Learning and Teaching
At Lindfield K-6 we aim to provide a well balanced liberal education, with an emphasis on helping each boy develop to their potential.
It is vital for teachers to build positive relationships and provide a nurturing school community to help students achieve their full potential. An unwavering commitment to understanding each student’s intellectual ability ensures that high expectations are set and met.
Each student deserves to work at the edge of their competence, to be challenged and stretched so that they can grow.
Along with being challenged, relevance is a key factor in the way that we teach boys at Lindfield. As an added benefit of offering the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme, our Learning and Teaching Framework has a strong focus on inquiry and action, which promotes learning experiences that are relevant to individuals and communities.
When students are engaged in inquiries that matter to them they can connect the concepts that they are learning about and apply what they have learned to their own lives.
In a classroom of ‘engaged’ students you will see a teacher who is aware of where the students are. Providing just-in-time feedback involves a teacher who moves around the room, kneeling or sitting with students, listening in on discussions, conferring with individuals and recognising when students are in need of guidance. High expectations and challenges must be balanced with the right amount of support, geared towards helping students to think. Skilfully checking-in can inspire students.
Creating an atmosphere in which students are engaged takes a certain attitude, as well as effective teaching skills. Teachers at Lindfield appreciate their challenge to be the designers of learning so that each boy is engaged, inspired and challenged.
The PYP provides the framework for addressing the NSW Board of Studies Syllabus in all Key Learning Areas. Significant specialist learning experiences are provided in Religious Education, Art, Music, Languages (Mandarin) and Health and Physical Education.
An IB World School
In 2009, Lindfield Preparatory School commenced its journey towards offering the IB Primary Years Programme and by January 2013, Lindfield K-6 became an official PYP school.
The IB authorisation process is a long and rigorous process which varies by school and IB programme. This means that not just any school will be able to satisfy the organisation’s standards. As an IB school, certain aspects of the teaching and learning experience are closely monitored via regular visits by the IB PYP teams.
IB PYP Subjects include:
• Social studies
• Personal, social and physical education
The PYP offers eight macro-concepts for inquiry:
FORM – What it is like?
FUNCTION – How does it work?
CAUSATION – Why is it like it is?
CHANGE – How is it changing?
CONNECTION – How is it connected to other things?
PERSPECTIVE – What are the points of view?
RESPONSIBILITY – What is our responsibility?
REFLECTION – How do we know?
THE MOST DISTINCTIVE FEATURE of the IB Primary Years Programme are the six transdisciplinary themes. These themes provide the opportunity to incorporate local and global issues into the curriculum and effectively allow students to look beyond the confines of each subject.
TEACHERS DEVELOP theme based units of inquiry-investigation into important ideas that require a high level of involvement from the students. These inquiries are substantial, in-depth and usually last for several weeks.
SOME EXAMPLES of transdisciplinary themes include: Who we are; Where we are in place and time; How we express ourselves; How the world works; How we organize ourselves and Sharing the planet.
PYP - Inquiry Based Learning
As part of the PYP, students at Lindfield start the year focusing on inquiry and action. Teachers at all levels are using new learning approaches to help boys develop skills and understanding in key learning areas including Mathematics and English.
Kindergarten - Inquiry Based Learning
Kindergarten explored the concept of ‘belonging’ and as part of their inquiry boys collaboratively discussed the similarities and differences between each of their families. The boys learned that diversity makes the world a more interesting place.
Stage 1- Inquiry Based Learning
Stage 1 explored the concept of ‘relationships,’ which supported Lindfield’s new Personal Development program. Students identified relationships of their own and strategies used to maintain those relationships. The boys explained how their behaviours, particularly non-verbal language and cues, could be used to communicate a message to others.
Stage 2 - Inquiry Based Learning
The Stage 2 boys had a taste of what it would be like to be a doctor as they studied body systems. Dressed in white lab coats, the boys had the opportunity to cut up organs and bones and document their observations and findings. This inquiry furthered the boys' understanding of the interconnectedness of the human body.
Agile, responsive and innovative in the face of change
Lindfield partners with the PYP to provide an education that is holistic, values-based and employs the latest best practice to ensure that boys learn how to engage critically and effectively with the ever-changing world around them. Some of the many benefits of partnering with the IB are access to excellent resources, the chance to connect with other schools around the world, diverse professional development opportunities offered to staff and ongoing support from consultants, conferences, network opportunities and access to the latest research.
Our school is restless and constantly looking to imagine and reimagine the way we teach our students and support our staff. Our teachers work collaboratively to build capacity, and examine effective practices for the benefit of our boys. Our teachers are given the autonomy and flexibility to apply their expertise in the best way to help our boys achieve at their best. In a time of massive technological and societal change, the face of education is constantly evolving. This system enables us to be more agile, responsive and innovative in the face of these changes.
The Lindfield Teacher Professional Growth Model
This model relies on two essential tenets, a supportive environment which fosters innovation, creativity and high levels of commitment and a structure that allows for meaningful reflection and development of teaching practice through a collaborative focus on skill acquisition and capacity building.
At Lindfield we aim to provide daily opportunities for our boys to be able to ‘inquire into Literacy’ and ‘inquire through Literacy’ through the major strands of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Each boy follows an individualised reading program designed to help him master the full range of reading skills, while also fostering a love of literature. The boys are encouraged to maintain a daily reading log and to participate in the school Reading Challenge.
Fluency in writing is developed through the teaching of specific text types, the support of programs such as THRASS (Teaching Handwriting, Reading and Spelling Skills) and through the integration of technology. There are frequent opportunities for the boys to develop confidence and skills in public speaking and debating.
Importance of Language
An understanding of the English language and literature equips boys to use their imagination, communicate thoughts, words and feelings and make informed decisions about personal and social issues. Competence in English helps boys to understand the structure and grammar of a variety of texts, both oral and written, and facilitate a lifelong enjoyment of literature.
Lindfield Prep has recently received a grant which has allowed teachers to further explore the Maker Movement and integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) into the learning experiences of our boys. With this grant, our teachers are currently investigating the concept of ‘Design Thinking’.
Design Thinking involves a sequence of problem solving steps used by designers to come up with innovative solutions. Design Thinking encourages our boys to be active learners who harness their own creativity to develop new and creative solutions to current issues and problems. Solutions devised through Design Thinking are meaningful, purposeful and undergo prototyping and testing to enable improvements. Additionally, this process requires the problem solver to think scientifically, technologically, mathematically and creatively.
Links with Industry
Lindfield is also developing partnerships with the Association of Independent Schools (AIS), Roseville College, external experts, in school buddies and other independent schools to share and collaborate on how to make our Design Thinking activities more engaging. We hope that by integrating more STEAM into lessons, our boys will be better equipped to apply what they learn in class into the real world.
Supporting Individual Learning
We understand that boys learn at different rates. In order to assist students at all levels, we have put in place tailored teaching programs to assist those students who learn more slowly as well as those who are wanting to accelerate the opportunity to challenge themselves further.
Our Learning Enhancement Team (Learning Enhancement Teacher and Teaching Intern, Head of Lindfield, Teacher Aides and School Counsellor) are each paired with one of our Classroom Teachers to create a dynamic team-teaching environment for Literacy and Mathematics three times a week. During these sessions, teaching-teams work with all of the students in the class to support them in the development of their skills at a level that suits their ability.
This process is supported by extensive collaborative planning based on thorough identification and tracking of student learning needs and achievement, and ongoing curriculum modification.
Gifted and Talented
Our Gifted and Talented programs provide a differentiated curriculum for boys who show exceptional potential in any area. Wherever possible, we seek to provide this support and extension within the context of the regular classroom so they can maintain established friendships and progress with their year group.
Gifted and Talented
Gifted and Talented programs are developed in conjunction with class teachers and the Learning Enhancement team.
Specific programs may include special extension groups in literacy and numeracy, interest-based projects connected to Units of Inquiry or mathematical extension through problem solving opportunities. These include the Australian Mathematical Challenge and the Mathematical Olympiads.
Above all, we aim to provide each and every boy at Lindfield with the opportunity to explore his strengths, and the support to reach his potential in all areas of the curriculum.
Learning Enhancement Program
Newington’s innovative and multi-faceted Learning Enhancement program provides a sound basis for further study. It is an excellent support program for young boys of all capabilities.
A Home-school Partnership
Close communication around learning is a crucial aspect of keeping parents informed about what boys do at school and is a key component of our Home-School Partnership program. To help parents stay on top of what the boys study at school, teachers keep a class blog that outlines the learning plan for the following week as well as photos and information about unique learning opportunities such as presentations from expert speakers or excursions that may have taken place during that week.
The school also hosts parent information evenings, parent-teacher conferences, student-led conferences and learning workshops throughout the year to ensure an ongoing and open dialogue between parents and teachers. Parents are warmly invited to participate in their son’s learning by being part of literacy and mathematics learning groups. These groups help to bridge the gap between home and school life so that parents can partner up with teachers and be more involved in their son’s learning.
Music at Newington is a whole-school program, run from the Music Department at Main Secondary Campus. The classroom music program offers an opportunity for all boys from Kindergarten through to Year 6 to learn music through active participation in singing, playing, movement, aural awareness and composition. The program promotes the enjoyment and appreciation of music.
Classroom and Instrumental Programs
From Years 2 and 3, boys start an instrumental program, learning string instruments until Years 4 and 5 before moving onto wind and brass instruments. Boys who show interest in any of the instruments are encouraged to take private lessons and participate in one of the school’s many ensembles.