Ensuring growth within knowledge and learning dispositions, children have greater agency to act upon the world and the diverse contexts in which they live.

LITERACY

 

Building literacy capacity of all children is key to our  teaching and learning at St John’s. The diverse literacy practices provide a quality, differentiated learning design drawing on purposeful, innovative approaches to foster many literacies that will enable all to communicate, interpret and participate fully now and in the future. 

Whilst one of the key drivers of curriculum at St John’s is the Victorian Curriculum, we believe it is essential that teachers consider the needs, interests and abilities of children when planning effective teaching and learning in literacy. Our school believes in and adopts a balanced approach to Literacy. As our 'Horizon' states, our school and Educators place children at the heart when designing learning. We always start with data by asking: what do our children currently know? What strategies are they employing? What does the next step in their learning look like (using a relevant progression)? Through an evidence-based approach, learning and teaching in literacy is differentiated to meet the needs of each child, using quality teaching and learning strategies designed to promote a love of reading and writing, and build speaking and listening skills. 

 

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We know that children experience joy when they see themselves flourish and grow as effective readers. In order to support children to achieve this success, our Educators work alongside Literacy experts, to build and refine their practice in learning and teaching of Reading. We foster 'joy' by creating enriching learning experiences for children. We support children to enter into learning through the joy of reading and viewing texts, by exposing them to rich literature and texts that are connected to their lives and the world around them, supporting them to build the skills to decode, make meaning from, and engage in texts. In the junior years, children build phonological awareness, phonemic awareness and phonics skills, using a range of texts and strategies to support this.

 

Children progressively work towards becoming proficient writers, learning about the many purposes of writing, developing a love of writing that is authentic and purposeful. In the junior years we explore bookmaking as a means of building their Author’s voice and connecting to picture story books; which they have already been exposed to. We know that ‘children write best about the things that are important to them and what they are interested in. It is writing that comes from what they know and what they have experienced.’ (Ralph Fletcher) Eventually, children progress to using a Writer’s notebook as a strategy for continuing to ignite children’s passion for writing. They draw inspiration from their world, the world around them, and Authors to develop their writing.

Ensuring growth within knowledge and learning dispositions, children have greater agency to act upon the world and the diverse contexts in which they live. 

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NUMERACY

At St John’s, we believe Mathematics is best learned through diverse, dynamic and engaging learning experiences, connected to children’s interests and lives. We place children at the centre, and consider their individual needs when designing learning. We follow a progression of learning within each focus area (e.g. place value, addition, shape etc), which has been constructed by our staff through work with the Victorian Curriculum, as well as informed by developmentally appropriate research in the field.

Through a diverse range of experiences, children have opportunities to build mathematical skills and knowledge. Using a range of explicit teaching strategies, children practise skills, and share and reflect on their learning through dialogue and discussion. This occurs through targeted, small group explicit learning experiences, ​where we provide a variety of learning contexts including the use of hands-on materials, open-ended tasks and rich learning activities. We also value the opportunity to transfer these skills and understandings into an authentic learning environment. This is situated in thoughtful design of Discovery spaces and Discovery projects. For example, the grocery store is a space where children can practise transferring their knowledge of money, addition and subtraction to purchase or sell items.

Ultimately, children are encouraged to develop a growing confidence to take responsibility for their own learning journeys through feedback and discussion to inspire joy, passion and a lifelong love for Maths.

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