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Data-Driven Teaching creates change for Sedibeng Primary School

“We’re a gem in the middle of Thembisa. A haven for kids, building their potential,” says Lineo Kolobe, Sedibeng Primary School’s Principal. Growing from 600 to more than 1000 learners, the school has seen an incredible evolution in recent years.

“Our teaching methodologies and school management have transformed, and we’ve witnessed the positive effects on our learners and the broader community,” she says.

Kolobe embarked on her teaching career in 2011, starting at Sedibeng, a township school in Thembisa, Gauteng, with just 13 teachers.

Over the years there has been evidence of remarkable growth in her school. Lineo proudly shared: “We’ve grown the school…currently, there’s one principal, two deputies, four Heads of Department (HODs), and 25 post-level one teachers.”

One of the latest programmes the school is investing time in, is the Data Driven Districts (DDD) programme. The DDD programme is about using data and analytics to turn teacher, learner, and management information into actionable analytics.

The data is extracted from the public-school software system offered by the Department of Basic Education, the South African School Administration Management System (SA-SAMS) and is making significant changes to how educators utilise data.

It tracks educator information, learning activity, learner achievement as well as other data such as attendance records. In turn, data insights allow the teaching staff to evolve everything from lesson plans to learning intervention strategies.

Kolobe remembers the cumbersome manual processes that took time away from her true passion, educating. “I remember there would be handwritten reports, there would be handwritten schedules, and we’d spend days on making schedules and balancing them” she says.

Since 2016, DDD helped the school to streamline data capturing, report generation, and performance analysis, significantly reducing administrative burdens.

However, more importantly, it also empowers educators to make informed decisions, providing a holistic understanding of learner performance, enabling targeted interventions to maximise their potential.

The program enables educators to identify at-risk learners, intervene promptly, and tailor support based on individual needs.

Kolobe is now able to transform meetings into curriculum-driven discussions. With concrete data at their fingertips, teachers now able to address core issues based on evidence rather than assumptions.

 

 

One of the program’s standout features is its accessibility and usability. Principals and teachers can manage their schools and learners from anywhere, anytime.

“I was in Japan recently and was able to check my school’s performance even outside the country.” This level of convenience empowers school leaders to monitor progress, track performance, and take informed action regardless of their location.

Sedibeng Primary School stands as a shining example of how data-driven educational initiatives can   transform teaching and learning. Through data enhanced decision-making, they can foster continuous improvement and become a haven of academic excellence.

Kolobe takes immense pride in the academic achievements of Sedibeng Primary School. While sports may not be their forte, they excel in academics, chess, spell-a-thons, and mathematics Olympiads. Kolobe attributes their success to a commitment to academic excellence and an unwavering focus on nurturing students’ potential.

“To see the learners faces to experience their pureness, humility, and love is what drew me or what made me really love the profession. This primary school is my happy place. It’s home for me.”

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