It took a little over three days, but eventually our growing numbers settled and allowed us to form our new classes. As mentioned in an earlier note, the classes for 2019 are as follows:
EARLY STAGE ONE
K Buttercup Mrs Brigette Harrison
K Marigold Mr David Bartlett
K Daffodil Ms Diana Lloyd
K Wattle Miss Nicole Sclavenitis
K Sunflower Mrs Claire Sachdev
Team Leader: Ms Diana Lloyd
1/2 Apple Miss Lyndall Fuller
1/2 Shamrock Miss Sarah Dunkley
1/2 Fern Mrs Carolyn King (M, T, W), Mrs Jaime Davies (Th, F)
1/2 Mint Mrs Samantha Barker
1/2 Clover Miss Lisa Tabone
1/2 Jade Miss Jenean Hafza
1/2 Emerald Mr Brett Murphy
Team Leader: Mrs Belinda Barber
3/4 Cherry Miss Nasha Kapadia
3/4 Ruby Mr Timothy Uren
3/4 Poppy Ms Chantelle Bartolo
3/4 Scarlet Mrs Catherine D’Chong
3/4 Crimson Miss Alicia Rankine (M, T, W), Mr Timothy Bromhead (Th, F)
3/4 Rose Mrs Rachel Bernays
Team Leader: Mrs Catherine D’Chong
5/6 Aqua Miss Rebecca Anderson
5/6 Sapphire Mrs Pam Parkinson
5/6 Indigo Mrs Megan Guerrero
5/6 Cobalt Miss Heather Grosvenor
Team Leader: Miss Rebecca Anderson
This year, Vardys Road has incorporated many composite classes into it class structure.
This decision was made to allow the grouping of children with similar needs, strengths and areas to develop. It facilitated student welfare programs, helped moderate class sizes and allowed increased flexibility for students to work towards challenging, differentiated and achievable goals. The structure also allowed us to better align class programs to the stage based curriculum.
All the syllabus documents are stage based with children working through a cyclical program over two years. For example Year 1 and 2 students work through the same units of work, as do Year 3 and 4 students as well as year 5 and 6 children. Every class in a stage works through the same content, however attack the curriculum at different levels. This would occur in a straight or a composite class.
While research has repeatedly shown there is no discernible difference in student performance or outcomes between straight and composite classes, composite classes sometimes cause concern with parents.
Parental concern often centres around students falling behind academically, not being catered for and teacher workload limiting individual attention.
The research however finds the opposite. Composite classes often focus more on achieving individual learning goals rather than class or grade based learning outcomes, with differing learning styles and academic abilities being addressed. Composite classes can help both older and younger students with confidence, help develop collaborative learning skills and foster independent working habits. Leadership, tolerance and cooperation are other important skills better developed in composite classes. Most importantly, a child being in a composite class or a straight class will make no significant difference to teacher workload or student outcomes; the teacher will need to be catering for individual differences in either model.
Rather the most important factors on student performance and welfare are teacher student relationships, clear success criteria, comprehensive formative and summative assessment and quality explicit teaching.
A child’s growth will be maximised if they know where they are on their learning journey, what they are aiming for and how they are going to get there….irrespective of their class structure.
With the work we have done over the last 18 months on setting clear success criteria, setting challenging and achievable goals, strengthening learning support and Gifted and Talented Programs and building the capacity of our teachers to cater for individual differences, Vardys Road will consistently support, challenge and care for every student. We make sure every child strives for their best, thrives in a supportive environment and engages in their work. Our learning programs in all our classes, straight or composite, are planned and delivered to achieve that goal.
Parents who have any remaining concerns are asked to come and see their class teacher, Assistant Principals or myself to further discuss their concerns where the staff member will show how our hard working, student centred teachers will continue to develop confident, respectful and enthusiastic learners.