FGPS Instructional Model: Gradual Release of Responsibility
Focused instruction: Making sure the purpose and expected outcomes of the lesson are clear. Teacher models thinking about the learning.
Guided instruction: Students are immersed in new skills, strategies and understandings. Teacher plans tasks and monitors understanding, listens for and redirects misconceptions. Provides support for students as they engage with the learning.
Collaborative learning: Students assume a greater responsibility for their own learning and support the learning of their peers. They consolidate their thinking and understanding. The teacher creates tasks that will challenge and consolidate learning, and affirm what they know.
Independent learning: Students take responsibility for their learning, using new skills and knowledge. They apply what they have learned and ask new questions. It involves practising and thinking individually, and often producing a product.
Learning to read is one of the most important skills a child learns at school. It enables learning for the rest of their life! Watching a child’s reading progress is always fascinating, no two children learn to read in exactly the same way. Each child has favourite books, and their own set of skills, knowledge and beliefs that combine to create an independent reader. They need to understand that
Text has meaning that can be said out loud or inside your head
Letters have corresponding sounds
You can guess what a word is by thinking about the context, the rules of English and the sounds that letters represent
Once children start interpreting text, their progress is amazing. In the first few years of primary school the number and complexity of reading material they can manage explodes! They reach the stage where they are no longer having to work out each word, but are comprehending the language and ideas of the author with increasing automaticity. By the time they leave primary school they have firm preferences for reading material, and are capable of interpreting complex, abstract ideas, forming strong opinions and articulating their thinking based on evidence and experience.
While this path holds true for most students, some children have more difficulty embedding the required learning. We run the Levelled Literacy Program, a small group intervention that is backed by strong research, including our own.
We are passionate about our children’s reading, and share the joy they experience as they master one of mankind’s greatest inventions!
Student Excellence Program
At Fountain Gate Primary School, we pride ourselves in supporting all students to engage in their learning through developing challenging goals, setting high expectations, reflecting, and making change.
This year we are proud to be involved in the Victorian Government’s Student Excellence Program.
This program will aim to challenge and extend high-ability students, stimulating students’ inferential thinking, problem solving and creativity. It will also prioritise risk-taking and metacognition to further develop the students’ skills.
The program aims to support schools by:
Providing structured learning extension programs
Professional Development for classroom teachers to better support these students
Developing resources to build upon current practices within the school.
During remote learning, students have been involved in the Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series. These virtual events are designed to strengthen and challenge students’ thinking. Students are nominated to take part in a range of events, such as creative writing with an author and coding challenges. They engage in shared and individual tasks and are encouraged to take risks with their thinking.
We endeavour to keep you informed of any developments in the program as we receive information.
High-Ability Practice Leader
High Ability Feedback
“Creative writing with Lili Wilkinson really helped me make my stories better. I liked how she had the20 questions to a story. I remember I was looking at the questions and checking if my story had those things. Her mum (Carole Wilkinson) is the author of that series I read last year; Dragon Keeper. I’m guessing Lili took some knowledge from her mum, because she was explaining how to write a story the way I like it. It was also really cool how there was 312 of us! I really recommend more of these type of events. Thank you for the opportunity!” – Rahila J
Maths makes the world go round! There are few aspects of modern life that happen without the influence of maths. It is very important that children grow to understand the systems that underpin maths, and are able to apply this knowledge and skill at school and in their whole life. At primary school, mathematics covers topics such as number, algebra, measurement, geometry, statistics and probability. As you can see, it is about a lot more than learning to add and subtract (important as these are!)
In the early years, mathematical understanding needs to be supported by using hands on materials. They need to see and feel the real world equivalent of mathematical ideas. As they mature, they are able to make the connection between the real world and how it is symbolised in numbers, shapes, measurement units, graphs and the whole range of mathematical representations. They use their growing abilities as they become more fluent and able to reason and solve problems. In prep, students learn the order of the numbers and that the objects still exist even though they can’t see them. By the time they are in their last year, they are managing positive and negative numbers and using them to solve problems.
Our instructional model (also on this website) ensures that mathematical understanding is supported and scaffolded carefully, and that understanding is achieved and revisited before moving on. It also has the capacity to support children who love mathematics, and would happily do little else!
Writing gives children a voice of their own. Through writing, students are able to express opinions, tell stories, give instructions, communicate with others…..the list goes on. Throughout primary school, students move from learning to write their own name, to creating complex pieces for multiple audiences.
They need to learn that:
Marks on paper have meaning
Letters are associated with sounds
Words go together to make sentences
Others can read your writing and understand your message
Writing can cause emotional reactions in the writer and the reader
Writing has many purposes
There are many forms of writing that all have particular rules
The messages created grow in complexity and strength of purpose with the child. Feedback on the process is essential at every level. Fountain Gate Primary School has created a “Writing Hierarchy” based on extensive research that shows the developmental stages of writing and fine tunes student feedback to the area of greatest need. We also create contexts where children’s natural passion for telling their message is encouraged and recognised.