ST AIDAN’S SCHOOL MAROUBRA 214 MAROUBRA ROAD MAROUBRA 2035 Ph: 9344-6364 Fax: 9349-4235 LFTT 2009: Accountability Evaluation Preamble: In 2009 St Aidan’s Primary School, Maroubra Junction has taken part in the Language Features of Text Types Program (LFFT) offered by the Catholic Education Office, Sydney Diocese. This is a program created for ESL students, and is based on explicitly teaching Talking, Listening and Writing in a structured format. A meeting of the ‘Core Group’ participants held in Week 2 of Term 4 came to the following conclusions, when evaluating the program’s impact on teaching and learning at St Aidan’s. Teaching and Learning: What has changed? Individual Responses Teachers are using the Syllabus more productively. Teachers have become more aware of how to read and use the Syllabus; they have become more familiar with the content areas specifically related to Talking, Listening and Writing. This has had a follow-on effect for other parts of the Syllabus, especially Reading. All Strands are linked more productively. Talking is now explicitly taught in each of the classes. Teachers felt that they had not previously had a clear understanding of what ‘Talking’ was as an expectation within the Syllabus Outcomes. Classes now have explicit active listening lessons, requiring a response. There is a more even balance between Talking, Listening and Reading. When looking back at previous Programs and Timetables it was obvious that planning was very much unevenly skewed to Reading, and Writing, with Talking and Listening playing a minor role. More realistic expectations in Kindergarten (and other classes). With accountability needs, there has always been a race to ‘put things on paper’; this has been an unnecessary stress, particularly for Kindergarten teachers. The LFTT program, supported by more understanding of the Syllabus requirements, has made teachers more aware of the importance of listening and talking skills as vital precursors, and partners, for writing and reading. There has been less rush to get things written. Evidence In Text Type Program Planning Guides Relates to Syllabus and Modules Class Timetables Class Programs
Class Timetables Class Programs
Class Programs (especially Kindergarten) Student work Filming of preand post-tests Smartboard recordings of ‘Talking activities’ Student Writing
Applicable, appropriate, and often sophisticated language features have become embedded in Students’ language. It has become obvious as the year has progressed and we have moved from one text type to another, in various English activities, other KLA’s and general conversation with our students that the language features specifically taught in the LFTT program are being transferred and used by the students. Playing of the LFTT games has been a valuable tool for this embedding
Filming of preand post-tests Written pre-tests
Smartboard recordings of ‘Talking activities’
School Responses Improved Scope and Sequences. Because of the LFTT program St Aidan’s has completely re-developed Scope and Sequences for HSIE, Science & Technology, Text Types and Grammar. These are the result of greater understanding of Syllabus expectations and the way to integrate KLA’s. These Scope and Sequences have been collaboratively developed by teachers to allow for teacher ownership of what they are teaching. The procedure shared by the staff to develop the Text Type Scope and Sequence made what had previously seemed to be a difficult task, an easy one in which everything just fell into place. The process was developed for a Staff Development Day after in-school support from Joanna Stella. Staff felt it was one of our most productive Staff Development Days. Raised Profile of ESL Students. Through Staff in-servicing at Staff Meetings, there has been increased knowledge and awareness of the stages of ESL and NESB students. This understanding has changed the way we are teaching: teachers are now more explicit in the teaching of language features. Improved classroom practice and organisation, as well as improved programming, planning and assessment practices. The explicit nature of LFTT programming has enabled teachers to be more organised and more productive in their programming, planning, teaching and, a result, assessing and reporting. - Involvement of Support Teachers has made teaching practices more collaborative and productive. Improved technological skills. Accountability requirements and the need to store programs, pre- and post- tests etc, in a way that it would be accessible for future use has enabled the teachers to think laterally about the use of technology. - Investigation of the use of a Wiki has been a particularly useful tool as it enables actual listening to students talk. This is a much more practical way to monitor the growth in student talking and listening, rather than just looking at writing samples. It is also provides easy accessibility to programs for teachers who change classes or wish to look at / hear samples of work at different stage levels. - Use of ‘flip cameras’ has made accountability and provision of ‘evidence’ more practicable. Being able to film students when doing a variety of activities, talking, listening, interactingand presenting opens up a whole new world of self- and peerevaluation for students as well as supporting teachers when assessing and reporting. This is most evident in Kindergarten where the filming of students’ pre- and post- tests is necessary where written skills are not yet developed. Development of Generic Set of Language Games. A set of games has been made for whole-school use, based on language games found on LFTT website. Games have been copied, laminated and stored in LFTT language box. The box has been shared, games demonstrated at Staff Meetings and is easily accessible to all staff members. Improved Staff support and cooperation. By use of a shared language, staff is now more confident and able to support each other in planning and programming English.
Evidence Scope & Sequences: HSIE, Science & Technology, Text Types, Grammar In-school Support DayJoanna Stella Staff Development Day Timetable Staff Meeting schedule on Calendar ESL class Profiles Class Timetables Class Programs Photographs on Wiki Film clips Sound recordings Wiki Smartboard presentations Film clips
LFTT Language Games Box in Staff Room
Future Directions: Strategic Management Plan for Stage 2 of Program that involves maintenance of the program and training/ induction of teachers in 2010 who have not been part of ‘Core Group’ . This process has already begun, following an In-School Support Day with Joanna Stella. Bernard Carey (Principal), Marietta Quill (Assistant Principal) and Lee Mullaly (Key Contact Person) worked through the process with Joanna. Incorporation of program in Annual School Plan Marietta, as Assistant Principal, to share Key Contact role with Lee. Marietta to take part in full course in 2010 (at invitation of Kerrie Reid) ESL Profiling of all students at the beginning of each year, as a normal procedure, to aid targeting of students with specific language needs. Sharing of programs through continued, and improved use of the Wiki Continued use of technology to pre-test, post-test and record student progress for reporting, assessing and accountability. This includes recording of talking on Smartboard (to go on Wiki), filming with ‘Flip’ cameras to be stored on Teacher Share. Continued experimentation with programs, games, technology to enable continual upgrading of skills and knowledge Regular opportunities to share experiences.