From a previous edition of Meliora Sequamur

BGS introduced coaching six years ago to increase student engagement, which research shows is a prerequisite to learning success.

Over a coaching cycle, teachers have improved student engagement from 70 to 85 per cent, the equivalent of increasing teaching time by up to 20 per cent and making a significant difference to student outcomes.

Staff meet weekly with staff coaches who conduct training, to discuss their teaching practices and to find ways to improve them. More than 80 per cent of the teaching staff at BGS have worked with a coach over the last two and a half years.

(L) Anna Ladas and (R) Claire Clarke

With Raelene Plozza as her coach, Adrienne Mewett has been able to try different strategies with her classes and experiment in a way she might not have been able to do on her own.

Adrienne is clearly excited by the opportunities offered by the coaching program – to collaborate with other teachers, try out new practices and improve her own skills. She has never felt judged during the process, she says, because the focus of the program is staff working together for the benefit of the boys.

Year 5 Teacher Cindy van Dijk has taught at BGS for 15 years and has trained as a coach with Dr Jim Knight from the University of Kansas, on whose research the techniques are based.

She believes that coaching is about ‘excellent conversations’. The teaching staff recognise the valuable opportunity that BGS is offering through the coaching program, and they’re making the most of it.

‘Teachers tend to be the type of people who are keen to improve,’ she says. Through coaching, they’re experiencing tangible improvements in the classroom and seeing the evidence in the boys’ results. Surely this, after all, is what teaching is about.

What does a great teacher look like?

Top 10 characteristics that effective teachers all share.


Is handwriting relevant in today’s digital age?

Research shows that writing by hand activates the parts of the brain influencing memory, impulse control, and attention.


Why you should read aloud to boys

Reading regularly sends the message that reading is worthwhile.