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 School Improvement:  Agreements
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Agreements are  the basis for working together at RPS. These agreements are to do with purposes, outcomes and acceptable ways and means to achieve them.


The late Gilroy Ashdown, long term senior staff member and occasional Principal of Riverside Primary School, provided the following legacy and summary for us all

  • "Be yourself,
  • Be your best
  • And never give up!!"

The School is a purposeful community. In a community people belong 
which means that everyone 

  • contributes to achieving the purposes
  • benefits from achieving the purposes of the school community.


Agreements are best based on principles that apply to all. 
Examples from RPS

  1. Our vision is for everyone to be
    1. Happy
    2. Confident
    3. Learning (and working and playing) well
  2. Our set of purposes (our mission/goals) is for everyone to be
    1. Competent
    2. Caring
    3. Just
    4. Wise
  3. One set of tasks: everyone to be a
    1. Teacher
    2. Learner and
    3. Carer 
  4. One ‘job’ description for all
    1. Know what is happening (and what is to be achieved)
    2. Work with others to improve things (including do your own work)
    3. Make it easier for the next person to do well
  5. One set of ‘school rules’
    1. No harm to self others or property
    2. No disruption to work or play
    3. No offence to others|
  6. ‘Tribes’ agreements
    1. Mutual respect
    2. Attentive listening
    3. Show appreciation - No putdowns
    4. Right to pass
    5. Attention to task (added by RPS)
  7. (At RPS) Class / School Agreements are
    1. Based on ‘Tribes’ agreements
    2. Negotiated / negotiable
    3. Agreed
    4. Confirmed (signed)
    5. Binding on all, everywhere
    6. Applied (in class and elsewhere)
    7. Reviewed & refined
    8. Celebrated

Things to Change - these (or similar) agreements will help change

  • Rules to principles
  • Roles to relationships
  • Directions to dialogue
  • Control to agreement
  • Policy to understanding
  • Bossing to leadership


How to achieve these Changes

  • Open and transparent school / class operations
  • Information freely and readily available
  • Accept reality (good, bad or indifferent) as the safest starting point
  • Continuous improvement everywhere
  • Class/school agreements
  • Teams / Peer Support / SRC
  • Program Achieve (the individual means)
  • Encourage initiative - decent, skilled and intelligent people can be trusted
  • Start with staff !!!

PS. It’s fun, it is human and it works (most of the time !!) - Have fun & do well !!