We have developed a whole school approach to the delivery of curriculum across the key learning areas. We base our approach on evidence based practice and current research that has been proven to impact positively on student engagement and learning outcomes.
A major focus at Calwell is the implementation of assessment for learning techniques. It is a critical component that guides the way in which curriculum learning experiences are planned and delivered at Calwell. Assessment for learning techniques are described in more detail in the assessment and reporting section. These techniques enable staff to clearly identify where a student is at, and how to move their learning forward in the most effective way to meet their individual needs. This approach is filtered through the following delivery modes.
The English Curriculum, from Kindergarten to Year 6 is delivered through a balanced literacy block. This comprises a reading block and a writing block with speaking and listening tasks incorporated. The balanced literacy block consists of:
- Warm Up - Opening
- Whole Class - Teaching
- Modelled - Reading/Writing, Guided - Reading/Writing and Independent - Reading/Writing
At Calwell Primary we emphasise the importance of early literacy skills as these are the building blocks to becoming a proficient reader and writer. We do this through planning rich literature experiences, 'helping students to understand that meaning is conveyed through the art of writing and the art of illustrating'. Our belief is that graphophonic relationships are best learnt in context and are then unpacked through explicit teaching within the balanced literacy block.
As students progress through the early years into middle and upper primary they move from 'learning to read' to 'reading to learn'. The balanced block is still used as the format of delivery with an emphasis on students reading and comprehending increasingly more complex texts and expanding their vocabulary. They become more aware of how to improve their writing skills and are engaged in tracking, monitoring and reflecting upon what they can do to improve their literacy skills, applying them across other key learning areas.
The Mathematics Curriculum is delivered through a balanced numeracy block, from Kindergarten to Year 6. The structure includes the following:
- Warm Up - Opening
- Whole Class - Teaching
- Modelled - Maths, Guided - Maths and Independent - Maths
We prioritise the essential skills, knowledge and understanding in mathematics that are required in each year level. This scope and sequence of learning is cumulative and we believe that it is critical for students to have a sound conceptual understanding of the number strand. Students then demonstrate their mathematical thinking through the proficiency stands. This approach supports students as concepts become increasingly more difficult and abstract. The use of concrete materials such as counters, number lines, base ten equipment and other visual supports is strongly encouraged and used across all grade levels. Students are asked to articulate their thinking and reasoning in a variety of ways so that there is a focus on understanding the concept first before moving towards mathematical processes.
Units of Inquiry
The curriculum areas of History, Geography, The Arts, Technology and parts of Health and Physical Education are delivered through Units of Inquiry. The units are designed around a main idea which addresses essential questions that the students will have the opportunity to inquire into. Through these questions and the lines of inquiry students will develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of the main idea.
The essential questions are linked to three summative assessment pieces (end point assessment) that are designed to align with the Australian Curriculum Achievement Standard.
Cross curriculum priorities are also addressed within the Units of Inquiry including; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia and Sustainability.
The Units of inquiry are delivered through 'Kath Murdoch's' Inquiry Model' based on :
- Tuning In
- Finding Out
- Sorting Out
- Going Further
Units of Inquiry are showcased throughout the school year in each classroom on inquiry boards, at whole school assemblies as well as at the term 1 and term 3 learning journeys.