Learning and Teaching
Ainslie Parklands Primary School aims, through successful teaching and learning, to develop the whole person and to enable our students to become lifelong learners. All staff have a responsibility, collectively and individually, to contribute to the delivery of the broad, challenging and appropriate curriculum. In addition, they individually have a responsibility to strive to deliver lessons where the teaching and learning is of the highest quality and where the learning needs of all learners are met.
The staff at our school form a dedicated community of learners. The knowledge base that informs effective practice is continually growing and consequently all need to be, and seen to be, life long learners. APPS is committed to effective ongoing professional learning to enable staff to embrace this change for the betterment of student learning.
As a community of learners we believe that:
- Numeracy and literacy skills are fundamental for each student’s development
- Learning is an active process and students need opportunities to explore materials, ideas and concepts before being introduced to formal activities
- Student’s self-esteem and confidence play a vital role in their achievements
- Expression and celebration of creativity are key motivators in learning
- A successful learning environment fosters personal qualities including tolerance, flexibility, creativity, curiosity, independence and self-awareness
We have adopted the idea of classrooms as studios to redefine in our minds the changed nature of the spaces in which our children work each day. We want to emphasise the importance of ‘learning’ over ‘teaching’, and the completion of ‘projects’ rather than ‘exercises’.
We think the ‘studio’ concepts suggests active involvement in the process of learning. Our common conception of classrooms is generally of fairly passive places, set up for the delivery of lectures. In pursuing the ‘personalisation’ of learning for our students we want children to work in small groups and individually, and only occasionally as a large group.
The Learning Studio model has thus replaced the confined and confining traditional classroom. It deliberatively allows flexibility, collaborative interaction, integrated technology, comfort and ambiance, and promotes engagement between teachers and students. These spaces are filled with natural light which we believe aids learning.
Children are encouraged to ask questions as they explore concepts and strategies in Maths and in all aspects of Literacy. Children increasingly acquire and use ICT skills across all aspects of the curriculum. Thinking creatively, and using the tools and conventions of Literacy and Numeracy to solve real-world problems, is fundamental to this program. Developing understandings of inquiry learning and working both independently and in groups are features of this studio.
From Foundation to Year 2 the students work within a hands-on learning environment, that utilities the outdoor classroom as well as the indoor environment. It is our belief that discovery through play is the natural and best way for children to learn as they investigate themselves and observe others at play and work.
“When children are fully engaged in their play, their activity and learning is integrated across developmental domains. They seek out challenges that can be accomplished… through play, children learn trust, empathy and social skills.” (Pascal, Every Child. pp. 8.9).
Within the Year 3/4 and Year 5/6 studios the students work within a guided-inquiry model. Our belief is that this model includes teaching methods built on students’ individual knowledge and interests, and emphasises learning how to learn and how to find out, using both traditional and contemporary media.
Each teacher has the mandate that the learning within their classroom must be engaging, relevant, challenging and significant. Teachers are viewed as facilitators and not ‘distributors’ of knowledge. Learning is constructed in a way that is differentiated to the specific needs of each learner within the studio. Teachers work closely with their colleagues to constantly reflect, review and revise the program and collaboration is an expected part of the school community.