Creative & Critical Inquiry
Randwick Public School decided to focus on Critical and Creative Inquiry due to the identified need to assist our students to become self directed learners who welcome challenges and are intrinsically motivated. For our students to be successful members of society they require skills in collaboration and teamwork, creativity and imagination, critical thinking and problem solving. Our approach involves a process that requires students to gather, organise, analyse, synthesize and apply their understanding of content and demonstrate their skills. This often culminates in a process, product or shareable item being displayed or demonstrated. Students are given some autonomy in the learning process and design of tasks to ensure they find their learning significant and respond to real, identified problems or projects. This can also incorporate problem based learning projects and is usually cross-curricular, e.g. a unit of work that integrates Science, Mathematics and Creative Arts. Much of this work is shared on students Seesaw accounts and at organised events throughout the year.
As a school we wanted to focus on evaluating the effects that quality teaching strategies have on learning outcomes, and adjust teaching methods accordingly. As a result the Visible Learning PLC was established and researched the impact of developing programs and lessons that reflect values including learning intentions, success criteria, feedback and goals. This leads to developing student self direction in their learning. Through academic research, staff surveys and trialling evidence based practice the PLC came to the conclusion that setting lesson goals is manageable, inexpensive and has a significant effect on student results. Our PLC journey is based around John Hattie’s vision ~“When teaching and learning are “visible” – that is, when it is clear what teachers are teaching and what students are learning, student achievement increases.” (Hattie 2012)
The Wellbeing PLC team has taken on the task of evaluating and developing the behaviour management system at Randwick Public School. Since our school is ever-growing and changing, it was decided after consulting students and staff that the current system could be improved upon to better suit the needs of our school and students. The Wellbeing PLC team researched different frameworks and decided that adopting the Positive Behaviour for Learning framework would be a positive change for our behaviour management system. Development of the PBL system for RPS is expected to happen over a three year period. The Wellbeing PLC team is currently preparing to launch the first stage of the PBL framework in 2019.
Future Focused Learning
The Futures Learning PLC is a team of 8 teachers across the school who have been implementing Futures Learning practices in their classrooms, and working towards and supporting the implementation of these practices across the school. The idea for Futures Learning is underpinned by the Australian Curriculum, which has been designed to prepare children for a future that is continually changing. The curriculum that we teach from acknowledges that students need strong foundations in key learning areas such as English and Maths, but that it is essential that they engage with this content by taking on real world problems and situations and develop the capabilities and learning behaviours that will be needed for success in school, work and life.
Excellence in teaching Mathematics has always been a core business of Randwick Public School. The Maths PLC aims to systematically develop teaching and learning areas in Mathematics. Through analysis of NAPLAN data the PLC identified aspects of teaching and learning that required a more direct focus. The PLC is developing teaching and learning programs which include multi-step and open-ended challenging questions, combated by evidence based practice on problem solving strategies. The PLC is also researching and analysing effective pre and post assessments to identify individualised learning paths for all students.
At Randwick Public School we endeavour to create students who are lifelong learners. Understanding the skills and abilities students need to ensure continual improvement as they journey successfully from Kindergarten to Year 6, is the core business of the English Professional Learning Community (PLC). The formation of the English PLC was established after a need was identified to focus specifically on targeted areas for improvement in the areas of reading and writing. The PLC analysed a range of data sources including SMART data, external data (including ICAS and internal summative assessment data) collected across the whole school to ascertain our school baseline.
The English PLC at Randwick Public School aims to support staff at both whole school and stage levels in delivery of these crucial literacy skills. Individual student needs (including EaLD, Gifted and Talented and Learning Support students) and the changing definition of what it means to be literate in our world today, has driven collaborative changes in the research for, creation of, delivery and assessment of literacy programs across all stages.