ENGAGE – IGNITE – EXCEL
Our vision of Engage – Ignite – Excel is underpinned by our four beliefs about students and the way that they learn:
- Every Student Matters – all students, regardless of their achievement level, have a minimum of one year of academic and social growth in literacy and numeracy in an inclusive environment with improved levels of student engagement.
- Lifelong Curious Learners Through Quality Teaching – student learning is increased with evidence-based practices and increased with coaching and mentoring problems of practice.
- We Work in Collaborative Communities – teacher quality is focussed on the success of each student through collaborative empowerment and evidence-based practice supported by processes including data response, coaching and feedback.
- Mutual Respect is Expected – student achievement is everyone's responsibility.
At Grovely State School we believe that each child can learn and reach their potential by providing high quality access to learning through our Mainstream and Montessori pathways. All students are challenged to be curious, active learners and they are encouraged to achieve within supportive, unique and inclusive environments.
Teachers at Grovely State School have a deep understanding of the Australian Curriculum to help create engaged, creative and curious thinkers, and informed citizens. The Australian Curriculum sets out what students should be taught and achieve as they progress through school. It is the base for future learning, growth and active participation in the Australian community. The Australian Curriculum provides our teachers with "the what" (the content) but it does not specify "the how" (how the content must be taught). Therefore, Grovely teachers plan rigorous, relevant and engaging learning experiences using high-impact strategies to address the individual learning needs of our students.
At Grovely State School all of our Mainstream and Montessori classrooms are multi-age, where the benefits of this approach (for both teachers and students) are highlighted in research. The benefits of having multi-age classrooms at Grovely include more holistic, child-responsive curriculum practices that consider the understandings, capabilities and dispositions that children need for future work (e.g. working in diverse environments that seek workers who are multi-skilled, literate, cooperative, creative, adaptable, independent and resourceful).
Due to mixed age groupings, the younger children often benefit from the positive role models of older children. The older children often benefit as well by acting as mentor and teacher and this is one of the positive impacts on student learning according to Visible Learning.
So what does teaching look like in our multi-age classrooms?
- Use the links between levels of the Australian Curriculum to plan and implement a seamless curriculum
- View children as capable, inquisitive learners who construct meanings about their world in partnership with others
- View learning as an interconnected, ongoing, lifelong process
- Use authentic assessment practices that engage with children's diverse understandings, capabilities and dispositions and empower children to begin to assess their own learning and others' learning.
- Foster ongoing, authentic relationships
- Place an emphasis on how children learn and the types of learning environments and contexts for learning
- Actively facilitate children's learning by investigating diverse ways of knowing, thinking and doing
- Scaffold children's learning using explicit and diverse techniques, e.g. questioning, prompting, modelling, demonstrating, comparing, contrasting, generating, clarifying and confirming
Pedagogy at Grovely State School incorporates three evidence-based practices. These practices are:
Visible Learning is the result of the research undertaken by John Hattie to understand the teaching practices that provide the most success in learning. It is based on over 68 000 studies and 25 million students. Visible Learners are students who can:
- Articulate what they are learning
- Explain the next steps in their learning
- Set learning goals
- See errors as opportunities for further learning
- Know what to do when they are stuck
- Seek feedback
When planning units of work, teachers develop collective clarity around curriculum standards. At Grovely State School, teacher clarity rests on a collective understanding of what students need to learn if teachers are going to be able to design meaningful learning experiences for our students. Our teachers have clarity when:
- They know what students are supposed to be learning
- The students know what they are supposed to be learning (Learning Intentions)
- The teacher and students know what success looks like (Success Criteria)
At Grovely State School, we use an inquiry approach to the teaching of HASS (Humanities and Social Sciences) and Science. This inquiry approach is based on Kath Murdoch's principles of inquiry learning. When working in these areas, students are actively involved in wondering, questioning, investigating, clarifying, synthesising and articulating ideas and findings.
These units of work are framed around a Big Question, for example "How has family life and the place we live changed over time?" in Year 1 HASS. This is then supported by sub-inquiries, for example "How do we describe the sequence of time?" to guide the students to be able to answer the big question.
In taking this approach, teaching and learning in HASS and Science is focussed on content AND process, therefore preparing our students to be lifelong, curious learners for the 21st Century.
Explicit instruction is a well-researched and highly effective instructional strategy. It is a way to teach skills and concepts to students using direct, structured instruction. This approach helps make lessons clear through teacher modelling for students on how to successfully complete a skill or concept and by giving the students ample time to practice.
There are many benefits to using explicit instruction in both our Mainstream and Montessori classrooms. In an explicit instruction lesson at Grovely you would see our teachers:
model the skill or concept with clear explanations and verbalise their thinking
processes with “think-alouds” of what is going on in their mind.|
| We Do||Teachers
provide students with opportunities to practice the new skill or concept with
The three approaches are used in conjunction with our social-emotional learning practices of self-managers, communicators, collaborators and curious thinkers across both our Mainstream and Montessori pathways to develop the whole child.