- Reading Eggs & Mathletics
- Wushka Reading Programme
- English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
- Assessment & Reporting
- Diverse Learners
- Home Learning
- Gifted & Talented
- Physical Education & Health
- Music Studio
- Composite & ILE Classrooms
Curriculum and Learning Opportunities
Teaching is based on the New Zealand Curriculum and some programmes are modelled on an inquiry approach in which the children are encouraged to pose relevant questions and seek answers through a range of sources.
We teach to eight essential learning areas which are :
- Health and Physical Education
- The Arts – Music, Art, Dance and Drama
- Social Sciences
- Learning Languages (Te Reo)
Teaching and learning programmes are planned to ensure children work at their own academic levels.
Teachers take part in continuous professional development to ensure they are up to date with modern teaching practices. Our Teaching staff work closely together within their Year and Team groups and plan cooperatively to provide children with learning experiences and strategies to develop the skills necessary for life long learning.
Curriculum Support Programmes
Early and Advanced Numeracy programmes operate throughout our school. They allow teachers to assess a student’s number knowledge and strategies used and to implement appropriate tasks and student groupings within a class. At times teachers may plan together in order to cater for students requiring both extension and intervention teaching. Mathematics takes place daily and children may be required to move to other classrooms for instruction to enable them to be taught with peers at a similar learning stage. This is called “cross grouping” and is a common practice used in many New Zealand schools. We encourage children to use Mathletics as part of their weekly home learning for which there is a charge. Please see left hand tab for further information on Mathematics.
Learning Support for Diverse Learners
Our school provides a variety of support programmes to cater for individual needs. School Leaders have specific responsibility for additional literacy and mathematics support across the school. Children with specific education and behavioural needs are carefully monitored and our dedicated SENCO (Specialist Education Needs Coordinator) Faye Philps works with the student, teacher and family on a case by case basis.
Gifted & Talented
Tania Plaisier has overall responsibility for these programmes throughout the year. You can read more about this programme on the left tab menu.
At times, the school works with a number of professional agencies in relation to learning and behaviour issues. A member of our leadership team will discuss this with parents before reaching out to an agency. Some of these agencies include:
- RTLB (Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour)
- GSE (Group Special Education)
- Speech Therapist
- Truancy Officer
- RTLit (Resource Teacher of Literacy)
- Public Health Nurse
To participate confidently and successfully in society, it is crucial to be literate and we believe that developing strengths in Literacy should be lifelong.
At Maungawhau School, we want our students to be passionate and motivated readers who understand that we read to learn as well as read for personal enjoyment. By engaging with a wide variety of texts, our students become independent readers, recognising that by reading widely, they are continually adding to their knowledge about people, cultures and the world around them.
Students will have the opportunity to write a variety of different text types and learn how they relate to the real world.
Click on the links below for further information about literacy in all areas of the school.
Literacy Information resources for parents
We aim to develop numeracy in children by increasing their mathematical knowledge, understanding and ability to apply strategies to problem solving.
“To be numerate is to have the ability and inclination to use Mathematics effectively – at home, at work and in the community.” Numeracy Project Framework.
We have high expectations for all our Maungawhau students to achieve well in Maths. These are based on the beliefs that:
- Everyone can learn Maths to the highest levels
- Mistakes are valuable, we can learn from these
- Questions are really important
- Maths is about making connections
- Depth is more important than speed
- Maths is about communicating and being able to share thinking
Maths Programmes – Our Maths programmes include a balance of strand: Numeracy and Algebra, Geometry and Measurement, and Statistics. This balance shifts as students progress through the curriculum with students’ main focus in the junior school on Numeracy, to a more balanced shift across strand as students progress to the higher levels of the curriculum.
Numeracy Project – The Numeracy Project forms a basis for our teaching of Number. Our teaching of Numeracy is made up of Number Knowledge and Strategy across the three domains: Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division, and Ratios and Proportions.
Importance of Equipment – We value the use of a range of equipment and visual representations to help students establish their understanding of Maths concepts.
Number Knowledge and Basic Facts – While we acknowledge recalling basic facts is a valuable part of a child’s Numeracy Knowledge, these shouldn’t be learnt in isolation. It is important that children can apply these facts to problem solving.
Personalised Programmes and Grouping – Our Maths programmes are based on identified needs from a range of activities, observations and assessments. These include: observations in student workshops and independent work, group problem-solving activities, tracking, conferencing with students and assessments.
Our groups are flexible and are based on the specific learning needs of the students. These groups change depending on the focus of the workshop. Problem-solving takes place in multi-level groups so that students have the benefit of working with students at different levels of the curriculum. Rich tasks are used to provide Maths activities in engaging contexts where students can develop and apply their problem- solving skills.
Next Steps and Learning Pathways – We know that students learn best when they have a clear understanding of their next learning steps and the learning intentions. These are shared with parents through reporting and conferences. We are currently developing Learning Pathways to make this process clearer and more accessible to students and their families.
Maths Week – Maths week takes place generally around the second week of August each year. Special Maths activities are arranged across the school to celebrate this week.
Mathletics and Mathseeds
Maungawhau School strongly recommends that you subscribe to these programmes through the school. Please see the additional section regarding these programmes on this page using left hand tab menu.
For more information about Maths please click on this link below to view the PDF presentation of the Big Picture of Numeracy.
How parents can help – We encourage all parents to support their children with their learning numeracy and basic mathematics facts. Your teacher can share with you the level your child is presently learning at, and this is also included on their reports. You can find out more about each learning level by following the links below, these pages also provide appropriate activities for knowledge and basic facts activities for each stage.
Reading Eggs & Mathletics
At Maungawhau School we strongly recommend you subscribe to external learning websites Mathletics and Reading Eggs.
At Maungawhau School we subscribe to Maths and Reading web-based programmes to support students in their learning. These programmes are Reading Eggs (for children reading at age 4-7 years) and Reading Eggspress (for children reading at age 7 years and higher), and Mathletics (for children in years 3 to 6) or Mathseeds (for children in years 0-2).
We strongly recommend you subscribe to these programmes. These programmes are linked to our curriculum and are subsidised by the school and each child is charged a reduced fee. Subscribing to Mathletics or Mathseeds and Reading Eggs through the school is considerably cheaper than as an individual. They can be paid for with your annual activity fee to the school.
We have seen accelerated progress in our students who regularly use these programmes. These programmes are encouraged as positive screen time for children as they are interactive and educational. Children engage in these programmes at school and at home, and the more they participate the more benefits they receive and the more rewards they earn. We suggest 10 minutes each day or three 20 minute sessions a week on each website. We recommend children participate in a range of activities on each website.
Our teachers receive regular professional development in the use of these programmes so we can keep up to date with new additions and ensure we use these websites effectively. We will run information sessions for parents regularly, so that you can familiarise yourself and assist your child’s learning at home.
Once a child has paid their subscription, the office gives them a user name and password. Mathseeds is accessed through the Reading Eggs login. Teachers will then allocate the student to a levelled programme for Mathletics that is based on their current Maths level so that the tasks are appropriate to the student’s learning needs. For Mathseeds, Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress, children will sit a placement test at school to decide the level they start on. Students are timetabled for these programmes in class time.
For more information on how we use Mathletics, Mathseeds and Reading Eggs at Maungawhau, please click here.
Wushka Digital Reading Programme
Wushka has been introduced to Year 0-4 classes at Maungawhau School and is also being used with senior students who will benefit from extra support with their reading.
Wushka can be accessed by students at school and at home as every student will be provided with their own login.
Wushka is a cloud based levelled school reading programme, developed using decades of educational publishing experience, which helps students learn to read. The extensive selection of fiction and non-fiction levelled school readers are stored in Wushka’s coloured reading boxes. Every levelled reader has an online comprehension quiz and printable teacher support material.
Teachers manage their own class, easily setting class reading levels, reading groups and choosing readers to read at home. Ongoing reading statistics with clear infographics provide teachers with detailed insights into a student’s progress.
Below is a video that will provide more information to parents working with their children on Wushka at home.
ICT - Information and Communication Technology
We believe that optimal learning is a careful balance of book-based and computer-based activities.
Google Account – Maungawhau School provides a School Gmail account for all students in Years 3-6. This is intended for school use purposes only. Students are given the email account at the start of Year 3 or when they start school and are in Years 3-6. The email account is controlled and belongs to Maungawhau School.
Devices – Access to Chromebooks and iPads are essential educational tools that will enhance your child’s learning. In Years 1-2 we offer eight iPads in each class. In Years 3-6 we offer 12 Chromebooks in each class. From an early age we teach our students about Cyber Safety and we encourage you to reiterate and build on this at home as a family.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) – Matauranga (Senior School) Team
The Matauranga Team (Years 5-6) are allowed to bring in their own device to aid in their learning. Each teacher must receive a signed permission form before a student is able to use their personal device at school. Student’s devices will only be used during class time and will be connected to the school’s WIFI. The WIFI is only active between 8:30am-3pm each day.
A student’s device needs to be able to connect to the internet, to access Google Drive with ease and have a keyboard. The recommended device is either a Chromebook or Laptop. Please, no mobile phones, iPads, iPods or Tablets.
We have partnered with PB Tech so that our parents can benefit from discounted devices for our Year 5 & 6 students. https://www.pbtech.co.nz/education/byod
Our parents can click on the button below, select our school name and enter in the BYOD code BYOD2021 to unlock special pricing. This will show the range of devices suggested for our school. At checkout you have the option of purchasing through finance or just paying by credit card/bank transfer.
Internet and Chromebook Use – The school’s internet is run and monitored by Network for Learning (N4L) who work closely with the Ministry of Education. N4L controls what the students are able to search and see. They are continually updating their restrictions and with help with our ICT Support team TTS, ensure that our students are as safe as they can be online and using the school google account.
Unfortunately, our restrictions at school are not extended to the Year 3-6 students when logged into their school accounts away from school. If you do encounter any issues with the content your child is viewing or can access, please contact your service provider for a solution. There is a range of parental lock options you can look into and our ICT specialist can provide recommendations to you, please email them directly.
We discourage children from sending emails between one another unless it is for learning purposes. If you notice anything worrying occurring via emails when you are with your child it is important to inform the classroom teacher immediately so it can be followed up. Children who are sending inappropriate emails will have their accounts suspended and spoken to by someone on the ICT team. A member of the ICT team will also make contact with their parents to inform them that their child’s account has been suspended and the reasons why this has happened.
As part of our ongoing commitment to excellence and our duty to ensure students’ safety and well-being, in 2020 we introduced cyber safety programs and technologies in partnership with Family Zone. Family Zone is New Zealand’s leading provider of cyber safety technology. Family Zone helps us to ensure our students are safe and on task during school time and offers parents a range of options for monitoring and supporting their children’s online journey.
Family Zone helps keep kids safe online when they access the internet through the school’s network. They can also keep your kids safe when accessing the internet through unsafe networks, such as mobile phone networks and your home WiFi.
The school has made Family Zone Premium available to all parents who have a child in years 3-6 (year 3 is when children first receive their @maungawhau.school.nz account). During school hours filtering technologies are used to notify School Leadership of any concerning or inappropriate words/ websites children attempt to search. Outside of school hours parents can sign up to have the same capabilities for their children but from home.
We need your participation to keep our children safe on every device, everywhere.
To find out more about Family Zone and how our school are offering this, plus detail on how to sign up, click here.
To visit our Family Zone Cyber Safety Hub. click the button below.
In 2021 we also introduced Classwize which gives classroom control back to teachers by providing them with screen visibility and control of all devices in class, including BYOD and personal devices.
Classwize allows teachers to –
- View real-time internet, app and video usage
- View students’ screens
- Focus students on specific lesson resources
- Focus the class, restricting access to specific sites or apps
- Initiate temporary overrides
- Reward students by allowing limited time access to sites normally blocked
- Full support across Chromebooks, Windows and Apple Macbooks.
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
At Maungawhau School we are very fortunate to have students whose parents come from all corners of the world. We value diversity and celebrate our multicultural school community.
Our goal at Maungawhau School is to support learners on their bilingual journey. Emergent bilinguals (EBs) are supported in class by classroom teachers and learning support staff. Some EBs will attend ESOL classes at scheduled times during the week with trained learning support staff.
Here are some samples of our ESOL students writing.
Assessment & Reporting
The removal of National Standards – What next for Maungawhau School?
At Maungawhau we understand and appreciate the value that National Standards has provided to schools since 2010. While the new Minister of Education has announced that schools are no longer required to report against or use National Standards, we are not abandoning them totally.
What will we be using and reporting against?
Moving forward we will be using the Maths, Reading and Writing Standards as a guide to inform teachers about what is required by our learners at each year level. We will also use resources such as the Learning Progression Frameworks (LPF’s) to help us make consistent and robust decisions about student learning. Specific assessments administered by teachers previously will remain and will continue to be used by teachers to inform their programme. We will continue to report to parents with accurate and valid data, regarding your child’s progress which will be measured against National Curriculum Levels – http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/The-New-Zealand-Curriculum. Teachers will still be using the same assessment tools to gather data on students’ learning.
What will change?
Long before schools were required to report against National Standards, teachers were measuring student progress against National Curriculum Levels. This is something we have always done and will continue to do. You will be pleased to know that we are not making any major changes to assessment or reporting. The only area you may notice is that instead of having a National Standard in the report, you will now see a National Curriculum Level.
What does “Curriculum Level” mean?
There are 8 Curriculum levels which stretch across years 1-13 of schooling. While attending primary school children are typically expected to be learning between levels 1-3 of the New Zealand Curriculum. You can follow this link to find more detailed information, then click on the PDF entitled ‘Curriculum achievement objectives by level’.
What are the Learning Progression Frameworks (LPF’s)?
The learning progression frameworks illustrate the significant steps that learners take as they develop their expertise in reading, writing, and mathematics from years 1 to 10. Teachers can use the frameworks to identify students’ reading, writing, and mathematics knowledge and skills. Teachers can also use the frameworks to plan programmes that provide learning opportunities which will enable students to succeed at intermediate school and beyond.
For more information regarding the terminology mentioned above, please visit the following sites;
- Reading & Writing Standards: http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/National-Standards/Reading-and-writing-standards
- Maths Standards: http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/National-Standards/Mathematics-standards
- Literacy Learning Progressions: https://literacyprogressions.tki.org.nz/
Student Led Conferences
Student led conferences are an opportunity for the child, parent and teacher to work together in a partnership. Students share their work, discuss the progress they have made and their next learning steps. An opportunity will be given to discuss the report. If you would like to discuss anything privately about your child, please contact you classroom teacher to arrange a separate meeting. Students in their early years at school may receive support to share their learning and next learning steps.
Anniversary and Mid-Anniversary Reports
Students in their first three years at school receive an anniversary report and a mid-anniversary report each year. These reports go home with the students at the end of the month that coincides with their time at school. Anniversary reports go home at 40, 80 and 120 weeks. Mid-anniversary reports go home at 20, 60 and 100 weeks.
Although assessment is on-going throughout the year, children are formally assessed twice a year at the time of their anniversary and mid-anniversary in reading, writing, maths and essential skills.
In reading and writing we report on the student’s:
- Current reading and writing levels
- A personal progress comment
- Next steps
In maths we report on the student’s
- Current knowledge and basic facts stages
- Current strategy stages for the three domains: addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, ratios and proportions
- A personal progress comment
- Next steps
A continuum shows the student’s progress in developing their essential skills.
Student led conferences for our anniversary and mid-anniversary children are held within two weeks of the report going home. Parents will be advised by letter about making a suitable time with the teacher. One afternoon will be set aside but please make alternative time with the teacher if this time is not suitable.
Students in years 0-3 who have started school before the 30th October, will receive an end of year progress report on the 7th December. Teachers will comment on reading, writing, maths and a general comment.
Reports and Student-Led Conferences in Years 4-6
The Mid-Year Report is sent home with the child at the end of Term 2. This will be followed by student led conferences mid Term 3. Year 4 students who have their 120 week anniversary in term one will receive an anniversary report in place of the mid-year report, and have their student led conference at this time in place of a student led conference in Term 2.
At the end of the year, a final school report will be sent home with your child.
Both the mid-year and end of year reports include:
For reading and writing the student’s:
- Current reading and writing level
- A personal progress comment
- Next steps at mid-year
In maths we report on the student’s
- Current knowledge and basic facts stages
- Current strategy stages for the three domains: addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, ratios and proportions
- A personal progress comment
- Next steps at mid-year
The end of year report also includes comments on Health and Physical Education, Inquiry, The Arts, Music and a general comment.
Students with diverse learning needs often require extra support to access the curriculum. Such support could be extra adult help, adapted programmes or learning environments, specialised equipment or materials.
Children learn in a variety of ways. Some need additional support to access the curriculum. That support could be adapted programmes or learning environments, specialised equipment or materials, or extra help from a trained adult.
Children are identified as needing additional help in a number of ways through teacher observation/identification, parent’s information, medical and educational psychologist reports. If you believe your child may need support with learning please contact your child’s teacher or the SENCo.
The Special Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at Maungawhau School is Faye Philp
Facilitating Transition to School
We ask families to contact the school at least one term prior to starting school if they are aware of any special learning needs their child may have. The child may have significant medical needs, received early intervention at preschool or have a condition that may be a barrier to their learning. It is helpful for the school to have all relevant documentation and to meet with the child and family, so we can best prepare for a positive transition to school.
Learning At School
Our students’ learning is carefully monitored.Those who need additional help to progress are identified promptly. Our SENCo is advised in the first instance. The teacher then connects with the family to meet, discuss issues and make plans to support the student
We are an inclusive school. Support for student learning is provided in- class by teachers and learning support staff as appropriate. This occurs concurrently with the class timetable to maintain engagement and inclusion for all students.
Our learning support staff are allocated to work in classrooms across the school in accordance with student needs. A programme of support is prepared by the teacher and may be delivered by the teacher or Learning Support person.
The exception to in-class support is a structured writing programme which is delivered by our literacy (writing) expert teacher, Georgina Jackson. Students are identified by their classroom teacher and referred to attend the groups taken in school time.
Collaborative Action Plan
When a significant programme of support is needed and external agencies are involved, a Collaborative Action Plan (C.A.P.) is developed between all stakeholders to support the child’s learning goals.
The school has a register of students who require learning support. Monitoring of those students’ progress, communication between teacher, learning support, family, SENCo and any other agencies involved is ongoing.
Useful link – http://inclusive.tki.org.nz/guides
Home learning is encouraged to practise and reinforce skills currently being learned at school. Home readers (books) are sent home with those students whose reading level is still on the colour wheel or who are reading below their chronological age.
Expectations for average amount of time spent on home learning daily are:
Whanake Team (Junior School) – An average of 20 minutes per school day is appropriate to spend on home learning. Tasks and activities are appropriate for different groups of students and may include school readers, learning basic sight words, individual spelling and basic facts, and a short time on Mathletics/Reading Eggs.
Waipuna team (Middle School) – An average of 20-30 minutes per school day is appropriate to spend on home learning. The students in Waipuna team have a school values based homework sheet which includes some compulsory and optional tasks. The compulsory tasks include school readers (for those children working on the colour wheel or reading below expectation), individual spelling (or other language related activities), time on Mathletics and Reading Eggs. With the optional tasks, students are encouraged to self monitor themselves by completing at least eight activities that are related to the school values by the end of the year.
Matauranga team (Senior School) – An average of 30-40 minutes per school day is appropriate to spend on home learning. Tasks/activities include school readers (for those children working on the colour wheel or reading below expectation), recreational readers, individual spelling, basic facts (as appropriate), time on Mathletics/Reading Eggs. There is a point system which recognises learning across the curriculum and extra curricular activities.
Supporting Gifted & Talented students
Gifted and Talented Learners are those with exceptional abilities relative to most other people. These individuals have certain learning characteristics that give them the potential to achieve outstanding performance (Ministry of Education, 2001).
At Maungawhau School we believe our task is to identify our Gifted and Talented Learners and give them the appropriate opportunities to enable them to reach their potential.
We recognise that children can be Gifted and Talented in a wide range of areas. We cannot cater for all areas of giftedness, but will do our best to meet needs as we identify them, by offering children opportunities for support and extension where possible.
The Gifted and Talented (“GATE”) Co-ordinator at Maungawhau school is Tania Plaisier. Please feel free to email her if you have any questions related to Gifted and Talented education programmes at the school – [email protected]
If you believe your child may be gifted the first step is to speak with your teacher. Alternatively, you can approach Tania Plaisier for information and advice. When a student has been identified as being a gifted learner we place them on Gifted and Talented Register so all teachers understand their differing needs. Gifted and Talented education (“GATE”) opportunities are continuing to develop across New Zealand and within Maungawhau School.
The needs of Gifted students are largely met by our very capable class teachers in the delivery of differentiated programmes in which tasks are designed to suit a range of abilities and learning styles. In-class provision includes personalised learning, grouping within and across classes, independent study, learning centers, thinking skills, inquiry learning and solo taxonomy. We also offer extension programmes, extra-curricular activities and can arrange out-of-school provisions at organisations such as Mindplus.
For further information regarding our extension programmes read more here.
Physical Education & Health
We are proud to host four Houses at Maungawhau school and we celebrate our Houses especially at sporting events. Each of the Houses is named after a local mountain.
- Te Tatua – Yellow
- Maungawhau – Blue
- Maungakiekie – Red
- Owairaka – Green
Your child will be allocated a House on enrolment and will remain in that House throughout his/her time at Maungawhau School. Siblings are allocated the same House.
You can order your child a House shirt from the school shop below. Your child will be allocated a House on enrolment and will remain in that House throughout his/her time at Maungawhau School. Siblings are allocated the same House.
Our Physical Education programme encourages students to engage in movement experiences that promote and support the development of physical and social skills in a collaborative environment.
We aim to foster critical thinking and action which enables students to understand the role and significance of physical activity for individuals and society.
Our students learn through participating and contributing in physical activity to understand, appreciate and move their bodies, relate positively to others and gain a sense of belonging within their classes and the wider community.
This learning takes place through;
- team sports, individual sports and games played within the school and between schools
- sports, play and games at break times
- short activities in transition times
- timetabled physical education lessons and expressive movements in diverse physical and social environments.
We actively encourage the use of the school grounds and facilities for out of school activities. External groups provide opportunities for Maungawhau and other children in many varied activities from performance and drama, soccer, tennis and ball skills, to visual art, gifted and talented activities and music teaching.
Details of these programmes are provided in newsletters sent to families from the providers and arrangements for attendance should be made directly with these providers.
Please contact the office for further information on what is on offer.
Our Health Education programme encourages students to develop their understanding of the factors that influence the health of individuals, groups and society. Students use these skills and understandings to take critical action to promote personal and interpersonal and societal wellbeing.
Our aim is for students to build resilience through strengthening their personal identity and sense of self-worth and through engaging in processes for responsible decision making.
Our students learn through participating and contributing in Health education to demonstrate empathy and develop skills that enhance relationships and foster a sense of belonging within their classes and the wider community.
Students develop competencies and understandings within the Health curriculum;
- reproductive health and puberty module in Year 6
- mental wellness
- food and nutrition
- sports studies
- outdoor education
- safety management of body care and physical safety and also other specific focuses–bike safety, stepping out, water safety, keeping ourselves safe, evacuation procedures
Below is a link to our new Maungawhau full school heath overview.
Music is part of The Arts in the New Zealand Curriculum and at Maungawhau School the students have a one hour session as a class each week with a music specialist. In music education, students work individually and collaboratively to explore the potential of sounds and technologies for creating, interpreting, and representing music ideas. As they think about and explore innovative sound and media, students have rich opportunities to further their own creative potential.
We offer various extra-curricular music groups which students have the opportunity to join. If your child is interested in joining a group they need to speak to their music specialist.
We are also very proud to offer opportunities for children to learn a variety of musical instruments in addition to the school curriculum. Lessons generally take place in either small groups or individually for 30 minutes a week. Itinerant music specialists liaise with classroom teachers to ensure a harmonious balance between academic and musical studies.
Cherry Music Studio offers private lessons just up the road on Rocklands Ave.
Lewis Eady Music School offers lessons at Maungahwhau in: piano, guitar, drum kit, violin, saxophone, voice and much more. Contact: www.lewiseady.co.nz
Composite & Innovative Learning Environment Classrooms
There is often misunderstanding about composite classes. When I started teaching (in 1986) a straight year 4 class, I recall having seven reading groups. My Education Department Inspector at the time had a long discussion with me about the practicalities of effectively operating seven groups. My justification was that I had one student reading at an emergent junior reading level and some students reading at 12 years + with of course a range of reading levels in between these two extremes.
My point being that some parents concerned about the range within a composite class, seem to forget that there is usually a large range within a straight class. The good news is that there is an expectation in reading, writing and maths, that teacher’s know where each of their students is at, within these areas, and cater for their students accordingly. School is not necessarily how we remember it as students ourselves where the teacher stands up the front delivering the Year 4 curriculum, where sometimes the curriculum was far too difficult for some students, or far too easy for others and they were bored senseless. Hence, our direction to personalise the curriculum where possible, so that our students are aware of what they know, and the next steps in their learning journey.
The other reason why composites can be beneficial is for social grouping of students. Year 3 students in particular vary widely in their social maturity. Some students will benefit from being in a separate group from year 4 students, others will benefit from being in a composite with strong year 4 role models. If you have concerns about your child’s class placement then please do discuss it with your teacher first then the team leader if required.
The Senior Habitat is an Innovative Learning Environment (ILE) made up of three classes led by three teachers.
The Senior Habitat is an effective learning environment because it retains core aspects of a single-cell classroom while embracing the flexibility and collaboration of an Innovative Learning Environment. The teachers in the Senior Habitat have the same high expectations of their students and the same noise-level expectations, and they plan collaboratively to ensure consistent classroom programmes.
Teachers are responsible for their respective homerooms and students’ Mathematics and Literacy learning. Academic progress is a priority, and all the teachers in the Senior Habitat leverage their strengths to cater to every child’s individual academic and emotional needs.
The teachers encourage each child to be the best version of themselves they can be, and to take responsibility for their own learning just as happens in other Year 5 and 6 classrooms outside the Senior Habitat. While there is a strong focus on teaching children to separate learning and social times, children are also encouraged to engage with one another through group work, Inquiry, problem solving and sports.