Curriculum

ICT

Toora Primary School is a vibrant small rural school situated in picturesque South Gippsland, with wonderful views and excellent facilities. It boasts new facilities since the architecturally designed school replaced the relocatables in 2010 and the sports stadium was built in 2011.  Solar panels, the underground water tank and the ongoing creation and maintenance of gardens and outdoor teaching and learning areas evidence the school’s focus on sustainability, the arts and environmental sciences. It has a recent history of strong learning outcomes and positive student attitudes. The school uses its resources effectively to support excellent student learning outcomes. ICT impacts positively on the quality of curriculum provision and students in Years 2-6 have one-on-one netbook access with Prep/1 students about to launch into their technology learning using a newly purchased set of 20 iPads.    With an enrolment sitting around sixty students there are three classroom teachers, principal, two part-time education support staff and a part-time bursar. The school has a part-time Student Welfare teacher, funded jointly through the National Schools Chaplaincy and DEECD's Student Welfare Program.
The school’s Student Family Occupation (SFO) density has increased to 0.58 indicative of a community with declining levels of advantage. Though a small staff it has a wealth of experience and diversity and works together ‘from the hills to the sea to be the best we can be. The  Victorian version of the National Curriculum, AusVELS is followed. Partnerships are particularly important to Toora Primary School and it is pro-active in initiating and maintaining partnerships for the benefit of its students.
Three classes operate at the moment - Prep/1, Grade 2/3 and a 4/5/6. School staff consisting of 3 classroom teachers, principal, part time bursar, education support staff and student welfare staff, establish positive and respectful relationships with their students.
All staff members have a shared responsibility for the overall development of students and believe that shared and demonstrated commitment to building positive and respectful relationships support students to reach their full potential.
Staff, parents and students working together strengthens students’ overall development, resilience, engagement in learning and academic achievements.
The school has an ongoing partnership with RATCH Australia. This partnership actively supports the school’s Information and Communication Technologies teaching and learning which is fundamental across the curriculum.
Teachers select an area of specialisation and teach this curriculum Prep to Year 6 during weekly Rotations, providing quality curriculum and supporting student transitions within the school. 2014 the specialist areas are: Health and Physical Education, Science and Integrated Studies.

          

ACHIEVEMENT ENGAGEMENT WELLBEING

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.

     
Grade Prep/1 Maths FRACTIONS SESSION