Graeme Naftel, Head of Junior School
At the recent Parent Information Session I spoke about the progress made over the previous 12 months of our Visible Learning journey. The intention is for our School to be an accredited Visible Learning school by 2017. Visible Learning is based on the work of Professor John Hattie, whose research provides very clear guidance to teachers about what influences have the greatest effect on student academic achievement.
There are five strands of Visible Learning, and during the presentation I briefly outlined the steps taken by the School to address each of these key areas:
Visible Learner - those learning characteristics and dispositions that allow a child to be an Assessment Capable Visible Learner,
Know Thy Impact - the gathering and analysis of achievement data that informs teaching practice,
Inspired and Passionate Teachers - the characteristics of a teacher that Hattie’s research proves have the greatest impact on student achievement,
Aligned Systems and Processes - the processes that the School has put into place to allow teachers to implement effective teaching practice.
A great deal of work was conducted across the School in each of these key areas in 2015, and the outstanding ISA results published in the last edition of this newsletter, are a very promising indication that the work our teachers have been undertaking is having a positive impact on our students’ academic progress.
We are a happy school, and the fact that 99% of Junior School students stated that they are happy in the Junior School in last year’s student survey, proves this. But we are also very serious about academic achievement, and I am extremely confident that the ongoing training and work undertaken by our teachers, to embed this evidence based approach into our pedagogy, will prove to be of ongoing significant benefit to our students.
Camps are a wonderful way for children to develop their independence and resilience and are a fantastic opportunity for teachers to observe students outside their comfort zones. This year, students in:
- Year 3 will spend one night at Eagle Ranch in Port Dickson;
- Year 4 will enjoy two nights at Paradise Valley in Broga; and
- Year 5 will stay for three nights at Swiss Garden in Lamut.
Whilst Camp is an exciting time for students, it is also an important part of their learning. Teachers use Camp as an opportunity to address Personal Development and Health outcomes, as well as a number of the General Capabilities, which are a critical component of the Australian Curriculum. In 2016 we will be reporting on these outcomes in End of Semester reports. A Camp Information Session will be held at the School on 2 March, at which time you will hear more about the program.
KL Maths Challenge
On 3 and 4 February, four very enthusiastic Year 5 students participated in the second annual AIMS Year 5 Mathematics Challenge, held at Park City International School. Andrew Gilbert, Jeremy Lau, Sara Yap and Amelia Lee were selected to represented AISM. Eleven international schools competed in teams of four over the two day competition. The mathematical problems consisted of varying tasks, including word problems, mathematical relays, construction application, outdoor measurement, marshmallow shapes and mental quizzes, just to name a few! For each task, teams were awarded points. Andrew, Jeremy, Sara and Amelia worked diligently as a team, planned their approaches, problem solved solutions and encouraged each other until the very end of the second day. Overall, team AISM were ranked in the top half of the teams, coming in at sixth place overall - congratulations!
Stephanie Freeman, Year 5 Teacher