Resources by themselves are not sufficient to improve language learning in Victorian or for that matter Australian schools?

Once again students learning another language hits the newspaper headlines: The trouble with languages in primary schools Time to mind our languages Interestingly it hits the headlines in the only state in Australia (Victoria) that mandates languages be taught in schools despite it being in the Australian curriculum. So what’s… Read more“Resources by themselves are not sufficient to improve language learning in Victorian or for that matter Australian schools?”

young people’s anger – here’s one thought.

I’m fortunate as a school leader that my teachers share their ideas and thoughts with me. This is one teachers share last week that resonates so strongly with me – how does one promote young people’s conversations about dealing with emotions (in this case anger). If your running a classroom… Read more“young people’s anger – here’s one thought.”

Anzac Day Service at School: Lest we forget.

Recently our year 3 and 4 students led the school in the annual Anzac Day commemoration service. The service which dates back 100 years is to acknowledge those men and women who served in our armed services in conflicts and peace keeping missions. The students investigate what the commemorative service… Read more“Anzac Day Service at School: Lest we forget.”

Provoking student interest in learning

I say again I’m in a fortunate role as principal to see some amazing products and processes of learning and I’m guilty of not sharing these as often as I should. So here goes: the first two photos show an 11-year-old student’s investigation into the scientific understandings behind whirlpools. Students… Read more“Provoking student interest in learning”

Spending too much time after lunch in early intervention conversations?

Recently we had Marg Armstrong do a refresher at our staff meeting on the need to continually build relationships in classrooms and across the staff. We sat in a circle at our staff meeting and Marg regrouped us according to how far we were born away from the school. It… Read more“Spending too much time after lunch in early intervention conversations?”

Alberta and Victoria: separated by two great oceans but close in educational thinking.

I have just finished rereading a 2012 research paper on transforming education in Alberta Canada. I found it a great read. I didn’t know for example that Alberta has been Canada’s highest performing province for over a decade. Andy Hargreaves wrote in the foreword the paper seeks a “more sophisticated… Read more“Alberta and Victoria: separated by two great oceans but close in educational thinking.”

Mandarin the 4th most popular language in primary schools! (updated)

I woke up yesterday to read from a local newspaper that Mandarin is now the fourth most-popular choice for primary school pupils in Victoria. The article went on to say: The news comes as schools prepare for the introduction of compulsory foreign language education, starting with prep next year. Traditional European… Read more“Mandarin the 4th most popular language in primary schools! (updated)”

“education is not a horse race”

Over the holidays I came across an easy to read article by Elliot Einser on Benjamin Bloom. Essentially the article made a some key points about Bloom’s work: education as a process was an effort to realize human potential, indeed, (it was) an exercise in optimism. (its why I believe… Read more““education is not a horse race””

‘The Arts’ an essential part of the curriculum.

I couldn’t resist posting this TV clip about my school. The clip was shown on a community TV station last week about an Art Reach Program that Elsternwick P.S., Monash University and National Gallery work together on. I think my point in showing the clip was to both acknowledge the… Read more“‘The Arts’ an essential part of the curriculum.”

Leadership and Relational Learning

Last month we held our 3rd curriculum day on one of our strategic improvement strategies – the implementation of a relational learning framework in teaching and learning and to engage with the parent and wider community   (school are entitled to hold 4 non pupil free days each year). The day was facilitated… Read more“Leadership and Relational Learning”

“learning as a social process through which understanding is achieved”

The title of this post comes from a book titled “Schools and Communities: working together to transform children live’s” by West-Burnham, Farrar and Otero. Pictured above is George Otero, a co author of the book and Co-President of the Relational Learning Centre in Santa Fe New Mexico USA. George has started to do some… Read more““learning as a social process through which understanding is achieved””

An advocate for reciprocal teaching – or hearing student voice in your classroom.

When I first listened to this address by 12 yo Adora I was rather skeptical and amazed. Her use of language is amazing but her message is simply. We need to hear student voice in curriculum development – so if you plan your inquiry learning unit without seeking student background… Read more“An advocate for reciprocal teaching – or hearing student voice in your classroom.”

Reading comprehension scaffolded for older students.

At our regular team leaders meeting where we gain an overview of curriculum planning across the school we discussed what readers workshops look like for older primary aged students. Our problem of practice started out about identifying what students are doing to process reading texts whilst we may be teaching… Read more“Reading comprehension scaffolded for older students.”

What are the big ideas in maths that students need to know – in the Early Years?

At the start of the school year most of the local primary schools got together to hear Di Siemon from RMIT speak about the big ideas in mathematics education. Di really challenged some of our teacher ideas and spoke about the big ideas in mathematics that all students need to learn. Some of… Read more“What are the big ideas in maths that students need to know – in the Early Years?”

Educating for the unknown- what’s worth learning?

David Perkins from Harvard University was another keynote speaker at the Singapore conference. He put the proposition that a lot of what goes on in schools is educating for the known – we teach lots of information – spelling rules or maths equations or history often decided by state wide… Read more“Educating for the unknown- what’s worth learning?”