At Living Faith, teachers engage in their own research project (prototype) each year. This targeted research has led to many of the innovative educational programs that we currently implement school-wide.
This year, our Year 4 team looked at visible learning and how it can be used more effectively in the classroom. This involved looking closely at how students use their success criteria, visually displaying learning intentions and examples of quality work. Visible learning is designed to promote self-directed learning and provides tools for students to take ownership over their learning. The team asked students what would help them in Maths, PBL and Christian Studies, which led to the development of a specially designed visible learning space within the stadium.
The Year 5 team researched the learning space, specifically focussing on collaborative teaching across the year level. As they moved into the former library this year, it provided a perfect opportunity to explore how teacher teaming can work in different subjects and activities. The team made observations and collected data regarding students’ feelings towards collaborative teaching. Students appreciated that they could work throughout the space and check in with both teachers. Year 5 found collaborative teaching beneficial on so many levels, and it has become part of their teaching practice.
The Year 6 team explored resilience and emotional intelligence and how these can be fostered and explicitly taught in a senior classroom. They collected pre-data before immersing students in targeted activities such as creating a gratitude journal, listening to an emotional intelligence podcast, teaching specific strategies for dealing with challenges and using the smiling minds app to promote mindfulness. The teachers will collect post-project data over the remainder of the year to monitor the success of the implemented strategies.
The specialist teachers also engaged in a team research project focussed on streamlining transitions and class expectations across the four specialist areas. This included implementing a common set of expectations, transition routines and common language for each class. They then collected data on the transitions and reflected using teacher observations. They found that the common expectations, transition routine and language helped classes settle more quickly into each lesson.
In Weeks 3 and 4, teachers presented their prototypes to the rest of the teaching staff so that all year levels could benefit from the work of others. We are blessed to have a team of teachers who strive to continually improve their practice. If we aim to encourage our students to be lifelong learners, we model this and foster a whole school community of learning.