Students working on a math problemStudents painting outsideStudents using iPads outsideStudents studying nature

Scaffolded Literacy (formerly known as Accelerated Literacy) is a way of teaching that helps students to read and write complex texts with the support of their teachers and peers. The pedagogy is based on the theory that supports English within the Australian Curriculum.

Scaffolded Literacy was developed in response to the needs of Indigenous learners in Australia but due to its focus on how writers write and why they make the choices they do, it can be used in mainstream classes with a range of learners. Most schools using Scaffolded Literacy pedagogy in South Australia are mainstream Primary, Secondary and Area schools.

Teachers’ involvement with the program requires a commitment on their part to learning how to implement Scaffolded Literacy. They attend four days of intensive training and are then supported by observations and discussions with a Scaffolded Literacy Consultant to refine their understandings and practice.

To learn more about Scaffolded Literacy at Cowandilla you can view our brochure for parents.

 

Being able to solve problems using mathematics is one of life’s essential skills. Teachers and School Services Officers are involved in on-going, intensive training to use the Australian Curriculum. We are focussing on developing students’ deep understanding of our number system and how it works. A maths consultant works with staff to improve our pedagogy and ensure that the learning opportunities we offer are rigorous. Test results show a steady annual improvement in student learning outcomes in mathematics.

Parents play a vital role in understanding the daily challenges that require mathematical solutions. Periodically the school runs workshops for parents to learn how to support their children’s learning in mathematics.

 

Student Wellbeing is of fundamental importance to our learning program. We help students learn about their emotions and make positive behaviour choices to be able to best access the curriculum.

We use Mindset and Restorative Practices when working through behaviour issues. The basis of this process is to allow children the opportunity to take responsibility for their behaviour and to reduce the hurt and harm their behaviour may have caused. Conversations are based upon the following:

  • What happened?
  • I chose to break the rules because…
  • To change my behaviour I will…
  • What have I learned by my mistake?
  • What better choice can I make in the future?

Mindset and Restorative Practices underpin our school values of Respect and Responsibility and this process has been hugely successful at this site.

Our School Counsellor supports children with their behaviour choices. She works with students and families in creating and implementing supportive interventions. She is available to meet with parents and caregivers to discuss their concerns and is a pathway for referral to support agencies in the wider community.

For more information, you can view our Behaviour Code, and Student Information for Bullying, Harassment and Violence documents.

 

At Cowandilla Primary School we use computers and other digital technologies as an integral part of our educational learning across all year levels.

Through the use of technologies, students have opportunities to:

  • Develop literacy, numeracy and communication skills
  • Access and evaluate current information from a variety of sources
  • Develop skills in data and information management
  • Use technology in interesting and creative ways
  • Experience and evaluate a wide range of information media (including text, images, audio and movies)
  • Exchange ideas, understandings and information
  • Learn to interact with others, including through the use of Social Media, in respectful and responsible ways.

Our learning programs include specific teaching of skills and discussion of guidelines to empower students to become confident, responsible users of technology. We place a strong emphasis on teaching students about Cyber Safety.

Many classes are now using Edmodo (a secure online learning platform for schools), to share tasks and student work, and also to teach about safe and responsible use of social media. Edmodo requires an account which can be accessed on the iPads and computers at school, and also from home.

The provision of modern technologies for use in learning, is a school priority. We have a curriculum network of Mac computers and use iPads extensively in our learning programs. In 2014 we upgraded to a high-speed microwave Internet connection to support the increased use of online learning in our programs.

iPads have become an important learning tool for us. In 2013 we ran an iPad trial, using both 1:1 iPads and shared sets. Following the success of this, in 2014 we introduced 1:1 iPads in our 3 Primary Years classes. In 2015 we expanded this program, and we now have a 1:1 iPad program across all our mainstream year 4-7 classes. Each student in these classes has a school owned device (for use at school). All of our other classes have access to shared iPads. They are used to extend learning across a wide range of subject areas.

We have Promethean Interactive Whiteboards in each classroom, the Resource Centre and the Meeting Room. An Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) is a large touch screen computer monitor that the whole class can see. The IWB can be used to operate all the programs available on the computer. Work can also be handwritten onto the IWB. Any work done on the IWB can be saved to the computer.

Our Resource Centre has 15 computers available for class use. These computers are also available for student use on a roster during second break. Students use the computers at break times for a variety of educational and recreational activities including creating music, taking and editing photos, playing games or completing work.

Our hall is well equipped as a multimedia facility with a large retractable screen connected to a network computer, Blu-ray & CD players, microphones, lighting and a non-permanent stage for performances. These facilities are used by students across all year levels.