School plan 2015 – 2017
Hopetown SSP
Hopetown SSP
School background 2015 - 2017
School vision statement
The collective purpose of the Hopetown School community is to ensure that every student becomes a successful learner, a confident and creative individual and an active, informed citizen.*
Hopetown endeavours to provide every student the opportunity to experience success and to optimise their development of social, emotional, academic and vocational competencies.
*The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians..
School context
Hopetown is a School for Specific Purposes, supporting the needs of students (K-12) with Emotional Disturbance. Established in 1986, Hopetown has expansive grounds in a quiet, semi-rural environment bordered by bushland.
All students have diagnoses of mental health disabilities, and are enrolled at Hopetown because of their difficulties in coping in a mainstream school setting.
Most students have multiple diagnoses, present with challenging behaviours and are considered at risk of disengagement from learning. Accommodations and adjustments are made and reviewed as required.
The maximum student population is 56 students. Twenty- one students are in the primary unit and 35 in the secondary unit. Classes are comprised of 7 students with a teacher and School Learning Support Officer.
Approximately one third of the students are in out-of-home care and 20% of the school’s students are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
The primary purpose of a student’s enrolment at Hopetown is to address the student’s social and emotional difficulties. The focus of the school’s Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program is to develop Emotional Literacy dimensions
of self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, social skills and motivation. Within Hopetown’s SEL framework is the promotion of positive habits of mind and foundations of organisation, persistence, getting along, confidence and resilience.
(cf. You Can Do It!)
The ethos of the school is for all stakeholders to be Safe, Responsible and Respectful members of the school community.
The school’s Family Occupation and Education Index (FOEI = 166) indicates significant socio-economic disadvantage within our school community.
School attendance is encouraged and school suspensions are minimised in frequency and duration. Staff experience a high incidence of challenging student behaviours and the maintenance of positive staff morale is an ongoing concern.
Significant staff training in behaviour support, crisis management and student and staff welfare are regular occurrences.
Hopetown’s staff are collaborative, experienced, student-focused, empathic and committed to ongoing improvement in their practice.
Hopetown’s programing documentation and delivery is school strength as are the Individual Education Plans and Personalised Learning Plans prepared for each student.
Innovative programs have been a feature of Hopetown for many years. These include experiential programs for disengaged students, outdoor challenge programs, service learning, community access, the Duke of Edinburgh Award
Scheme and an array of school camps.
School planning process
The school planning process was informed by school data including; student enrolment and attendance, student incident and welfare reports, student performance data from external and in-school assessments, student, staff and parent
surveys, lesson observations, Teacher and Executive Assessment Review Schedule (TARS and EARS) discussions.
Planning was undertaken in reference to the Public Schools NSW Strategic Directions- Creating Futures Together 2015–2017, the Public Schools NSW School Excellence Framework, the Disability Standards for Education 2005, National
Disability Strategy 2010-2020, Student Diversity and the Australian Curriculum (ACARA), Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, Great Teaching Inspired Learning (GTIL), Local Schools Local Decisions (LSLD), Every Student
Every School (ESES), Rural and Remote Education, Quality Teaching in NSW Schools, The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan 2010–2014, Aboriginal
Human Resources Development Plan 2012- 2017.
It was decided that a situational analysis ‘snapshot’ of 2014 was useful however it needed to be further qualified by examining data from recent years in order to detect any trends.
Some of the data sources were:
Tell them from Me surveys
Quality of School Life parent/carer survey (modified)
Emotional Literacy Assessment (Southampton Psychology Service) parent, teacher and student questionnaires
SENTRAL student welfare referral data
NAPLAN results
Hopetown SSP
Transition Planning Meeting and Personalised Learning Plan parent /carer interview responses
Staff program registrations
Student exit patterns
Clinicians’ reports and diagnostic data
Student performance and diagnostic assessments and placement tests e.g. WRAT-4, Neale Analysis of Reading
School strategic directions 2015 - 2017
Promoting positive lifelong development of the individual, the learner and the citizen.
Empathic, resilient,
motivated individuals.
Students and staff are
leaders of their learning
A community of socially
responsible citizens
To nurture students as motivated individuals valuing self
and demonstrating self-efficacy, resilience and internal
To develop a dynamic learning environment that empowers
individuals to be flexible, adaptive, discerning learners and
To encourage awareness of the individual as part of a
wider society and create a culture of reciprocal and active
concern for the wellbeing of others.
Hopetown SSP
Strategic Direction 1: Empathic, resilient, motivated individuals.
Students: Students understand the need to trust
and accept support offered. Students accept the
need and responsibility for their intrapersonal
To nurture students as motivated individuals
valuing self and demonstrating self-efficacy,
resilience and internal control.
Staff: Staff promote a therapeutic environment
focussed on student welfare.
Staff empathy is enriched and informed by
research and staff practices are collaborative and
Improvement Measures
 Decrease in negative referrals on SENTRAL
 Students will reflect ongoing development of
Emotional Literacy Dimensions.
 Student capacities for sustained focussed
attention, self-awareness and self-regulation
will be assessed and reflect growth.
 Individualised assessment (PLASST) and
monitoring of student progress from needs to
strengths in learning and personal
capabilities will reflect progression in each of
the 6 domains.
Hopetown SSP
Parents/Carers: Parents/Carers engage positively
with the school community, understand the
important roles they play in a student’s social and
emotional development and reflect the school’s
Community Partners: External agencies,
clinicians and other partners sustain support for
students and constructive collaboration with the
school. Clinical support for Hopetown’s students
will be extended in availability and frequency.
Leaders: Leaders promote a culture of therapeutic
student support, professional effectiveness of all
school members and continual improvement. Take
positive steps to provide a safe environment
focussed on the wellbeing of both staff and
Staff will be trained in the delivery of
mindfulness-based exercises designed to
increase capacities for focussed attention,
emotional regulation, self-reflection,
resilience and other intrapersonal
All staff are trained in Trauma Informed
Practice in Schools, conflict resolution,
crisis and behaviour management,
elements of Positive Psychology
Identify and implement the use of an
assessment tool to develop
comprehensive diagnostic profiles of social
and emotional states.
Develop mechanisms to improve the
quality, frequency and efficacy of
counsellor and clinical support for all
Professional Learning for staff in Positive
Partnerships to enhance support for
parents and students.
Evaluation Plan
This school plan will be measured against the
milestones and monitored by executive and
whole-school staff, e.g. SENTRAL referral data,
every 5 weeks by executive, every term by staff.
Emotional Literacy data, Term 1 and Term 4 by
all homeroom teachers.
PLASST profiles, Term 1 and Term 4 by
homeroom teachers.
Products and Practices
Increased student engagement and selfregulation evidenced by the number of
weekly negative referrals decreasing by
10% each term.
80% of students will show an annual
increase of at least one Score Band in
each domain of their Emotional Literacy
Student capacities for sustained focussed
attention, self-awareness and emotional
regulation will be assessed and quantified
against a worldwide recognised
assessment tool.
100% of students will have profiles from
the new DEC Personalised Learning and
Support Signposting Tool (PLASST) to
help the school gauge and monitor
student personal and learning strengths
and needs.
All staff model and reinforce school
expectations of safety, respect and
responsibility in all aspects of school life.
Counsellor and clinical support is recognised
as essential to student development
Every student and staff member will practice
Mindfulness activities daily to raise awareness
of thoughts, feelings and actions.
Strategic Direction 2: Students and staff are leaders of their learning.
Products and Practices
To develop a dynamic learning environment that
empowers individuals to be flexible, adaptive,
discerning learners and leaders.
Students: See learning as a personal
responsibility and essential for transformation.
Develop the courage and resilience to view
learning as a challenge and not a threat.
Staff: Recognise the importance of ensuring that
student and staff wellbeing is prioritised and that
the school’s expectations of safety, respect and
responsibility are embedded in all aspects school
Parents/Carers: Support the school by sharing
high expectations, participating positively in
student-centred meetings (e.g. IEP, PLP, ITP) and
maintaining close communication with the school.
Improvement Measures
 Staff are actively engaged in their
Performance and Development Framework.
 Increasing involvement of parent/carer signoff on IEP, PLP and ITP planning meeting
 Ongoing monitoring and plotting of students
on the new literacy and numeracy continuum
(PLAN or SENTRAL) will reflect student
 Staff actively engage with and collaborate
with the AECG and AEO.
Community Partners: External agencies,
members of the Aboriginal community (e.g. AECG)
will engage and work in partnership to improve
student outcomes.
Leaders: Will monitor and promote staff and
student wellbeing. Will build the capacity for all
staff to achieve progress in their profession and
career advancement. Will ensure the maintenance
of a staff focus on student outcomes.
Staff professional learning in all new
syllabus documents, differentiated
programing and delivery, the Quality
Teaching Framework, the Pirozzo matrix,
scaffolding practices and embedding
technology into quality teaching to support
student learning needs.
Selected staff and executive will be trained
in Stronger Smarter and 8 Ways Aboriginal
Pedagogy and pass on training to staff.
100% of staff will develop a Professional
Development Plan (PDP) and provide evidence
of progress towards identified goals.
90% of parents/carers will attend IEP, PLP and
ITP meetings by the end of each year.
100% of students will be plotted and on the
new literacy and numeracy continuum (PLAN)
Teaching staff are provided with
professional learning in DEC and NSW
educational reforms under LSLD.
80% of students will achieve measurable gains
along each continuum when monitored every
Executive and selected staff are trained in
mentoring and coaching aspirants.
Staff attendance at 100% AECG meetings and
feedback to school staff meetings.
Evaluation Plan
Ongoing review and evaluation of targeted
programs that have been implemented to
increase student outcomes.
This school plan will be measured against the
milestones and monitored by executive every
five weeks and by the whole staff every term.
Closely monitor school-based assessment data
and NAPLAN results to analyse student
Hopetown SSP
Staff will consider relevant DEC reforms in the
process of setting personal learning and
leadership goals.
Staff employ the Quality Teaching Framework
with particular emphasis on dimensions of
Significance and Quality Learning
Staff have increased awareness of and ability
to meet learning and social/emotional needs of
Aboriginal students.
Students, staff and carers actively participate in
the development of IEP, PLP, and ITP.
Strategic Direction 3: A community of socially responsible citizens.
To encourage awareness of the individual as part
of a wider society and create a culture of
reciprocal and active concern for the wellbeing of
Students: Need to have a vision beyond selfinterest and to see meaning in being a positive,
contributing part of the school and many other
communities be they local, international or cyber.
A review will be conducted to determine
threats to student and staff welfare at
Hopetown. Review recommendations will
determine relevant school processes.
Staff: Ensure students feel they belong and are
valued at Hopetown, that they can experience
success and that their success will be
acknowledged and celebrated.
Staff will participate in professional
networks. Principal and executive will
maintain active involvement in the Wyong
Learning Community (LMG).
Parents/Carers: Feel they are listened to at
Hopetown. Broaden their goals for post school
outcomes. Encourage student service learning and
student contributions to the school and broader
Inclusion of Service Learning in the stage 5
and 6 curriculum.
The provision of professional learning for
staff in the new DEC wellbeing framework.
Community Partners: Endorse and facilitate
positive student involvement in the community.
Maintain consistent links with the Hopetown school
A review of school suspension options.
The implementation of a program to
prepare students for successful
participation in major off campus activities.
This will include explicit teaching of
teamwork, cooperative games and
activities and group leadership principles.
Improvement Measures
Survey data will show an increase in the
number of parents/carers responding to
Hopetown’s annual school culture,
parent/carer satisfaction survey.
Responses to the above survey will be
‘Always’ or ‘Usually’ indicating strong
community satisfaction levels.
Increasing numbers of Stage 6 students will
be participating in Hopetown’s Work
Experience Program and enrolled in a TVET
course each year.
Increasing numbers of leaving students will
be successfully linked to a post-school
support agency, training organisation or
employer at the time of leaving Hopetown.
Return-from-suspension meeting minutes
will evidence a school commitment to
student and staff welfare.
Increased attendance data reflects student
sense of belonging.
Hopetown SSP
Leaders: Model dynamism and a commitment to
the school vision. Ensure Hopetown has a culture
of collaborative learning, social responsibility and
mutual concern for wellbeing. Ensure that the
school will be as therapeutic a learning
environment as possible with available resources.
Will prioritise staff and student wellbeing.
Products and Practices
Evaluation Plan
This school plan will be measured against the
milestones and monitored by executive and wholeschool staff.
An annual survey of school culture and parent/carer
satisfaction consistent in format with previous years in
order to determine any trends.
Annual Tell Them From Me Teacher, Parent and
Student online surveys.
SENTRAL referral data will be used to determine
improvements in post-suspension student behaviours.
This will be done to evaluate alternative suspension
initiatives and responses. To be monitored by
executive every five weeks.
90% parents/carers respond to Hopetown’s
annual school culture, parent/carer satisfaction
survey with100% of responses to the above
survey including ‘Always’ or ‘Usually’ indicating
strong community satisfaction levels.
100% of return-from-suspension meeting
minutes will evidence a school commitment to
student and staff welfare.
Attendance data indicates an increase from
89% to 92% as an indication of a safe learning
environment and student connection.
Service learning will be embedded in stages 5
and 6. This is intended to reinforce a student’s
sense of civic responsibility and communal
The school curriculum provides cooperative
learning opportunities to prepare students for
successful participation in major off and
community campus activities.
Teachers and executive work together on
Wyong Learning Community initiatives to build
and share professional expertise.
Hopetown staff will provide training to visiting
colleagues and to other educational settings in
the broader school community to develop the
capacity of colleagues.
All school communications will support a
cohesive, inclusive and well-informed school
Aboriginal parents and students feel welcome,
valued and integral to the school community.

School Plan 2015 - 2017 - HopeTown School