Visible learning is an approach to education that has been popularised by world famous education researcher John Hattie. The ‘visible’ refers to making student learning visible to teachers so they can know how they are impacting student learning. It also refers to making teaching visible to the students so that they learn to become their own teachers, a necessary skill for lifelong learners.
An important component of Visible Learning is the use of Learning Intentions, Success Criteria and Anchor Charts to aid the learning process. The Learning Intention of a lesson or a unit tells students what they should know, understand and be able to do by the end of the lesson or the unit. It highlights for them the purpose behind what they are learning and how they are learning it. The Success Criteria clearly communicate how the student can be successful in a task and can help them to decide whether they have achieved the knowledge, understanding and skills outlined in the Learning Intentions. Anchor Charts provide students with examples of completed tasks and support materials.
Our teachers display and explain Learning Intentions, Success Criteria and Anchor Charts from Prep to Year 6 for most tasks and subjects, positively focussing on their students’ ability to succeed, learn and improve.
Technology is integrated into everyday learning, with interactive whiteboards or Apple TVs in each classroom foundational for providing all students with access to web-based resources and a variety of digital tools and virtual manipulatives. These are supported by iPads access for every child, allowing teachers to plan for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) integration at all times.
Students can use the technology made available to them to communicate with peers and access teacher-created digital resources (including QR codes, digital text books and video tutorials), in addition to creating their own digital products such as videos, trailers, ebooks, slideshows and Word documents, video tutorials, photo stories and graphic organisers.
Students will learn coding as part of the digital technologies subject being implemented in 2017.
Christian Studies is fundamental learning area at Living Faith, with allocated time provided in the weekly program in all year levels. In Christian Studies students learn about the Christian faith through a Project Based Learning (PBL) approach that enables them to explore their beliefs, pose questions, deeply investigate areas of interest, and understand how the Bible applies to modern-day society. Teaching is based on the beliefs of the Lutheran Church but recognises that children come to the school from a diverse range of Christian or religious backgrounds. Christian faith is not judged nor assessed at Living Faith.
LITERACY AND NUMERACY
Literacy is vital in helping our students communicate effectively and make sense of the wide range of visual and spoken texts in our world. Numeracy is vital for our students to develop their reasoning and logical thinking and to use mathematics in everyday life.
Literacy is supported by a guided reading program in all year levels, explicit spelling and grammar programs, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) integration and a scaffolded writing program that is sequenced across year levels to build on prior knowledge. Students in the upper year levels utilise the Daily 5 model of Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Work on Writing, Word Work.
Numeracy is supported through mathematics investigations and real-life projects, hands on materials, ICT integration and differentiated tasks and groupings. Students in the upper year levels follow the Daily 3 model of Maths by Myself, Maths with Someone and Maths Writing.
Literacy and Numeracy are prioritised areas of learning across all year levels. Literacy and Numeracy goals are developed for each student and are shared with the student and parents throughout the year. All students work toward achieving their Literacy and Numeracy Goals with the support of their teachers and support staff, and these goals are continually reviewed, appraised and reflected upon.
PROJECT BASED LEARNING
Project Based Learning (PBL) enables students to gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. PBL combines many subjects from the Australian Curriculum into a large integrated unit of work.
Essential elements of PBL are:
- Learning Intentions and Success Criteria – Students know what they are learning, how they are learning and how they can be successful.
- Sustained Inquiry – Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
- Authenticity – Projects feature real-world context, tasks and tools, or speak to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues.
- Student Voice and Choice – Students make some decisions about the project, including how and where they work and what they create.
- Reflection – Students and teachers reflect on students’ learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of their work, obstacles posed and how to overcome these obstacles.
- Critique & Revision – Students give, receive, and use feedforward to improve their process and products.
- Public Product – Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom
(Buck Institute Website Project Based Learning)
Service is faith active in love. Service involves the selfless giving and loving of others, making a difference in their lives by responding to their needs, and acting without expecting recognition or reward. We challenge our students to grow in their understanding that service is not only a personal response to God’s love but a broader response as part of one’s humanity for the sake of justice for all. Our Service Learning Program begins in Prep and continues all the way to Year 6. It enables our students to learn about and through serving others by creating opportunities for them to serve members of our school, local and global communities.
PERSONALISED LEARNING AND SUPPORT
Living Faith is a school ‘where every child matters’. The learning programs in every year level are differentiated in an effort to meet the individual students, whether they need extra support or extending.
Individual Education Programs are provided for students who meet the criteria and the Learning Support Team is available to work with students both within and outside of the classroom.
Extension classes are offered to students who meet the criteria in Years 2 to 5.
CELEBRATIONS OF LEARNING AND IMPROVEMENT
Success criteria are designed for every assessment task that students complete. These success criteria are based on the Achievement Standards of the Australian Curriculum and the Contemporary Competencies relevant to the year level. Teachers offer students feedforward before final assessments are completed so that they are given the opportunity to improve and so that the focus in on the learning process rather than the grade achieved. Smaller assessments take place across the term, rather than one big assessment at the end in order to capture a realistic picture of what students understand and can do.
SeeSaw, a Digital Portfolio app, enables teachers and students to capture learning as it takes place across the year. Parents are notified by the app on the device of their choosing when a new piece of work has been uploaded to their child’s Digital Portfolio. They can then view what their child can do and what they have completed by witnessing the learning process.
Learning @ Living Faith offers an opportunity once a term for parents to participate in their child’s learning experiences at school. Parents are invited to book in a session of their choice with up to nine other parents to collaborate with their child on a learning task within their classroom.
Reporting on student progress occurs twice a year. Reports comment on each child’s achievements within the semester, but also identify greatest improvements and future goals in literacy and numeracy.