1

NELSON CENTRAL SCHOOL

CURRICULUM DELIVERY AN ASPIRATIONAL DOCUMENT

NCS Curriculum Framework

2

A PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION ............................................................................... 5 MINISTRY OF EDUCATION STATEMENT OF INTENT 2006-2010...................... 7
Raising Achievement................................................................................................................ 7 Reducing Disparity.................................................................................................................. 7 Effective Teaching ................................................................................................................... 8 Family and Community Engagement......................................................................................... 8 Evidence Based Policy and Practise ........................................................................................... 8 Student Diversity..................................................................................................................... 9 High and Clear Ex pectations For All Learners............................................................................ 9

THE ANNUAL GOALS AND TARGETS ..................................................................... 9
Curriculum Delivery – Key Features ....................................................................................... 10 Curriculum Goals and Targets for 2006................................................................................... 10

CONTEXT FOR THE CURRICULUM.........................................................................11
Knowledge............................................................................................................................ 11 Pedagogies ............................................................................................................................ 14 Intellectual Quality................................................................................................................ 15 Connectedness....................................................................................................................... 16 Supportive Classroom Environment........................................................................................ 17 Valuing of Diversity ............................................................................................................... 18

TEACHING FOR UNDERSTANDING/BACKWARD DESIGN ..............................18 LEARNING AND LEARNING STRATEGIES ...........................................................19 THE NEW ZEALAND CURRICULUM FRAMEWORK KEY COMPETENCIES .20 INTEGRATING ESSENTIAL LEARNING, KEY COMPETENCIES AND PEDAGOGIES................................................................................................................21

NCS Curriculum Framework

3 ORGANISING FOR CURRICULUM DELIVERY......................................................22
Life Pathways and Social Futures............................................................................................ 22 Multiliteracies and Communications Media.............................................................................. 23 Active Citi zenship.................................................................................................................. 24 Environments and Technologies.............................................................................................. 25

TRANSDISCIPLINARY THEMES ...............................................................................26
Transdisciplinary Topics........................................................................................................ 27 Five Essential Elements .......................................................................................................... 29 Concepts............................................................................................................................... 30 Key Competencies ................................................................................................................. 30 Attitudes............................................................................................................................... 30 Action .................................................................................................................................. 30

ASSESSMENT ...............................................................................................................31
Formative assessment ............................................................................................................ 31 Summative assessment ........................................................................................................... 31

RICH TASKS ..................................................................................................................31
Self Review........................................................................................................................... 33 School Assessment Map.......................................................................................................... 33 Tools.................................................................................................................................... 33

REPORTING...................................................................................................................34
The Role of the Teacher in Assessment..................................................................................... 34 The Student Portfolio............................................................................................................. 34

INQUIRY AS A PEDAGOGICAL APPROACH ........................................................35 PLANNING......................................................................................................................37 DYNAMIC SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES ................................................................37

NCS Curriculum Framework

4 DISTRIBUTED LEADERSHIP .....................................................................................37 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT............................................................................38 OUTCOMES - STUDENT PROFILE...........................................................................42
Repertoi re of Skills - Year 3.................................................................................................... 43 Repertoi re of Skills - Year 6.................................................................................................... 44

PROGRAMMES .............................................................................................................45
Children with Special Abilities ................................................................................................ 45 Children with Special Needs ................................................................................................. 45 SENCO............................................................................................................................. 45 Reading Recovery ............................................................................................................... 45 Rainbow Reading................................................................................................................ 45 Motor Skills....................................................................................................................... 46 Non English Speaking Children ............................................................................................. 46 Welcoming ESOL/NESB students at the school:................................................................... 46 Programmes fo r ESOL/NESB children will include: .............................................................. 46 In-class learning:............................................................................................................. 46 Withdrawal .................................................................................................................... 47 Social skills........................................................................................................................... 47 Library ................................................................................................................................ 47 E- Learning and Information Communication Technologies....................................................... 47 Active Environment............................................................................................................... 48 Organised Physical Activity .................................................................................................. 48 Summit Club...................................................................................................................... 48 Jump Jam ...................................................................................................................... 49 Sports Coordinator.............................................................................................................. 49 Camps & Activities ............................................................................................................. 49 Education Outside the Classroom........................................................................................... 49 The Arts ............................................................................................................................... 49 Music ............................................................................................................................... 49 Choir................................................................................................................................ 49 Orchestra........................................................................................................................... 50 Visual and Perfo rming Arts................................................................................................... 50 Production ..................................................................................................................... 50 Mask Parade .................................................................................................................. 50 Sculpture Symposium...................................................................................................... 50 Out of School Care ................................................................................................................ 50 Te Pouahi............................................................................................................................. 50

NCS Curriculum Framework

5

A Philosophy of Education
The philosophy of education that underpins the actions of the people in our school who are concerned with curriculum implementation derive from five basic philosophies of education: • Perennialism • Idealism • Realism • Experimentalism • Existentialism Perennialism is a very conservative and inflexible philosophy of education. It is based on the view that reality comes from fundamental fixed truths-especially related to God. It believes that people find truth through reasoning and revelation and that goodness is found in rational thinking. As a result, schools exist to teach reason and God's will. Students are taught to reason through structured lessons and drills. Idealism believes in refined wisdom. It is based on the view that reality is a world within a person's mind. It believes that truth is in the consistency of ideas and that goodness is an ideal state to strive to attain. As a result, schools exist to sharpen the mind and intellectual processes. Students are taught the wisdom of past heroes. Realism believes in the world as it is. It is based on the view that reality is what we observe. It believes that truth is what we sense and observe and that goodness is found in the order of the laws of nature. As a result, schools exist to reveal the order of the world and universe. Students are taught factual information. Experimentalism believes that things are constantly changing. It is based on the view that reality is what you experience. It believes that truth is what works right now and that goodness comes from group decisions. As a result, schools exist to discover and expand the society we live in. Students study social experiences and solve problems. Existentialism believes in the personal interpretation of the world. It is based on the view that the individual defines reality, truth and goodness. As a result, schools exist to aid children in knowing themselves and their place in society. Students learn what they want and discuss subjects freely. A danger associated with adopting a particular philosophy is that the view of the world through that philosophy and the ability to change it are restricted. A combination of several of these philosophies or approaches may better serve the interests of a wider range of views and possibilities. This amalgam ought to guide us in our endeavours and is perhaps best seen through the words of Tom M andel: Education makes us what we are. The most important kind of knowledge, perhaps the only kind that matters ultimately.

NCS Curriculum Framework

6 is not intellectual in its nature. I would far rather feel remorse than know how to define it. Culture is activity of thought and receptiveness to beauty and humane feeling scraps of information have nothing to do with it. All too often Americans substitute as a measure of educational excellence the display of details instead of the abilities for which they are the fuel. Education is not a perfection in the accomplishment of habits of blind obedience and prescribed diligence, but a preparation for independent action The teacher’s function is to train pupils in habits of accurate observation, not in the memorization of words. However true those words might be, they have no reality for the student unless based on his own perceptions. Do not mistake the pointing finger for the moon. For eternally and always there is only Now, the present is the only thing that has no end. To know is to do. Experience is the only teacher. Experience is the child of thought, and thought is the child of action. We cannot learn men from books. The word is not the thing. The difficulty that beginners find in the study of science is due to the large amount of technical detail which has been allowed to accumulate in the elementary textbooks, obscuring the important ideas. The governing metaphor of the school should be student as worker rather than the more familiar metaphor of teacher as deliverer of instructional services. It is a grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and learning can be promoted by coercion and sense of duty. Order and obedience we would always have and yet two of the best schools we ever knew appeared to the casual spectator to be complete uproar, confusion and chaos. Schools need not be asked to teach more and more content, but to teach what is essential and to teach it more effectively. Education is not a process of packing articles in a truck, the importance of knowledge lies in its use. A magazine of remembered facts is a useless treasure. Using knowledge is the heart of it. There is an inmost centre in us all, where truth abides in fullness, and, wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in. And to know rather con sists in opening out a way whence the imprisoned splendour may escape than in affecting entry for a light supposed to be without. The emphasis is upon placing the pupil in the midst of those things which are like what we desire him to become.

NCS Curriculum Framework

7 Let them know nothing because you have told him, but because they have learnt it themselves. Don't teach them science, let them discover it for themselves. They should be told as little as possible and induced to discover as much as possible. Teach by doing whenever you can and fall back upon words only when doing is out of the question. My friend, all theory is grey and the golden tree of life is green.

Ministry of Education Statement of Intent 2006-2010
The M inistry of Education’s Statement of Intent 2006-2010 sets out some clear expectations for schools. We are pleased to be able to confirm our commitment to the government goal: “… raise achievement and reduce disparity”.

Raising Achievement
M inistry of Education research shows that overall student achievement in New Zealand is high and that, on average, New Zealand students rank highly compared with other countries. To ensure achievement levels are maintained and improved we will: • maintain a broad view of quality and strive to increase the achievement and learning of all learners throughout their time at the school • recognise the importance of rapid increases in new knowledge, new technologies and the ability to use and apply that knowledge and technology • encompass growing global influences • prepare children to continue investing in their own learning and personal development Priority areas for raising student achievement include: • Higher levels of literacy and numeracy • Stronger self-management skills including the ability to set goals, be resourceful, make the most of opportunities and have the resilience to get through difficult times • Stronger sense of identity and self including belonging, relating and contributing to a number of communities as well as to the well-being of self, others and society • Higher levels of thinking skills creatively, critically, logically and ethically • Higher capabilities to make meaning from texts, symbols and technologies.

Reducing Disparity
Reducing disparity is about reducing the gaps between our highest and lowest achievers while raising overall levels of achievement. It is about every individual being given the encouragement, support and opportunity to realise their education potential regardless of their social or cultural background, their location or individual needs.

NCS Curriculum Framework

8

Effective Teaching
Effective teaching means teachers: • have high expectations of all learners’ ability to achieve • have the content knowledge, skills and attitudes to respond flexibly and appropriately to the needs of diverse learners to both challenge and support them to achieve. Effective teaching needs teachers to be: • able to build effective and purposeful relationships with: o learners o professional peers o family and whānau, the wider community, including stakeholders such as industry in order to strengthen their understanding of each learner and to inform teaching and learning interactions. • an integral part of a professional community committed to ongoing learning and development • up-to-date with appropriate research and current thinking in, and best practice in the pedagogy of, their teaching field • supported by employment and workplace conditions that encourage and enable effective teaching.

Family and Community Engagement
Family and community engagement in education means: • families and whānau have high expectations and support and nurture the learning of their children • families and whānau have informed, positive relationships with educators that mutually support children’s learning • communities have the resources, knowledge, leadership and skills to actively support and encourage learning • communities engage with providers to ensure that learning is relevant to community needs and aspirations.

Evidence Based Policy and Practise
We are committed to a focus on high achievement for all learners. This goal is supported by a commitment to planning, measuring results, looking for evidence about what works and what does not, and ensuring that this information is used to make improvements. We need to be strategic about our plans for student achievement and clear about the information/evidence basis that underpins them. This will see the development of explicit and successful strategies for the diversity of student needs with particular attention to groups of students not doing well. M onitoring overall student progress, using internal, national and international data to help benchmark performance, evaluating the effectiveness of programmes and the capability

NCS Curriculum Framework

9 of the teachers, will all be important in developing and reviewing strategies to improve achievement.

Student Diversity
Student diversity is the reality in today’s education system. Students represent many different home and social backgrounds and many nationalities. They represent a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, have a range of first languages and a wide range of learning needs, interests and gifts. This demands broader views of effective teaching that encompass goals of identity and social participation along with the knowledge and skills needed to participate effectively in the world. Effective teaching requires teachers to relate their teaching to the wide range of home, social and cultural contexts of their students. It also requires teachers to better recognise differences in the prior knowledge of their students and build learning from this. One key area of focus is increasing the ability of teachers to develop strategies that take greater account of the individual needs of learners while teaching and learning in a group setting.

High and Clear Expectations For All Learners
Research shows that where educators assume that all students can and will achieve, and teaching relates effectively to the backgrounds and aspirations of students, significantly improved outcomes are achieved.

The Annual Goals and Targets
“What does a national curriculum look like? It s ets the boundaries but s chools still need to make some decisions about what and how.”1

In 2006 the main curriculum theme throughout the school will be “This is our world and we are responsible for it!!”

1

Mary-Ann Mills (Ministry of Education) in an address to the NZPF National Conferen ce held in Napier July 2007.

NCS Curriculum Framework

10

Curriculum Delivery – Key Features
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. A vertical approach to curriculum delivery over 3-6 years. A transdisciplinary approach to teaching2 Full integration of science, technology and social studies. A focus on enviro-education in Year 1. Partial integration of literacy, writing, ICT, health and the arts. A largely stand alone approach to mathematics, Taha M aori, and physical education.

Curriculum Goals and Targets for 2006
1. Literacy - Raise achievement in reading with understanding for all children through the following sub targets: a. Reduce the number of children reading 2 or more years below their chronological age by improving teaching programmes. Data for 2006 students will be gathered using age appropriate tools in February-M arch and November. b. Raise achievement in reading comprehension in each class and age group through improved teaching practice. Data for 2006 students will be gathered using age appropriate tools in February-M arch and November. 2. Writing - All students in the Year 4-6 age group will improve at least one sub level in the use of surface and deeper features using the Asttle writing assessment tool. Data for 2006 students will be gathered using age appropriate tools in February-M arch and November. 3. M athematics - All students in Years 3-6 will improve their recall of basic addition and subtraction facts from 1-20. Data for 2006 students will be gathered using age appropriate tools in February-M arch and November. 4.

2

The school promotes an approach to teaching and learning which enables students to achieve deep understanding through transdisciplinary inquiries. The transdisciplinary approach draws on practices and skills across disciplines. It attempts to retain the integrity of each disciplinary methodology, epistemology and canon. Transdisciplinary learning is complex, active learning based on significant issues, tasks, questions or problems, each delivering a range o f learning outcomes deriving from several key learning areas. It uses ideas that draw on knowledge and methodologies from several disciplines. Transdisciplinary investigations involve students in using more than one discipline in solving significant real world questions or problems. Approaches that are transdisciplinary increase students’ capacity to make connections in their learning across the curriculum and between disciplines. Transdisciplinary learning is engaging for students becaus e it supports their involvement in tasks that are worthwhile, significant and meaning ful such as those undertaken by success ful adults.

NCS Curriculum Framework

11

Context for the Curriculum
Children come to school to learn and our current belief about learning is that it is: • A life-long mission. • Acquiring skills, information or habits. • Applying and using knowledge and skills in new contexts • Taking risks. • Developing understanding through forming connections The curriculum is about laying the foundations that will help children deal with aspects of an emerging world that have to be taken seriously by the school. That includes issues of identity, new economies, new technologies, diverse communities and complex cultures. These need to be the focus of debate, data analysis and collection, higher order thinking and basic skills building. The design of our approach to curriculum delivery is an attempt to meet the complexity of the challenge of preparing children for 2012 and beyond, empower and encourage teachers, unclutter the curriculum, up the ante intellectually, deliver fewer alienated students, prepare students for a future in an uncertain world, and position the classroom within the ‘global village’. We also want to provide a framework of action and support to help teachers improve their performance as teachers and to do this in a way that directly confronts the challenges that lie ahead of us.

Knowledge
“Wikipedia is an example of people participating in the production of knowledge.”3

Knowledge has been defined in many ways by countless ‘experts’. Two examples will suffice to show knowledge as a noun: “Knowledge is the internalization of information, data, and experience. Tacit Knowledge is the personal knowledge resident within the mind, behavior and perceptions of individual members of the organization. Explicit Knowledge is the formal, recorded, or systematic knowledge in the form of scientific

3

Mary-Ann Mills (Ministry of Education) in an address to the NZPF National Conferen ce held in Napier July 2007.

NCS Curriculum Framework

12 formulae, procedures, rules, organizational archives, principles, etc., and can easily be accessed, transmitted, or stored in computer files or hard copy”.4 “Knowledge is the awareness and understanding of facts, truths or information gained in the form of experience or learning (a posteriori), or through introspection (a priori)”.5 Recently Information Communication Technologies have forced us to consider knowledge as a verb. “We live in a period when foundational givens of thought are on the move … This is creating a shift in the understanding of reality [that] undermines many of the bedrock assumptions on which Western consciousness is based. … the world shifts to a post-industrial information age… If one is to be at home in this new world, the means of socialization—in particular in education—must adapt or better still, lead the way. This will require profound change in pedagogy, epistemology, content, delivery models, and organization”. 6 In her book, Catching the Knowledge Wave? Gilbert takes apart some of our most deeply-held ideas about knowledge and education, and explores the ways our schools need to change to prepare people to participate in the knowledge-based societies of the future. M ary-Ann M ills provided said, that people and children in particular need to participate in the production of knowledge and gave the growth and use of Wikipedia an example of how that is already happening. 7 The rest of this section draws entirely on Gilbert’s work. The knowledge society is an idea that is widely discussed, but not well understood. Perhaps this is because we need to use knowledge as a verb, not a noun – it something we do rather than something we have. This new meaning is quite different to the one our schools were built on, and because of this knowledge society developments are a major challenge for our schools. Gilbert argues that we cannot address this challenge by simply adding more ideas to our existing structures. We need a completely new framework, one that takes account of knowledge’s new meaning, but that in practice also gives everyone an equal opportunity to succeed. The book argues that our current education system is set up to serve industrial age, not knowledge age, needs. It works like a production line, using the traditional academic subjects to sort people according to their likely place in the job market. This, it argues, is completely inappropriate as we move into the knowledge age. If people are to have a job at all in the ‘new work order’, they need more than basic literacy and numeracy skills. Everyone (not just those heading for university) now needs ‘higher order’ thinking skills. They need the ability to be an independent learner, and the
4 5

home.earthlink.net/~ddstuhlman/defin1.htm en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge 6 http://jtd.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/4/2/105 7 Mary-Ann Mills (Ministry of Education) in an address to the NZPF National Conferen ce held in Napier July 2007.

NCS Curriculum Framework

13 ability to go on learning all their lives. However, they also need to know quite a lot – not, as in the past, at the detailed level of traditional forms of knowledge, but at the ‘systems’ or ‘big picture’ level. They also need the ability to work as part of collaborative teams in which the members acknowledge, recognise and build on each other’s strengths and weaknesses. In contrast to the present system that encourages people to master existing knowledge for its own sake, a knowledge age education system needs to help people (all people) go beyond this. It needs to help people develop the ability to generate new knowledge from old. This move from industrial age to knowledge age is a paradigm shift, not a gradual progression. One of the defining features of the knowledge age is that knowledge has a new meaning. The old idea of knowledge as ‘stuff’, something we get, and store away somewhere, is being replaced by a new view of knowledge as being more like energy – something that does things, something that makes things happen. This new view of knowledge doesn’t mean that the ‘old’ kinds of knowledge (the stuff we get to store away) don’t matter any more. On the contrary, old knowledge is the raw material for the new, so we still need to know it. However, learning the ‘old’ forms of knowledge is no longer an end in itself, as it is in our current education system. We now need to learn it so that we can do things with it: Old knowledge is the raw material for new knowledge building. The ability to do things with knowledge is now the key skill people need: however people need to be taught how to do this and they need to learn how to do it from an early age (not wait until postgraduate university level). A second key feature of the knowledge age is a new model of individuality (what it means to be a person), and, as a result, new ways of thinking about things like equality and social justice. Just as the one-size-fits-all production line model of education is no longer appropriate for developing the knowledge age’s human resources needs, the one-size-fits-all model of equality (as sameness) is not an appropriate framework for thinking about citizenship in the knowledge age. M ultiplicity, diversity, difference and hybridity are the norm now. Identity, like knowledge, is now a verb, not a noun – it is always ‘in process’, never finished. Thus we cannot expect everyone to learn things in the same way, in the same order, at the same time (as they do in the production line model). We need new, more flexible, non-linear learning systems. The new ideas about knowledge and identity are a significant challenge to our current education system. We can’t address this challenge by tinkering with the current system – a paradigm shift is needed. 8
8

http://www.nzcer.org.nz/pd fs/14057-summary.pd f

NCS Curriculum Framework

14

Currently our collective beliefs about knowledge are that knowledge is: • Constructing meaning through interaction and creativity. • Understanding demonstrated through interpreting, analysing reasoning and applying learning. • Information that furthers the acquisition of more knowledge through manipulation. • The ability to understand, transfer and use information.
What know ledge do we w ant children to develop?

Programme content identifies a body of significant knowledge for all students in all cultures, in seven principal subject areas: • Social Studies • Science • Technology • Health/Physical Education • The Arts • English • M athematics • The special character of our school also identifies Taha M aori These subjects are to be considered transdisciplinary and will be achieved through annual topics to be decided each year by the Curriculum Director and staff.

Pedagogies
Usually known as ‘teaching’ the pedagogies used in the school are comprehensive and do not focus on just one aspect of teaching. They require attention to many essential aspects of classroom teaching. Our current belief about teaching is that it is a cluster of activities undertaken by the teacher to ensure learning and includes: • Organising • Facilitating • Inspiring • M otivating • Supporting • Guiding • Informing Productive Pedagogy 9 refines the notion of teaching and takes existing techniques and learning concepts, and groups them into a simple model comprising four 'dimensions':
• •
9

Intellectual quality Relevance (or connectedness)

Productive Pedagogy is a term used in the Queensland New Basics approach to curriculum construction and delivery. It has been used here to achieve a focus on things that effective teachers ought to do at a practical classroom level.

NCS Curriculum Framework

15
• •

Socially supportive classroom environment Recognition of difference.

The measurement and evaluation of these factors, combined with the increased awareness of teachers of the most effective techniques, contributes to their success as classroom tools. Enhancing intellectual quality involves recognising that knowledge isn't a fixed body of information. This idea is consistent with Gilbert’s ideas about knowledge. It encourages students in higher-order thinking10 and has a problematic approach to knowledge which involves communicating ideas and arguments as opposed to a 'giving' approach. It's about getting students to do learning work rather than busy work, but most of all it's about engaging students in big ideas and complex understandings. Relevance (or connectedness) is simply helping students to make connections between different aspects of school learning as well as connections to their past experiences and the world beyond the classroom. A socially supportive classroom environment is one where students are able to influence activities and how they are implemented. It also involves a high degree of self-regulation by students. It's about making sure the classroom supports learning. It's not just making it a warm, happy place to be, but an environment that has high expectations of students and which encourages them to take risks in learning. Recognition of difference encompasses inclusivity of non-dominant groups, and positively developing and recognising differences and group identities.11 Here, it's important to be conscious of ways teachers can support students who come from nondominant groups, to be aware of how to best support their learning.

Intellectual Quality
Intellectual quality refers to the level at which students are engaged in authentic learning activities that promote the kind of thinking required of successful adults in the real world. Tasks and instruction with high levels of intellectual quality typically include features such as: • Complex problems or issues • Real-world tasks • Higher-order thinking • Sustained classroom discourse • Elaborated communication • Inquiry leading to in-depth understanding

10

This notion is consistent with ideas centred on Bloom’s taxonomy and has been used in the school for many years. 11 This notion is part of the school’s strategic plan Goal 3 concerning diversity.

NCS Curriculum Framework

16 We want to ensure that students manipulate information and ideas in ways which transform their meaning and implications, understand that knowledge is not a fixed body of information, and can coherently communicate ideas, concepts, arguments and explanations with rich detail. We want students, teachers and families to engage in: • Higher order thinking - students will manipulate information and ideas in ways that transform their meaning and implications • Deep knowledge –concerns the central ideas of a topic or discipline that is judged to be crucial to the topic or discipline. Relatively complex connections are established to central concepts • Substantive conversation - there is considerable teacher-students and studentstudent interaction about the ideas of a substantive topic; the interaction is reciprocal, and it promotes coherent shared understanding • Knowledge as problematic – understand that knowledge is not a fixed body of information, but rather is in the process of being constructed, and as such is subject to political, social and cultural influences and implications. M ultiple, contrasting, and potentially conflicting forms of knowledge are represented • M etalanguage - has high levels of talk about talk and writing, about how written and spoken texts work, about specific technical vocabulary and words (vocabulary), about how sentences work or don't work (syntax/grammar), about meaning structures and text structures (semantics/genre), about issues how discourses and ideologies work in speech and writing

Connectedness12
Adults in diverse fields must construct knowledge through disciplined inquiry that uses knowledge, skills, and technology. Results of the disciplined inquiry can be expressed in written, symbolic, and oral discourse, by making things (bridges for example) and in performances for audiences. These expressions and products have value beyond schools. Thus, we want to ensure that students engage with real, practical or hypothetical problems which connect to the world beyond the classroom, which are not restricted by subject boundaries and which are linked to their prior knowledge. To that end we expect that: • Knowledge integration - explicit attempts are made to connect two or more sets of subject area knowledge, or when no subject area boundaries are readily seen. Topics or problems which either require knowledge from multiple areas, or which have no clear subject areas basis in the first place are indicators of curricula which integrate school subject knowledge. • Background knowledge will be recognised and used - lessons will provide students with opportunities to make connections between their linguistic, cultural, world knowledge and experience and the topics, skills and competencies at hand.

12

Learning is fundamentally about making and maintaining connections: biologically through neural networks; mentally among concepts, ideas, and meanings; and experientially through interaction between the mind and the environment, self and other, generality and content, deliberation and action.

NCS Curriculum Framework

17 • What children learn will show connectedness with the ‘real’ world - the lesson has value and meaning beyond the instructional context, making a connection to the larger social context within which students live. This will involve the study or solving of a real-world public problem; lessons that focus directly upon or builds upon students' actual experiences or situations. The curriculum will be problem based 13 - lessons in which students are presented with a specific practical, real, or hypothetical problem (or set of problems) to solve will be conducted. Problems are defined as having no specified correct solution, requiring knowledge construction on the part of the students, and requiring sustained attention beyond a single lesson.

Supportive Classroom Environment
We want to ensure that students influence the nature of the activities they undertake, engage seriously in their study, regulate their behaviour, and know of the explicit criteria and high expectations of what they are to achieve. • Student direction - students influence what specific activities or tasks they will do in the period, or how these will be realised. 14 Such activities are likely to be student-centred, as in group work or individual research or investigative projects • Social support - the teacher supports students by conveying high expectations for all students. These expectations include: that it is necessary to take risks and try hard to master challenging academic work, that all members of the class can learn important knowledge and skills, and that a climate of mutual respect among all members of the class contributes to achievement by all. M utual respect means that students with less skill or proficiency in a subject are treated in ways that continue to encourage them and make their presence valued. If disagreement or conflict develops in the classroom, the teacher helps students resolve it in a constructive way for all concerned. • Academic engagement - on-task behaviours that signal a serious psychological investment in class work; these include attentiveness, doing the assigned work, and showing enthusiasm for this work by taking initiative to raise questions, contribute to group activities and help peers • Explicit quality performance criteria - frequent, detailed and specific statements about what it is students are to do, to achieve. This may involve overall statements regarding tasks or assignments, or about performance at different stages in a lesson

13

This is in line with a statement in the Technology Curriculum that invites children to ‘solve practical problems within society’ p8. 14 Constructivism (Vygotsky, 1986; 1978) is an approach to learning in which students’ cognitive development occurs through interaction with authentic experiences. Support is provided through scaffolding that includes structures and steps in what Vygotsky referred to as the zone of proximal development (1978; 1986). In this way, the teacher plays a support role as students apply their skills. In this school, class programmes will employ a constructivist approach in which the students and teachers will cocreate new knowledge and understanding of complex issues chosen for study. In this way students will play a significant role in their learning.

NCS Curriculum Framework

18 • Self-regulation 15 – Children are in control of their own behaviour and there is virtually no teacher talk which focuses on student behaviour or movement. The lesson proceeds without interruption.

Valuing of Diversity
We want to ensure that students know about and value a range of cultures, create positive human relationships, respect individuals, and help to create a sense of community. 16 Children will have opportunities to develop understandings of other cultures • Cultural knowledge - explicit valuing of their identity represented in such things as beliefs, languages, practices, ways of knowing. • The principle of inclusion will be followed - the degree to which non-dominant groups are represented in classroom practices by participation. • Narrative - a sequence of events chained together. The use of narrative in lessons is identified by an emphasis in teaching and in student responses on structures and forms. The use of narratives in the form of personal stories, biographies, historical accounts, literary and cultural texts • Group identity - create learning communities in which difference and group identities are positively recognised and developed within a collaborative and supportive classroom community. Differences and group identities are positively developed and recognised while at the same time a sense of community is created. • The teacher elaborates the meaning of active citizenship and facilitates its practice both within the classroom and outside.

Teaching for Understanding/Backward Design
The Teaching for Understanding (TfU)17 pedagogical framework has four key elements generative topics, understanding goals, performances of understanding and ongoing assessment. These help teachers to plan and teach more effectively. Understanding by backward design (UBD)18 is an approach to teaching for understanding in which the understandings of the unit are decided upon first, and then used as a basis to determine appropriate assessment methods to demonstrate those understandings, and finally the
15

This particular requirement aligns very clearly with the Key Competencies proposed by the Draft Curriculum Statement released on 31 July 2006. 16 Goal 3 in the school’s strategic plan makes the statement: “To Value Diversity” and this section is included to elaborate on what they might mean for children at the classroom level. 17 Teaching for Und erstanding (TfU) had its beginnings in 1988 when Howard Gardner, David Perkins and Vito Perrone from the Harvard Graduate School o f Education began a dialogue around the following questions: • What does it mean to understand something? • How do we develop understanding? • What do we need to understand?
18

The backward design process o f Wiggins & McTighe begins with the end in mind. One starts with the end - the desired results (goals or standards) - and then derives the curriculum from the eviden ce o f learning (perfo rmances) called fo r by the standard and the teaching needed to equip students to ‘perform' (Wiggins and McTighe, 2000, page 8)

NCS Curriculum Framework

19 learning experiences that will be needed to enable students to develop and demonstrate the identified understandings. TfU and UbD can be successfully combined with inquiry learning to provide powerful learning programmes for children.

Learning and Learning Strategies
The learning strategies listed here have been derived from the Queensland New Basics project although anyone reading them will instantly recognize that these are the sorts of things that take place in effective teaching environments every day. S trategy
Higher order thinking Deep knowledge Deep understanding

Focus questions
Are higher order thinking and critical analysis occurring? Does the lesson cover operational fields in any depth, detail or level of specifi city? Do the work and responses of the students provide evidence of depth o f understanding o f concepts or ideas? Does classroom talk break out of the initiation/response/evaluation pattern and lead to sustained dialogue between students, and between teach ers and students? Are students critiquing and second-guessing texts, ideas and knowledge? Are aspects of languag e, grammar and technical vocabulary being foreground ed? Does the lesson range across diverse fields, disciplines and paradigms? Is there an attempt to connect with students' background knowledg e? Do the lesson and the assigned work have any resemblan ce or connection to real-life contexts? Is there a fo cus on identifying and solving intellectual and/or real-world problems? Do students have any say in the pace, direction or outcomes of the lesson? Is the classroom a socially supportive and positive environment? Are students engaged and on-task? Are the criteri a fo r judging student performan ce made explicit? Is the direction of student behaviour implicit and self-regulatory or explicit? Are diverse cultural knowledges brought into

Substantive conversation

Knowledge problematic Metalanguag e Knowledge integration Background knowledge Connectedness to the world Problem based curriculum Student control Social support Engagement Explicit criteria Self-regulation Cultural knowledges

NCS Curriculum Framework

20
play? Are deliberate attempts made to increase the participation of students of di fferent backgrounds? Is the style of teaching principally narrative, or is it expository? Does the teaching build a sense of community and identity? Are attempts made to foster active citizenship?

Inclusivity

Narrative Group identity Citizenship

The New Zealand Curriculum Frame work Key Competencies
Five overarching and interconnected key competences form part of the curriculum. They are described in this way: • Thinking is about all kinds of thinking in all kinds of contexts. It includes creative, critical and logical thinking, and the ability to think about thinking – as well as selfawareness, reflection, and judgment. • Making meaning is about discovering meaning in ideas – represented as they may be in any of their countless forms. It is about interpreting cues and clues; about getting below the surface, about wanting to get to the bottom of things. • Relating to others is about the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes needed for living, working, and playing with others. It includes the ability and inclination to take a variety of roles in group situations – for example, leadership, conflict resolution, and negotiation – and demonstrating consideration for others. • Managing self is about making good decisions for oneself whilst recognising that we are part of a wider, interdependent, social context. It is about the inner independence that comes from being given manageable amounts of responsibility and choice. 'M anaging self' includes the ability to make plans, set goals, and estimate time needed for activities. It is also about developing strategies to overcome hurdles, and knowing when a change of course is needed. • Participating and contributing involves gaining a panoramic view of what is possible. It is about seeing one's potential to be a member of multiple communities – for example, family, iwi, and friendship groups, or communities of artists, problem solvers, sportspeople, or mathematicians. By participating, we gain the sense of achievement that comes from making a contribution to local and global communities.

NCS Curriculum Framework

21

Integrating Essential Learning, Key Competencies and Pedagogies

Make good decisions Recognise wider, interdependent, Social contexts Inner independenc e Manage s elf & time Knowledge, s kills, Having a say i n learning Values & attitudes needed Creative Self regulati on to live, Critical Sens e of identity New Zealand Wor k & play with others Logical Building on one’s Curriculum Ability to take on roles Met cognition bac kground At the centre of this model lie three key domains – personal social and cognitive. The Framework five Critique Making connections Understandi ng valui ng draft key competencies&can be arranged within those three Self awareness, refl ection domains. Each key diversity & judgment Manag ing the competencyPracticing inclusi vity has been elaborated to bridgeSe lf gap to the teacher’s in higher or der Engaging role in pedagogy – thinking using ‘productive pedagogies’ that effective learning for children. That the productive Make knowl edge pedagogies lie between ng to others Zealand Curriculum framework and the key Persona l Relati the New problematic Thinkin g Knowledge integration competencies is no accident. Teachers are expected to make the learning and practice of

key competencies their central focus. In doing that they are expected to draw on the New Social Cogn itive Productive Zealand Curriculum Participati ng & contrib uting Framework. That represents a critical change from the 1992 Pedagogies New Using l ang uag e, Essential Zealand Curriculum Framework expectations where the symbols & text Learning Areas had become a key area ofGaining a panoramic view focus.
of what is possible Recognising self potential to be a member of Multiple communiti es Taki ng part in substanti ve conversation Sol ving real world problems Sens e of citizens hip Discover meani ng in ideas regardless of form Interpr eting cues & cl ues Going beneath the s urface Arriving at the essence of something Gaining deep knowl edge & understanding

NCS Curriculum Framework

22

Organising for Curriculum Delivery
Ours is a futures-oriented way of organising curriculum. Essentially it is a way of managing the enormous increase in information resulting from globalisation and the rapid rate of change in the economic, social and cultural dimensions of our existence. The Draft New Zealand Curriculum has suggested some ways a school might organise a curriculum and these have been incorporated into the organisers proposed for our school. We use clusters of essential practices that students need in order to flourish in 'new times'. Apart from globalisation, factors contributing to new times include the shift towards new and constantly changing technologies, complex transformations in cultural and social relationships, fluid demographics, and a sense of uncertainty about the future. At the same time, and specifically related to the education field, are the increasingly complicated demands on teaching and assessment that have accompanied the diversification of classrooms. The curriculum is organised around are four organisers: • Life pathways and social futures • M ultiliteracies and communications media • Active citizenship • Environments and technologies They have an explicit orientation towards researching, understanding, and coming to grips with the new economic, cultural and social conditions. These four clusters of practice are deemed to be essential for lifelong learning by the individual, for social cohesion, and for economic wellbeing. This approach will help teachers and curriculum planners to move beyond a defence of status quo knowledges to a critical engagement with the ongoing change that characterises new times. The curriculum is predicated on the existence of mindful schools, where intellectual engagement and connectedness to the real world are constant foci.

Life Pathways and Social Futures
This refers to that cluster of practices students need to master in order to flourish in a changing world. It involves both understanding the self and relationships with others, mental and physical health, and designing a place for the self in the changing contexts of work and community.

NCS Curriculum Framework

23

Because we are not certain that we know futures - the future of an individual, the future of the world, we best ensure that our students are prepared for uncertain futures by allowing diversity within a general framework that emphasises the value and, hence, relevance, of development of human qualities and potential. An understanding of self involves knowing who one is (e.g. genetic makeup), where one has come from (e.g. some cultures place significant importance on knowing about connections to the past), and where one wants to go. • Living in and preparing for diverse family relationship • Collaborating with peers and others • M aintaining health and care of the self • Learning about and preparing for new worlds of work • Developing initiative and enterprise Students also explore what it is to be innovative and entrepreneurial. Through their learning experiences, they develop the understandings, skills, competencies, and attributes that equip them to be innovative. They can identify, create, initiate, and successfully manage personal, community, business, and work opportunities, including working for themselves.

Multiliteracies and Communications Media
How do I make sense of and communicate with the world? • Blending traditional and new communications media • M aking creative judgments and engaging in performance • Communicating using languages and intercultural understandings • M astering literacy and numeracy • M astering critical literacies such as financial literacy, in which students build personal financial capability so that they are able to contribute to New Zealand’s future economic well-being. M ultiliteracies and communications media, refers to technologies of communication that use various codes for the exchange of messages, texts and information. Historically, communications media have included spoken language, writing, print and some visual media like photograph and film. Since World War II, the various electronic media such as television and other digital information technologies have provided much more complex audiovisual layers to these. Yet the old technologies of pen writing, book reading, spoken communications, mental arithmetic and so on are not made redundant by these changes. They remain central to the New Basics. But if new communications technologies are viewed merely as add-ons then there is the danger of further crowding an already cluttered curriculum. New communications change the way we use old media, enhancing and augmenting them.

NCS Curriculum Framework

24 Communications media require mastery of symbolic codes ranging from number systems to sign language, from linguistic grammars to computer codes. Networked societies call for various kinds of literacy simultaneously, the mastery of many different codes, and the capacity to switch between and blend multiliteracies. For instance, to read or construct a web page requires an array of literacies and numeracies: traditional print literacies (to record information and ideas); visual literacies (for overall design and to manipulate images); aural and musical literacies (to build a soundscape around the page); mathematical understandings of number and chance and data (to keep track of usage and to survey interest levels). To participate effectively in the global village as well as in the ever-increasing number of cosmopolitan pockets in New Zealand requires skills of communicating across different cultural and language groups. This requires an understanding of, and basic means for, communicating with people from many communities and cultures - local and global, face-to-face, in selected languages, and with sensitivity to their needs and practices.

Active Citizenship
Students explore what it means to be a citizen. Through their participation in learning experiences in the school or community, they learn how to become active, informed, and responsible citizens who know how to contribute positively to the development and well-being of the society in which they live. Active citizenship raises basic questions such as “What are my rights and responsibilities in communities, cultures and economies?” and require us to address with children issues such as • Interacting within local and global communities • Operating within shifting cultural identities • Understanding local and global economic forces • Understanding the historical foundation of social movements and civic institutions Schooling was founded on the development of students as worthwhile and contributing citizens. Producing active citizens remains a specific goal of schooling-whether the active citizens are compliant members of an assumed social order, participants within given social structures, or active agents of social change. This approach involves students in the reinvigoration of valued social practices and civic institutions through exercising their democratic rights and responsibilities. In recent times, there has been increased advocacy for the importance of preparing students to play a more active role in society. This view of citizenship suggests that schools engage students in active participation in social, political and economic issues in communities, as well as in their school life and studies. Communities take on a different perspective when viewed not merely as physical spaces with clearly defined boundaries but as a series of interacting, intersecting social relationships and groupings. Important social changes and issues may have local impacts, but also reflect global dynamics. The power of communications technology in redefining what were once reasonably static and defined boundaries has to be acknowledged in this context. For example, the online economy is changing patterns of consumption,

NCS Curriculum Framework

25 production and delivery of goods and services. It has created new industries based on products and services especially designed to exploit these opportunities. Because the election of governments, the fall of political regimes, and the gruesome details of war are portrayed in our homes on tiny screens every day, young people need help in understanding the significance of these events and some criteria for evaluating them.

Environments and Technologies
This organiser invites us to examine ways to describe, analyse and shape the world around us through such issues as: • Developing a scientific understanding of the world • Working with design and engineering technologies • Building and sustaining environments Environments and technologies, provides students and teachers with the opportunity to examine and interact critically with the physical world. It is based on the premise that our environment, and the technologies we use to manipulate it, can be studied and understood through active participation in real-world contexts. Natural and built environments interact with each other in complex ways, and issues of sustainability and adaptability are not exclusively the domain of one or the other. Students investigate the long term impact of social, scientific, technological, economic, or political practices and consider alternatives that might prove more durable for the economy, for society, and for the environment. Environments involve people locally and globally and it is important that sight not be lost of this. In studies of Asia, for example, students explore what it means to be part of the global community as they learn about and connect with the peoples and cultures of Asia. Such studies can encompass both the diversity of the Asian region and the diversity of people from Asian backgrounds living in New Zealand. It is important that public concerns are not dealt with by value-neutral experts or by manufacturing controversy. But a cautionary note must be sounded. It is also important that public concerns are not turned into a forum for sharing ignorance or withholding the worst aspects of a situation. The way to ensure that the expression of an opinion on such matters is founded on a knowledge base is to ensure that students are not scientifically illiterate. In Environments and technologies, knowledges and skills from various scientific, technological and environmental domains are combined with design processes and practices to complete practical activities. Study should focus on the application of basic scientific understandings to relocate learning within contexts from the wide world (and the universe). This category stresses the importance of people developing a harmonious relationship between natural and built environments. In this context, ecological and economic

NCS Curriculum Framework

26 sustainability have become both cultural and curriculum imperatives. Living in and building sustainable environments involves careful planning and consultation, and is an area in which schools have become increasingly involved. The implementation of this category means that students will have the opportunity to apply their scientific, technological, environmental and design understandings within a practice-oriented framework. Issues of adaptability and transformability, which are normally associated with technological progression, take on new significance. In order to deal with environmental challenges, we need people who think broadly and who understand systems, connections, patterns and causes. These issues have social, scientific, cultural, economic and ethical aspects-all of which are important for incorporation into a school program. Specialist discipline-based knowledge, while providing critical contributions to our understanding, is no longer of itself adequate. Such knowledge needs to be harnessed and applied to the broader environmental and technological issues facing the world.

We are concerned here with enhancing activity in context. Unless that activity is made integral to the learning there is a risk that scientific understanding and processes will be regarded as irrelevant to the lives of the vast majority of students who choose to not study science at advanced levels after leaving school.

Transdisciplinary The mes
Subject knowledge should be integrated using the four curriculum organizers above since they address the key questions that curricula the world over are grappling with: • Who am I and where am I going? • Where we are in place and time? • How does the world work? • How do I describe, analyse and shape the world around me? • How do I make sense of and communicate with the world? • What are my rights and responsibilities in communities, cultures and economies? • How we organize ourselves? • How do we share the planet? The transdisciplinary themes provide the framework for the exploration of knowledge. Teachers and students are guided by these themes as they design curricular units for exploration and study. Students explore subject areas through these themes, often in ways that transcend conventional subject boundaries. In the process, they develop an

NCS Curriculum Framework

27 understanding of important concepts, acquire essential skills and knowledge, develop particular attitudes and learn to take socially responsible action.

Transdisciplinary Topics
Each year transdisciplinary themes are expressed as topics or major understandings. In 2006 the topic for the year is “This is our world and we are responsible

for it!!” The emphasis will be on Social Studies, Science and Technology although
teaching and learning will utilize other areas of knowledge. An outline of a section of the 2006 curriculum plan illustrates how we currently think about the transdisciplinary approach to curriculum organization and delivery.
Year 2006 Major Curriculum Social Studies Enduring Understanding This is our world and we are responsible for it! Sub Themes Me, My Family, My Community Key Competencies Participating and contributing Our class needs to work together to succeed. I have an important role to play in my fa mily. I am part of a wider community. Relating to others Friends are there for each other through thick and thin. I can make new friends and maintain friendships. Making meaning P lanning for change involves new ideas and perseverance Managing self I need to be responsible for my own learning: * Doing my best * Making good choices * Getting along with others * Looking after our world Thinking Opportunities for changing, creating and conserving are all around

Minor Curriculum Science

I can have an impact on my environment Our environment contains unique features that need sustaining

My environment

Technology

Our space should be designed to meet our needs

Health & P hysical Education

I can be a better learner

My learning

The Arts

Great artists often break with established traditions, conventions and techniques to better express what they see and feel.

Sharing my learning can take many forms

NCS Curriculum Framework

28 Currently we are building a plan for curriculum delivery within the framework below:
Year 2006 Major Curriculum Social Studies Enduring Understanding This is our world and we are responsible for it! Science and technology can help us to build a sustainable future Minor Curriculum Science – Environmental Health & PE Technology The Arts Information communication technology Social Studies The Arts Enduring Understanding Sub Themes Me My family My Environment Term 1- Me and My Environment Term 2 Science in our lives Term 3 - How technology will work for us Term 4 - The future starts now 2008 Health and P.E. We owe it to ourselves to have a personal health plan Science Technology Social Studies The Arts Science – Environmental Health & PE Technology The Arts Health & PE Social Studies The Arts Science Technology Social Studies The Arts Key Competencies

Opportunities for changing, creating and conserving are all around
Ours is a technological future

2007

Science & Technology

2009

Social Studies

2010

Science & Technology Health and P.E.

2011

There is considerable scope for refining the plan as we approach each year. For example, based on our experiences in 2006, the following is an outline of what 2007 could look like.
Curriculum Plan (Draft) 2007 Life Pathways and Multiliteracies and Social Futures Communications (LPSF) Media (M&CM) Ours is a Technological Future (E&T) Term 1 LPSF Me & My Environment Term 2 M&CM Active Citizenship (AC) Environments and Technologies (E&T)

Term 3 E&T

Term 4 AC)

We can record our life stories in digital portfolios Health & PE, Social Technology, English Studies

We can record our Technology helps us life stories in digital to be global citizens portfolios Technology, English Technology, Science, Social Studies

NCS Curriculum Framework

29
Essential Questions Who am I? Who are my peers? What is my environment? How can technology help us to improve the way we reco rd our history? Essential Questions How do we record our history? Essential Questions How do I …? Essential Questions What is the capacity of ICT to assist us to connect with the world? Edutainment or Education? Who is in control? What knowledge can we generate that will be useful in the future? Present a basic digital Research a global portfolio to answer issue, present the questions posed infindings, raise Term 1 questions, propose useful lines of inquiry. Possibilities Possibilities Case studies Case studies

What role do I play in the lives of others and What design, in my environment? technological, individual, cooperative or other skills do I need to learn?

Possibilities Case studies

Possibilities Case studies

Five Essential Elements
Five essential elements underpin the choice of themes, topics and units of work. These are reflected elsewhere in this document but are presented here in another format to assist understanding. In this framework concepts, competencies and attitudes come together to inform/shape action. CONCEPTS
Form Function Causation Change Connection Perspective Responsibility Reflection Cooperation Confidence Commitment

COMPETENCIES
Relating to others Managing self Participating and contributing Thinking Using languages, symbols and Research

ATTITUDES ACTION
Tolerance Respect Integrity Independence texts Enthusiasm Empathy Curiosity Creativity Reflect Choose Act

NCS Curriculum Framework

30
Appreciation

The first four – concepts, competencies, attitudes and actions – are relevant in and across all subject content areas and provide the framework for structured and purposeful inquiry. They can have different applications and interpretations, depending on the subject area. The fifth element is knowledge, which is considered to be a holistic understanding of ideas, not merely the acquisition of facts and skills and should be read in light of the insights provided by Jane Gilbert whose work was presented earlier.

Concepts
What do we w ant students to understand?

Eight fundamental concepts, related to the curriculum organizers described above and expressed as key questions here, propel the process of inquiry and help to encourage a transdisciplinary perspective. These concepts drive planning and teaching processes including units of inquiry – the details of which teachers and students design together they lie at the heart of the curriculum model. The concepts are the following: • Form: What is it like? • Function: How does it work? • Causation: Why is it like it is? • Change: How is it changing? • Connection: How is it connected to other things? • Perspective: What are the points of view? • Responsibility: What is our responsibility? • Reflection: How do we know?

Key Competencies
What do we w ant students to be able to do?

Key competencies19 are essential throughout life, for work and play. They are the capabilities people need to live and to learn to make a contribution as active members of their community. The key competencies acquired in the process of structured inquiry are thinking, communication, social, research and self-management skills. See also the repertoire of skills outlined below.

Attitudes
What do we w ant students to feel, value and dem onstrate?

The programme promotes and fosters a set of attitudes that include tolerance, respect, integrity, independence, enthusiasm, empathy, curiosity, creativity, cooperation, confidence, commitment and appreciation. See also the profile for students set out below.

Action
How do we want students to act?

Students are encouraged to reflect, to make informed choices and to take action that will help their peers, school staff and the wider community. The actions we would like to see
19

These were presented on p20-21.

NCS Curriculum Framework

31 them engage in during their lives are reflected in the key curriculum organizers discussed above.

Assessment
Assessment is the process of acquiring information and making judgments about students' learning. The purposes of assessment include the following: • to assist student learning related to outcomes, • to make judgments about students' achievements, • to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching programs, and • to inform decisions about students' future learning. Teachers organize continuous assessment over the course of the school year according to specified assessment criteria that correspond to the objectives of each programme of work.

Formative assessment
is interwoven with daily learning and helps teachers and students find out what the students already know in order to plan the next stage in learning. Formative assessment and teaching are directly linked; neither can function effectively or purposefully without the other.

Summative assessment
happens at the end of the teaching and learning process and gives the students opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned. The school promotes the use of a range and balance of school-based assessment and feedback techniques, including student/teacher/parent conferences, writing samples, structured observations, and performance tasks assessed by teachers and by the students themselves.

Rich Tasks
The Rich Tasks approach to teaching and assessment is being developed in the school and utilizes a number of approaches currently used widely in schools. That includes the testing activities used in the NEM P project and the exemplars used in English and other curriculum areas. A Rich Task20 is a culminating performance or demonstration or product that is purposeful and models a life role. 21 It presents substantive, real problems to solve and
20

A Rich Task is the outward and visible sign of student engagement with the curriculum. It is the assessable and repo rtable outcome o f a curri culum plan that prepares students for the challeng es of li fe in 'new times'. A Rich Task is a reconceptualisation of the notion of outcome as demonstration or display of mastery; that is, students display their understandings, knowledges and skills through performan ce on transdisciplinary activities that have an obvious connection to the wide world. In this respect it is synonymous with authentic assessment and is consistent with the requirements of the Teaching fo r Understanding model of curriculum implementation. 21 A Rich Task is the culmination of three years’ work. It is not a short-term ‘project’. Not only is the quality of the product important but also the intellectual strategies that are acquired by the student in the processes leading up to the completion of the task.

NCS Curriculum Framework

32 engages learners in forms of pragmatic social action that have real value in the world. The problems require identification, analysis and resolution, and require students to analyse, theorise and engage intellectually with the world. In this way, tasks connect to the world outside the classroom. As well as having this connectedness, the tasks are also rich in their application: they represent an educational outcome of demonstrable and substantial intellectual and educational value. And, to be truly rich, a task must be transdisciplinary.22 Rich Tasks have relevance and power in new worlds of work and everyday life. It is important that they have recognisable face value with educators, parents and community stakeholders as being significant and important. Finally, it is crucial that tasks be rich in developmental, cognitive and intellectual depth and breadth to guide curriculum planning across a significant span of schooling. In summary, a Rich Task: • is an integrated intellectual and linguistic, social and cultural practice • represents an educational outcome of demonstrable and substantive intellectual substance and educational value • is transdisciplinary • draws on a range of operational fields of knowledge • engages knowledges and skills from at least two of the New Basics clusters • is problem-based • connects to the world beyond the classroom • has face value for educators, parents and community stakeholders • has sufficient intellectual, cognitive and developmental depth and breadth to guide curriculum planning across a significant span of schooling • enables flexibility for schools to address the local context • has reasonable workload expectations for teachers. Although Rich Tasks vary in the intensity of what is expected of students, all of them: • draw from academic scholarship and connect to sensible decisions in a prudent world • draw on topics widely accepted in history, science, mathematics, home economics and so on • ask for straightforward analyses and the possession of ingenuity • ask for analyses that go beyond the data presented (that is, ask the student to do autonomous creative work) • call for realistic decisions and defences of those decisions • involve topics of interest to people in that age group • require judgments that most young people would expect of thoughtful citizens

22

Transdisciplinary learnings draw upon practices and skills across disciplines while retaining the integrity of each individual discipline. This is not the same as the traditional interdisciplinary approach that seeks links between disciplines often via thematic learning.

NCS Curriculum Framework

33 • depend, in some cases, on the judgment of adults monitoring the process (for example, by defining terms or shaping contemporary meaning).

Thus, Rich Tasks are the assessable and reportable outcomes of a curriculum plan that prepares students for the challenges of life in 'new times'. The Rich Task is a reconceptualisation of the notion of outcome as demonstration or display of mastery; that is, students display their understandings, knowledges and skills through performance on transdisciplinary activities that have an obvious connection to the wide world.

Self Review
The approach to self review utilises a number of checklists to provide feedback on: • the National Education Goals • The National Administration Guidelines • The School Strategic Plan • The Curriculum Plan The information provided by teachers is used to inform analysis and to make planning decisions.

School Assessment Map
The school assessment map is a plan that coordinates the assessment activities used in the school23.

Tools
Some of the assessment tools used in the assessment map include: • AsTTle • STAR • PAT Listening • Running records • Exemplars • NumPA • GLOSS • Performances of Understanding • High Frequency word lists • Essential Spelling Lists
23

See Appendix

NCS Curriculum Framework

34

Reporting
Regular school assessment and reporting play a major role: • in the students’ and parents’ understanding of the objectives and assessment criteria • in the students’ preparation of their work for assessment • in the development of the curriculum according to the principles of the programme. Teachers are responsible for structuring varied and valid assessment that will allow students to demonstrate achievement according to the objectives for each programme. These include: • open-ended, problem-solving activities • investigations • organized debates • hands-on experimentation • analysis and reflection. In keeping with the ethos of approaches to learning, teachers will also make use of quantitative and qualitative assessment strategies and tools that provide opportunities for peer- and self-assessment. The recording and reporting of individual levels of achievement are organized in ways that provide students with detailed feedback on their progress as it relates to the assessment criteria for each programme of work.

The Role of the Teacher in Assessment
The teacher is expected to record the detail of the inquiry initiated by children in order to look for an increase in the substance and depth of the inquiry. The teacher needs to consider: – if the nature of children's inquiry develops over time – if, in fact, they are asking questions of more depth which are likely to enhance their learning substantially – if children are becoming aware that real problems require solutions based on the integration of knowledge that spans and connects many subject areas – if children are demonstrating mastery of skills and an accumulation of a comprehensive knowledge base to be able to conduct their inquiries successfully, find solutions, and solve problems – if children are demonstrating both independence and an ability to work collaboratively.

The Student Portfolio
The student portfolio – a profile of student achievement and accomplishments – is an important mechanism for documenting a student’s educational progress through the curriculum. Beginning in 2007 staff will take part in a professional development programme based on Digital Stories (DS). DS are electronic forms of the well known student portfolio. However there are some key differences: • portfolios will be largely digital

NCS Curriculum Framework

35 • children will own the portfolios (as compared with teachers owning them) The student and teachers collaborate on selections for the portfolio, which may contain: • Examples of the student’s work • Information about any extracurricular achievements or other activities undertaken by the student • A self- assessment by the student • A reflective element • The portfolio also serves as the focus for parent interviews and places the student in control • The portfolio will also assist in handling transfers of students between classes and between schools

Inquiry as a Pedagogical Approach
Inquiry as a pedagogical approach is recognized as being intimately connected with the development of children’s comprehension of the world. The inquirer stands at the “border of knowing and not knowing” (Wells Lindfors, 1999). Inquiry, interpreted in the broadest sense, is the process initiated by the learner or the teacher, which moves the learner from his or her current level of understanding to a new and deeper level of understanding. This can mean: – exploring, wondering and questioning – experimenting and playing with possibilities – researching and seeking information – collecting data and reporting findings – clarifying existing ideas and reappraising events – deepening understanding through the application of a concept or rule – making and testing theories – making predictions and acting purposefully to see what happens – elaborating on solutions to problems. The teacher’s structuring of new experiences, and support of children’s ideas of new experiences, are fundamental to the process of incremental growth of knowledge and formation of concepts. The school emphasizes that children’s learning, and their attempts to make the world around them understandable, are essentially social acts of communication and collaboration. The school emphasizes the importance of children making connections between their experience and the incremental pieces of new information they encounter. The programme supports the child’s struggle to gain understanding of the world and to learn to function comfortably within it, to move from not knowing to knowing, to identifying what is real and what is not real, to acknowledging what is appropriate and what is not

NCS Curriculum Framework

36 appropriate. To do this the child must integrate a great deal of information and apply this accumulation of knowledge in a cohesive and effective way. Inquiry involves an active engagement with the environment in an effort to make sense of the world, and consequent reflection on the connections between the experiences encountered and the information gathered. Inquiry involves the synthesis, analysis and manipulation of knowledge, whether through play for younger children or through more formally structured learning in the primary years. The lively, animated process of inquiry appears differently within different age ranges. The developmental range evident in a group of 5-year-olds, which can often be from three to eight years, demands that the teacher be a careful, thoughtful participant in, and monitor of, the ongoing exploration and investigation that the children engage in or initiate. The programme provides guidelines for the teachers of young children concerning the role of the environment in presenting surprises to the children, for them to wonder at and be curious about, and to stimulate purposeful play. The school recognizes many different forms of inquiry based on children's genuine curiosity and on their wanting and needing to know more about the world. It is most successful when children's questions are honest and have real significance in moving them in a substantial way to new levels of knowledge and understanding. The most penetrating questions, ones most likely to move the child's understanding further, come from existing knowledge. The structure of the learning environment, the home, the classroom, the school, the community, and the behaviour modeled by others in that environment, particularly the parent and the teacher, will lay down the knowledge base that will nurture meaningful participation and inquiry on the part of the child. An explicit expectation is that successful inquiry will lead to responsible action, initiated by the children as a result of the learning process. This action may extend the child's learning, or it may have a wider social impact, and will clearly look different within each age range. Aspects of other pedagogical approaches can also be incorporated into the teachers ‘tool kit’ and will provide additional support for learning programmes. The relationship between the three models can be described as: Gardner and Perkins Teaching for Understanding Integrated Inquiry framework
• • • •

Wiggins & McTighe The Backward Design Process

Throughlines (Overarching Goals) Generative Topics Understanding Goals Understanding Performances

• • • • •

Tuning In Finding Out Sorting Out Going Further Making Conclusions

Stage 1 - What is worthy and requiring of understanding? Stage 2 - What is evidence of

NCS Curriculum Framework

37

On-going Assessment

Taking Action

understanding? Stage 3 - What learning experiences and teaching promote understanding, interest and excellence.

Planning
To help teachers plan effectively for inquiry learning a number of planning formats are available to teachers 24. Unit planners are designed around seven open-ended questions: • What is our purpose? • What resources will we use? • What do we want to learn? • How best will we learn? • How will we know what we have learned? • How will we take action? • To what extent did we achieve our purpose? Whole school planning provides a framework for connectedness, coherence, balance and continuity. It requires the support and involvement of all groups including students, teachers, parents and the wider community.

Dynamic systems and processes
• • • • • • • • • • Leadership Student oriented Achievement driven Data based decision-making Quality planning Professional development Problem solving teams Personal commitment Collegial support Appropriate resources

Distributed Leadership
Distributed and authentic leadership is practiced in the school through the organization of management teams into two types – strategic and operational 25. Three distinctive elements of the concept of distributed leadership are offered.

24 25

See Appendix 2 for a sample of a planning fo rmat that might be used by teachers. See Appendix 3 for a diagram that shows the management teams in the school.

NCS Curriculum Framework

38 Firstly, distributed leadership highlights leadership as an emergent property of a group or network of interacting individuals. This contrasts with leadership as a phenomenon which arises from the individual and responsibility which arises as the result of legislation. Gronn’s work is helpful in explicating and elaborating this concept. What is most distinctive about the notion of distributed leadership is summed up in the term concertive action. Contrasted with numerical or additive action (which is the aggregated effect of a number of individuals contributing their initiative and expertise in different ways to a group or organisation), concertive action is about the additional dynamic which is the product of conjoint activity. Where people work together in such a way that they pool their initiative and expertise, the outcome is a product or energy which is greater than the sum of their individual actions. Secondly, distributed leadership suggests openness of the boundaries of leadership. This means that it is predisposed to widen the conventional net of leaders, thus in turn raising the question of which individuals and groups are to be brought into leadership or seen as contributors to it. Of itself, the notion of distributed leadership does not suggest how wide that boundary should be set. The organisation of school management as displayed in other school documentation should help to clarify the boundaries used here. There are no limits built into the concept of distributive leadership. This openness is not limited merely to the extent to which the conventional net is widened within a particular community. It also raises the question of the boundaries of the community within which leadership is distributed. M uch of the literature examines the concept of distributed leadership in relation to the teachers in the school. However, there are other members of the school community whose roles need to be considered. In particular, what are the roles of the parents, pupils or elected board of trustees in relation to distributed leadership? Thirdly, distributed leadership entails the view that varieties of expertise are distributed across the many, not the few. Related to openness of the boundaries of leadership is the idea that numerous, distinct, germane perspectives and capabilities can be found in individuals spread through the group or organisation. If these are brought together it is possible to forge a concertive dynamic which represents more than the sum of the individual contributors. Initiatives may be inaugurated by those with relevant skills in a particular context, but others will then adopt, adapt and improve them within a mutually trusting and supportive culture. If distributed leadership is to be seen as distinctive from other formulations of leadership, it is the first of these characteristics – leadership as the product of concertive or conjoint activity, emphasising it as an emergent property of a group or network – which will underpin it. From this perspective, distributed leadership is an important analytical tool for thinking about leadership and re-orientating thinking about its nature.

Professional Development
Teachers must be dedicated to a continuous plan of professional development that extends through the life of their professional career in education through on-going and

NCS Curriculum Framework

39 sustained professional development endeavours 26. We believe that effective teachers are life-long learners, that professional development must be an on-going process of refining skills, inquiring into practice, and developing new methods. The professional strengths and accomplishments of the school must work to complement the learning needs and requirements of the entire student population. Professional development activities must also complement both the needs of the educator and the goals and objectives of the school. These activities must focus on the conditions which affect student learning in order for teachers to develop the knowledge and expertise needed to enable students to function as independent thinkers and creative learners both in the school community and in the larger environment of society as a whole. In addition, professional development must engage each teacher in a collegial and collaborative dialogue with other teachers and education partners to broaden the knowledge and expertise needed to guide students toward the successful attainment and mastery of the school curriculum. Effective implementation of new techniques requires financial support, time and planning. Therefore, those new techniques and practices should be protected and nurtured as well as appropriately evaluated. Experimentation that is supported by a nurturing environment will encourage an atmosphere where teachers constantly seek to learn about their work and to grow from the experience. A common set of beliefs about teaching and learning is reflected in the following standards for professional development plans pursued by individual staff members. 1. Enhances knowledge of subject content a. assists teachers in acquiring content knowledge within their own discipline(s) and in application(s) to other disciplines b. enables classroom professionals to help students achieve in the school curriculum 2. Improves understanding of the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of each learner and ensures that teachers utilize appropriate teaching skills to enable students to meet or exceed their potential a. enables teachers to adjust instructional strategies based on knowledge of how students learn and develop b. enables teachers to plan and design approaches and strategies to support the intellectual, social, and personal development of each learner c. assists teachers to recognize students’ strengths and potential d. enables teachers to respect students’ talents, abilities and perspectives e. enables teachers to plan and design instructional strategies for inclusive classrooms

26

Each teach er is required to maintain a record of pro fessional development they have undert aken during the year. In 2006 teachers are required to prepare a person al pro fessional development plan for literacy.

NCS Curriculum Framework

40 f. encourages the establishment of a learning environment that enhances student learning and critical thinking g. supports a philosophy of school and classroom-based management which maximizes student learning 3. Reflects best available interpretations of relevant knowledge, including empirical research and the consensus of professional opinion in teaching, learning, and leadership and enables teachers to: a. keep abreast of current educational research b. integrate new understandings into content and instruction c. enhance student learning through study and experience d. enables teachers to provide challenging and developmentally-appropriate curricula that engage students in learning and thinking e. acknowledges and respects the intellectual and leadership capacity of teachers f. enables teachers to enhance their leadership skills and utilize them in the education community 4. Encourages teachers to develop a variety of classroom based assessment skills a. assists teachers in adapting instruction based on observation and analysis of student work b. enables teachers to select, construct, and use assessment strategies for monitoring and supporting student learning c. assists teachers to develop assessment strategies linked to the curriculum requirements 5. Provides for integrating new learning into the curriculum and the classroom a. empowers teachers to connect their learning to what they teach and to incorporate new concepts into practice b. provides for initiation and implementation of desired change to achieve student outcomes c. provides for ongoing support for individual teachers within the school environment 6. Is based on knowledge of adult learning and development a. recognizes adult motivation, stages of development, personal goals and needs and levels of expertise b. encourages both the individual and the collaborative talents of teachers c. applies what is known about motivation for growth and enhances positive feelings of self worth d. fosters confidence in teachers’ abilities to achieve success e. utilizes a variety of models and approaches, such as individually-guided staff development, observation/assessment, involvement in a development/improvement process, training, inquiry, etc.

NCS Curriculum Framework

41 7. Is periodically assessed to show its impact on teaching practice and/or student learning a. utilizes a careful analysis of classroom, school and other data to guide future professional development efforts b. uses teachers’ self-assessment to evaluate the impact of professional development 8. Results from clear, coherent, strategic planning that is embraced and supported by the Board of Trustees a. delineates what students are expected to know and be able to do b. supports a clearly delineated vision and is aligned with the school goals c. focuses on sound, research-based theories in school management d. focuses on individual, collegial, school improvement e. is perceived by the professional staff and the community as a critical part of the quest for excellence f. fosters the use of reflection and self-assessment in professional and intellectual growth g. allows teachers to pursue personal educational opportunities that reflect the school’s strategic plan h. encourages careful experimentation with new practice and creative use of best practice i. reflects the educational outcomes the school seeks to achieve j. assists teachers in analyzing disaggregated student data (i.e., gender, socioeconomics and ethnicity) and in making decisions based on that data 9. Develops a school culture that fosters continuous improvement and that challenges traditional roles and relationships among teachers a. recognizes that collegial support and interaction are essential to the success of every aspect of education b. provides for ongoing and meaningful collaboration among teachers c. values individual efforts at self improvement d. provides teachers with incentives and support to pursue a plan of continuous improvement e. involves strong leadership from all areas of the school community to encourage a commitment to life-long learning f. encourages creativity and innovation g. supports the ongoing development of new skills in a collaborative environment h. values the contribution of practitioners in the pursuit of enhanced student learning 10. Is supported by the intellectual and financial commitment which enables the achievement of professional development plans a. is an on-going process which respects the personal strengths and needs of each educator

NCS Curriculum Framework

42 b. encourages management to support and participate in learning experiences that will enhance their understanding of good professional development c. is supported by a continuous and sufficient commitment of funding to achieve the professional development plans d. includes access to technologies and other modern resources that are essential to effective professional work and learning 11. Is supported by sufficient time during working hours to engage in collegial consultation and learning and to support professional development a. provides time for teachers to team plan, collaborate, analyze data and student work, develop and implement instructional practices, curricula and assessments, b. recognizes and considers the professional and personal obligations of the individual educator 12. Empowers teachers to work effectively with parent and community partners a. assists teachers in establishing relationships and partnerships with parents and families b. enables teachers to identify and use community resources to foster student learning c. promotes an environment where teachers feel comfortable and confident working collaboratively with other teachers, parents, business and community leaders

Outcomes - Student Profile
Who are our students ? What do they need? What do we need to do for them? What do we want our children to be? This will be the basis for our vision for our c hildren. Confi dent c onnected lifelong learners acti vel y i nvol ved. But does it connect with our school? H ow does all this pl ay itself out in our sc hool ? Does our curriculum support what we want and what our children need?

Our approach to curriculum theorising, organisation and delivery desires to achieve an outcome for individuals in terms of a student profile that includes the following elements: • • • • • • • knowledgeable—they have explored themes which have global significance and have acquired a critical mass of knowledge inquirers—their natural curiosity has been nurtured and they actively enjoy learning thinkers—they exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to solving complex problems numerate – they can use mathematical ideas and processes successfully literate – they can read and write at a level that is commensurate with their chronological age level or above communicators—they receive and express ideas and information confidently in a variety of ways problem solvers – they use their skills and resources to solve meaningful problems

NCS Curriculum Framework

43 decision makers and risk-takers—they approach unfamiliar situations without anxiety and have the confidence to explore new ideas • principled—they have a sound grasp of the principles of moral reasoning and have acquired integrity, honesty and a sense of justice • socially and emotionally intelligent —they show sensitivity towards the needs and feelings of others, and have a sense of personal commitment to helping others • open-minded—they respect the values of other individuals and cultures and seek to consider a range of points of view • reflective—they give thoughtful consideration to their own learning by constructively analysing their personal strengths and weaknesses • well-balanced—they understand the importance of physical and mental balance and personal well-being. Children will develop competence in a wide range of skills. While there are no hard and fast rules about what children will learn and by when, the following expectations set out for achievement by Years 3 and 6 will provide staff with guidelines as we seek to develop students with the characteristics we seek. •

Repertoire of Skills - Year 3
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Analysing and deciding Appreciating and speaking about different forms of cultural expression Appreciating personal, cultural and social significance of craft and object d'art Classifying Collecting and collating information Communicating Communicating by means of an exhibition Comparing, contrasting and relating Composing e.g. layout, use of colour, images Comprehending the concepts of ecological interrelatedness and environmental responsibility Conceiving, designing and executing Coordinating body movements and monitoring personal fitness Creating and delivering a multimedia persuasive presentation Creating and performing Creating and presenting a performance accomplished with cultural authenticity Developing a knowledge of self and one's relationships with surrounding communities Exploiting the features of web page and other software in making use of an Intranet Gathering and evaluating information for a specific purpose Negotiating with peers Report writing Selecting, sequencing and structuring information Taking, collating and making sense of measurements Using diagrams to clarity and convey ideas

NCS Curriculum Framework

44 • • Viewing, reading and listening Working cooperatively to achieve a common goal

Repertoire of Skills - Year 6
1. Analysing and synthesising information, and influencing opinion based on an evaluation of that information 2. Applying a theoretical model to a real situation (in this case, the marketing of the product) 3. Applying techniques for weaving individual elements into a unified work (without recourse to a unifying commentary) 4. Applying the mathematical ideas of scale and ratio to solve problems involving direct proportions 5. Appreciating and speaking about different forms of cultural expression 6. Being adept at the use of computer software such as Excel 7. Collecting, recording and presenting data 8. Comprehending and using appropriate forms of correspondence 9. Creating alternative explanations 10. Creating and presenting 11. Creating works to be performed for a particular purpose 12. Demonstrating mastery of place value concepts to millions and beyond 13. Designing and analysing scientific experiments, with consideration of the factors that vary and what is controlled 14. Designing and conducting scientific experiments: planning and conducting investigating, gathering, recording and communicating information, processing data and evaluating findings 15. Developing an ethical position supported by defensible, quantifiable mathematical and scientific data 16. Developing expertise in appraising and providing feedback 17. Evaluating on the basis of data 18. Exploiting sound/music/silences, and possibly visual images, in order to illustrate the selected excerpts of oral histories, to create/sustain/change mood, tone and so on, and to contribute to unity. 19. Interpreting and generating texts in graphical form (e.g. maps, diagrams, charts, timelines, timetables) 20. Knowing and applying principles for persuasive display of detailed information, especially in visual forms (diagrammatic, tabular, graphical...) 21. M anaging events 22. M easuring (with analysis of errors) 23. Negotiating with peers and others 24. Operating/utilising supporting technology 25. Persevering and editing through to publication 26. Promoting a case through an oral or written presentation 27. Understanding and applying design processes 28. Understanding and applying the principles of illustration 29. Understanding and appreciating the cultural interests and priorities of another person from another culture

NCS Curriculum Framework

45 30. Using techniques and skills in construction and model - making 31. Using vocabulary for describing aesthetic effect (e.g. harmony, discord, rhythm, colour) 32. Utilise skills of estimation, approximating and measurement to support the design process

Programmes
A wide range of programmes are on offer as a professional response to Goal 1 in the school’s strategic plan and to the National Administration Guidelines.

Children with Special Abilities
Extension and enrichment programmes are offered to cater for those students who display abilities significantly above those of others in their age group. Groups of students are withdrawn from their class for in-depth studies catering for their specific strengths. These workshops comprise five sessions of an hour and a half and provide the opportunity for students to challenge themselves. There is also an extension programme for those students from Year 5 and Year 6 classes who display special ability in several areas. These students are withdrawn to work on thinking and study skills and one major study. Also see policy.

Children with Special Needs
Children with special needs are catered for in a variety of ways ranging from identification and close attention by classroom teachers to external professional advice, support and guidance.

SENCO
The SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) plays a critical role in ensuring children with special needs are catered for. This is a 1.0 FTTE position created through entitlement staffing and is given to Reading Recovery (0.4) and Special Needs (0.6). The latter function includes CWSA and ESOL support for teachers, children and families. The SENCO is the main reference point for teachers, families and external agencies.

Reading Recovery
The school has two part time Reading Recovery teachers – the SENCO (0.4) and another 0.2 component funded by the M inistry of Education. The school also funds extra support to ensure all 6 year old children are tested with the six-year net and to ensure all discontinuance testing and recommendations are completed.

Rainbow Reading
Rainbow Reading is a tape assisted reading programme designed to support children who require extra ‘mileage’ in reading. The SENCO overseas the selection of children for the programme which is then implemented by an experienced teacher aide.

NCS Curriculum Framework

46

Motor Skills
The SENCO overseas the M otor Skills Programme that is designed to assist children who have difficulty with gross and small motor skills. The programme was instituted after research and trials conducted in 2001 with a grant from the Nelson Principals Association. The literature search suggested that children who have difficulty with gross and small motor skills also have difficulty in some areas of learning. We worked on the assumption that if we can improve children’s motor skills that may ensure they don’t develop learning difficulties. School data kept since 2001 shows that the programme is successful in developing the motor skills of children in the programme compared with those who could have been in the programme. What has yet to be tested is the correlation with improved learning.

Non English Speaking Children
The initial class placement of NESB children is decided by the SENCO, Principal and Syndicate Leader. Welcoming ESOL/NESB students at the school: The first goal for ESOL/NESB children is to allow them to become familiar with their new teacher and classmates, the school layout, the community and school rules/routines. Introduction to ESOL /NESB support staff, who keep in regular contact with the student to monitor progress is very important and is carried out during the first visit a child makes to the school. The SENCO provides information to staff and students about the culture and experiences of ESOL/NESB children. The creation of a welcoming physical environment and provision of a safe/supportive emotional environment is another very important goal. Students from diverse cultures are supported by everyone in the school from senior management to classroom teachers. The SENCO and a skilled teacher aide conduct initial assessments for M inistry of Education funding and to establish student’s skill levels. Teachers are expected to plan a programme around the assessment results. Programmes for ESOL/NESB children will include: • Reading • Writing • Speaking • Listening • NZ culture The programme will utilise both in-class learning and withdrawal. In-class learning: This comprises exposure to and immersion in English language, classroom practices (do’s & don’ts) and culture. Reading, writing, speaking and listening with the class and also key components in their orientation and learning.

NCS Curriculum Framework

47 Withdrawal Where it is appropriate to do so children may be withdrawn for individual and small group work. This will allow for a better ffocus on learning about and catering for individual needs and so increase confidence in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Sometimes withdrawal can allow children to meet with other ESOL students and so create a community of mutual interest. Withdrawal sessions can allow a focus on anything from basic alphabet and vocabulary to grammatical structures and ‘counselling’ depending on a student’s level.

Social skills
The school runs a whole school social skills programme based on a ‘preventive’ model of learning. The key ideas are to ‘catch them while they are good’ and to let children know what behaviours are supported in the school. Each week particular skills and values are highlighted at the whole school assembly, reinforced in classrooms and recognised throughout the school.

Library
The library is a critical resource area for teachers and children. It comprises three sections – the main collection area where children read, browse and choose books for issue; the mezzanine floor where the computer suite is located; and, a teachers’ work room where teaching resources are stored. Each teacher chooses a library session for their children when children can choose books for issue. Some classes also utilise the skills of the computer teacher at this time.

E- Learning and Information Communication Technologies
The rationale for e-Learning in the school has been taken directly from the M inistry of Education’s E-learning action plan for schools 2006-2010. “E-learning can contribute directly to the development of all of these [Key] competencies, and increasingly, these competencies are applied in ICT-rich contexts for all students. Today’s students have grown up with computers, video games, email, the Internet, and cell phones. Such technologies have always been a part of their lives (New M edia Consortium, 2005). They are as comfortable with these kinds of technology as previous generations were with radio and television. The further evolution of these technologies and the development of new technologies will play a key role in New Zealand’s transformation into an innovative, knowledge society. Consequently, today’s students need to be confident and capable users of ICT and to understand how to use ICT effectively across the curriculum. Just like the ability to read and write, ICT literacy will be an essential life skill – an economic and social necessity. “Without [ICT literacy], there is a risk that people will be cut off from job opportunities and unable to take part in the full life of the community” (New Zealand Government, 2005, page 18).

NCS Curriculum Framework

48 This e-learning action plan will also contribute to the Schooling Strategy goal of supporting students to achieve their full potential by: • promoting e-learning to extend and enrich educational experiences across the curriculum; • supporting students to become proficient in ICT literacy skills; • supporting students in developing the sense of identity, the self-confidence, and key competencies that are prerequisites for independent, collaborative, and lifelong learning; • supporting students who identify as M àori to use ICT to access high-quality learning, both of te reo M àori and, through the medium of te reo M àori, to participate as citizens of the world and to experience success in schooling; • supporting Pasifika students to use ICT to embrace their unique Pasifika identities and to experience success in schooling, both academically and socially”. To support e-learning in the school two support staff positions have been created - ICT technical and an ICT teaching position. Both positions are there to support teachers to implement e-learning in their regular classroom programmes. Nelson Central has also joined with other Nelson City Cluster schools to apply for an ICT PD contract for 2007-2009. The focus of the application is Digital Stories27 and teachers will be expected to make this a feature of children’s classroom and e-learning.

Active Environment
Nelson Central School is committed to the Active Schools model for the healthy physical development of children.

Organised Physical Activity
Staff and students organise many physical activities so that everyone can find some way to increase their participation in activities that enhance their health. Some of these are embedded in the traditional inter-schools sports programme and include swimming, the winter sports programme, cross country, gymnastics and athletics. Other activities have become particular to our school.

Summit Club
The Summit Club is a group of children and teachers that walk each Thursday lunchtime to the Centre of New Zealand. That involves a climb to the top of a hill which starts about 1km from the school. Children qualify for a badge when they have completed 10 ‘summits’. That qualification earns an invitation for them to take part in a one day tramp on one of the well know walks in the region. Children can earn subsequent badges for each set of ten ‘summits’.
27

Digital Storytelling is the art of turning a personal narrative into a multimedia experience. It can combine music, video and/or still images with your creative voice. The results are an original production that engages the viewing audience in ways that are o ften surprising and powerful. Digital storytelling can be used to introduce or reinforce the power o f writing. Through the writing process and its refinement, students often discover the power o f personal expression and greater creativity with digital tools at their aid. Advancements in technology have given everyone the opportunity to be a digital storyteller for an online, world-wide audience.

NCS Curriculum Framework

49 Jump Jam
Dance is a vital and integral part of human life. It exists in many forms and styles and is practised in all cultures, taking place in a range of contexts for various purposes. Dance functions as ritual, as artistic endeavour, as social discourse, and as education, and peopl e of all ages and at many levels of expertise are involved to varying degrees. (Ministry of Education Arts Curriculum p18)

Jump Jam28 is one of the organised activities used to achieve the aims of the Dance section of the curriculum along with our goals in the Active Environment programme.

Sports Coordinator
The school employs a Sports Coordinator for 15 hours per week. Some the key functions of the role include: facilitation of physical activities within the school, being the first point of contact for families and children who want to be involved in out of school sports; a key organiser for in-school sports and coaching opportunities and liaising with teachers over in-school events.

Camps & Acti vities
The school is fortunate to have so many teachers who are prepared to organise camping opportunities for children. Running school camps is not a requirement but teachers who do so are appreciated by children and their families. Year 3-4 children usually undertake overnight camps at recognised ‘safe’ cabin type venues while Year 5-6 children often take 4 day camps at recognised outdoor centres.

Education Outside the Classroom
Teachers are encouraged to make use of education outside the classroom opportunities. These often include visits to the library, businesses in the city, Founders Park, Whakatu M arae, the museum, the Suter Gallery, the Cathedral, the Centre of New Zealand, various parks and geographical features such as creeks, vegetation and sculptures within walking distance of the school. Standard completion of RAM S (Risk Analysis M anagement Systems) forms is required.

The Arts
The school has a strong history of promotion of and participation in the Arts.

Music
Each year the school brings together large numbers of children to form at least one and sometimes two choirs and an orchestra.

Choir
The main criteria for entry into the choir is enthusiasm, reliability and willingness to enjoy singing. Opportunities are sought for children to show off their repertoire from
28

Each teach er has a copy of the Jump Jam course inform ation that identifies the place and context fo r this activity within the Health and Physical Education curriculum.

NCS Curriculum Framework

50 school assemblies, special school events and performances at the Nelson School of M usic and Retired People’s Homes.

Orchestra
One does not have to be taking instruction in the playing of an instrument - anyone can join the orchestra. Teachers are skilled at helping children find their niche and everyone can enjoy the weekly session given to practising.

Visual and Performing Arts
Production As the right combination of staff skills, capability and enthusiasm come together productions of various complexity are prepared and presented to varied audiences. Mask Parade The school takes part in the city M asked Parade every second year. In the period leading up to the event teachers work with their classes to link this event to the annual theme and explore particular aspects of masks and mask making. Sculpture Symposium Every second year the school organizes a sculpture symposium where teachers again work with their classes to link this event to the annual theme and explore particular aspects of sculpture. The event culminates in a day at school where children can show off for their families the kinds of things they have been engaged in learning.

Out of School Care
There are several out of school care programmes within walking distance of the school that families can access including O SCAR, Chipmunks and

Te Pouahi
A significant feature if the school is the bi-lingual unit referred to as Te Pouahi. Currently there are 30 children housed in three teaching spaces and taught by two teachers. Children receive their learning mostly in Te Reo M aori with programmes in English tailored to the needs and interests of children and their families. The opportunity to take part in kapahaka is an attraction for some families.

NCS Curriculum Framework

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful