At Upwey South Primary School, we refer to our students as “learners”.
Our staff have recently undertaken extensive professional learning, to enable our students to meaningfully engage in a school which delivers a curriculum based upon sound pedagogy and research-based teaching and learning.
Pedagogy is an encompassing term concerned with what a teacher does to influence
learning in others. If you were to type “pedagogy” into a search engine, you would find many differing models and approaches to teaching and learning. However, the overarching connection between these models is that sound pedagogical practice places student learning at the centre of planning and implementation.
A strong pedagogical framework supports teachers to design engaging and challenging learning experiences through planned integration of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.
At USPS our instructional model is based upon the Gradual Release of Responsibility (refer to diagram below) and is delivered through a combination of High Impact Strategies (HITS) and direct-explicit instruction.
Each area of our curriculum has sound Learning Intentions and Success Criteria (refer to diagram below) which encompass both academic and social-emotional learning. Students are provided with the opportunity to demonstrate their increasing knowledge through our school’s “Steps to Success” which is based upon the SOLO Taxonomy.
“Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion” W. Edwards Deming
The above may be so, but without an understanding of data you can’t reach an informed opinion, let alone make any decisions to act upon.
At Upwey South Primary School, this is why research based teaching and learning is part of what we do. We want to be able to measure our impact, and we need to be able to prove to others that what we are doing has been proven by research.
Research based teaching and learning means that:
– A teaching and learning program has been quantifiably proven to work.
– The program has been peer-reviewed and the impact reliably measured.
– The program is sustainable, practical, and a high-fidelity model. An example of this is MultiLit, which is the research-based Literacy Program in place across our school. MultiLit is a systematic phonics based approach, and involves:
– Initial It: Foundation- Year 2 whole class program
– MiniLit: Intervention Program for at risk students in Year 1-2
– MultiLit: Intervention Program for at risk students in Year 3-6
In the area of Numeracy, our at-risk students in the middle and senior years are supported by the Quicksmart Program, whilst other students are enriched through such opportunities as the Math Olympiad and our partnership with the John Monash Science School.
To further enhance our sound pedagogical practice, our school is part of the Professional Learning Communities Initiative (PLC) involving professional partnerships and data-driven conversations with other high-performing schools.
All of the above is supported by our school’s dedicated Data-Centre, in which all students’ academic and social-emotional learning is tracked on a continua of progress, promoting opportunities for targeted support and enrichment.