Term 4 focus on Literacy, Numeracy and Wellbeing

1. Continued focus on Literacy

Fitzroy High School remains committed to focusing on literacy across the curriculum, and to adapt teaching and learning programs to respond to the literacy needs of students as they return to onsite learning in Term 4. 

This focus is evident in the following ways:

Whole school level

Allocation of time and continued support of staff with Professional Learning Communities to create literacy scaffolds and supports, drawing upon Literacy Professional Learning sessions delivered throughout 2020.

Planning time at the end of the year to consider the arrangement and makeup of units for 2021, with a focus on developing subject-specific literacy.

Year level

Adaptations of Term 4 unit outlines, to maintain the slower pace to allow a greater focus on explicit teaching of literacy.

Assessment of literacy in formative and/or summative assessments.

Individual level

QuickSmart program to commence for identified Year 7 and 8 students who require support in reading comprehension

Individualised support for Year 10 students identified by the Middle Years Literacy and Numeracy Strategy. 

Self-paced differentiation strategies such as Education Perfect Literacy modules are available for teachers to set for students requiring additional support to address gaps in their literacy learning.

2. Mathematics and Numeracy

For the remainder of Term 4 the focus across all Years 7-10 Mathematics classes will be on the practical strands Measurement & Geometry or Statistics & Probability. Mathematics teachers have been provided with progress estimates for all students in all their classes to help them plan differentiated learning activities to address the diversity of skills and knowledge within each class and enable them to address what students are ready to learn next, whatever their experience through remote learning. We have recently invested in Mathematics specific hands-on learning materials and have established a dedicated store for these to further support non-computer based learning activities, providing for a welcome antidote to the unusually high levels of screen time that was required to deliver remote learning.

Student achievement data, which has been collected in great detail over the last few years, including Maths Pathway history, is being analysed to identify students who have demonstrated less progress in Mathematics and Numeracy than expected during the period of remote learning in 2020. In particular, in 2021, students identified as being at or below the national minimum standards in Mathematics and Numeracy will be provided support through the Department’s Middle Years Literacy and Numeracy Support initiative. We are awaiting further details on the catch-up tutorial program announced recently by the Minister before we can make arrangements for how those resources can be managed effectively to further support student development.

Students in Years 8-10 have been transferred to the new online learning platform, Mathspace, which allows for more flexibility for teachers to target skills practice with instant feedback that are directly relevant to physical classroom activities. After a successful trial in 2020, Mathspace will be replacing Maths Pathway as our core interactive online platform after surveys of students and teachers clearly indicated a preference for Mathspace in terms of effectiveness, accessibility and relevance to face to face activities conducted in class. Year 7 students’ achievements on Maths Pathway in Term 4 will be recorded and transferred to teachers for the beginning of Year 8 to enable differentiated, relevant learning activities, including Mathspace, next year. A comprehensive student and parent guide to Mathspace will be distributed at the beginning of 2021.

3. Wellbeing

As part of Fitzroy high school’s approach to wellbeing and in anticipation of increased mental health issues, we have employed a new psychologist part time. Fitzroy High school now has a wellbeing team that consists of a Wellbeing Leader, two psychologists and one mental health practitioner. On top of that we will upskill our year level leaders and team leaders on how to support students who present with anxiety. All of our teachers will be given access to the Department of Education’s ‘Mental Health toolbox’ for them to refer to for their own wellbeing but also for information on how to best support our students following a significant event such as a pandemic and lock down. 

Upon return to face to face teaching, our junior years will have a strong focus on bonding and team building and throughout the school, as part of our advisory program, we will focus on the Rights, Resilience & Respectful Relationships curriculum. More specifically on activities that promote resilience, positive self-thoughts and problem solving.