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 our students’ confidence and curiosity, energising their commitment to learning. We strive to have empowered, engaged and energised learners and 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.
- 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.
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 the heart of learning at Davis Creek is to develop and implement a curriculum that is intellectually challenging and engaging for all learners. We want to promote learning that is a space of possibility and wonder.
Units of Inquiry
All students study units of inquiry that fosters a curriculum of big questions. At Davis Creek 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 that 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 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.
Our programme of inquiry will be published here shortly. The transdisciplinary themes are:
- Who we are: How do our choices affect our health?
- Where we are in place and time: Who was here first? How do we know?
- How we express ourselves: How do people express their identity?
- How the world works: What makes things move?
- How we organise ourselves: Do we need rules?
- Sharing the planet: How do living things survive in changing environments?
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.
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.
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.
All students at Davis Creek Primary School study Japanese. Lessons are held in the Japanese classroom. Oh Sensei (our Japanese teacher) utilises songs, stories, games, role play, arts and crafts to deliver a fun and engaging Japanese program focusing on the development of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills as well as cultural understanding. The Japanese Language program aims for all students to
- communicate in Japanese
- develop an intercultural capability, including understanding of and respect for diversity and difference, and an openness to different experiences and perspectives
- strengthen their intellectual, analytical and reflective capabilities, and enhance creative and critical thinking
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 of 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. Our Visual Arts program will also include developing 21st century learners with Digital mediums and Media Art making processes explored.
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 year, 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.