Wondai’s TOP 4 priorities are known as our BIG 4. These have been firmly in place since 2011, with additional literacy and numeracy priorities being added this year. These priorities support all students engaging with our curriculum.
Reading is our number one priority - reading is everyone’s business. To ensure maximum student engagement, reading must always have meaning and purpose. As such, we have adopted several research-based programs including: Reciprocal Teaching, a cooperative learning process whereby students interact with a text through discussion; Visible Thinking, a range of routines that promote higher order thinking through oral activities: Guided Reading, a teacher led session that gives students the opportunity to apply their Deadly Dozen comprehension siklls; SCORE, a framework to help students access reading texts; and STRIVE, an oral program that aims to acquaint students with new vocabulary (in context).
Writing has been included alongside Reading and Number. Teachers are delivering writing through the Language for Learning approach, and 7 Steps. Students are required to write daily. The school has adopted a new approach in English whereby the whole school is focused on one genre each term. In this way, all staff will be learning more about these “power genres” throughout the year.
Spelling through explicit instruction is being introduced in 2015. Every student from Prep to Year 9 will be reviewing the very basics of spelling (word study), and the focus will be on “hearing sounds, saying sounds and writing sounds”. The new approach for teaching spelling (word study) at our school combines spelling strategies, sound work and grammar. Every student’s homework will include new ways of working with spelling (word study).
Number is of equal importance. Our Wondai Way for numeracy includes NNN (daily non-negotiable number facts). Other approaches includes YUMI Maths, Back to Front Maths and Problem Solving. Quicksmart is provided to middle school students requiring intervention. Extension programs are provided to Middle and Junior Secondary students through Project 600, an online course.
English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography
The implementation of the National Curriculum in the subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, History and Geography is the school’s second priority. Teachers focus on Front End Assessment to ensure students are clear on what is being assessed. Teachers are involved in moderating students’ work across the year levels and they also take student work samples to the Kingaroy
Education Group for moderation with cluster schools. Visible Thinking and Symphony of Teaching and Learning are two ways.
Students are assisted in applying higher-order thinking to their learning.
Closing the gap
At Wondai, we are ‘closing the gap’ between the performance on national testing of Indigenous and non-indigenous students. Programs that facilitate this process include: ‘Break it Down, Build it Up’ in all English units, YuMi Maths, and EATSIPS (Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives in Schools). Deadly online programs are available for Middle years’ students.
Conditions for learning
At Wondai State School, we believe that we must create an environment that promotes learning. We have made major improvements through consistent approaches, to attendance and behaviour particularly. Our goal is to improve:
- Public confidence