skip to main content
Kay Smith

Kay Smith

Craigmore High School, SA

The case for co-design: Improving achievement, attendance and engagement

This presentation will look at how the Teaching for Effective Learning (TfEL) framework and a range of co-design activities can be used to increase the academic achievement and engagement of all students regardless of their educational level. 

This presentation will unpack how teachers and leaders at Craigmore High School co-designed learning for improved educational outcomes starting from 2015. It will explore how teachers can work with individual students and classes, as well as how leaders can support staff and students to create a partnership of schools to improve the educational opportunities for all.

The TfEL Framework is made up of four domains with several elements under each one to support effective teaching. The framework was developed following five years of research, observations and interviews with students, teachers and educational leaders.

The school-based action research that produced data for this presentation was generated at Craigmore High School and across the Uleybury Partnership in Northern Adelaide.

The data encompasses academic achievement in the form of results from ACER Progressive Achievement Tests in Reading and Mathematics, as well as teacher grading of student work across cohorts. Anecdotal data from students and staff is used to support claims of improved engagement, and attendance data from the school to support increased attendance rates. The project considers qualitative data from individual student and teacher reflections on participating in the process of co-design.

The outcomes of this project include:

  • increased attendance and academic achievement from previously low achievers
  • increased academic achievement of students to stretch their thinking
  • improves student metacognitive skills
  • student and teacher engagement in the creation of co-design communities.

This presentation will discuss recommendations including:

  • how leaders can support their staff to take risks that involve bringing students into conversations around learning and the learning of their peers
  • how teachers can stretch their thinking and their pedagogy to find a place in their professional practice that allows for students to move beyond being the receiver of knowledge to a co-designer of knowledge
  • how teachers can apply their created knowledge to relevant, real-world challenges and passions that engage, inspire and ultimately create strong learning communities.

Participants in this presentation will receive a copy of the data and the tools that have been used to support teachers, students and leaders in this journey.

Professional practice


Kay Smith is a passionate educator. Over the past 18 years of teaching, she has discovered that the most effective way to engage young people in education is through relationships, positivity and relevance. She believes that at the very heart of education is the idea that young people own their own learning in their own contexts, and that teachers play a role in creating safe learning spaces where the facilitation of rich, positive learning experiences can occur. Kay also loves cats.

Need more information?

Administration & General Enquiries

Margaret Taylor
19 Prospect Hill Road (Private Bag 55)
Camberwell VIC 3124 Australia
Phone: +61 3 9277 5403
Fax: +61 3 9277 5544

Sponsorship Opportunitities

Daniela Buehrig
Manager | ACER Sales
Phone: +61 3 9277 5331

Download the EPPC 2017 Sponsorship Prospectus


General enquiries: +61 3 9277 5555 (Melbourne)
Locations: Australia | India | Indonesia | UAE | United Kingdom