Our Pedagogical Framework is based on six key principles of effective schools:
- student centred planning
- high expectations
- aligned curriculum and pedagogy
- evidenced based decision making
- explicit teaching
- supportive school environment.
Our teaching and learning cycle outlines the teaching and learning implemented by teachers in our classrooms, cycling through building field knowledge to deconstructing, joint construction and independent construction. This cycle is informed by ongoing assessment and differentiation to meet the needs of individual learners.
We use highly effective, research-based approaches and methods for teaching, drawing on the research analysis of Professor John Hattie and education experts including John Fleming, Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey and Anita Archer.
The following practices, resources and events support teaching and learning:
- Explicit instruction
- Warm ups – rehearsal and practice
- Student learning data collection, analysis and response
- Michael Heggarty's Phonemic Awareness
- Jolly Phonics
- Magic Words sight words
- Spelling Mastery
- PM and Probe Benchmarking
- Sheena Cameron’s Reading Comprehension Strategies
- Cameron & Dempsey’s The Writing Book
- Seven Steps to Writing Success
- Guided reading
- Concrete-pictorial-abstract phases of mathematical development
- Elementary Maths Mastery
- Capon to develop Prep students’ gross motor skills
- Whole school subscriptions to Mathletics and Reading Eggs
- Interhouse and Interschool Readers Cup
- Ipswich and Western Brisbane Maths Teams Challenge
- Maths Olympiad
- ICAS Assessments for Year 3-6 students in English, Mathematics and Science
- Pullenvale Environmental Education Centre’s experiential learning programs
Every day, our teachers lead students in revision of literacy and numeracy concepts in warm up sessions of up to 15 minutes. The purpose of warm ups is to:
- consolidate previously taught skills
- automatise learning so that the answer is known within the click of a finger, without time spent thinking
- move learning into long-term memory so that it is retrievable in the future, not forgotten
Warm ups cater for the range of students in the class with different parts the focus for different students.
Our teachers use highly effective explicit instruction to teach new skills.
I do – the teacher demonstrates and explains the skill while students look, listen and think
We do – the teacher and students work together to apply the skill while the teacher checks for understanding to determine if additional modelling or joint practice is needed
You do – students work together or independently to practise the new skill while the teacher monitors their application, providing feedback, correction, additional instruction of needed and adjusted tasks
Jolly Phonics is a fun and child-centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics. With actions for each of the 42 sounds, the multi-sensory method is very motivating for children and teachers, who can see their students achieve. The sounds are taught in a specific order (not alphabetically). This enables children to begin building words as early as possible.
The five skills taught in Jolly Phonics:
- Learning the sounds - taught in Prep, revised in Year 1 and Year 2.
Children are taught the 42 main sounds. This includes alphabet sounds as well as digraphs such as sh, th, ai and ue.
- Learning letter formation – taught in Prep, revised in Year 1 and Year 2
Using different multi-sensory methods, children learn how to form and write the letters.
- Blending – taught in Prep, revised in Years 1 to 6.
Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words.
- Identifying the sounds in words (Segmenting) – taught in Prep, revised in Year 1 to 6
Listening for the sounds in the correct order in words gives children the best start for improving spelling.
- Tricky words – taught in Prep, revised in Years 1 to 6
Tricky words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately.
The 300 Magic Words make up an average of 70% of the words used in reading and writing. The Magic Words resources accelerate learning of the most frequently used words and rapidly improves reading and writing, increases fluency and develops comprehension.
In addition to regular curriculum-based reading lessons, students complete at least one guided reading lesson with their teacher per week in a small group at their instructional reading level, learning skills specifically needed by them and their group. Teachers follow a set process to conduct guided reading. Research has found guided reading to be highly effective in developing students’ reading skills. Students completing Levelled Literacy Intervention (see below) do not participate in guided reading with their teacher.
Year 1 to 6 classes (and Prep in Term 3) undertake the SRA Spelling Mastery program which builds dependable spelling skills for students in grades 1-6 through direct instruction, a highly structured, highly effective method that blends the following approaches:
- Phonemic approach - helps beginning spellers learn the relationships between spoken sounds and written letters and then apply them to spelling
- Morphemic approach - exposes advanced spellers to prefixes, bases, and suffixes
- Whole-word approach - gives spellers at all levels the meaning and root of a word and shows how the word's spelling is influenced
Spelling Mastery interweaves these three approaches according to students' skill development to teach the spelling skills students need to become proficient readers and writers. Explicit instruction, careful selection of spelling words, and repeated and cumulative practice help students master each concept and reinforce and retain key information.
Literacy and Numeracy Practice
Students in Prep to Year 6 achieving significantly below year level expectations undertake additional practice of essential literacy and numeracy skills four half hours per week with a specially trained teacher aide overseen by the Learning Support Teacher. They practise their Jolly Phonics and sight word recognising and writing, and blending and segmenting to read and write words.
ABC Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress
Thanks to our generous P&C Association, our school subscribes to ABC Reading Eggs and Readings Eggspress, unique online worlds where children learn to read, develop their spelling and build reading comprehension. It supports each child’s learning by offering individual, one-on-one lessons, games and activities that allow children to progress at their own rate. Children can use the program at home as well as school, on PC, iPad and Android device.
Mathletics is a captivating and safe learning experience combining targeted and adaptive mathematics curriculum content with structured and interactive support, plus engaging gaming and rewards.
As part of the implementation, our Principal and Deputy Principal conduct pedagogical reflections with teachers. These reflections involve a classroom visit followed by a feedback conversation with the classroom teacher. During these visits and feedback conversations, we focus on the following elements:
- high expectations
- differentiated teaching and learning
- supportive school environment
- professional engagement
- integrating ICTs
- explicit instruction
- reading and writing goals
- data analysis.