Since 2014 we have created programs of inquiry under six broad headings that align with the International Baccalaureate (IB) transdisciplinary themes. We have been an IB candidate school since September 2013 and hope to apply for authorised status in 2015 (applying does not guarantee acceptance). Students show their understanding through studying six units of inquiry across each year from kindergarten to year six and four units in preschool. These units have different emphases but allow all subject disciplines to be incorporated. Through offering a balanced learning program we aim to support and nurture the development of children's academic, personal, and social well-being. We follow the Australian Curriculum as subjects have been introduced and where they have not we follow the ACT Curriculum Framework Every Chance to Learn.
Teachers focus on delivering a differentiated curriculum for all students. This involves catering for the full range of student abilities and offering a range of activities/programs at each year level. It is important that each child be catered for whether they require additional assistance from our specialist teachers or extension programs. Recognising that children do not possess the same level of skill, maturity and development at the same chronological age we believe that every child can succeed and be proud of their personal achievements.
All teachers meet weekly in professional learning teams to discuss curriculum planning and assessment. All units of inquiry are planned with the IB coordinator, Executive leader of the team and all team members. Staff at Miles Franklin utilise a range of classroom assessments, system and national assessments (PIPS and NAPLAN for example), professional judgement, anecdotal notes and moderation guides to inform their planning and practice.
- Literacy is taught each day. Literacy programs incorporate guided reading, differentiated writing, handwriting, spelling, grammar and punctuation as well as listening, speaking and viewing.
- Numeracy programs utilise the whole-part-whole approach where explicit teaching and focus group inquiry takes place. Students in numeracy lessons are seen to problem solve, reflect, explain and demonstrate. Numeracy is taught as a teaching block regularly over the week.
- Other areas: French is the foreign language taught. We have a specialist French teacher who takes classes from kindergarten to year six for approximately one hour each week. Our French teacher also works with our preschool classes on a French awareness program. We also have a specialist PE teacher who takes each class for approximately one hour each week and also takes the school bands in years five and six. Other specialists are two reading teachers who take small groups and individuals in kindergarten and years one and two and a English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EALD) teacher who works with children from kindergarten through to year six.
Our library is a focal point of the school, opening each morning before school and at lunchtime. Students are also able to nominate themselves to be their class representatives on the Green Team and the Student Representative Council (SRC).
Information and computer technology (ICT) is used extensively across the school. Whilst we use a range of technologies appropriate for student age, we have been a lead school in the ACT in using and developing Google Apps for Education with Chromebooks as the hardware platform. We have found this to be a highly effective way of ensuring children in years three to six have daily access to technology and parents can see the work their children have completed at home if online.
Strong partnerships with parents and carers are valued so student needs can be met in the best possible ways. Relationships between home, school and the community are fundamental to the academic, social and emotional needs of each child.
The school's reporting processes serve to strengthen partnerships by informing parents and carers of student progress through formal and informal interviews, email, reports and phone conversations by classroom teachers and school leaders.