The art or science of teaching.
At St. Francis Xavier Primary School we strive to be research based and innovative in our pedagogy and teacher professional learning.
Collaborative learning experiences provide students and teachers with the opportunity to explore experiment and be challenged in their thinking. Learners gain deeper insights, new knowledge and make meaning when the environment supports these collaborative partnerships. Learners thrive in environments that are safe, supportive and secure. Flexible and intentionally developed learning environments encourage innovation and inquiry to create a sense of belonging and purpose that strengthens the learning culture.
Flexibility is the key design principle, allowing teachers to group students in a variety of ways, enabling teamwork and maximising every student’s access to resources including technology. The intention is to maximise learning, allow creativity and to encourage innovation and inquiry in energised and inspired learning spaces. To achieve this our learning spaces need to be flexible so they are appropriate for the activity being undertaken.
Recognising that each student is an individual learner with their own learning style has implications for the learning space. Personalising learning means more than providing tailored content in the curriculum, it demands that students are given choices about where they work, with whom and using what media.
Co-teaching is an effective, evidence based instructional strategy in which two or more professionals share responsibility for a group of students and work collaboratively to add instructional value to improve student learning outcomes. (Chapman & Hyatt 2011)
Assessment for Learning
Assessment for Learning (AFL) is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.
Intervention and Inclusion
St. Francis Xavier Primary School uses the ‘Three Tiers of Intervention’ model to provide effective interventions and responsive teaching and learning initiatives. We offer support programs during class time that aim to ensure quality learning for all.
Some students will need some extra support at times to understand a concept or to be extended in an area of their learning.
Three Tiers of Intervention
Key elements in all tiers of the model are high-quality instruction, frequent assessment (of, as and for learning) and data driven decision making. Importantly, on-going assessment provides information about the effectiveness of the curriculum. In addition, universal screening, for example Best-Start, Mathematical Interviews, Stage-wide assessments or class curriculum-based assessments, can be used to determine which students need more time and support, and also can provide benchmark data norms for class levels.
At St Francis Xavier Primary School we are proud of our Inclusive Education Programs.
STAR (Succeeding Together as Readers)
What is STAR?
This program is an intensive reading intervention program that was trialled in several diocesan schools in 2013. It is not a remedial reading program. In schools where STAR was implemented, data showed a marked improvement in students’ ability to read and comprehend text.
STAR supports early readers by providing them with regular, intensive reading instruction in a small group setting.
In each STAR session there are six components including familiar reading, shared reading, reading to children, teaching of conventions, spelling and introduction to new text.
Students are engaged in quality, carefully planned, explicit reading instruction with a focus on regular assessment to ensure timely intervention and individual attention to each student’s needs.
Reading Doctor (Phonological Awareness Program developed by Speech Pathologist)
What is Reading Doctor?
Reading Doctor® computer software is designed to teach students using synthetic phonics – the most effective way of teaching kids to read according to scientific research. This program strengthens skills that reading scientists have identified as crucial for literacy learning; skills such as phonemic awareness, letter-sound knowledge, blending, segmentation, decoding and sight word recognition.
The unique, patent pending Reading Doctor® teaching platform was developed by speech-language pathologist Bartek Rajkowski, PhD. Reading Doctor® is used by over 25,000 people, worldwide.
It is being described by educators as a breakthrough in teaching children to read and spell.
What is MiniLit?
MiniLit is a special teaching program designed for young children in Years 1 and 2 who are struggling to learn to read. The program is usually offered in small groups of up to four children to help them to catch up with their classmates.
Each lesson has three main components:
- Sounds and Words Activities – where children learn to pay attention to the different sounds in words and to associate them with the letters of the alphabet.
- Text Reading – which gives children the chance to practise their new skills
- Storybook Reading –teacher reading and discussing a story book with the students, to help improve their vocabulary and comprehension.
Students are engaged in quality, carefully planned, explicit reading instruction with a focus on regular assessment to ensure timely intervention and individual attention to each student’s need.
EMU (Extending Mathematical Understanding)
What is EMU ?
After gathering initial data and information using the mathematical Interview conducted at the start of the school year some students may benefit from participating in the ‘second wave’ intensive specialised early intervention program – EMU.
An overview of the EMU program:
- To accelerate children’s mathematical learning so that they may participate in the classroom program
- 5 x 30min sessions per week-beginning in Week 5
- Specialist EMU teacher
- Within a small group of 3 Year One students
- Specialist teacher also works with class teachers to plan and develop mathematics learning in the classroom
- Activities and tasks that develop number concepts and skills
- Home tasks / games / activities
- Up to 20 weeks