A message from the Director
Welcome to The University of Melbourne Network of Schools (UMNOS). Involvement in UMNOS is an opportunity for all Australian schools to work in partnership with the University’s globally-recognised researchers. This unique collaboration centres around a shared commitment to evidence-based practice to make an impact on student outcomes and experience.
We are excited to announce that in 2020 schools will have access to the University’s expertise in a range of emergent areas of educational practice, including:
- Assessing, Teaching and Micro-credentialing Complex Competencies and General Capabilities
- Mastering Formative Assessment, Reporting and Developmental Learning Progressions
- Leading Pedagogy for Student Voice and Agency
- Improving Student Outcomes in Reading, Writing and Mathematics
We now invite schools to review the membership options available and to apply to join UMNOS in 2020. The key criteria for membership is a school leadership team’s deep commitment to collaboration and using research to lead improvement in teaching and learning.
The UMNOS team is absolutely committed to building productive partnerships between the University and school leaders, using researched practice to lead innovation in schools. We hope to be working with you and your school in 2020 and beyond.
Angela Pollock, Director of UMNOS
What is UMNOS?
The University of Melbourne Network of Schools (UMNOS) is a unique opportunity for shared learning amongst schools. Member schools gain access to the University’s world class academics and researchers, and the cumulative experience of a network of over a hundred schools from across the country.
Every school is different, and every UMNOS member school collaborates on a unique program tailored to their specific priorities and focused areas of improvement.
Our focus areas:
- Mastering formative assessment, reporting and developmental learning progressions.
School leaders and staff are supported to transform the assessment and reporting practices of their school, becoming leading practitioners in developmental assessment across all areas of the curriculum.
- Assessing, teaching and micro-credentialing complex competencies and general capabilities.
A key focus is on improving students’ attainment in communication, critical and creative thinking, social and emotional learning, entrepreneurship and ethical understanding. Digital micro-credentials will be developed so students can showcase their attainments.
- Pedagogy for student voice and agency.Leaders and teachers are supported to use evidence in developing authentic student voice and agency within their school, empowering genuine student participating in learning through improved pedagogical knowledge and co-design skills.
- Improving student outcomes in reading and writing. By focusing on progressive theories and effective practical strategies, school staff can build capacity to teach, practice and deliver feedback to students on their reading and writing.
- Improving student outcomes in mathematics.
By understanding common measures of numeracy and mathematical skill, leaders and teachers can build their capacity to apply improved content pedagogic knowledge and diagnose and act upon the effectiveness of learning experiences in mathematics.
I think we have a truly wonderful opportunity to make a difference but we need to do it together. That's the point of the network." Professor John Hattie
A year in the UMNOS journey consists of face-to-face seminar days hosted at the University, as well as online engagement and professional learning to enable schools to continue working with the University and each other between seminars.
Your school will gain access to:
Exclusive seminar days
The eight seminar days include keynote presentations and workshops from leading academics sharing research on school improvement, future directions of education and policy, and focus group initiatives (including assessing and teaching complex competencies, embedding a growth mindset in staff and students, empowering student voice, improving student performance in reading, writing and mathematics).
You will be invited to undertake tours to Network schools and schools excelling in focus areas, as well as undertake collaborative networking and problem-solving with a wide range of schools from different sectors.
A Critical Friend
Each school is assigned a Critical Friend who works closely with the school leadership and UMNOS School Coordinator. The Critical Friend will communicate regularly with the UMNOS School Coordinator to provide resources, professional learning and advice. Schools may invite the Critical Friend to visit and work onsite for the equivalent of one day per year.
Online networking and learning
Online professional learning sessions and consultations are conducted with the Critical Friend and focus group members. You will also have online access to all presentations and resources, online networking opportunities for collaboration between schools and online learning modules to build the leadership capacity of the School UMNOS Coordinator.
To become a part of the Network, you must contribute $16,830* per year for three years.
*Please note the University reviews fees annually. The fees will include an indexation of 5 per cent per annum
As members, schools need to commit to consistent attendance throughout the three-year period and it is imperative that a school’s leadership team is committed to the Network. As professional trust is a cornerstone of effective collaboration, schools are expected to commit to sharing their local data within the Network. Schools are also asked to:
- Nominate a team of up to four school leaders (Principal, Assistant Principal, Instructional coach, Learning Specialist, etc) for consistent attendance throughout the three-year program.
- Appoint an UMNOS Coordinator and provide an allotment of time for them to lead the UMNOS action plan, build whole-staff capacity to respond to improvement focus and work with individual teachers on their planning, pedagogy and curriculum. They will also be responsible for evaluating data for network and school outcomes. Traditionally, schools have given this role a 0.5 time allotment but this may vary depending on the size of the school.
- Host a school visit wherein schools within the same focus area will tour and work on your site. Catering will be covered.
- Commit to travelling to visit Network and other recommended schools on UMNOS seminar days.
- Pay an annual network fee.
Friends of UMNOS
Schools not ready to commit to the full membership program are invited to register as Friends of UMNOS.
As part of the one-year Friends of UMNOS program, schools are invited to:
- Nominate up to four school leaders to attend an UMNOS seminar day in Term 1.
- Submit annual student performance data for analysis by University of Melbourne’s leading academics.
- Attend the 2020 Showcase, in which member schools share the outcomes of the successful school improvement strategies they’ve developed through UMNOS membership.
Schools can become Friends of UMNOS for a one-off contribution of $4,800*.
*Please note the University reviews fees annually.
The UMNOS story so far
‘It's a collaboration not a course’
Evaluation of the effectiveness of the University of Melbourne Network of Schools 2014-17: A report by Dr Elizabeth Hartnell-Young and Dr Nives Nibali and Assessment Research Centre (ARC), Melbourne Graduate School of Education.
Over ninety schools were involved in UMNOS from 2014 to 2017. This report tells the story so far.
We are grateful to all those UMNOS participants – school leaders, University experts and Critical Friends – who contributed their comments and suggestions to this report.
- “It was a fantastic learning opportunity, and a unique opportunity to network with schools that were ready to learn from one another and collaborate at a high level.”
- “The concept of people sharing their journeys and the opportunity to meet and greet with people within our network and beyond, really opened our eyes to different approaches. And yes, I think it stopped us getting stagnant.”
- “I was able to immerse myself deeply in instructional leadership opportunities - it’s helped me in my own understanding of effective leadership.”
Who you will learn from:
For your calendar:
Our UMNOS Showcase Day will be on Thursday 31st October 2019.
We invite all members of the UMNOS network past and present to join us at the Melbourne Convention Centre for a day of celebration, and to hear our 2017 graduating cohort describe the challenges they’ve faced and progress they’ve made over the past three years.
We will also hear from some of our 2019 schools about the evaluation methods that they are developing that will help them credential the general capabilities. Invitations will be sent out to all participating schools soon.
Talk to us about how UMNOS can help you and your school. To make an enquiry, please e-mail us at TL-Networkofschools@unimelb.edu.au