At Hillsmeade, we implement evidence-based best practice that personalises and engages students in active learning alongside explicit and formalised instruction. Teaching and learning decisions are data-informed and aligned with the Victorian Curriculum. We implement our Hillsmeade Instructional Model, utilising high-impact teaching strategies in our classroom practice.
Hillsmeade prioritises high levels of student engagement in their learning and connectedness to school through positive relationships. We recognise the need for children to be active participants in their learning through goal setting, investigation, collaborating, thinking, questioning, problem-solving, creativity and reflection. We explicitly teach and develop literacy, numeracy, and social and emotional learning skills to become successful learners, self-managers, and global citizens.
HILLSMEADE INSTRUCTIONAL MODEL
Hillsmeade Primary School’s instructional model has been developed using evidence-based practices and considers the importance of the High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS). It also incorporates elements of the Gradual Release of Responsibility, which is where teachers strategically transfer the responsibility in the learning process from the teacher to the students. It is adopted by all teachers at Hillsmeade Primary School, across all learning areas.
THE HPS Instructional Model can be viewed below:
PROFESSIONAL LEARNING TEAMS (PLTs)
WHY IS THERE A FOCUS ON PROFESSIONAL LEARNING TEAMS AT HPS?
At Hillsmeade Primary School, each Year Level Team and our Specialist Team operates as a Professional Learning Team. Many esteemed experts and respected professional organisations in education endorse and advocate the development of PLTs and there is a large amount of research that suggests that working together produces better results than working alone.
‘Important forms of professional learning occur in daily interactions among teachers in which they assist one another in improving lessons, deepening understanding of the content they teach, analysing student work, examining various types of data on student performance, and solving the myriad of problems they face each day.’ Sparks 2003 ‘Leaders as creators of high performance cultures.’
WHAT TASKS DOES A PLT UNDERTAKE?
- Co-construct term planners, unit planners and lesson plans.
- Collectively analyse all cohort academic data using the HPS Data Cycle (refer to visual) to determine: students’ point of need, growth that has been made, flexible grouping opportunities, further learning needed (adjusting pacing guide/term planner), intervention or enrichment provision and evaluation of teachers’ own impact (what approach works best?).
- Share best practice and build teacher capacity through job embedded professional learning, notably: professional reading, learning walks, peer observation of modelled lessons, collective inquiry in an area of interest (e.g. questioning).
- Develop common formative assessments and analyse and moderate work samples.
- Develop and/or share tools to assess student’s understanding (e.g. checklists, rubrics, exit cards).
- Analyse student survey/perception data.
- Reflect on planning and pedagogical approaches.
- Create exemplars of high-quality work.
- Analyse progress against whole school’s goals outlined in the Annual Implement Plan.
- Collaborate with the intervention staff and evaluate program.
What are the professional responsibilities attached to PLTs?
- Being part of a whole school team that is committed to school improvement.
- Using evidence and data to drive teaching and learning opportunities.
- Having high expectations for our students and ourselves.
- Expecting that all students can learn.
- Improving student learning achievement in reading, writing and mathematics.
- Continuous improvement for all teachers – Improving teacher learning and teacher effectiveness.
- Collectively developing a set of team norms that are adhered to.
- All meetings will be structured with a clear purpose documented via an agenda and minutes.