For the last few years, the six teachers working in Stage 3 (Years 5 & 6) at NBCS have been developing a differentiated learning program. As a former primary school teacher – as well as current Principal, I recognise that what this team is now achieving collectively is the most exciting, successful and efficient program for this age group that I have seen in my 30+ years of teaching. The new teaching space and collaborative learning project has been badged ‘Tomorrow’s School Today’ and we will officially launch the space and program on April 7th.
What is working well?
· The teachers are a team first and foremost, rather than individuals looking for their own space within a larger ‘field’
· The teachers understand that they have a class of 180
· Students appreciate and really enjoy having six teachers on their super-class
· Students understand they have one ‘home’ teacher, but also multiple other teachers on any day who also view them as their students
· A flexible space able to cater for ‘campfire’, ‘watering hole’, ‘mountaintop’ and ‘cave’ experiences
· A flexible space that can cater for spontaneous teaching moments
· Teachers view themselves as learners with the students
What does the day look like?
· Students start with a peer reading program ahead of a literacy block; students are shuffled into needs based groups across the stage
· This is followed by a numeracy block, with students similarly placed into need based groups across the stage
· The Stage 3 Matrix (the Journey) follows in the third block – with an emphasis on individual goal-focused learning, based around a Blooms/Gardner framework; workshops are provided in core skills and to help grow thinking into new areas
· The last Block is dedicated to specialist subjects including Italian, Music, PDHPE and the like
· Each student experiences their own sequence of teachers based on evidenced needs
· Behaviour management has become all but redundant as the students focus so strongly on their learning
· Students stretch their goals to achieve more
· Students are experiencing an acceleration of learning
· Students are learning about and experiencing community
· Best of all, students are having fun and shining as leaders and learners
Multiple educators have come and had a good look – we love this as it also provides an opportunity for our students to articulate their learning pathways, styles and achievements. Feel free to visit us – just contact firstname.lastname@example.org.