Practice principles for excellence in teaching and learning

​​​The nine new principles for excellence in teaching and learning provides a starting point for a close analysis of your professional practice.

The new Practice Principles for Excellence in Teaching and Learning is the recommended approach for schools and has replaced Principles of Learning and Teaching (PoLT).

The practice principles

The Practice Principles articulate how teachers can deliver the curriculum and engage students.
They are designed to link directly to a school’s documented teaching and learning program, which outlines what is to be taught, and the approach to assessment, which helps teachers determine student learning needs and how students can demonstrate their levels of understanding. Each Principle is supported by a theory of action that describes how the work of teachers can generate improved student learning over time. It explains the specific changes that can be expected and creates a brief evidence-based synopsis.

Principle 1: High expectations for every student promote intellectual engagement and self-awareness

Action 1.1

Teachers convey high expectations of learning, effort and engagement for all students

Action 1.2

Teachers co-design aspirational goals with students

Action 1.3

Teachers ensure all students’ cultural backgrounds, needs and abilities are recognised and addressed in the learning program

Action 1.4

Teachers build student capacity to monitor and evaluate their own progress and achievement

Link to FISO

Principle 1: high expectations links to, FISO: Priority: Positive climate for learning

Evidence, Engagement Activities and Resources

To find out more about this Principle, please access the printable resource available at the end of the page.

Principle 2: A supportive and productive learning environment promotes inclusion and collaboration

Action 2.1

Teachers build quality relationships that enhance student engagement, self-confidence and growth as a learner

Action 2.2

Teachers ensure all students’ cultural backgrounds, needs and abilities are recognised and addressed in the learning program

Action 2.3

Teachers develop student capacity to collaborate

Action 2.4

Teachers maintain an energised and focused learning environment

Link to FISO

Principle 2: high expectations links to, FISO: Priority: Positive climate for learning

Evidence, Engagement Activities and Resources

To find out more about this Principle, please access the printable resource available at the end of the page.

Principle 3: Student voice, agency and leadership empower students and build school pride

Action 3.1

Teachers empower students to have a democratic voice in the running of the communities in which they learn

Action 3.2

Teachers provide opportunities for students to exercise authentic agency in their own learning

Action 3.3

Teachers provide leadership opportunities

Action 3.4

Teachers build school pride and connectedness

Link to FISO

Principle 3: high expectations links to, FISO: Priority: Positive climate for learning

Evidence, Engagement Activities and Resources

To find out more about this Principle, please access the printable resource available at the end of the page.

Principle 4: Curriculum planning and implementation engages and challenges all students

Action 4.1

Teachers place student needs at the centre of program planning and delivery

Action 4.2

Teachers collaboratively design and implement a scope and sequence of learning

Action 4.3

Teachers regularly review and update learning programs in line with school curriculum plans

Link to FISO

Principle 4 links to, FISO: Priority: Excellence in teaching and learning

Evidence, Engagement Activities and Resources

To find out more about this Principle, please access the printable resource available at the end of the page.

Principle 5: Deep learning challenges students to construct and apply new knowledge

Action 5.1

Teachers design learning programs to explicitly build deep levels of thinking and application

Action 5.2

Teachers support students to explore the construction of knowledge

Action 5.3

Teachers support students to be reflective, questioning and self-monitoring learners

Link to FISO

Principle 5 links to, FISO: Priority: Excellence in teaching and learning

Evidence, Engagement Activities and Resources

To find out more about this Principle, please access the printable resource available at the end of the page.

Principle 6: Rigorous assessment practices and feedback inform teaching and learning

Action 6.1

Teachers design authentic, fit for purpose assessments to reflect the learning program and objectives

Action 6.2

Teachers use assessment data to diagnose student learning needs and plan for learning

Action 6.3

Teachers provide regular feedback to students on their progress against individual learning goals and curriculum standards

Action 6.4

Teachers analyse student achievement data to improve their practice

Link to FISO

Principle 6 links to, FISO: Priority: Excellence in teaching and learning

Evidence, Engagement Activities and Resources

To find out more about this Principle, please access the printable resource available at the end of the page.

Principle 7: Evidence-based strategies drive professional practice improvement

Action 7.1

Teachers evaluate the impact of teaching on learning by analysing multiple sources of data

Action 7.2

Teachers identify and target areas for professional learning

Action 7.3

Teachers draw on current research and use an inquiry improvement cycle

Action 7.4

Teachers challenge and support each other to improve practice

Link to FISO

Principle 7 links to, FISO: Priority: Excellence in teaching and learning

Evidence, Engagement Activities and Resources

To find out more about this Principle, please access the printable resource available at the end of the page.

Principle 8: Global citizenship is fostered through real world contexts for learning

Action 8.1

Teachers support students to explore their role as global citizens

Action 8.2

Teachers model and facilitate use of digital tools and resources to access, use and share learning

Action 8.3

Teachers and students co-design learning that connects to real world contexts

Action 8.4

Teachers and students collaborate in learning partnerships in and beyond the school

Link to FISO

Principle 8 links to, FISO: Priority: Community engagement in learning

Evidence, Engagement Activities and Resources

To find out more about this Principle, please access the printable resource available at the end of the page.

Principle 9: Partnerships with parents and carers enhance student learning

Action 9.1

Teachers establish open and sustained communications with parents/carers

Action 9.2

Teachers seek and use parents/carers knowledge and feedback

Action 9.3

Teachers facilitate parental/carer involvement in education within the classroom, school and beyond

Link to FISO

Principle 9 links to, FISO: Priority: Community engagement in learning

Evidence, Engagement Activities and Resources

To find out more about this Principle, please access the printable resource available at the end of the page.

Printable guide

Victorian government schools and teachers can order hard copies of the of the Practice Principles guide at our resources for Victorian government schools page.  

Practice principles poster

This poster presents the Practice principles in an easy to print overview table.

A3 Practice principles poster (pdf - 126.08kb)

The principles and FISO

The principles focus on three Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) state-wide priorities.

  • Positive climate for learning
  • Excellence in teaching and learning
  • Community engagement in learning.

To find out more about FISO, see: Framework for Improving Student Outcomes

Diagnostic tools

The Diagnostic tools are designed to support teachers and school leaders to reflect on the Practice Principles and engage in collaborative practice development.

The following tools are currently available for use in schools:

  • Guided whole-school reflection activity
  • Guided teacher self-reflection activities.

To access the tools, download:

Additional diagnostic tools are currently being developed for the Practice Principles for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and will be published on this page in 2018.

Essential resources

Professional Practice Note 8 resources

Professional Practice Note 13 resources

FISO and case studies

Case studies

Fairfield Primary School

Fairfield Primary School's acting principal, discusses how they are using the Practice Principles as a common language to drive excellence in their teaching practices:

Brighton Primary School

In this video, Brighton Primary School talks about how they are embedding the practice principles and high impact teaching strategies into their core business practices:

The principles and VEYLDF

Teachers working in the early years of primary school will also refer to the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) Practice Principles, bringing coherence to our education system and ensuring continuity of learning across education settings and developmental stages.

To find out more about VEYLDF, see: Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework

Early Years of School:
Connecting the VEYLDF with the practice principles for excellence in teaching and learning

Get in touch

Practice principles for excellence in teaching and learning is currently released in draft form. For further information and feedback, contact: professional.practice@edumail.vic.gov.au