Danebank is a community that values learning and excellence in all aspects of life, and our teachers model this for our students every day by embracing a range of professional learning opportunities.

Research shows that quality teaching is the single most significant school-based influence on student outcomes. Ongoing professional learning for teachers is a key way that Danebank ensures our students continue to experience engaging and powerful learning.

Teacher professional learning at Danebank recognises and celebrates our teachers as research-informed practitioners who know and understand their impact on students. Our professional learning program also supports our wider school culture of learning and wellbeing for the whole Danebank community.

Here are three key ways in which Danebank supports great teaching in every classroom.


    Over the last 18 months we have worked to develop professional learning structures that prioritise time for teachers to work together: sharing, collaborating and supporting each other. With so many demands on teachers’ time, it is important that we set aside and value time to have conversations about our teaching practice and about student learning.

    These opportunities for reflection and collaboration help teachers develop rich and rewarding programs for student learning, and provide opportunities for teachers to support and learn from one another. Collaboration time, when combined with opportunities to engage with and discuss educational research can be a particularly powerful professional learning experience (Darling-Hammond et al., 2017). That’s why teachers at Danebank are supported in their learning by access to contemporary research and resources through our Professional Learning Portal - a resource built to connect teachers to academic and practitioner research in a range of different areas including meta learning, student wellbeing and assessment.

    As teachers, we know that the best learning occurs for our students when there is flexibility, creativity and differentiated opportunities to learn in a variety of ways. Teacher professional learning is no different, and staff at Danebank are able to engage in a range of both required and elective professional learning that is relevant to their role, career stage and individual goals. Some examples of this include:

    • Staff book club encouraging professional reading and reflection
    • Elective staff professional learning groups
    • Specialist professional learning experiences for Middle Leaders
  2. Our professional learning integrates research on wellbeing

    Professional learning is not only about improving teaching practice, it’s also about supporting staff wellbeing and promoting a sense of belonging in our community. When we spend meaningful time together as a staff, we form positive relationships and a greater capacity to flourish in our roles.

    Since 2021 our staff have undertaken extensive and rigorous professional learning as part of our accreditation as a Visible Wellbeing school, under the guidance of Professor Lea Waters from Melbourne University. Staff have learnt how to integrate wellbeing practices into every classroom, and also how to use these practices in our professional learning meetings to support our own and our colleague’s wellbeing.

    We employ an understanding of a strengths-based approach in the development of our professional goals and staff have insight into their own and their colleague’s strengths, assisting in the development of high functioning teaching teams where staff feel a deep sense of success in their work.

    As a Visible Wellbeing school, we have also integrated wellbeing practices not only into our teaching, but also into our meeting structures and professional learning culture.

  3. Our professional learning is focused on teacher practice

    Ask any teacher, and they will tell you that the magic happens when they are working with their students in the classroom. There is a particular kind of magic alchemy to great teaching that is hard to explain unless you are there to experience it, and that’s why a key aspect of our professional learning supports our teachers to learn from their own and others’ teaching practice through their every day teaching.

    In 2022 we have piloted the use of Quality Teaching Rounds, a model of professional learning pioneered by researchers at the University of Newcastle in which teachers engage in rounds of research, lesson observation and reflection and feedback. Quality Teaching Rounds are backed by extensive research and validation in large scale studies and have been demonstrated to have a measurable positive impact on student achievement (Gore et al, 2020).

    Staff who have engaged in Quality Teaching Rounds in 2022 say it has been an immensely powerful and exciting model of learning, which has allowed our teachers to reflect on the nature of quality pedagogy across both the Junior and Senior School.

    Similarly, as we implement our Danebank Approach to Learning, we do so with a very clear focus on refining and enhancing teaching practice in our P-12 classrooms. We have used the model of Teaching Sprints (Breakspear & Jones, 2021) to support teachers in engaging in structured reflection on the impact of the Approach to Learning on their teaching and student learning.

    Importantly, these models of professional learning also model for our students the process of learning and that teachers too, are on a learning journey (Claxton et al, 2011).Our staff are role models for our students in the way they show a love of learning, the high value we place on personal excellence and the joy and reward that comes from personal challenge.

  • Breakspear, S. and Jones, B. Teaching Sprints: How Overloaded Educators Can Keep Getting Better, Corwin, 2021
  • Claxton, G., Chambers, M., Powell, G., Lucas, . The Learning Powered School: Pioneering 21st Century Educaiton, TLO, 2011.
  • Darling-Hammond, L., Hyler, M. E., & Gardner, M. (2017). Effective Teacher Professional Development. Retrieved from the Learning Policy Institute website: https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/produc t-files/Effective_Teacher_Professional_Development_REPORT.pdf
  • Gore, J., Miller, A., Fray, L., Harris, J., & Prieto, E. (2021). Improving student achievement through professional development: Results from a randomised controlled trial of Quality Teaching Rounds. Teaching and Teacher Education, 101, Article 103297. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2021.103297
  • Waters, L. (2020). SEARCH: A meta-framework for bringing wellbeing into schools. Independence Journal.