Making an Impact

Making an Impact

by Craig Coutts, Head of School, and Charles Jack, Chair - YIS Board of Directors

Happy New Year to you all! We hope you all had a wonderful winter break and you were able to have the opportunity to connect with family and friends. It has been a wonderful start to the new term and people are very keen to take advantage of their replenished energy levels, with many activities and events on the calendar in the coming weeks that we hope you will all take advantage of.

Over the past year or so, the school has been engaged in the process of developing a new strategic plan for the school, which we are calling our Impact Strategy. As a school, we are always looking at pushing ourselves for continual improvement, and as the name suggests, we want to make improvements that will have a positive impact on learning for all students, make us a better school, and create more opportunities for learning for all of our community. We are very secure, happy and proud of who we are as a school. We have a strong Mission and Values coupled with a well developed learning program, and it is our responsibility as a school to strive for continual improvement and to ensure we are learning and growing as individuals, and as an educational institution. 

The Impact Strategy is complex in its content and depth of impact for all students and our community and is the result of over twelve months of research involving all sections of our community. It has taken into consideration the needs of our students as learners, who we are as a school and what we want to improve, changes and developments in education, and responds to community and societal contexts and needs. 

Below is the overview of the Impact Statements which are the focus areas of development, and the Evidence of Impact (what will be different because of the developments). This is the framework we will use as we work through our planning and will be used by focus groups who will be formed within the school and who will be creating Impact Plans over the coming months which will form the roadmap of growth. 

Diversity and Inclusion: All students use their skills, knowledge, understandings and dispositions to create safety and belonging for themselves and others in our diverse and inclusive community.

  • Students advocate for self and others to create positive change
  • Students and adults create an inclusive and respectful environment through their behaviours and language 
  • Students create an inclusive community through their conscious choice to understand perspectives, cultures and backgrounds
  • Students understand the systemic structures and inherent bias and take action that contributes to positive change
  • Students take action to contribute to positive change beyond their own community


Leadership and Impact: All students have the skills, knowledge, understandings and dispositions to make a difference through their impact and leadership.

  • Students choose to act in a way that makes a positive difference for others
  • Students actively use their learning to develop leadership and have impact
  • Students engage in authentic reflection of impact, identifying growth and goals
  • Students have the opportunity to contribute to the development of policies and decision making

Autonomy: All students have the skills, knowledge, understandings and dispositions to demonstrate autonomy in their learning.

  • Students have the opportunities to co–design their learning
  • Students have opportunities to make choices about how they demonstrate their learning
  • Students take responsibility for well being in their lives and their connections with others
  • Students intentionally transfer and apply their learning in the YIS context and beyond


Learning from Each Other: Our YIS community actively engage in learning from, and with, each other in order to improve learning.

  • Students connect across the school to improve learning through shared experiences
  • Our inclusive and systematic program includes learning engagements for all members of our community
  • Connections are made within the community to improve and enhance learning 
  • Staff engage in and share Professional Learning to improve learning for students


Sustainability: All members of the YIS community take responsibility for the sustainability of our school, the community and beyond.

  • Everyone in the YIS community takes action to ensure environmental sustainability at YIS and support environmental sustainability in our community and beyond
  • Roles and responsibilities within YIS support the sustainability of the organization to improve learning for all students
  • Systems and processes within YIS support the sustainability of the organization to improve for all students
  • YIS Boards and Leadership ensure long term financial stability and sustainability

This is an exciting time for us as a school as we take advantage of our new facilities and continue to facilitate learning opportunities for our students and our community. Education is a fast and ever-changing environment, and as schools have greater access to research on learning, we adapt and grow based on this research, our context and the needs of our learners at YIS. We are incredibly lucky to have such a caring and invested community that gets involved in our school, wishes to be part of its continual growth and is focused on what is best for students at YIS and our community.