Learning at the Bayview Campus Adds Up!
There has been considerable media attention on education this week in relation to the Gonski 2.0 education plan. One of the main focus points has been the notion of ‘individualised education’. I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the strategies we have been using at the Bayview Campus to apply principles of individualised instruction in Mathematics, one of our key priority areas for 2018.
All students are regularly assessed to determine their current understanding of the concepts they are addressing in class. This information is used to help the teacher identify those students who are working on similar skills. Learning activities are then differentiated so each group of students can work on tasks that are appropriate to them. Most of the students across the campus set goals for personal improvement. Regular challenges provide an opportunity for students to record their progress and look back at the gains they have made.
At least once a week, groups may include students from more than one year level as students join with others from across their stage of learning (Year 1 and 2 in Stage 1, Year 3 and 4 in Stage 2 and Year 5 and 6 in Stage 3). Learning Support, Gifted and Talented teachers and Teachers’ Aides also work with small groups during this time to ensure all students are challenged to build on their current knowledge and skills.
There is another area of learning where progress is not quite as simply mapped and measured. Being able to apply concepts to new situations is a more complex but vital aspect of mathematical learning. We often use the phrase ‘grapple problems’ to describe an activity that requires students to connect their mathematical knowledge to an unfamiliar context.
Developing confidence and skill in this type of learning often requires considerable experience. While strong core skills provide a solid foundation, there is a whole range of different skills in comprehension, interpretation and reasoning that build over time. The students value being able to collaborate on these tasks as they quickly recognise that sharing ideas is more powerful than working alone.
Mrs Jodie Bennett
Head of Junior School, Bayview Campus