WORKING ON THE BASICS
The next time you’re at a family gathering take a moment to ask this question at the dinner table, “What does a good education look like?” The chances are that you will get many different answers as you reflect on your own personal experience at school.
We have found that there is one thing that people tend to agree on when it comes to education - you have to get the basics right.
Some people call the basics - Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Within the context of today’s curriculum we can simplify that to say that you need to be really confident in English and Maths. If you are a competent reader then you will have many options open to you as you match your talents with your opportunities. If you are confident with numbers then you will always see opportunities in business and in life.
The fact is – if you visited any school in Australia you would find a consensus that getting the basics right is important for lifelong learning. So why should you come to our school to learn the basics instead of going to the local public school or another private school?
We test every student that enrols in our school
Diagnostic testing is used to understand where your student is coming from and what challenges they face. We use this testing to create a baseline. From this starting point we can celebrate progress and identify when the student has achieved their personal best.
One of our Learning Specialists does an initial assessment of the data and our teachers are trained in the analysis and interpretation of the data so that they can know how to help your child. We like to do another two rounds of diagnostic testing during the year just to make sure that we are on track and that your student is making progress.
At this point in time it is helpful to give you our philosophy behind NAPLAN. We view it as one more tool that we can use to help the student on their own journey. However, we don’t like the pressures and stories that we have heard from classrooms where students are defined by their performance on this test.
We have lots of strategies to encourage your student to enjoy reading
Each of us is unique and we learn in similar but different ways. Some students are natural readers and we focus on making sure that they have enough books to take home at a level that challenges them. Other students don’t have an interest in reading but they like setting goals and working within a rewards structure.
What happens when something comes up?
No school is perfect. There’ll be a time when something comes up and we’ll have to work through the problem together. We use Macquarie University’s MINILIT program as our program for identifying and meeting the needs of students who are reading significantly below their expected levels.