Pedagogical Approach

Pedagogical Approach:

In order to deliver on our educational philosophy and vision, we have two key approaches that are represented in our school’s name. The ‘Global’ represents our innovative approach to curriculum that takes from best practices in progressive education locally and internationally. And the ‘Village’ represents our highly relational and supportive school culture that explicitly develops the social-emotional capacities of our students.

The Global Component

  • All subjects will be interdisciplinary to allow students to cover the eight learning areas through current issues, projects and themes that they connect with. This approach is supported by evidenced practices including the International Baccalaureate and Montessori models.
  • Strong teaching differentiation and mean that students from different ages and ability levels will be able to access the same content at their level. For example, a student could be accessing one particular subject called ‘The Science of Sport’ from a year 8 science level and a year 10 PE level. Assessments and learning tasks would be designed along a continuum so that they can demonstrate their abilities at their level.
  • We will use online tools to assist in curriculum delivery and to map curriculum and ensure that all 8 learning areas are addressed sufficiently across each year and the 16 different subjects (4 per term).
  • The homeroom teacher will be trained in the Assessment for Teaching Model (Griffin, 2014) and will be highly skilled at differentiation and ongoing, formative assessment using a variety of current, evidenced based pedagogical approaches such as High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS), supported by an ongoing engagement in the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO). Teachers will utilise HITS to deliver high quality teaching and learning, differentiating for the wide dichotomy of entry/exit points displayed by the students in the learning spaces.
  • Embedded and explicitly taught across the curriculum will be social and emotional skills, literacy and numeracy.
  • We will adopt online and ongoing reporting so that student progress is transparent to students, parents and teachers. Parents will be able to see their child’s progress and next steps at any given point in time to support their involvement outside of school hours. We will also hold student-led conferences each term for students to update their parents on their progress.

The Village Component

  • The school will embed a highly relational approach through Restorative and Trauma Informed Practices.
  • Students will be placed in classes of 15 or less and have one main homeroom teacher (similar to primary school).
  • Classes will be a mix of ages and year levels from 7-10 and will be grouped based on social temperament and the needs of the group dynamic.
  • Students will progress through the curriculum along a continuum within their multi-age class and will graduate each year level once they have demonstrated the achievement standards of that year level across each of the eight learning areas.
  • Older or abler students will help to set the tone for the class and will be called upon to lead and mentor younger students as part of mastering their own skills, while also learning at their level.
  • The homeroom teacher will have intimate knowledge of these student’s social, emotional and academic needs and will be highly competent at tracking, assessing and planning interventions for learning and socio-emotional development. This will ensure quality teaching and relationships which is critical to students who have experienced marginalisation (Goldhaber et al., 2015). These teachers will all undergo training in the Berry Street model and through a partnership with Teach For Australia Alumni we have access a large body of quality teachers.
  • The school will also employ expert subject teachers who will float between classes providing expert subject area direct instruction. There is opportunity to partner with Deakin University to offer placement to student teachers as needed for explicit skill and knowledge development in the areas of: maths/science, English/Humanities, the arts, and technology. This takes some of the lesson planning load off the homeroom teacher and gives students access to experts in subject areas while not undermining the important connection to their core homeroom teacher.

Term Structure

Week 1 Camp week: all students attend outdoor camp. Explicit teaching of social-emotional curriculum and relationship building
Week 2 Subject development week: teachers and students work collaboratively to develop the 4 subjects chosen for that term (plan excursions, assessments strategies, learning activities, differentiation opportunities). Ensuring that subjects are interdisciplinary and all curriculum requirements are met across the 16 subjects that will be taught over the year.
Weeks 3-8 Teaching and learning weeks: Using expert teachers and homeroom teachers in collaboration. Differentiated lessons and assessments to allow for multi-ages and abilities to access at their level as well as social-emotional needs to be met. Ongoing socio-emotional, literacy and numeracy tracking and targeted teaching. Emphasis on experiential learning through excursions, immersive activities and project-based or inquiry tasks.
Week 9 Feedback week: based on data and feedback students work across homeroom groups to target skill and knowledge gaps. Use of expert teachers and peer teaching. Student-led conferences with families.
Week 10 Subject design week (aka ‘Shark Tank’): Visits from industry experts and innovative thinkers to generate ideas. Researching of global and local issues. Students and teachers design and present possible interdisciplinary subjects based on a key concept/theme or project and linking it to Victorian Curriculum. 4 subjects are chosen by a representative panel of teachers and students. Teachers plan subjects over school holidays.