Learning & Wellbeing
Our Learning Philosophy
Stronger Together Balit Djerring
We believe at the heart of the Davis Creek Primary School to be ‘Stronger Together’ we must all be learners- staff, parents and students. As a learning community we recognise that:
When we prioritise high expectations and authentic relationships, we increase confidence and develop a growth mindset to building commitment to learning. We strive to have empowered, engaged and energised learners through developing a collaborative learning community.
When inquiry is a defining feature of a school’s culture and the foundation of high quality teaching, this leads to achievement and enhanced curiosity. Teaching students to be thinkers through asking higher order questions deepens their understanding and levels of achievement. An inquiry mindset promotes deeper understanding in all curriculum areas.
When learning tasks are purposeful, clearly defined, differentiated and challenging, students will experience precise and powerful learning. Our teachers must be warm demanders where they seek to challenge but also develop nurturing relationships.
Feedback is powerful when it is connected to student action and performance. We seek to support our students to develop independence as learners through targeted teaching and one-on-one conferencing.
Provide opportunities for learners to identify and explore interests in curriculum areas that motivates and engages them, this builds ownership and students agency.
Emotional resilience, a positive self-image and a ‘growth mindset’ help the learner set and work towards challenging goals and learn from mistakes. This is supported through our work with the Berry St Education Model.
We recognise that every child is unique. We celebrate uniqueness: we recognise that each of us is one-of-a-kind and acknowledge each other’s strengths. We recognise and value the many varied ways in which we can learn and make sense of our world. We will have a clear focus on catering for the diverse range of students at their point of need. This will support the development of a culture of inclusion. We will provide a supportive, nurturing, and challenging learning environment, with high expectations for student success. At DCPS we have developed a Case Management Team with a focus on wellbeing so that we support all students to be successful.
At the heart of learning at Davis Creek is to develop and implement a curriculum that is intellectually challenging and engaging for all learners. Our learning environments (physical and emotional) reflect care, curiosity, independence, agency and striving for excellence.
Davis Creek Primary School is a Candidate School* for the Primary Years Programme (PYP)
Davis Creek Primary School is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Davis Creek Primary School believes is important for our students.
*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme, or the Career-related Programme (CP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted. For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit www.ibo.org
Units of Inquiry
At Davis Creek we have a Programme of Inquiry, all students study units of inquiry that fosters a curriculum of big questions. We seek to foster a culture of questioning and support our students to be curious. Questions are at the heart of inquiry. Questions give voice to our passions, our uncertainties and our curiosity. We believe effective learners ask questions. We also believe they help us discover and uncover new meaning and understandings. They are the bridge that takes us from the known to the new. They are the bridge that helps learning stick.
At Davis Creek through our Programme of Inquiry our students study 4 to 6 units of inquiry each year. This means up to 40 units of inquiry if they are at Davis Creek for their entire primary years of schooling. Each unit of inquiry has a central idea that have been developed from disciplines in the Victorian Curriculum. The first Theme ‘Who We are’ is a year long inquiry into identity, relationships with others and understanding self.
Our programme of inquiry will be published here shortly. The transdisciplinary themes are:
- Who we are: Inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; person, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
- Where we are in place and time: An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between, and the interconnectedness of, individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
- How we express ourselves: Inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
- How the world works: Inquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
- How we organise ourselves: An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
- Sharing the planet: Inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
Our Units of Inquiry have been developed to ensure that each unit is:
Literacy is the ability to read and to use written information to write appropriately in a range of contexts. It is used to develop knowledge and understanding, to achieve personal growth and to function effectively in our society. Literacy also includes the recognition of numbers and basic mathematical signs and symbols within text.
Literacy involves the integration of speaking, listening and critical thinking with reading and writing. Effective literacy is intrinsically purposeful, flexible and dynamic and continues to develop throughout an individual’s lifetime. Literacy connects us with the world, allows for critical thinking and deepens our understandings within a global context.
Reading at Davis Creek Primary School is taught within the structure of a Reader’s Workshop. This structure allows for whole-class, small group and individual instruction using both explicit instruction and inquiry approaches. Students are supported to learn a repertoire of word reading skills – decoding strategies. Students build their ability in self-monitoring, ensuring they are understanding what they read. Through rich discussions and targeted questioning, students construct understanding of texts which grows in sophistication as they advance through primary school. Students are given many opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and justify their thinking.
At Davis Creek Primary School we know our children are effective when they:
Have knowledge and understandings about the sources of information (semantic, grammatical, phonological, graphological).
Have strategies (skills) for accessing and integrating information from the four sources.
Have knowledge of texts and how they are structured within different contexts.
Have strategies (skills) for taking on the four roles of a reader.
Writing at Davis Creek Primary School is taught within the Writer’s Workshop. This structure allows for whole-class, small group and individual instruction using both explicit instruction and inquiry approaches. Students agency is developed through targeted teaching, feedback and modelling the thoughts and processes a writer goes through when creating purposes for writing. Students learn through a range of different learning experiences to support their idea development.
Students carry their writer’s notebook alongside them during their writing sessions to inspire them with their idea development and experimentation of style and craft.
The writer’s notebook is a rich resource – it is where the writer stores ideas, language, images, drafts and notes, feelings, and descriptions to revisit later.
In it, writers can ‘gather seeds’ – collect ideas and quotes, make sketches and diagrams, or even write quick pieces on any topic. The writer’s notebook can be revisited as a resource for ideas.
At Davis Creek Primary School we know our children are effected when they:
- Have the skills, knowledge and understandings of how writing is structured and organised including writing leads, endings and transitions.
- Have the skills, knowledge and understandings of how to elaborate detail and include elements of craft.
- Have the skills, knowledge and understandings of how meaning is conveyed through spelling and punctuation.
- Have the skills, knowledge and understandings of how to generate ideas, plan for writing, revise, edit and publish their work for an intended audience.
Spelling, speaking, listening and handwriting are taught both within the context of Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop as well as through targeted stand-alone lessons. The delivery of spelling and handwriting is both explicit and systematic throughout the school.
Mathematics can be viewed as a vehicle to support inquiry, providing a global language through which we make sense of the world around us. It is intended that students become competent users of the language of mathematics and can begin to use it as a way of thinking, as opposed to seeing it as a series of facts and equations to be memorized.
It is important that learners acquire mathematical understanding by constructing their own meaning through ever-increasing levels of abstraction, starting with exploring their own personal experiences, understandings, and knowledge. Additionally, it is fundamental to the philosophy of our school that, since it is to be used in real-life situations, mathematics needs to be taught in relevant, realistic contexts, rather than by attempting to impart a fixed body of knowledge directly to students.
There are four mathematical proficiencies that are fundamental to learning and working mathematically. These proficiencies are developed across all three strands of mathematics; Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistic and Probability.
Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning are developed throughout the teaching and learning of Mathematics at Davis Creek Primary School.
Understanding includes student building a robust knowledge of adaptable and transferable mathematical concepts. Students make connections between related concepts and begin to apply familiar ideas to new ideas.
Fluency refers to students developing skills in choosing appropriate procedures, carrying our procedures flexibility, accurately, efficiently and appropriately; and recalling factual knowledge and concepts readily.
Problem Solving is when students develop the ability to make choices, interpret, formulate, model and investigate problem situations and communicate solutions effectively.
Reasoning develops student’s capacity for logical thoughts and actions such as, analysing, proving, evaluating, explaining, inferring, justifying and generalising. This allows students to explain their thinking, adapt the known to the unknown, prove that something is true or false and explain their choices.
Students at Davis Creek Primary School will develop the knowledge and skills to be proficient and effective mathematicians in a global world.
Japanese is taught as a year-long specialist subject from Foundation to Grade 6 as part of the Languages Program. We understand our students come from multicultural backgrounds and we seek to enhance and develop their cultural awareness as well as build their proficiency to communicate and write in Japanese. Research has shown learning an additional language has many benefits to a child’s growth and development particularly with their memory and problem-solving skills. Our program aims for all students to:
- Listen to, speak, read and write in Japanese
- Develop their global awareness and intercultural understanding
- Respect diversity and have an openness to different experiences and perspectives
- Strengthen their intellectual and analytical skills, as well as their creative and critical thinking
- Reflect on the similarities and differences between Japan and Japanese, and their home country and language
Our students participate in a range of different activities each week which include: viewing authentic texts, having rich discussions, playing fun and engaging games, reading cultural stories, learning, grammar structures, and craft-making. Connections to the students’ inquiry unit are also made to ensure students can make additional interactions to the knowledge they are learning with their classroom teacher.
The Physical Education program at Davis Creek Primary School assists students to achieve independence in developing and maintaining their physical, mental, social and emotional health. Our program highlights the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle. Students are involved in many forms of physical activity, from individual and non-competitive activity to competitive team games. Students develop fundamental motor skills before progressing to complex movement patterns that are integral to team sports. Our program encourages students to enjoy being active as they integrate motor skills and tactical knowledge to improve individual and team performance. Emphasis is on participation and improvement not winning.
Students develop an understanding of rules, teamwork skills, sportsmanship, fair play and game strategies, enabling them to participate in movement and physical activity safely and confidently. Students learn the skills of variety of roles including umpire, coach, player and coordinator and assume responsibility for the organisation of aspects of a sporting competition.
Complementing our Physical Education program is our Outdoor Education program that fosters the development of resilience, teamwork and leading a healthy and active life in the outdoors.
The Visual Arts program at Davis Creek Primary School supports students to have authentic opportunities to develop confidence in areas such as; Problem solving, Creativity, Expressing themselves, Visual communication and to develop an appreciation and understanding of the Arts.
Our program highlights the importance of understanding the Elements of Art, whilst ensuring opportunities for trans-disciplinary learning. Students will investigate many forms of Visual Arts, ranging from 2D based activities exploring drawing and painting techniques, through to 3D forms of art making.
Students develop a strong base of fine motor skills before progressing to complex artistic techniques across each medium. Our program encourages students to be curious risk takers and enjoy the journey of developing technical skills regardless of the outcome. Students learn how to express themselves and communicate via their art. Throughout the semester, our units will make direct links to classroom inquiries underpinned by the Victorian Curriculum with the dimensions of Explore & Express ideas, Visual Arts Practices, Present & Perform and Respond & Interpret to guide learning opportunities.
Catering for the language and literacy development of English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners is a long-term, shared school and community commitment. This means that EAL learners and their families are acknowledged, included, and encouraged to be active participants in the school community.
Davis Creek Primary School
- Understands that a range of abilities may occur within any one classroom.
- Is committed to being culturally aware and resolving issues accordingly.
- Understanding that gaps in a student’s learning experience can exist within any one strand of the curriculum.
- Understands that extrinsic and intrinsic motivations are factors in the successful acquisition of English.
- Understands that different education systems value different styles of learning.
- Is committed to developing out professional knowledge and practice to support EAL students and community.
Focuses on developing content-based language experiences where students learn new content and concepts and as a result learn the associated learning.
- targeted intervention programs are provided for students with the greatest learning needs
- all teachers are aware of the learning needs of the EAL students
- strong EAL pedagogy is evident in classroom programs, planning, teaching and assessment practices
- EAL learners’ progress is evaluated and reported against the EAL standards in the EAL Developmental Continuum P – 10.
(Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
STEM at Davis Creek Primary School is an interactive learning curriculum where students extend their thinking to solve real world problems. Students participate in hands-on experiments and activities that promote their critical thinking skills, problem solving, creativity, critical analysis, teamwork, independent thinking, initiative, communication, digital literacy and collaboration. Students take a global perspective in their learning, thinking about how the world works and how we can care for our environment in the future. STEM supports inquiries taking place in the classrooms, to strengthen students knowledge and connect STEM with current learning.
Students are enthusiastic about coming to our two STEM classrooms, where their thoughts and ideas are constantly challenged and built upon. Students use Robotics to explore the future of technology and make real life connections with the way we use machines to reach our full potentials. Students walk out of the STEM classrooms with limitless possibilities for their futures. They are the future makers and the STEM team enable all students to be their best.
Students participate in animal husbandry – learning about, caring for and learning from our resident Green Tree Frogs, Blue Tongue Lizard and Colony of Spiny Leaf Stick Insects. Students can follow the complete lifecycle of the Spiny Leaf Stick Insects.
Science: We study our natural world and how we interact with it through experiments and observations.
Technology: We try out new technologies and learn about how they might innovate the way we live and work.
Engineering: We build, tinker and design using mathematics and science principles.
Mathematics: Math is everywhere! Engineering, Science and Technology all have Math in common.
The Performing Arts program at Davis Creek Primary school give students practical opportunities to respond to their worldly experiences and engage with historical, social and cultural perspectives.
Dance, Drama and Music are integrated throughout the program, giving the students a way to communicate their ideas through performance. Performances take place for the class audience and range to the wider community audience during assembly and concerts. The students are encouraged to become risktakers when sharing their work with others and reflective learners when learning new skills and techniques. Dance plays an important role in society as it brings people and communities together. The students will be given opportunities to become familiar with the rhythm of music and explore their motivation to influence their movements. Drama explores how we express ourselves physically and vocally. Students explore the use of facial expressions, gestures, movement, posture and vocal technique to convey emotional or cultural meaning to characters and stories. Music gives students the opportunity to communicate beyond oral language. Musical experiences and learning begin with the voice, the students are given many opportunities to sing helping them to develop their musical techniques. A broad range of activities in the music classroom include classifying and analysing sound, playing instruments, composing, exploring body percussion, harmonizing, listening, appreciating, singing, notation, reading music, song writing, recording and performing. The Performing Arts gives students the challenges and simulation to express themselves creatively.
At Davis Creek Primary School, we have identified five essential elements to support staff and student wellbeing:
Principals and school leaders play an active role in building positive learning environment where the whole school community feels included connected, safe and respected. Our learning environments reflect our school values of C.A.R.E. Curiosity, Agency, Respect and Excellence support and sustain the safety and wellbeing of students and staff. Underpinning our culture at Davis Creek is cooperation, interaction and mutual respect. We learn from and with each other. We regularly monitor and reflect on the success of strategies we have in place. Our ongoing work with the Berry Street Education Model has supported us to develop and implement strategies that support wellbeing.
All members of the school community are active participants in building a welcoming school culture that values, diversity, and fosters positive, respectful relationships. We recognise and value the role of staff, students and implement proactive strategies in order to build a cohesive and culturally safe school. Through our circle time, celebrations of our staff and students at assemblies and circle time we teach and promote our values and behaviours that create and maintain a safe and supportive environment. We also engage in regular professional learning to build our capacity to enhance the social, emotional and learning outcomes of our students. We welcome everyone to our community and together we plan, modify and adapt our learning to enable everyone to succeed.
Students are active participants in their own learning and wellbeing, feel connected and use their social and emotional skills to be respectful, resilient and safe. Being a candidate school of the International Baccalaureate implementing the Primary Years Programme student ownership of their learning is highly valued. We collaborate with our students around student safety and wellbeing so that students have the necessary skills to seek help when they feel unsafe. We have a student leadership structure and conduct regular check-ins with our students around safety, wellbeing and resilience. Opportunities for student choice and voice are embedded into model for learning.
Families and communities collaborate as partners with the school to support student learning, safety and wellbeing. We proactively build collaborative relationships with our families and community so that we have a shared understanding of how we can continue to improve student learning, safety and wellbeing. We highly value our partnerships with families so that they reflect our school values of C.A.R.E and cooperation. We believe that is we work together we will achieve more. Parent Information sessions, visible leaders who model an open-door policy and whole school celebrations bring us together.
School staff, students and families share and cultivate an understanding of wellbeing and support for positive behaviour and how this supports effective teaching and learning.