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Message from our R/Executive Director
As we begin Term 2, more than ever, we are witnessing the dedication of the education sector as we work together to ensure that our students can continue their learning in these challenging times.   

At CESE we are committed to supporting our schools, teachers and students as we look to improve the education outcomes for all NSW students.

One way we provide this support is by delivering the latest evidence-based teaching and learning practices. Our new ‘What works best’ resources, featured in this newsletter, are designed to assist schools, leaders and teachers as they consider the ongoing implementation of effective teaching practice.

I hope you find value in these resources and continue to engage with upcoming CESE projects and publications.

Stay safe and thank you for your support.

Sally Egan
R/Executive Director, CESE
The latest from CESE
Putting 'What works best' into practice in schools
We’ve updated our most popular research report, ‘What works best’ with the latest research and data. The ‘What works best: 2020 update report identifies key teaching practices and themes that can improve student outcomes.

To assist teachers when using these practices, we’ve also created a new resource:
  • What works best in practice – a practical guide for teachers that includes strategies and case studies on how to implement the ‘What works best’ themes in the classroom. 
The themes in the new 'What works best' resources are:
A wheel that shows the eight What works best themes with a photo of students at the centre of the wheel to illustrates how the themes connect students to the curriculum
  • High expectations
  • Explicit teaching
  • Effective feedback
  • Use of data to inform practice
  • Assessment
  • Classroom management
  • Wellbeing
  • Collaboration
The eight 'What works best' themes provide a framework for teachers to connect students with the curriculum and to improve student achievement and skills.

To read the updated research report and practical guide, visit the CESE website.
Language diversity in NSW public schools

Our 2019 language diversity bulletin found that that more than a third of NSW public school students came from homes where languages other than English (LBOTE) were spoken.

The proportion of LBOTE students rose by 0.8 percentage points from 2018, and by 1.7 percentage points from 2017.

Overall, among NSW public school students, there is a total of 240 language backgrounds.
 
For more statistics on the largest language groups in NSW public schools read our bulletin.
Focus on creating texts new online professional learning
The department's Literacy and Numeracy team has developed a new professional learning course with the CESE Learning and Development team.

The first two of the five modules are now available. The online modules provide teachers in Years 3-8 with an opportunity to develop knowledge of current theoretical perspectives on writing processes and the explicit teaching of writing.
Focus on creating texts – Modules 1 and 2 are available for NSW Department of Education staff in MyPL as a five-hour registered online course. Further information is available on the Literacy and numeracy website.
Best Start Year 7 progress update
Best Start Year 7 is an opt-in literacy and numeracy assessment package for schools to use in the first five weeks of Year 7. It is designed to provide teachers with consistent and up-to-date information about new students' skills and abilities in literacy and numeracy.
 
Launched in 2019, Best Start Year 7 is a cross-sectoral initiative as part of the Literacy and Numeracy Strategy. In 2019, 317 schools opted in and in 2020 this increased to 419 schools from all three sectors. This represented 87% of the year 7 student population in government schools.  The Reading and Numeracy results were available to schools in Scout within 1-2 days enabling teachers to identify students early and put plans in place.
 
As part of the assessment package, a suite of professional learning courses were developed and delivered prior to and post the assessment. There were 55 face to face events and 2 eLearning courses developed.
 
In 2020, we piloted a Best Start Year 7 Writing assessment with over 6,000 students writing tasks externally marked. The results were available to schools in Scout within 2 weeks of completion.
 
Early analysis of state wide results indicate that the resources and professional learning available to schools is well targeted, for example, in Numeracy, Number Sense and Algebra was an area of strength with Measurement being an area that required further focus. More detailed analysis is planned for Term 2.

New classroom management professional learning guide available 
We designed a new professional learning guide to help teachers and school leaders engage with our recent literature review on classroom management.
The PL includes a range of discussion questions and activities that encourage participants to plan their next steps when considering the use of evidence-based classroom management practices in their school and teaching contexts.

Read the PL guide on the CESE website
CESE takeaway 
Watch our March talk on the Benefits of bilingual Best Start Kindergarten Assessment for students. 
We’d love to hear back from you about our work, or the way that we share our information. To help us learn more about what you'd like to see from CESE in the future, please get in touch with us.

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