Strategic Intent: to improve student learning outcomes across the school, with particular focus on writing, numeracy and interpersonal development.
During 2013 teachers reviewed and documented the school’s Numeracy and Literacy Curriculum Plans and Assessment Schedules, in line with AusVELS and Toora PS principles of practice. Implementation of agreed plans supported improved student outcomes. Common principles of practice include: visual scaffolding to support students’ growing learning independence; articulating learning foci; whole class tuning in, group / individual learning task, whole class share time.
NAPLAN results show Relative Growth from Year 3 to Year 5 in all domains, with strongest growth occurring in Spelling and Writing. These improvements reflect the improvement focus of the Professional Learning Team inclusive of the documentation and implementation of Toora Primary School Literacy Curriculum. Student understanding of how words work, built through word wall and SoundWaves teaching and learning, along with specific teaching of elements of each writing genre, has been instrumental in achieving improved student outcomes in Spelling and Writing.
Average score achieved on the NAPLAN Reading and Numeracy tests conducted in May each year show Toora PS Year 3 and Year 5 Reading (4-year average) and Year 3 Toora PS Numeracy 2013 to be higher than the median of all Victorian government schools. Reading continues to be a strength throughout the school and is an essential component of the daily Literacy Block. Nelson Maths is an essential component of the Toora Primary School Numeracy curriculum and provides comprehensive teaching notes and developmental learning tasks. Effective use of ICT throughout 2013 has strengthened student Literacy and Numeracy learning, for example Mathletics that can be used to differentiate curriculum.
Strategic Intent: to improve students’ engagement in their learning.
Through the adoption of agreed commonalities students know what to expect in their Literacy and Numeracy sessions and feel secure in this knowledge. Students are set learning tasks that are achievable yet challenging and that provide a balance of working alone and in groups in order that they may learn independently as well as from and with others, and at times leading the learning.
Teachers establish positive, respectful and orderly learning environments. Students are provided opportunity to make choices about their learning.
Teachers provide timely and constructive feedback to students to support their learning and to demonstrate that they are valued.
The implementation of the Ultranet (GenEd) to report student progress was established throughout 2nd semester 2013 and provides opportunity for students to reflect on and celebrate achievements with their parents.
Integrated use of ICT supports student learning and engagement. Parent involvement in school and class programs, for example the popular Clubs program that runs annually throughout term 3, increases the engagement of students in their learning.
Strategic Intent: to improve students’ resilience and wellbeing.
Toora Primary School values active learning within the school and in the wider community and provides opportunity for students to explore their interests, expand their knowledge and skills, and to develop their self-esteem and resilience through participation in a broad range of experiences – for example, the school’s Arts program, camps and excursions.
During 2013 staff and parents further developed their understanding of why students display challenging behaviours and how best to manage such behaviours through working together and participating in workshops, for example, Tuning into Kids and Calmer Classrooms. Implementing Behaviour Management Plans and participating in regular Care Meetings are ways in which staff and parents worked together for the benefit of specific students.
Primary Welfare Officer and National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare funding has enabled welfare staff to support student wellbeing and to oversee the implementation of specific programs, for example, You Can Do It! Catching on
Early, Year 6 Leadership, Buddies Program. Students directly benefit from one-on-one and small group support.
School attendance was higher than the median of all Victorian government schools in 2013, with a similar 4-year average. Students are expected to attend each school day unless ill and the “It’s not okay to be away” approach is implemented. School work is provided to students who are absent for an extended period.
Students Attitude to School results for 2013, as well as the 4-year average, shows Toora Primary School is similar to the median of all Victorian government schools. Increased student achievements and engagement in their learning work together to support student wellbeing and connectedness to their school and peers.