Curriculum and Student Learning

Curriculum and Student Learning 1
Matthew Williamson
Curriculum and Student Learning 2
Alex Mangione

Term 3 in Year 9

In Year 9 Science, students have been learning about the Central Nervous System and its major components, the Brain and Spinal Cord. This included explicit teaching of the structures present in the human brain and their associated functions. Throughout week 3 of this term, students worked in small groups to identify the hemispheres, brain stem, cerebellum and four lobes of a sheep’s brain.

The Year 9 students further explored the brain by conducting a dissection. This experience allowed our students to further develop their understanding of the different structures and functions of the brain. Studies suggest using a combination of strategies including multiple exposures to content and linking theoretical knowledge to hands-on activities aids students in solidifying their learning.

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The Year 9 English classes in term 3 saw students writing well structured, analytical essays about Randa Abdel-Fattah’s novel ‘When Michael Met Mina’. We have built the foundation of these important writing skills throughout Year 7 and 8 English and have been excited to see all of those components brought together for our Year 9 students.

As a result, the English students in year 9 have produced outstanding work – setting them up for senior high school. The results on average were significantly improved and the skills demonstrated were comprehensive. 

Aim High, Work Hard, Be Good

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This year, Elevation Secondary College teachers are recording learning behaviours every fortnight. These measures are available under the REPORTING tab on compass. 

Each subject is listed and each bar graph represents a different learning behaviour. Orange is for  Aim High, blue is Work Hard, Grey is Be Good. 

At the bottom of this page is a graph that charts the overall level of the students’ learning behaviour, across all subjects, and across all three behaviours.

Combined – this forms a powerful tool for students, carers and teachers to have conversations about a student’s progress, effort and behaviour in the classroom.

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AMC

At the beginning of August, 39 students represented our school in the Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC). The AMC is an engaging 30-problem competition that challenges students’ mathematical and problem-solving skills. The questions are designed each year by Australia’s leading educators and academics. Students in the Logic Extension class built their problem-solving resilience, confidence, and creative thinking during Semester One.

Thank you to Ms Bhatt, Ms Farley and Ms Hu for their efforts in preparing our students for the competition. Students are encouraged to keep an eye out for the Lunchtime Club and Problem of the Week next year to keep Aiming High and developing their mathematics skills! 

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Aarav Dhingra (8G) and Akshiv Mittal (7E) for receiving a Distinction certificate. Special mentions to students who received a Credit: Dominic Solaka (8A), Morientes Toma (8B), Nadeen Antwan (8E), Orion Peterson (7C), Zyon David (7C), Sathuya Varatharajah (7C), Elaf Al Ali (7E), Noah Bottas (7E), Harroop Kaur (7E), Anika Thangaokar (7E) and Agampreet Kaur (7F).

Library News

On Monday the 24th, the latest upgrade to the library was installed. Our new non-fiction shelving will provide students with curriculum-based books of interest and more. However, as with the fiction section, we will be doing things a little differently. We are keen to increase the discoverability and relevance of our non-fiction collection, and to do this we are adapting from what is known as ‘the bookstore model’. The bookstore model sees the outdated Dewey Decimal System of organisation altered to one where the collection is organised by topics – much like in your local bookstore.

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New Library Shelving
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So much of the information we consume now is gathered via the internet. Whether it is YouTube, Wikipedia, news websites or encyclopedias, general and specific information is now packaged on the web in aesthetically-pleasing, easily accessible and regularly updated formats. General overviews are often better explored through these digital, web-based platforms, as once a general understanding is obtained, topics can be further understood on a detailed level by clicking through links and accessing recommended sites for further reading. General overviews in the physical form of books are often surface deep and are static sources with information which, while relevant to the time it was published, may quickly become outdated in form or content. In this paradigm, librarians may find their physical non-fiction collections growing irrelevant or dusty with under-use. 

The bookstore model offers an answer to both these problems. By changing the purpose of the non-fiction collection, to be more specific and relevant, and arranged by topic, students will have access to high-quality, well-produced books that will enhance their understanding of the curriculum and the world at large. Our new collection will include more specific topic areas such as Anti-Racism, but also broader topic areas such as Philosophy & Politics within which we will collect books of high quality that provide more comprehensive information with deeper analysis and commentary. Within the topic areas, the books will still be organised by Dewey Decimal, so that students can become familiar with it because however problematic it may be, Dewey Decimal continues to be the system of choice for most Australian libraries, including university libraries.

Reminders

  • Click here for a reminder of how to access the library website, in order to search the catalogue and explore the LibPaths.
  • Board Games Club is on Mondays and Wednesdays in the library. If you have any suggestions of board games we should get for next year, please email ellen.stephens@elevationsc.vic.edu.au
  • Finally, if you borrowed before the holidays and have not renewed your loan, your book is overdue! Please drop it in the return chute outside the library on you way into school.
  • Check your emails for overdue notices and reservation reminders.

Bookmark Competition

Congratulations to Lithusha Siriwardana (8G), the winner of the inaugural Book Week Bookmark Design Competition. Students were ask to create a design that responded to the prompt ‘Dreaming with Eyes Open’. Arts and Technology Domain Leader Mr Dean James judged our final winners, and of Lithusha’s design, he said:

“Lithusha created an artwork that clearly articulated the theme of ‘Dreaming with Eyes Open’. A clever and colourful showcase that shows one tiger’s eye, enclosed within the wild with leaves and trees, while the moon is fully exposed. A mixture of dominant and leading colours including purples, greens and yellows, that provide a clear focus on the one eye being open while leaving questions about the other eye. Whether it is sleeping or not?”

The runners up were Avi Kale (7E) and Shannon Kaur (9A):

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From left to right: Lithusha Siriwardana, Shannon Kaur and Avi Kale

Avi Kale (7E): “Well Done to Avi as a runner up on their representation of a variety of well-known computer arcade games. This student was able to include various drawings from the likes of Super Mario Bros, Pacman and Pokemon. These associated meanings could possibly mean about the over-stimulation of how games could have an effect on being in a dream-like world, full of make-believe.”

Shannon Kaur (9A): “Well Done to Shannon as a runner up on her representation of having one eye open surrounded by how easy it is to dream of a world, based on literature. This drawing featured wonderful ways in which everyday audiences could immerse themselves into books they read that allow their eyes to drift into a world full of knowledge and to simply, float away, while reading amazing stories.”

Congratulations again to all our winners, and thanks to all participants and Mr James. Professionally printed bookmarks featuring the three winning designs will be available from the library in the coming weeks.

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