Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Primary Matters July 2014

The latest issue of Primary Matters from ACARA has been released.

Some exiting news is ACARA's upcoming release of illustrations of practice.

Please find the information below from Primary Matters for July 2014:

ILLUSTRATIONS OF PRACTICE: managing the primary curriculum
We are well under way with our work to provide schools with short vignettes showcasing ways various primary school leaders are approaching the management of the Australian Curriculum. ACARA officers have visited ten schools and whilst we are yet to complete publishing materials around the vignettes they will be available on ACARA YouTube site (www.youtube.com/user/ACARAeduau) as they are released.
When published on the Australian Curriculum website later in the year, the vignettes will offer leadership teams an understanding of how different schools manage implementation of the Australian Curriculum and ideally will assist schools to make decisions at a local level. 

Click here to view the full Primary Matters article:

Monday, 28 July 2014

Australian Curriculum English: Year Five Learning Sequence - "The Coat" by Julie Hunt and Ron Brooks

The Year Five learning sequence contained in this post was developed by teacher Sofia Delios from Bertram PS. Sofia is a valued member of our Woodlands Australian Curriculum Implementation (WACI) Club which meets each month to discuss planning and assessment in Australian Curriculum:English. During term 2 of this year, WACI Club focused on planning for Reading and Viewing using AC:E. Thanks Sofia for being a guest on our blog and allowing us to share your plan!

The sequence is linked to The Australian Curriculum - English content descriptions. 
You can access The Australian Curriculum by clicking this link:
The springboard literary text for this learning sequence was "The Coat" by 
Julie Hunt and Ron Brooks which is illustrated by Australia's leading picture-book artist. 
Click HERE  for the Year Five sequence. This will allow you to download/view the teacher's lesson plan.When you click the link it will open in Google Docs. When that screen opens, click on FILE and then DOWNLOAD.


Sofia also utilises an informational text as part of this sequence, entitled "The Story of Jeans" You can locate this text and some associated resources through the following link:

A copy of the text is also included in the link below:
 This learning sequence combines a range of text types both to engage with and produce. If you look carefully at the highlighted parts of the Year Level Description on the plan you will see the range of opportunities the Year 5 students have to view, read and create texts.
Our next Woodlands Australian Curriculum Implementation (WACI) Club is on 14 August  from 4pm to 5pm at Woodlands PS.  We are focusing on:

Digital Texts and the Western Australian Curriculum

  To register please go to the Institute for Professional Learning Online Calendar which can be accessed through the Portal via Professional Learning. There are only ten places remaining in the workshop. If the workshop fills, please place your expression of interest and we can run another session. If you have difficulty registering please email Carlene.Thorpe@education.wa.edu.au

Craigie Heights WACI Club is on 21 August from 4:00pm to 5:00pm at
Craigie Heights Primary School.

                                                         WACI Clubs are FREE events. 

Woodlands Teacher Development School now has an app available through the app store for FREE. Download the app to keep up to date with events, information and blog spots in regards to Australian Curriculum: English! Search for Woodlands Teacher Development School in the App Store!

Also follow us on Twitter @WoodlandsTDS

Copyright notice for use of Australian Curriculum material
In regards to the planning tool in this post:

© Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority 2013.
This is an extract from the Australian Curriculum.
ACARA neither endorses nor verifies the accuracy of the information provided and accepts no responsibility for incomplete or inaccurate information. In particular, ACARA does not endorse or verify that:

  • The content descriptions are solely for a particular year and subject;
  • All the content descriptions for that year and subject have been used; and
  • The author’s material aligns with the Australian Curriculum content descriptions for the relevant year and subject.
You can find the unaltered and most up to date version of this material at http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/ This material is reproduced with the permission of ACARA.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Planning from Student Achievement Information from Semester One!

How do you, or teachers at your school, utilise end of Semester One grade allocation information to plan forward for Semester Two?

As part of the Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Outline there are clear Assessment Principles which can guide the use of grade allocation information as part of planning for improvement and opportunities for student growth.

The information given in this blog post relates to the use of the Australian Curriculum Achievement Standards for grade allocation in English. The same process could be used for Mathematics, Science and History as Phase One subjects.

Below is a reflection from Woodlands on how the Assessment Principles relate to using student achievement information post Semester One. It is a combination of information from the SCSA Assessment Principles and curriculum leader reflections. You can access the SCSA Assessment Principles and Reflective Questions by clicking the link below:


Assessment Principle 1: Assessments should be an integral part of teaching and learning

Teachers should be planning for student assessment as part of the teaching and learning program. This means that the Achievement Standards should be a part of planning and not just left until report time to look at or review.

Assessment Principle 2: Assessments should be educative

Students should know where their knowledge and skill base is in regards to the achievement standard but most importantly what they can do to improve.

Assessment Principle 3: Assessments should be fair

Assessment information should provide reliable indications of students’ knowledge, understandings and skills. It should be based on the integration of a range of types and sources of evidence - how do you provide opportunities for students to show their knowledge in a range of ways over time? As a teacher we should be providing opportunities for students to demonstrate more than a "C" or "Satisfactory".

Assessment Principle 4: Assessments should be designed to meet their specific purposes

Grade allocation against the Achievement Standard also forms part of formative assessment.  As part of Semester One reporting, teachers need to consider utilising the content descriptions and the achievement standards to clarify what is the fine-grained information about student performance that supports teachers to plan learning that challenges students to go beyond what they already know, understand or can do in order to build new knowledge, understandings and skills.

Assessment Principle 5: Assessments should lead to informative reporting

Reporting information is valuable for school and teacher planning.  Grades are a broad classification of student performance, however it does not provide a level of detail necessary to inform teaching programs. Grading is an end process that is completed after more detailed assessment has been conducted against content descriptions and achievement standards.

Reporting student achievement in terms of grades is a broad classification of performance, each grade represents a wide range of student ability. Teachers need to consider how they plan for students to demonstrate a wide range in relation to content descriptions and the achievement standards.

Assessment Principle 6:  Assessments should lead to school-wide evaluation processes

Teachers and school leaders need to understand current and past student achievement levels, be explicit about targets for improvement and be explicit about how progress towards those targets will be monitored. School leaders need to plan for how they will evaluate the effectiveness of school initiatives and programs. Teachers should plan for how they will reflect on and evaluate their teaching practices. This implies that schools and teachers need to be willing to identify and evaluate both the intended and unintended consequences of any initiative or program.

In relation to end of semester grade allocation it can mean that teachers and school leaders view the grade allocation and engage in conversations and planning in regards to setting targets to improve and planning opportunities for growth. If you have a large percentage of students not meeting the Achievement Standard, you can discuss why and reflect on any programs or strategies being used. 

What process is Woodlands PS using to engage in Student Achievement Information from Semester One?

Teachers at Woodlands have reflected on the process they use for planning forward from the grade allocation in Semester One. In combination with a content description and scope of texts audit, teachers have used the document attached below and followed these steps to begin planning in Semester Two:


1. Teachers need a copy of their Student Achievement Profiles from end of Semester summative grade allocation. Woodlands uses the “Achievement Profile - Component graph available via SAIS through the Portal, (Please see steps at the end of this post for creating this graph).
2. Teachers need a copy of AC:E Scope and Sequence document  and a copy of the Woodlands PS Evidence Overview in Modes planning sheet.
3. Teachers need three of the planning forward sheet pictured above - one for each AC:E mode, (Writing and Creating, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Viewing). If you click the picture above it will take you to the file in Google Docs to download as a PDF.
4. Teachers use the grade allocation information to plot students on the sheet in each mode.
5. Teachers use content descriptions and achievement standards to identify focus areas for improvement or further opportunities to be provided for students to demonstrate higher achievement.
6. Focus areas are then utilised in classroom planning for AC:E 

Creating the Graph in SAIS via the Portal

  1. Open Student Achievement Information System via the Portal
  2. Graph Type tab - select 1-10 Graphs and Tables then select Achievement Profile - Component as the graph template
  3. Reporting Period Tab - select single reporting period as Semester One 2014
  4. Groups Tab - Select school and year, (you need to create the graph for one year level at a time).
  5. Learning Area tab - select English AC
  6. Graph Styles and Options Tab - leave as default 
  7. Graphs tab - Click "Build the Graph" then hover over the first icon which will say "Display Graph Data" and click the icon as this will give you the list of student names and their grade allocation in the three modes for English. Then click the "Word" icon to open as a Word document. Save and/or print.
We hope you find our process of use. Woodlands PS values our teachers having an in depth knowledge of content descriptions and achievement standards to plan learning sequences that respond to student needs and provide opportunities for students to grow.

Please feel free to contact Carlene.Thorpe@education.wa.edu.au if you would like support for your school in Western Australian Curriculum: English.  

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Resource Audit Tool for Australian Curriculum: English

As a Teacher Development School we are often asked what resources we would suggest teachers or schools use to support the teaching of Australian Curriculum: English.

We developed a tool as a suggested way for schools and teachers to audit  resources against the Australian Curriculum in English. This is our preferred option for supporting schools when selecting resources as it is far more powerful for teachers to audit the resources and delve in to the content than our school suggesting resources.

When using the audit sheets you are looking for coverage of the opportunities provided in the Year Level Description. For example, does the resource provide for a range of "create texts" opportunities as suggested in the last paragraph? Does the resource contain the elements described to develop independent readers as per the second last paragraph?

The next audit consideration is the actual content descriptions. You need to ensure there is a coverage across the full scope and sequence of content descriptions. Punctuation is one example area of ensuring S&S coverage not just year level coverage. The various modes that the content needs to be addressed through should also be addressed in the resource, (modes meaning Writing&Creating, Reading&Viewing, Speaking&Listening).

After completing an audit, it then becomes a way for you and your team to be informed educators about what resources you select to support the teaching of content and the opportunities provided for a broad and in depth study of English. If a resource has gaps, at least you are informed of the gaps and should you choose to continue with the resource, you know what gaps to address through another means so that students are receiving their full entitlement content wise.

We hope you find the audit of use. Of interest might be that Woodlands PS chooses to only use the Department's Literacy Resources and First Steps.

Click HERE  for the English resource audit tool. This will allow you to download/view the tool.When you click the link it will open in Google Docs. When that screen opens, click on FILE and then DOWNLOAD. The tool is also in the Connect Community Australian Curriculum English Primary (K-7) Network in The Woodlands Hub folder in the Library, (DoE employees only).


Kind regards

Carlene Thorpe
Deputy Principal
TDS Coordinator