Learning and Teaching
At Wyvern our Learning and Teaching model encourages resilience, resourcefulness, reflection and reciprocity.
Building 'Fitter' Learners
Learning at Wyvern House is underpinned by Guy Claxton’s Building Learning Power (BLP) model.
- Creating a learning environment that exposes boys to new challenges and experiences
- A skills-based education which teaches boys techniques that help them pursue their passions
- Teaches techniques for boys to overcome difficulties to maintain a positive outlook and perseverance
We offer a broad curriculum featuring:
- Visual Arts
- Physical Education
BLP seeks to build four learning capabilities:
Resilience – perseverance, managing distraction, absorption (memory), noticing
Resourcefulness – making links, questioning, capitalising (making the most of), imagining, reasoning
Reflection – planning, distilling, revising, meta-learning (understanding how you learn)
Reciprocity – inter-dependence, collaboration, empathy and listening, imitation
Enhancing Learning With Technology
At Newington College we believe that technology plays an integral role in helping students learn. Information Technology is used in all lessons to enhance the learning experience for students. Students in K – 5 are now provided with a Newington-owned iPad as part of our new device program.
Having good language skills is vital to all learning. We encourage all boys to become active readers, proficient writers and eloquent speakers.
Each boy at Wyvern follows an individualised reading program designed to help him master the full range of reading skills and develop a love of books. To allow this, students have access to high quality literature and motivated teachers.
There is substantial evidence to show that the most effective approach to teaching boys literacy is through the direct instruction of phonics. We teach this aspect of the English program through the ‘THRASS’ method (Teaching Handwriting, Reading and Spelling Successfully). This multi-sensory approach is excellent because it caters to different learning styles and abilities.
Daily English lessons help to develop grammar, spelling and a fluent handwriting style while also introducing students to a wide variety of novels, plays and poetry. Our meticulous approach to teaching writing skills, including teaching text types for real life contexts ensures that our students make excellent progress in this important area of the curriculum.
There are frequent opportunities to strengthen confidence and ability in public speaking including class discussion, presentations, an annual Poetry Performance Competition and debating in Years 5 and 6.
A Culture of Learners Among Teachers
Wyvern teachers use the BLP framework to plan their programs collaboratively. Teachers across year levels and stages at Wyvern share personal research to expand the capacity of all teachers to use the framework to its full potential.
Gifted and Talented
We value individual differences and provide for the different learning needs of all boys through an inclusive curriculum and outstanding teaching.
In line with the Newington College Strategic Plan, we develop effective individual learning support and gifted education programs, and enhance curriculum differentiation within all classes for all students across the College.
There are a significant number of boys at Wyvern House who demonstrate considerable academic potential. They are given opportunities to extend themselves in an environment of academic excellence and support.
The identification process for gifted boys includes the following:
- Teacher and parent nominations
- External cognitive assessments (such as INCAS or Academic Assessment)
- Diagnostic Testing where appropriate (WISC)
- Independent Psychometric Testing where appropriate
Learning Enhancement Program
The Learning Enhancement Program is an innovative and multifaceted program which provides a support base for boys with specific learning difficulties, disabilities or who can be identified as ‘gifted and talented’. The Learning Enhancement team is made up of specialist teachers and the school counsellor / educational psychologist. The team also consults other professionals, including occupational therapists and speech pathologists to better equip themselves with resources to assist each individual boy.
Providing Extra Support
The program is designed to help all students reach their potential. Lessons are conducted either within class, on a withdrawal basis, in small groups or one-on-one. Boys are provided with both guided and independent practice in order to help them to develop and consolidate their skills. The Learning Enhancement team also provides support within the regular class environment by keeping the classroom teacher informed.
The Classroom and Beyond
We encourage the boys to develop confidence in their ability along with an acceptance and enjoyment of their own and other’s abilities and accomplishments.
Experiences for gifted learners need to be carefully planned, implemented and assessed, in order to maximise potential effect.To cater for this we emphasise advanced content that frames areas of study.
Gifted learners’ higher order thinking and processing skills are developed by learning experiences designed around major themes and ideas, which define both real world applications and theoretical modelling.
To extend and support the gifted learner, Wyvern provides:
- Provisional programs (including da Vinci Decathlon, Mathletics, Tournament of the Minds, Robotics, Chess, Debating, Film Club and external academic competitions)
- Differentiated programs within each year
- Extension programs for gifted students in English and Mathematics
- Acceleration to higher year groups for specific subjects.
To support these gifted and extension programs Wyvern has teachers trained in gifted education (including Graduate Certificates in Gifted Education) with a dedicated learning community to continuously develop and enhance the Wyvern approach to learning.