Participating in PLCs: develop and plan

​Impact questions, indicators and key actions for school leaders, instructional leaders and teachers to use during the ‘develop and plan’ phase of the Framework for improving student outcomes (FISO) improvement cycle.

During this phase, professional learning communities (PLCs):

  • evaluate their current curriculum content and design learning programs based on evidence- based frameworks like the Victorian Teaching and Learning Model and the Victorian Curriculum
  • incorporate ongoing formative assessments and use student learning data to plan for differentiation so that individual student learning needs are supported
  • link professional learning to student learning outcomes and customise it to meet teacher learning needs.

Impact questions and indicators

What curriculum content, learning experiences and teaching approaches will allow students to achieve their learning goals?

PLCs are enabled when we:

  • have in-depth knowledge of the learning progressions in literacy and numeracy and are familiar with the requirements relevant to our respective areas of specialisation and curriculum
  • ensure student input into curriculum planning, teaching strategies and assessment
  • design student-driven authentic learning experiences that empower students to take control of and responsibility for their learning
  • collaboratively experiment and trial teaching innovations through a process of disciplined professional inquiry.

How will we provide targeted support or extension for individual students?

PLCs are enabled when we:

  • demonstrate inclusion and celebrate diversity, ensuring that every student has access to meaningful learning experiences accessible through multiple entry points and differentiation
  • use detailed analyses of student outcomes data to design programs of challenge and support tailored to each student
  • build in processes for the early identification of learning needs and for timely intervention at point of need
  • ensure student voice is integral to determining appropriate levels of challenge and support.

How will we assess learning?

PLCs are enabled when we:

  • assess students’ prior knowledge and engage them in understanding their dispositions towards learning
  • incorporate ongoing formative assessment processes that enable students to self-assess and collect evidence of progress
  • have processes that enable students to negotiate assessment methods and success criteria relevant to their learning goals
  • plan for evidence of outcomes to be derived from multiple sources including student perception, student learning data and summative data.

What professional learning do we need?

PLCs are enabled when we:

  • customise professional learning, differentiated to teacher needs and linked to student outcomes data
  • plan professional learning that incorporates different approaches and multiple sources of feedback (e.g. classroom observation, feedback from students, coaching and action research)
  • continuously focus on aspects of learning, diagnosis, interventions, pedagogy and curriculum
  • differentiate resources based on need
  • accommodate adult learning preferences e.g. job-related, directly applicable and known to have impact.

Key actions

School leaders

  • develop a whole-school pedagogical approach, based on evidence-based frameworks like the Victorian Teaching and Learning Model, which reflects the vision and values of the school
  • identify common areas for staff professional development and create and support professional learning opportunities for specific PLCs and for all staff.

Instructional leaders

  • contribute to and communicate the aims and features of evidence-based frameworks like the Victorian Teaching and Learning Model to teachers and make links between this and the PLCs’ specific focus for inquiry
  • research ways to build teaching repertoire through evidence-based practices, communicate these to the PLC team and share these with other instructional leaders.


  • design learning programs based on evidence- based frameworks like the Victorian Teaching and Learning Model
  • identify areas for further professional development and participate in peer observation, planning and gathering student feedback.

Find out more

These resources and tools will help you to implement these rigorous practices in schools.