Our School model of curriculum delivery is based on Co-Teaching. The model supports current and best practice in education involving a team of teachers working with a group of students. In our case, the groups are in year levels and occupy various spaces around the building or portables classrooms. It is important to note that all areas of the buildings are teaching and learning spaces.
It goes without saying that the best interests of all our students is at the centre of all we do and that our aim is to continually improve student learning outcomes.
The world class building design allows for flexible teaching and learning to take place. The openness of the areas support different styles of learning and group work and allows teachers to be part of a team who work with the group of children.
What is Co –Teaching
Put simply, Co- Teaching is a group of two or more teachers working with a group of children. The teachers share all aspects of the teaching and learning, including planning, teaching, assessing and looking after the well being of all the students. They are a team.
Will my child still have a classroom teacher
The children are set up in ‘home groups’. Each home group is allocated a teacher to cater for administration purposes, for report writing and parent teacher interviews. Instead of class teacher, the term “home group” teacher has been adopted.
Does my child have an allocated classroom
We are now using the term ‘Learning Space’ and ‘Learning Neighbourhood’. Each Home Group has an allocated Learning Space and Learning Neighbourhood. This again is for administrative purposes.
Which teacher does my child work with
Your child works with the entire team of teachers. Your child’s home group is part of a bigger team.
All the teachers in the team work with all the children. For example, the Year One team has five teachers and five home groups who work together. All teachers in the group work with different children at various parts of the day. The children are grouped according to the activity they are doing and the skills and interests of the children. Teachers will be responsible for teaching explicit skills to the various groups throughout the day. Decisions about what is to be taught are guided by the needs of the children as outlined by an intensive assessment program and by the AusVELS (the Australian curriculum in Victoria) as required by the Department of Education and Training.
How does the teacher know how my child is progressing
All teachers in the group will assist in monitoring student progress. Your child’s homegroup teacher will keep a record of how your child is progressing and will also be responsible for implementing the required formal assessments as outlined on our Assessment Schedule. If your child is working with another teacher, that teacher will take notes, make observations and will report findings back to the home group teacher. This is done either verbally or will be recorded in documents that will be stored electronically.
Why is my child’s learning space partially empty
You may have noticed that some learning spaces are partially empty. This is because the learning space is part of what we call a Learning Neighbourhood. The Learning Neighbourhood consists of up to four Learning Spaces which ‘break out’ onto a larger space. This larger space is used for group work, area meetings, computer stations, and other learning activities. It is a flexible space where children can complete activities under teacher supervision.
The empty learning spaces are where the group meets as a whole in the morning to take the roll and greet the students and then move on to the learning rotations or to take part in a whole group activity.
All furniture is accessed by all students in the area. Research indicates that students need a variety of space, furniture and tools to help them learn to cater for individual learning styles. You might find children in ‘bean bags’ using an iPod or on the floor completing an activity. Depending on the activity children are given a choice.
Are the learning spaces noisy and is my child properly supervised
The learning spaces are orderly and work at various levels of sound according to the activity. The teachers set very clear boundaries and supervise at all times by ‘roaming’ through the ‘neighbourhood’ assisting where necessary. There will be a combination of explicit teaching, group work, computer work, using the interactive whiteboard or individual work.
What happens next
During the course of the year, information will go home on a regular basis outlining the journey the school is taking. Our direction is supported by Professional Learning for teachers and the guidelines of the Department of Education and Training.
We are very excited about the direction of the school and you will see when you come along to the Parent Information Evenings or visit the learning spaces the great work being done by the wonderful teachers at your child’s school.
Home Group: The learning group your child is allocated to.
Home Group Teacher: The home group teacher is the teacher allocated to your child who is responsible for overall assessment of your child and for the day to day needs of your child.
Learning Space: This is what we used to call the classroom. Your child is allocated to a Learning Space for administrative purposes only. The Learning Space is part of the overall area allocated to a Year Level.
Learning Neighbourhood: This is the area which includes all the Learning Spaces in a specific area and the ‘break out’ space in the middle. This is a teaching and learning space and it is important to remember that this is used daily for this purpose.
Flexible Learning Spaces: All areas of the school used for Teaching and Learning. It is a place where furniture and technology are changed to suit the learning needs of individual students.