Our Learning Philosophy
The study of English is central to the learning and development of all young Australians. It helps create confident communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. It is through the study of English that individuals learn to analyse, understand, communicate and build relationships with others and with the world around them. The study of English helps young people develop the knowledge and skills needed for education, training and the workplace. It helps them become ethical, thoughtful, informed and active members of society and plays an important part in developing the understanding, attitudes and capabilities of those who will take responsibility for Australia’s future. At Cranbourne South Primary School we use literacy frameworks that have been researched and credited for improving student learning outcomes in English.
The CAFÉ (Comprehension Accuracy, Fluency, Extended vocabulary) framework is used to identify individual reading strategy goals for students and alongside teacher modelling of reading and teacher conferencing with individual students, higher reading levels are achieved. These reading levels are assessed, using Fountas and Pinell’s benchmark assessment program. Many of the school’s take home books and library books are levelled in accordance with Fountas and Pinell, assisting students to choose and enjoy reading Good Fit books, those that will ensure their interest and comprehension.
The Andrell VCOP framework (Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers, Punctuation) is used to inform teaching and learning of writing. Alongside lessons involving the VCOP concepts, fortnightly Big Writes occur, when all students at all levels, engage in sustained writing to produce an independent piece of work, which is then critiqued and congratulated by the author and peers. Reading and Writing is enjoyed, and skill improvement and achievements of personal English goals, are celebrated in every classroom at Cranbourne South.
Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures for Active Engagement
School systems all over the world are seeking to improve their schools. Interestingly, research shows that it’s not new buildings or computers that make the difference – it’s the quality of the teaching! This is why our school and many others, has embarked on a school improvement model based on how teachers teach.
Teachers use a variety of teaching methods. However, we know that some methods are more effective than others in helping young people learn. Cooperative learning (CL) structures for example, are some of the most effective means of simultaneously improving the academic achievement and social development of all children.
Cooperative learning is one of the most extensively researched educational innovations of all time. There are approximately one thousand research studies which document its effectiveness and show that Cooperative Learning produces gains across all content areas, all grade levels, and amongst all types of students including special needs, high achieving, gifted, urban, rural, and all ethnic and racial groups.
Cranbourne South Primary School is committed to implementing a teaching and learning philosophy that:
- Increases academic achievement among students, especially for low achieving students.
- Strengthens relationships amongst students, including frequency of cross-race friendship choices.
- Develops social skills and relations, including empathy, diversity skills, leadership skills, caring, sharing, helping, and feeling cared about.
- Fosters healthy self-esteem among students, including intellectual/academic self-esteem, and peer self-esteem.
- Nurtures a class climate, including liking for class, content, and teachers.
- Encourages higher-level thinking, including questioning and synthesising diverse viewpoints and data.
The Arts; Artistic Flair
Artistic Flair at CSPS is about encompassing all of the arts into our lessons: Visual Art, Drama, Dance, Digital Art and Music. It is about providing a safe and encouraging environment where students can express themselves through The Arts. Students use their skills in the different Arts to ‘shine’ in each lesson. Lessons can start with a drama improvisation lesson, singing, dance and end with a visual art or digital art discovery lesson. Lessons are based on student need and each class/student is different, so every lesson is a new adventure into discovering the arts.
In the junior years (Foundation – Year 2), we encourage hand-eye coordination through movement, painting, creating, playing and exploring. In the middle years (Years 3-4), we are encouraging exploration into finding their own creative flair and artistic language. In the seniors (Years 5-6), we are expanding the student’s knowledge of the arts to engage and expose them to different art/performing art genres and provide a variety of creative outlets to explore.
At the end of lessons, once the room is tidy, students participate in reflection time where we gauge how the students enjoyed the lesson, what they learnt or explored and how they thought the class’s behaviour, passion, pride, persistence and positivity (score out of 5 for each).
Physical Education; Physical Vibe
Health and Physical Education focuses on students enhancing their own and others’ health, safety, wellbeing and physical activity participation in varied and changing contexts. Research in fields such as sociology, physiology, nutrition, biomechanics and psychology informs what we understand about healthy, safe and active choices. Health and Physical Education offers students an experiential curriculum that is contemporary, relevant, challenging, enjoyable and physically active.
In Health and Physical Education, students develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to strengthen their sense of self, and build and manage satisfying relationships. The curriculum helps them to be resilient, and to make decisions and take actions to promote their health, safety and physical activity participation. As students mature, they develop and use critical inquiry skills to research and analyse the knowledge of the field and to understand the influences on their own and others’ health, safety and wellbeing. They also learn to use resources for the benefit of themselves and for the communities with which they identify and to which they belong.
Integral to Health and Physical Education is the acquisition of movement skills, concepts and strategies to enable students to confidently, competently and creatively participate in a range of physical activities. As a foundation for lifelong physical activity participation and enhanced performance, students develop proficiency in movement skills, physical activities and movement concepts and acquire an understanding of the science behind how the body moves. In doing so, they develop an appreciation of the significance of physical activity, outdoor recreation and sport both in Australian society and globally.
Movement is a powerful medium for learning, through which students can acquire, practise and refine personal, behavioural, social and cognitive skills. The Health and Physical Education curriculum addresses how contextual factors influence the health, safety, wellbeing, and physical activity patterns of individuals, groups and communities. It provides opportunities for students to develop skills, self-efficacy and dispositions to advocate for, and positively influence, their own and others’ health and wellbeing.
Healthy, active living includes promoting physical fitness, healthy body weight, psychological wellbeing, cognitive capabilities and learning. A healthy, active population improves productivity and personal satisfaction, promotes pro-social behaviour and reduces the occurrence of chronic disease. Health and Physical Education teaches students how to enhance their health, safety and wellbeing and contribute to building healthy, safe and active communities.
Language Other Than English (LOTE)
In our 2018 Cultural Fusion program at Cranbourne South Primary School, we are introducing the CLIL approach (Content and Language Integrated Learning) and STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
CLIL is a wonderful and engaging learning approach where students learn a subject (STEM) in a language that is not their own (Spanish).
STEM is an inquiry-based and real world problem-based education where students learn Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in an integrated manner. This subject promotes the development of students’ collaborative, creative and innovative thinking with hands on, open-ended activities.
Our Spanish program strengthens student’s understanding of the nature of language, culture and communication processes. Through multiple activities, experiences and the use of technology, we also aim to develop our students’ intercultural knowledge, skills and understandings to help them become responsible local and global citizens, equipped for living and working together in an interconnected world. They learn to value their own culture, language and beliefs, and those of others, recognising commonalities and differences, as well as creating connections with others and cultivating mutual respect.