Instructional Learning Rounds – newsletter

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Attached is a newsletter explaining the practice, Instructional Learning Rounds.

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International Learning Observations Day 2 July 9 2019

Today our group were collected from the Radisson Blu Hotel to observe learning in classrooms.  The transport for our tour is an air- conditioned coach with wifi.

Half of the group were dropped at Sarojini Nagar School and I travelled with the rest of the group to Moti Bagh school.

Teachers had the opportunity to interact with the polite, respectful, eager students who were very excited to have Australian teachers in their classrooms. We observed learning using the instructional core, teacher, student and content to focus our observations. What are the students saying and doing? What are the teachers saying and doing? What is the content?

Following our morning of non judgemental observations, using no coding or check lists we travelled to Sarojini Nagar to debrief our observations. We wanted to know what was working well at the two schools to support student learning.  Using the instructional core we unpacked and sorted observations, examining the patterns of practice.



We brainstormed the celebrations

  • students ready and eager to learn
  • teachers well prepared
  • learning objectives
  • lesson breaks
  • walls that teach
  • supportive learning environments


The future learning, I wonders included

  • I wonder if teachers used modelling strategies
  • I wonder if students could build on peer comments, use of anchor charts, co constructed
  • I wonder if LISC was used
  • I wonder about higher order thinking skills

Our Australian teachers continued the conversation in the bus back to the hotel, looking forward to co planning the I wonders with colleagues in India.

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International Learning Observations – India Day 1 July 8 2019

In July 2019, 11 teachers from NSW, Australia embarked on a journey of professional growth and to make a difference to the lives of children in disadvantaged communities.

We didn’t choose to visit Singapore or Finland, countries well known for quality educational practices and polices. Instead, our destination of choice, India and observing learning in schools in Delhi and Jaipur. We knew we would be confronted and we knew we needed to take precautions, re water, health and hygiene however we were not prepared for the level of respect, the endearing politeness, the engaging smiles and the overwhelming desire to learn that we observed in the schools.

Our tour organisers, organised the itinerary, accommodation, schools through and we were well looked after by our tour leader, Raj, a coach driver and his assistant.

My role was to design and facilitate the educational practice, International Learning Observations, 4 days observing learning in classrooms. International Learning Observations uses the 7 principles from Instructional Learning Rounds as well as the principles behind high quality Lesson study; co planning and co teaching.

On Day 1 we met in Delhi, India at one of the Radisson Blu hotels, our accommodation for 4 nights. To enter the hotel we needed to have our bags, personal belongings pass through a security checkpoint.

Day 1 was a get to know you afternoon and a time for us to reflect about the two problems of practice

Screenshot 2019-07-13 17.29.57

Using a google docs for online collaboration we created what will we see and hear in classrooms, the Instructional Core, Teacher, Student and Content.


Here are some of our team, Day 1 as we prepared to observe learning in classrooms.


Our theories of action described our front loading and provided a focus for observations on Day 2.

Screenshot 2019-07-13 17.37.15





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Instructional Learning Rounds

This gallery contains 2 photos.

In semester 1 2019, seven Instructional Learning Rounds were facilitated in NSW schools. Feedback from each Rounds day has been collated using Padlet and Mentimeter.   What connected with you today? How will your students know and benefit?  

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International Learning Observations

In 2019 I have partnered with  Pay It Forward Tours to lead global collaboration, Instructional Learning Rounds in India (July), Cambodia (January 2020) and Vietnam (January 2020).

This week 11 educators and I will begin the journey to New Delhi India to observe, reflect and wonder about learning and the impact of teaching. We will be accompanied by Bianca and Brenda, Directors, Pay it Forward Tours, a local guide and a driver.

There will be opportunities to co-plan and co-teach with our Indian colleagues.  We will also experience incredible India and visit Jaipur and Agra. Additional information for Cambodia and Vietnam is Pay It Forward Tours.

You can follow our learning through this blog and regular twitter updates @annbasel.

My adventure begins on Friday 5 July, flight to Tokyo, overnight stay then Saturday 6 July flight to New Delhi, India. Currently the weather in New Delhi will be 38 degrees when I arrive on Saturday, slightly different to the 12 degrees in my rural NSW home town today.

Here are a few of our travellers at the recent Instructional Learning Rounds training.


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Community of Schools for current and aspiring school leaders @COSLead


@COSLead is a networked leadership community for current & aspiring leaders in Sydney, NSW established late 2014 to develop leadership capacity to lead future focused schools and  confident, creative and engaged learners.

What? When?

As of June 2017 180 teachers and leaders participate in 1:1 coaching conversations with @annbasel. These conversations occur in schools from Fairfield, Hoxton, Liverpool, MacArthur and Strathfield networks. Participants are supported to develop and implement Big Ideas (action research) to lead learning, improvement, innovation and change in schools.

Network meetings are held each term where teachers and leaders share, reflect and discuss evidence of leadership practice. In 2017 @COSLead will operate in the virtual space with a leadership twitter chat and a closed Facebook group. The first #COSLead twitter chat is on March 22 at 8:00pm.

The @COSLead twitter account provides access to research related to Big Ideas and is a sharing platform for teachers and leaders.

Topics discussed at Network meetings include

  • Growth Mindset/Fixed Mindset – introduction to Innovator’s Mindset (George Couros)
  • How to give and receive feedback
  • the Australian Professional Standard for Principals including the Leadership Profiles
  • 21st century professional learning
  • the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers
  • How to develop a Big Idea – Innovation, Impact, Implementation & Standard/s
  • Accreditation at the higher levels
  • Evidence & Impact

Some participants are undertaking a significant learning journey of evidence based practice towards accreditation at Highly Accomplished and/or Lead.

Participants are supported to develop leadership knowledge and skills to further career aspirations.

“Great energy, outstanding presentations, culminated with people talking their educational passions, much appreciated”

“@COSLead network meetings provide opportunities to reflect, share, learn, collaborate and create professional contact with whom I can connect with outside of @COSLead for other professional purposes”

“Coaching/mentoring assisted me to determine my destination but more so the pit stops that are necessary along the way; supportive and challenging building my capacity to lead students, teachers and leaders”


For further information contact

Twitter: @annbasel


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Learning through Twitter

Six years ago I embarked on a journey of discovery, meandering my way through social media, in particular Twitter. In the beginning I watched from the side not fully understanding the how’s, what’s and why’s and puzzled as to why some colleagues were avid users of Twitter.

I had set up an account while living and working in glorious Basel, Switzerland, however never really began the journey until as a school leader I needed to experience what others were passionate about. So when a teacher, a committed devotee of Twitter suggested a school twitter account my journey into the unknown began.

Through Twitter I am now connected with educators locally, nationally and globally. I research, read, connect, learn and discover using Twitter. Twitter is a fantastic platform for sharing professional learning and for instant communication with others.

I have promoted and modeled the use of Twitter setting up hash tags to share professional learning. At conferences I use Twitter to take notes and to learn with and from others. You can create a story, connecting all the tweets using the Storify App and share, promote, connect and learn. I can also follow professional learning through tweets sent to designated hash tags even if I’m not a participant. In 2013 a teacher was presenting at an international conference in the United States and I followed the learning! Wow! How powerful!Image

Twitter opens doors for teachers and leaders to share, reflect and learn together with staff tweeting about student learning sharing Genius Hour, PBL and SOLE as well as tweeting staff learning.

I now have three Twitter accounts to share, connect and promote learning @annbasel – my personal account; @iroundsnsw – to connect the NSW Instructional Rounds community and @COSLead – a Community of Schools network for current & aspiring leaders to build leadership capacity through 1:1 coaching and network opportunities.

Not convinced of the value of Twitter? Have a go… begin the journey of discovery!




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Building instructional leadership


In 2013 three public primary school principals in the Fairfield education network, Sydney formed a leadership learning alliance to drive instructional leadership practices of current and aspiring school leaders and improve learning outcomes for our students.

The schools are members of a wider community of schools that currently engage in combined professional learning activities including school development days.  

The three principals, Annette, David and Jan were trained by Professor Richard Elmore to facilitate instructional rounds, a tool for school improvement.  This then became our platform to initiate the rounds process in our schools.

“ We are asking schools to do something they have never done before-educate all students to high levels-and we don’t know how to do that in every classroom for every child.”   Richard Elmore

As we began our learning journey Jan was selected to be the principal of another Sydney school and so our group of three schools became four schools connected and committed to learning together.

Our objectives are to:

  • improve twenty first century pedagogy and enable students to become “successful learners, confident, creative individuals and active informed citizens.” Melbourne Declaration 2008.
  • develop self organized professional learning environments focused on observation, reflection, feedback and collaboration to continually improve teaching and learning.
  • drive the development of leadership capacity of current and emerging school leaders through  mentoring and coaching.

Instructional Rounds (IR) in teaching and learning is based on the model used by the medical profession to recommend treatments for patients. With medical rounds teams of doctors, consisting of interns, residents, supervisors visit patients to observe and discuss the available evidence for diagnosis.

As we reach the end of the 2013 school year the instructional rounds process has been conducted in the four schools.

We have learnt to observe and not judge, learning to see, unlearning to judge; learnt about student engagement and being in task and how to differentiate the curriculum but most of all we have created a networked learning community passionate and committed to improving our professional practices.

You can follow our learning on Twitter #iroundsnsw


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