Teachers don’t merely deliver the curriculum, they define, develop and contextualise it. It is what teachers think, what teachers believe and what teachers do at the level of the classroom that ultimately shapes the kind of learning that young people experience. At Talara Primary College we shape this developing, defining and contextualising of the curriculum through a process which is supportive, professional, accountable, collegial and open.
To do this we plan the implementation of curriculum together and monitor its effectiveness across the whole school. All teachers are kept informed of what other teachers are doing and planning is displayed in every classroom. The work completed by students each term is celebrated and shared with the school community. This includes students from other classes, parents, community members, the ancillary staff of the school and the administrative team. The process is coordinated by our Head of Curriculum who maintains a whole school view, monitors student learning and supports teachers as they adopt new syllabus materials and teaching strategies.
We have a Curriculum Team which oversees the full implementation of Talara’s renowned curriculum initiative. This committee is made up of the Head of Curriculum, the Deputy Principals, the support teachers, classroom teachers and relevant staff members.
One of the roles of the Head of Curriculum is to assist year level teams with planning and to ensure teachers are adequately resourced so that their programs are fully implemented. Teachers are released from class each term to plan collaboratively with all other members from that year level. The units of work are then displayed in the foyer and in the classrooms.
This process ensures quality focused teaching and learning is occurring in every classroom and that technology is woven into each unit in effective, meaningful and supported ways.
Our curriculum is future looking
We integrate meaningful technological skills and understandings into every unit of work from Prep to Year 6. This process is led by our key teachers who ensure that there are links from one year level to the next, provide the training and support for skill development to staff and students, and support staff as they integrate these understandings into meaningful units of work.
Our curriculum seeks relevance
We seek ways to make learning opportunities link to the world outside the school environment. To do this we select ideas that will appeal to our students, and have applications in real life experiences. Wherever possible we make connections between subject areas and if we need to go outside the school environment for the best learning opportunity, we do so. We provide choice and develop individual student programs where necessary so that we can maximise learning outcomes for every student.
Our curriculum is dynamic
Every exceptional teacher is a learner. We support this view by asking each teacher to reflect on each unit of work and assess its effectiveness, relevance and degree of enjoyment for the learner. Teachers reflect on what they learned about themselves as teachers, on what worked well and what did not. During this process they consider the implications for the next unit of work.
Decisions about what and how to teach are based on the core curriculum entitlement and what we know about our students and what they need to learn.
We can all remember someone who was “The Teacher” in our lives - someone who inspired and motivated us above all others. At Talara Primary College we seek to assist our teachers to be “The Teacher” for every student by providing the most significant, motivating and effective curriculum possible. The development of our curriculum is being energised by collaboration, accountability, shared decision-making and a commitment to quality outcomes.
As we shape and redefine curriculum units using the Australian Curriculum and QCAR syllabi our focus is supporting students to develop the Attributes of Life Long Learners.
Central to this is for our students to learn not what to think but how to think. They construct their own meaning by learning to reflect, to raise essential questions, to see connections, to discover patterns, to make good decisions, to understand and value diversity, to work cooperatively with others, to take risks and to manage change. We foster critical and creative thinking and expect students to produce work of quality at their own individual level. Students learn how to learn and how to produce knowledge, not just how to reproduce it.