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Hale School, WA
Hale School, in Perth, WA, is a boys'
school of 1300 students in Years 1 to 12,
including 190 boarders in years 7 to 12.
One of the touchstones of the vision and
values statement for Hale School applies
specifically to teachers: 'The pursuit of
excellence in teaching and an orienta-
tion towards continuous improvement in
everything we do'.
This pursuit has led to the school forging
a vibrant and flourishing partnership with
the Graduate School of Education at the
University of Western Australia (UWA).
The partnership includes the provision
of scholarships and school experience for
undergraduate students, and a willingness
to cooperate with research initiatives.
A further outcome this year has been a
particularly successful professional learn-
ing program centred on teacher leadership,
made possible by the goodwill developed
over many years of the partnership.
The school and UWA have collaborated
to provide a group of teachers with the
opportunity to complete a Masters in Ed-
ucation unit in Educational Leadership.
The unit was tailored to the requirements
of the school and enables participants
to conceptualise and implement school
The program is called the 'Hale-UWA
Winter School'. The goals associated
with the Winter School acknowledge
the link between quality teaching and
improved student outcomes, and the
program aims to encourage teachers to
aspire to higher levels of performance,
innovation and enjoyment.
At the commencement of the program,
teachers from both the Junior and Senior
campuses gathered at Hale School for
three days of the first semester holidays to
share information and insights, to debate
common issues and to test innovative ideas
and tacit understandings of what is meant
by educational leadership within context.
By the end of this dialogue nine inno-
vative and systematic action research
projects had been formulated. Action
research projects are to be implemented
during Terms 3 and 4, and the Winter
School re-convenes for two days in Term
4 to discuss work in progress.
The challenge of sustaining the action re-
search will be assisted by a website within
the school's internet portal. In particular,
a discussion forum and a shared docu-
ment space are used to communicate,
collaborate and encourage.
Participants reported that the three
Winter School days during first semester
holidays were invigorating, energising
and intellectually stimulating. They also
felt they were being trusted by the school
to lead significant change in the form of
action research. The results of the action
research are to be collated and published
as a testament to the program.
Funding for this project was provided
through the school's professional learn-
ing budget and costs per person were
equivalent to the cost of the Masters unit.
As such, it was not a cheap exercise, but
one that will achieve more in terms of
actual changes in classroom practice than
attendance at off-site conferences.
Not everything went to plan. The first day
seminar open to all educators. A widely
circulated pamphlet advertised the event as:
'Leadership for Learning is about the
development of the school through
the development of others, a challenge
to which many school leaders are
eager to rise. This seminar presents
an exciting opportunity for a diverse
group of educators to engage in
critical dialogue for developing new
insights into leadership for learning in
both theory and practice.'
The program was to include a keynote ad-
dress and workshop presented by Professor
Frank Crowther (University of Southern
Queensland) and a panel discussion. The
panel included Professor Bill Louden (Dean
of Faculty of Education, UWA), Stuart
Meade (Headmaster, Hale School), Valerie
Gould (Executive Director of Association
of Independent Schools of WA), and The
Hon Peter Collier (Shadow Minister for
Education and Training in WA).
The school funded the seminar as a gift
to Western Australian educators and the
cost to participants was under $30. Even
so, not enough people registered for this
event by the cut off date to warrant the
seminar proceeding. Possible explana-
tions for the lack of interest include the
timing during Semester 1 holidays and,
paradoxically, the low cost.
While cancellation of the seminar meant
the Winter School experience for partici-
pants was not as rich as we had hoped,
its outcomes are excellent. Changing pro-
fessional practice for every participant is
not an outcome that can be claimed from
many professional learning activities, and
it is this capacity to empower teachers
that makes the program so exciting.
Director of Teaching and Learning,
People interested in finding out more about the
Winter School program are encouraged to con-
tact Michael Giles at Hale School (mjg@hale.
wa.edu.au). Hale School acknowledges with
special thanks the participation in the program
of Dr Simon Clarke and Professor Bill Louden
from the School of Education at the University
of Western Australia.
Hale School teachers participate in the
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