Literacy and Numeracy
Our literacy program underpins the school’s focus on the individual student and is founded on latest research. Literacy includes daily Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. Speaking and listening is an important feature of all areas of the curriculum. Reading is a strategic and reflective process and instruction encompasses a range of teaching practices based upon individual student needs. These practices include modelled reading, shared reading, guided reading and independent reading. Teachers use these practices to provide explicit instruction in comprehension. Developing a broad range of reading strategies, and understanding how they may be used, supports students to become independent and successful readers.
In Writing, we focus on the development of high quality student writing through consistent teaching practice and exemplary writing instruction. The Writer’s Workshop model is in place across all levels of the school. Students are engaged in purposeful writing and deep thinking. Teachers guide students by demonstrating how to achieve particular purposes, discussing the effectiveness of writers’ choices and giving feedback at all stages of writing. Writing lessons includes explicit whole class instruction, independent writing, conferencing and mini-lessons based on the teaching of grammar, with reference to the Victorian Curriculum. Students are involved in spelling sessions focusing on the key spelling strategies. This consistent investigative approach includes an explicit introduction and time for students to practise using key spelling strategies to develop generalisations in spelling rules.
The implementation of the literacy program is supported by the Literacy AIP Team, made up of teachers from each year level across the school. This team engages in professional learning and ensures that there is consistency across the school. All class teachers are part of the long-term professional learning partnership with educational consultant, Ms Deborah Sukarna. Teaching teams engage in regular coaching to build their knowledge and expertise in reading and writing, ensuring consistent teaching across all levels of the school.
Our Numeracy program aims to develop students who understand and use numbers confidently in a variety of contexts. We want our students to make connections between the big mathematical ideas and be able to explain their thinking. Our program provides opportunities for students to apply their knowledge to real life situations and persist in trying different ways to solve something. Most of all, we want our students to enjoy mathematics.
During each week, all students are involved in ‘toolbox’ lessons, which are skills based and ‘investigations’, which provide opportunities to apply the skills in real life contexts. Students are encouraged to learn from others, use hands-on materials whenever they need to and persist when answers are not immediately obvious.
Each lesson follows the ‘launch-explore-summarise’ structure. Students are introduced to the problem or big idea after a warm-up activity as part of the launch phase. During the explore phase students work individually, in pairs or small groups to find one or more solutions. The teacher uses enabling prompts to help students move their thinking forward and extending prompts to develop the challenge beyond the initial problem. They share their thinking and ideas in the summarise phase, where the teacher helps them make connections between ideas and link new knowledge to existing knowledge.
The implementation of the numeracy program is supported by the Numeracy AIP Team, made up of teachers from each year level across the school. This team engages in professional learning and ensures that there is consistency across the school. All class teachers are part of the long-term professional learning partnership with the Mathematical Association of Victoria. Our MAV coach models and provides feedback on teaching approaches to ensure our program is based on current research and ‘best practice’. This enables our teaching staff to continually improve their practice.