Curriculum and Programs
Habits of Mind
Habits of Mind is knowing how to behave intelligently when you DON'T know the answer. It means having a disposition toward behaving intelligently when confronted with problems, the answers to which are not immediately known: dichotomies, dilemmas, enigmas and uncertainties.
Habits of Mind focus on performance under challenging conditions that demand strategic reasoning, insightfulness, perseverance, creativity, and craftsmanship. The critical attribute of intelligent human beings is not only having information, but also knowing how to act on it. Employing Habits of Mind requires drawing forth certain patterns of intellectual behavior that produce powerful results. They are a composite of many skills, attitudes and proclivities.
The 16 Habits of Mind identified by Costa and Kallick include:
- Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision
- Managing impulsivity
- Gathering data through all senses
- Listening with understanding and empathy
- Creating, imagining, innovating
- Thinking flexibly
- Responding with wonderment and awe
- Thinking about thinking (metacognition)
- Taking responsible risks
- Striving for accuracy
- Finding humor
- Questioning and posing problems
- Thinking interdependently
- Applying past knowledge to new situations
- Remaining open to continuous learning
“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” ( Dweck, 2015)
Mount Lawley Primary School follows the WA Curriculum as outlined by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) who is responsible for setting the standards of achievement for the curriculum in Western Australia.
Kindergarten to Year 2
SCSA sets the expectations that all Western Australian children have a fundamental right to high quality early childhood programs which are informed by National Frameworks that are tailored to the school community context.
Early Childhood is guided using the following documents:
- The Melbourne Declaration
- The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)
- National Quality Standards Framework (NQS)
- Kindergarten Guidelines
- WA Curriculum
The focus in K-2 is the development of strong foundational literacy and numeracy skills, using a play-based pedagogy that encourages developmentally appropriate play. There is a strong focus on oral language and building effective learning and life skills. Fostering strong partnerships with parents is integral in supporting the learning of children which also builds agency for each child as they begin their journey in education.
Years 3 to 6
The focus in 3-6 is taking the foundational skills learned in early childhood and begin to apply them across all learning areas. This means students are given increased responsibility for managing and organizing activities and work in different groups of varying size. There is an expectation that students will reflect on their learning and work practices and consider ways in which these might be improved or expanded on for each learning area and audience. In Years 3-6 there is a strong emphasis on students making sense of the world around them and being able to problem solve effectively across the learning areas, using the WA Curriculum.
Whole School Approaches
With the development of staff committees for each learning area, the school is committed to learning approaches that will offer a wide range of opportunities for students. The operational plans set out what is expected over the course of the year and the monitoring and assessment to measure growth and effectiveness.
- The school’s focus is on Differentiation (based on Carol Ann Tomlinson’s model) and the expectation is that every teacher will provide an appropriate program for all students.
- Jolly Phonics (synthetic phonics program) from K-2 and then Jolly Grammar is implemented from PP-6.
- Spelling is based on the Department of Education Spelling resources.
- Mathematics is based on Haese & Harris and First Steps approaches.