The Learning Lens
At The Village School Gold Coast, emphasis is on student involvement with activities that explore the purpose of all learning in regard to self. Secondly, students process information they have acquired and share their new knowledge to prompt further inquiry. Finally, students make ‘real-world’ connections, look to resolve/review genuine community issues and share the results of their investigations with a larger audience.
PHASE 1 begins with the teacher as an expert and students as an audience, students discovering why they are learning (tuning in). Teachers gradually release the learning responsibility motivating students to explore new concepts in greater depth.
PHASE 2 involves students as peers collaboratively engaged in activities centered around ‘finding out’ more about the topic, content and/or skills through researching, investigating, and experimenting. Students then ‘sort out’ the data or information collected and ‘take action’ through sharing knowledge with their peers as the audience.
PHASE 3 involves the students confidently working, both independently and in groups, as they reflect on using their new knowledge, skills and/or understanding. This shifts the learning process from ‘making connections’ to ‘going further’, building the desire to create/solve and presenting their findings, reflections or insights as an ‘expert’ within the community (intended audience being the whole class, another class, parent body or wider community).
Learning is fluid and students can move between phases at any point as new questions arise, new learning or skills are required and/or, as the audience changes.
The planning, teaching, learning, assessment and reporting of all subjects is guided by The Australian National Curriculum.
These timetables are an outline only. As a small school, we are able to change the timetable according to the term’s theme, daily program and current student’s needs and suggestions.
Assessment will look like
There is plenty to see and explore within walking distance of the School, including beaches, river, parks, the border, boulders and rock pools.
Protective Personal Equipment
After a snack has been consumed, students will be encouraged to go to the toilet, get their School-supplied bucket hats and apply School- or self-supplied sunscreen over their faces, necks (front and back), arms and legs under teacher supervision to ensure coverage. Closed in shoes and sun-safe clothing is protocol. Each child will then put on a vest (left image below, colour not chosen yet) and wristband whistle (right image below). This will ensure the students are visible to the teacher and the whistle for emergencies use only. In depth protocol and discussions will be had and explained to the students and their parents involving what an emergency is, how it feels and what do in response. There will be lots of practising too, followed with outdoor emergency procedures. The staff will also wear fluro vests and whistles, with a rule of “three to me” meaning: when the students hear three whistles, they need to get to the staff member as soon as they can. When moving to and from the school along the pavements and across crossings, we will be via a walking rope (image below) to ensure movement is conducted safely and all children are accounted for at all times. It will always be used for Prep students.
Safety Excursion Equipment
Whilst the group will move together, each student will carry a named water bottle and student-specific asthma puffers EpiPen or other student-specific medication and a card containing their medical plan and parent emergency number (as required), inside their own small personal backpack until they return to school, ensuring the correct medication is with the correct student at all times. A first aid kit with a general use EpiPen and asthma puffer, additional sunscreen, tissues, wipes, bandaids, topical solution, insect repellent, bite cream and hand sanitizer will be in a hand-led wagon (image below left), along with balls and other lawn/beach games or equipment for a specific HPE lesson focus as needed. Each attending staff member and/or adult will be pre-informed of where they will be going, any risk management that needs additional awareness and to ensure they have each other’s and the School’s mobile number for communication purposes. The School will provide long-range walkie talkies with the base unit staying at school, and the other three being brought with excursion staff. Walkie talkies were chosen due to their ease of use and the instant communication with all involved parties without needing to dial numbers or type. This means mobile phones are free to use should an ambulance be needed and the walkie talkie used to ask for support in managing the other students and/or contacting the necessary parents by other staff members.
Images inspired and retrieved in order of appearance from:
- Google Maps. (2021). Coolangatta [image]. Retrieved 29/12/2020 from https://www.google.com/maps
- Images Sourced from Google Search as a support to the information shared in May 2021.
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