Planning for our Future
Chris Ivey / Insights
Toward the end of 2021 we undertook a review of our learning services across Primary and Secondary and one aspect of this was to refocus our attention away from withdrawing students from the classroom, to seeing our learning support teachers and aides working collaboratively with class teachers and students in their existing classes.
09 September 2022
It was wonderful to see so many families at our Fair last week and despite the overnight rain and the damp feeling underfoot, it was another great way for our community to come together. Community is a vital part of who we are at St Andrew’s.
Much of our planning and preparation for the following year takes place during Term 3, including the appointment of new staff, the development of new programs and our Budget preparation. These are interesting times as we continue to grow and develop not our only physical resources, but the quality and depth of the opportunities we provide both within and outside the classroom. However, at the same time, we have to acknowledge the impact that inflation is having on so many aspects of our day to day and so we plan carefully and wisely, trying be fiscally responsible.
Over the next couple of weeks, I look forward to sharing with parents some of the exciting initiatives planned for 2023 and beyond. Obviously, our car park and courts project is now underway. The next couple of months involves redirecting quite a few services that pass underneath the oval before we can begin to ‘dig’.
One of our key focus areas for the next few years is on our middle years. Traditionally, this has been viewed as the time between Year 5 and Year 9. We have invested time and bedded down the implementation of the new senior curriculum, and Walker Learning is an integral part of our St Andrew’s early years, so we turn our attention to reviewing what happens in that important cross over transition between primary and secondary. There are already some great initiatives taking place in these years and our plan is to build on and improve what we offer.
As we are planning and looking forward to welcoming our incoming 2023 Year 7 cohort into Secondary, we note some changes to the curriculum and organisational structure. In acknowledging literacy and numeracy as the foundation for the successful learning of more complex skills and understanding, we are increasing our focus and time allocation for English and Mathematics in the early secondary years. From 2023, Year 7 and 8 students will have six lessons per week of both English and Mathematics. This increased time allocation of English and Mathematics will provide students more time in school to develop and consolidate important knowledge, skills and understanding and also enable teachers to develop a more comprehensive understanding of each student’s individual strengths, interests and learning preferences and thus target teaching and personalise learning accordingly.
This arrangement has been designed to not only provide more time for learning in these important subjects, it provides students a successful transition to secondary school in an environment that is inclusive and supportive of each student. It also enables them to establish strong connections with peers and teachers as they build on their numeracy and literacy foundations and develop the capabilities and confidence for future learning and academic achievement.
Toward the end of 2021 we undertook a review of our learning services across Primary and Secondary and one aspect of this was to refocus our attention away from withdrawing students from the classroom, to seeing our learning support teachers and aides working collaboratively with class teachers and students in their existing classes. This stops the silo effect. It may seem a small shift, but it changes the focus toward a shared responsibility on student learning. Our Support for Learning team provide an important role within the life of our College and with some other tweaks to their program through the coming months we look forward to seeing their continued positive impact on student learning. At the same time, we have increased allocation to our ESOs (Educational Support Officers) who work across our Primary year levels. Our ESOs are a crucial part of the teaching team at each year level and they provide support in differentiating the learning for identified students.
These are just a few of the changes we are planning for 2023 and I look forward to sharing more next week.
Best wishes for a final week of Term.