomes and general capabilities. An outstanding balanced educational program enables all students to succeed in the wide range of extra-curricular activities. The development of class and individual blogs, e-games, phone apps, design of webpages and animations, gamification, video conferencing and the development of video productions are just some of the many exciting methods for learning.
School Planning Process
Merrylands East commenced the planning process with a driving taskforce consisting of the whole school executives, teachers, academic partners and community representatives.
Ongoing information about the schoolâ€™s directions has been regularly communicated to parents via newsletter and social media.
Throughout 2014 and 2015, focus group meetings were held with parents, teachers and students to examine:
- School based data
- Melbourne Declaration
- Australian Curriculum General Capabilities
- School based values
In addition, social media was used to consult with the wider community.
As Merrylands East has been on a journey of major transformation over the past 5 years, firstly as a Microsoft Partners in Learning School and currently a Social Ventures Bright Spot School, the purpose of the school had already been identified along with the strengths and resilience of the staff.
Staff have visited local, national and global schools physically and in the virtual world as part of the information gathering process.
The process undertaken in the formation of this school plan has been based on an ethnographic research paradigm with deliverables at various timeframes in conjunction with Social Ventures Australia and the Queensland University of Technology.
STRATEGIC DIRECTION 1 – Personalised Learning for staff and students
To develop innovative, creative and resourceful staff and students who can think deeply and logically through genuine problem solving using ICT capabilities and responsive pedagogies.
STRATEGIC DIRECTION 2 – Interactive social Capital and Environment
To provide opportunity to harness the social and resource capital of a school community to drive efficiencies that impact student learning.
To build a dynamic and responsive education community and school environment through partnerships from pre-school through to business and community organisations.
STRATEGIC DIRECTION 3 – Classless School
To develop a school organisational paradigm where students can learn anytime, anywhere and with anyone, and with a seamless curriculum that is responsive to needs based learning.