As we move closer to the middle of the term it’s important to share information about some of the many different academic programs the students will be involved in this year. Our programs are designed to identify a student’s learning profile which then enables the teacher to create an exciting and engaging learning environment where all students have the opportunity to learn in their own unique way. Some of the programs we use include:

Maths Pathway is a learning and teaching model that is reconstructing the way mathematics is taught in schools. The model is research-driven and has been developed to support success for all students in mathematics and we are currently implementing this program in Stage 3.

Maths Pathway combines a range of teaching methods and classroom practices with an online learning environment to support individualised learning for each student. With Maths Pathway, teachers have the tools and the time to address each student’s individual learning needs. This includes developing their problem solving, independent learning, and group work skills, and helping students develop a growth mindset towards their mathematics learning.

Early Insights is the younger sibling of Maths Pathways and is used in Kindergarten to Year 4. While it is not a full maths program, Early Insights is a rigorous assessment tool that a teacher will use to measure learning success. It pinpoints particular areas of the curriculum a student has mastered which allows the teacher to extend a student or identify if they need extra support in a particular area. A table recording achievements in each strand is generated and is easily shared with parents. The data is gathered online and will stay with the student as they pass through each year. It is new to the College this year but we look forward to the long-term collection of data that is generated over time.

All students from Kindergarten participate in a designated STEM lesson once a fortnight. We are blessed to have the wonderful Mr Youman lead this lesson with the class teacher as they explore this area in a variety of different ways. STEM is a combination of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and students are challenged to solve a variety of different problems which develops their creative and critical thinking skills. It’s definitely a highlight for each student and I’m sure you have heard all about the fun that happens in STEM.

InitiaLit is a literacy program run by teachers at the College for all children in Kindergarten to Year 2.  It has been developed by MultiLit, a research-based initiative of Macquarie University. The program covers all aspects of literacy, including reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension and handwriting, using research-based teaching methods.

InitiaLit teaches children that words are made up of sounds (phonemes) and that those sounds are represented by letters. Unlike learning to talk, which children do without formal instruction, children need to be directly taught the relationship between sounds and letters. In InitiaLit, children will build upon the knowledge of the alphabetic code that they gained in Kindergarten. They will learn that a letter or letters can make different sounds and that two or three letters together can make a sound (digraphs, trigraphs and quadgraphs).

During the year, there are regular opportunities for teachers to assess a child’s developing reading and spelling skills. Teachers can then use this information to differentiate literacy tasks and identify students who may need some additional support in this subject. You can help at home by reading to your child every day. Discuss the story with them and check for comprehension. Point out any new words and discuss the meaning to enrich their vocabulary. Have them point out ‘tricky’ words or sound out simple CVC words with you and practise spelling them too. Building a strong foundation in this area is the key to success in all subjects.    

In the coming weeks, we will share information more on other programs we run at the College but if ever you require more information about particular programs or activities feel free to contact your child’s teacher.

Mark Durie
Head of Junior School