We work from a state and national based curriculum and have adopted two approaches to address curriculum intent.
- National Curriculum: C2C, Curriculum to Classrooms, is used for English, Mathematics, History, Geography,Civics and Citizenship, Health and Physical Education and Science. Teachers are implementing unit plans from Prep-Year 7 to gain a better understanding of the implications and constraints of adopting this approach to planning.
We are using the Queensland Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Framework for the remaining Key Learning Areas using units from the Assessment Bank.
Students will be exposed to front end assessment where it is made explicit what the learning goals are for the unit of work. Students must have a clear understanding of what is valued and what is being assessed. This translates to teachers using explicit teaching strategies and demonstrating WALT (We are learning to...) and WILF (What I'm looking for...) in their daily lessons. Teachers will also use formative assessments to feedback into their planning. Pre-tests, diagnostics tests and formative assessment will ensure that the curriculum is differentiated to meet individual learning needs. This information is also used to direct intervention and additional resources. Our main goal of formative assessment is to ensure that the strengths and challenges of each learner are identified and acted upon.
Sequencing teaching and learning
Our students set high expectations to achieve and be active in the learning process. Central concepts to the teaching and learning process at Charters Towers Central State School include multiple opportunities to succeed, high quality feedback to students (and indirectly back to teachers), front end assessment, effective use of ICT in learning experiences, use of exemplars, modelling, inclusion of higher order thinking skills (such as reflection), use of the assessable elements and use of collaboratively developed GTMJs (Guide to Making Judgements). With a strong emphasis on meeting individual needs it is about the teacher fitting in to the individual needs of the student not the student fitting into how the teacher runs their classroom. Consistency to our school means differentiating the curriculum for our students, not devising a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy.
Teachers are supported to make consistent judgements through inter school support and cluster moderation. Teachers will employ a range of moderation techniques. Teachers have pre-determined cut-offs for assessment items if they are deploying tests. Teachers are required to use Assessment Bank Items to help ensure consistency of judgement with the QCAR Framework.
Providing feedback is central to improving student learning, whether it is feedback to students about what they have been able to successfully achieve or to teachers about what their students already know and what they need to learn next. Feedback has to be focussed on front end assessment or learning goals that have been identified.
We believe that feedback to students:
- is timely
- focuses on what the student has done well
- is informative and purposeful
- is effective when students engage in self-feedback and peer-feedback
- is focused on the quality of student performance and not on the student
- gives specific information about what to do next
- challenges students to use higher order thinking
- requires students to take action and responsibility
- can be capitalised on when multiple opportunities are given to students.