The proven notion that ‘children learn to read by reading and children learn to write by writing’ underpins our approach to teaching Literacy at Good Shepherd. Daily sessions of sustained independent reading and sustained independent writing, coupled with the freedom of choice, aim to develop in the children literary interest and stamina. Regular 1:1 conferencing sessions occur in every grade, during which the children and teacher discuss strengths and identify areas for growth, in both their reading and writing.
Our younger students participate in a range of multi-sensory literacy activities that include explicit phonological instruction, which complement each other and our holistic approach to developing literacy skills. We encourage parents to share the reading experience with their child daily, and emphasise the importance of home-support when it comes to developing our students into literate citizens.
Our plentiful classroom libraries give the children a wide range of texts from which to select their personal reading material. Teachers model reading each and every day – for both instructional and entertaining purposes. We have a growing outdoor library which the children can access at recess and lunch. Our school library is open also, at both break times.
We hope to promote a love of words and an awareness of the strategies that will develop the children into skilled spellers. We use the Australian Curriculum as our basis for skills and content, and recognise the connectedness of all Literacy skills. Literacy experiences at our school are not confined to our English block. It is foundational to all teaching and learning experiences.
Learning mathematics creates opportunities for and enriches the lives of all Australians. The Australian Curriculum: Mathematics provides students with essential mathematical skills and knowledge in number and algebra, measurement and geometry, and statistics and probability. It develops the numeracy capabilities that all students need in their personal, work and civic life, and provides the fundamentals on which mathematical specialties and professional applications of mathematics are built.
Mathematics has its own value and beauty and the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics aims to instil in students an appreciation of the elegance and power of mathematical reasoning. Mathematical ideas have evolved across all cultures over thousands of years, and are constantly developing. Digital technologies are facilitating this expansion of ideas and providing access to new tools for continuing mathematical exploration and invention. The curriculum focuses on developing increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. These proficiencies enable students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations by employing mathematical strategies to make informed decisions and solve problems efficiently.
The Australian Curriculum: Mathematics ensures that the links between the various components of mathematics, as well as the relationship between mathematics and other disciplines, are made clear. Mathematics is composed of multiple but interrelated and interdependent concepts and systems which students apply beyond the mathematics classroom. In science, for example, understanding sources of error and their impact on the confidence of conclusions is vital, as is the use of mathematical models in other disciplines. In geography, interpretation of data underpins the study of human populations and their physical environments; in history, students need to be able to imagine timelines and time frames to reconcile related events; and in English, deriving quantitative and spatial information is an important aspect of making meaning of texts.
The curriculum anticipates that schools will ensure all students benefit from access to the power of mathematical reasoning and learn to apply their mathematical understanding creatively and efficiently. The Mathematics curriculum provides students with carefully paced, in-depth study of critical skills and concepts. It encourages teachers to help students become self-motivated, confident learners through inquiry and active participation in challenging and engaging experiences. (Reference: https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/mathematics/rationale/)