Rapidly changing circumstances and opportunities demand the continuing acquisition of new knowledge, skills and understandings.
Alamanda College understands the importance of encouraging and sustaining students’ effective engagement with learning, well after the students have left school.
In order to participate effectively in the ‘information societies’ of the new millennium, we recognise that an individual needs to be better-informed, to have greater thinking and problem-solving abilities, to be more self-motivated, than ever before.
As a “thinking school”, our teaching and learning program will involve all students from Prep to Year 9, and introduces tools such as de Bono’s Thinking Hats, Mind Mapping, DATT Tools, Socratic questioning methods and a variety of cognitive thinking processes and strategies that equip our students with the skills to navigate through an information rich future.
The College teachers and students will integrate digital pedagogies throughout the curriculum. Digital pedagogies are new ways of working with learning and ICT to facilitate quality learning experiences for this generation of students. They support personalised and authentic learning and promote the ability to learn and understand within a global context and enable learning experiences to be broadened and depended.
Alamanda College will be structured into five sub-schools:
- Prep – The Burrow
- Years 1 & 2
- Years 3 & 4
- Years 5 & 6
- Years 7, 8 & 9
Each school will have an Assistant Principal, Leading Teacher and Head of School to ensure that the school has a focus on each and every learner. The priority of the school will be the students.
Junior School (Prep-Grade 6)
The Junior School teaching and learning programs acknowledge the complex needs of each individual child and values and nurtures their childhood.
Our programs will be diverse, yet revolve around a strong commitment to the development of essential literacy and numeracy skills, along with knowledge and understanding of the world.
In Prep we will incorporate many of the philosophies and practices of the “Socratic questioning and critical thinking”, in which the curriculum is child-oriented and teacher-framed. In future years the college will investigate the practices of the “Reggio Emilia approach”. Classroom spaces will be carefully organised for small and large group interaction, while intimate spaces are created as quiet, safe places for one or two children to learn. Central to our philosophy is that play and investigative inquiry is the best learning medium for young children, encouraging them to explore, experiment and develop social, physical and language skills. Numeracy and literacy are key elements, along with knowledge and understanding of the world.
From Years 1 to 6 the curriculum progresses towards more discrete subject areas. The school will investigate the opportunities offered through the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme.
All skills involved in literacy learning, including reading, writing, spelling and communication skills will be taught both explicitly as well as through an integrated approach.
Children will be working in mixed ability groups whilst receiving differentiated instruction to allow all students to be challenged and literacy support will be provided to those who need additional assistance in these crucial early years.
Mathematics teaching will feature a variety of methods of instruction, from student-centred group or whole-class discussions, small-group investigations, to individuals working one-on-one with another student or the teacher. This classroom interaction helps build relationships among students and between students and the teacher and goes some way towards addressing the varied learning styles and ability levels found in the mathematics classroom.
At Alamanda, children will be encouraged to be caring and responsible people, who work and cooperate with others while acquiring vital knowledge and skills. We will place a strong emphasis on the core subjects of Literacy, Numeracy, Science, History/Geography, Information & Communications Technology, Health and Philosophy. Our classrooms will be modern and well equipped with up-to-date technology including personal iPads.
The core curriculum will be supported by a range of specialist teachers contributing to a broad and balanced curriculum.
Research tells us that a positive partnership between parents and the school is one of the most powerful contributors to enhanced student outcomes. At Alamanda, we will embrace parental involvement and work with the benefits this will bring.
Middle School (Year 7-Year 9)
Middle schooling provides a nurturing environment grounded in the developmental stages and needs of all adolescents.
It is supported by the expertise of a team of staff dedicated to working with students in Years 7 to 9. The Middle School offers a welcoming community and secure environment that promotes self-confidence, independence, self-responsibility and self-expression.
Key Middle School learning principles, that guide our curriculum design and development, include:
- Actively committing to an agreed approach to literacy and numeracy teaching and learning, which will be documented for all teachers.
- An approach to learning that will be student- driven.
- Students will build on their world knowledge to support all areas of learning and enhance
- The development of independence through collaboration and teamwork
- Teachers planning collaboratively through Professional Learning Teams to integrate key concepts about curriculum designs for a globalised world into current models and maps for curriculum, instruction and assessment.
The Middle School aims to support students in a variety of ways, including academic rigour, learning to learn, self-directed learning, collaborative learning, awareness of self and others, curriculum integration, community service, effective communication, and providing an enjoyable and secure environment to promote learning.
To ensure our students are engaged with their schooling at this critical time, Alamanda offers a stimulating and rigorous academic program, incorporating a flexible curriculum with choice and more intensive learning through project-based work and electives. The college will investigate the MYP – Middle Years Programme, part of the International Baccalaureate (IB).
All students study Mathematics, English, Science, History, Health & Physical Education, The Arts (performing and visual), LOTE (Mandarin), and Technology. Information & Communications Technology is also integrated across the curriculum to enhance learning outcomes.
The Arts: The Dream… a work in progress
The Arts is an important aspect of a rounded education. It encourages development of the right hemisphere of the brain, with a focus on fostering creativity and providing students with the opportunity to develop their passion for The Arts. It also encourages students to express themselves, to communicate more effectively, to develop a sense of teamwork and to value and nurture individual gifts and talents.
The Arts program will encompasses media, drama, visual arts, photography, music and dance. Students will be able to incorporate instrumental tuition and according to their age and proficiency, are able to join a concert band.
Visual art, music and drama will be integrated into educational experiences for students from Junior School to Year 9, where they are offered a variety of opportunities. This area of study will be a work in progress over the coming years.
Sport Program: Healthy mind, healthy body
Alamanda students will participant in sporting programmes including after school sports training and competition against other schools. Inter-school sports will be scheduled for the Junior and Middle schools.
Alamanda will create a strong sporting culture. Participation in sports provides life skills well beyond the focus of sports itself. These values are also enhanced through involvement in inter-house sporting events –
A journey full of fun excitement and healthy competition.
The Primary Years And Middle Years Programme
Alamanda College are currently candidates in the initial authorisation stages of implementing the IB Programme.
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP) forms part of the International Baccalaureate Organisation.
The PYP and MYP are two of three programmes offered by the International Baccalaureate (IB).
The PYP and MYP draws upon best research and practice from a range of national systems to create a relevant and engaging educational framework for all children. It is a comprehensive, transdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning with an international curriculum model that contains three components:
- How students learn
- How teachers teach
- Assessment practice
The philosophy of the PYP and MYP are defined by the IB mission statement:
“The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end the organisation works with schools, governments and international organisations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their difference, can also be right.”
The aim of the programme is to develop internationally minded students who become lifelong learners by becoming active and caring learners. The ten qualities that are identified by the IB are the Learner Profile. Learners strive to be: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principles, Open-Minded, Caring, Risk-Takers, Balanced and Reflective.