School Policy

Rationale:

Effective teaching & Learning practices result in improved learning for all members of the learning community, particularly the students.
Student learning is fundamental to achievement and self-esteem in later life, and is therefore the core responsibility of schools, teachers and principals. Teachers therefore must ensure that their teaching skills, knowledge and commitment are of the highest standard.

Aims:

The staff of St Leonard’s aim to:

  • be the best teachers that we can be, and to work hard at providing the best learning experiences possible for our students. 

Underpinning this aim are the following shared beliefs that we have:

  • Learners construct their own meaning from and for, the ideas, objects and events which they experience
  • Learning happens when existing concepts are challenged
  • Learning requires action and reflection on the part of the learner
  • Learning involves taking risks in a non threatening and gender inclusive environment
  • Learning is likely to be enhanced by activities which build upon and respect student’s experiences
  • Learning is more likely to be enhanced by activities which the learner regards as purposeful and interesting
  • Learning is likely to be enhanced by using and developing appropriate language Learning is likely to be enhanced by challenge within a supportive environment

Implementation

The teachers will provide a learning environment that is supportive and productive by:

  • Building positive relationships through knowing and valuing each student
  • Promoting a culture of value and respect for individuals and their communities
  • Using strategies that promotes student self confidence and willingness to take risks with their learning
  • Ensuring each student experiences success through structured support, the valuing of effort and recognition of their work

The teachers will provide a learning environment that promotes independence, interdependence and self-motivation by:

  •  Encouraging and supporting students to take responsibility for their learning.
  • Using strategies that build skills of productive collaboration.

The teachers will provide a learning environment that reflects the student’s needs, backgrounds, perspectives and interests by:

  • Using strategies that are flexible and responsive to the values, needs and interests of individual students
  • Using a range of strategies that support the different ways of thinking and learning
  • Building upon student’s prior knowledge and skills
  • Capitalising on students’ experiences of a technologically rich world.

The teachers will provide a learning environment that challenges and supports students to develop deep levels of thinking and application by:

  • Planning sequences to promote sustained learning that builds over time and emphasis connections between ideas
  • Promoting substantive discussion of ideas.
  • Emphasising the quality of learning with high expectations of achievement.
  • Using strategies that challenge and support students to question and reflect

The teachers’ assessment tasks will cater for positive learning environments by:

  • Designing assessment practices that reflect the full range of learning program objectives
  • Ensuring that students receive frequent constructive feedback that supports further learning
  • Making assessment criteria explicit
  • Using assessment practices that encourage reflection and self assessment
  • Using evidence from assessment to inform planning and teaching.

The teachers will provide a learning environment that connects into communities and practices beyond the classroom by:

  • Planning for students to interact with the local and broader communities and community practices
  • Using technology in ways that reflect professional and community practices

We use the following guiding principles:

  • We do not accept that students be provided with generic whole class lessons that do not allow for, or are not focussed upon, individual difference or need.
  • Learning experiences will be challenging, engaging, and involve practical ‘hands-on’ activities and first-hand encounters where ever practicable.
  • Parents will be kept well informed of their child’s progress, will be invited to be active participants in their child’s learning, and will be provided with ongoing opportunities to improve their own teaching skills.
  • Prior to each unit of work, students will be assessed against relevant curriculum learning outcomes with subsequent learning experiences reflecting each student’s needs.
  • Learning opportunities will be open-ended, cater for the multiple intelligences of all students, will develop thinking skills, and will be based upon cooperative ‘whole child’ learning strategies.
  • Sequential courses of study in all key-learning areas will be developed and implemented by teams of teachers who constantly review and analyse content, resources and teaching techniques.
  • Both extension and intervention opportunities will be provided for all students according to need.
  • Partnerships will be formed with agencies, organisations and members of the wider community where appropriate to broaden teaching and learning opportunities for students.
  • Teachers will become skilled practitioners in the use of learning technologies, and will routinely encourage the use of technologies to enhance learning opportunities.