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3. Action Based - students take positive & appropriate action

Focus 2013:

On an ongoing basis, and with further development from previous years, our school is committed to fostering environmental values, concerns and positive action supported by daily school practices. Southmoor P.S. offers an integrated curriculum approach, which is child-centred and encourages children to take responsibility by making decisions, solving problems, taking risks and engaging in an inquiry approach to learning.

Our priority of environmental/science education has provided ongoing opportunities for our students to be actively involved in the following initiatives:-

The creation of a Wetlands habitat with three interlinking pond; creating a tiered water garden, shaping a trail of Koori tool, medicine and food plants, extending, planting and remulching our existing wetlands garden and reviewing plans made with a designer many years ago for new 'learnscape' features for Southmoor Primary's grounds in the future.

All these experiences, together with the total immersion of our students in a range of sustainable daily practices ensures that they will develop environmental literacy. This is one tangible way we can ensure that future generations will be well informed and have a clear understanding of the way the earth works, and of our responsibilities towards protecting our planet, so that the natural environment continues to afford a source of fun, creativity, relaxation and adventure.

Southmoor students demonstrate:-

  • Child centred teamwork, the ability to be team players, and critical and independent thinkers.
  • Student co-operation and togetherness.
  • A basis for decision making - linking back to the real world. The realization that groups and individuals can make a difference - with the capability to make decisions and take appropriate action.
  • The development of independent behaviours and strategies. Students have strategies to deal with new situations - i.e. ways to think through and come up with possible actions.

4.Empowering - the experience of taking direct responsibility for the outcomes students have created increases their ability to act

Our teachers use an inquiry-based approach to collaboratively design implement, evaluate and reflect on integrated units of study for our students. This approach is a powerful way to help students construct significant understanding about 'the way the world works' and to develop important skills in learning how to learn. By using strategies that promote reflection and metacognition, we help students make better sense of both the content and the processes they are using to learn.

Southmoor has developed a classroom Community of Inquiry. In the Community of Inquiry our students and staff:-

  • Analyse, critically think and question
  • Are technologically empowered to function in today's society
  • Staff undertake ongoing professional learning in teams - they plan collaboratively in teams - and reflect in teams - all very powerful processes that dynamically affect student learning
  • Students are given increasing responsibilities over their school lives to engage in a variety of both academic and non-academic activities. Student's personal development is fostered thereby promoting resilience whilst at the same time bolstering self-concept, confidence and self-esteem.

5. Inspiring Environments - 'Learnscapes' What is a Learnscape?

A Learnscape is a landscape designed for learning. Student focused, the concept has involved the whole school in creating environments to learn in, about and through. The notion of school grounds as 'learnscapes' is based on the integration of grounds development, with curriculum development.

Southmoor has a Master Plan which details many innovative concepts for the development of individual Learnscapes within our school grounds, in order to take learning beyond the four walls of the traditional classroom. Our core values and visioning for sustaining the educational innovation at Southmoor, grounded firmly within our mission as a school, allows for flexible use and interchange of these plans as the future unfolds. Our potential to provide a focus on public education policy is fast becoming recognized from many quarters.

Southmoor's inspiring environmental initiatives are more often planned, created and maintained by our children, demonstrated by:-

  • Access to an exciting variety of different, but complementary habitats within our grounds. (As described above in 3. Action Based - students take positive and appropriate action)
  • A safe and secure environment
  • A recognition that learning occurs in different ways and in different places
  • Our children develop natural intelligence and aesthetic ability

6. Whole community ownership - link with and use the community as a resource for the school and in turn offer the school as a resource for community use

  • The school operates as a significant learning community
  • The corporate knowledge of the school community is fostered, valued and utilized
  • The community promotes high expectations, clear goals, and a strong sense of shared purpose and commitment
  • Linking to rich tasks, taking learning into the broader community through such activities as Grandparents Day, fostering pride, a positive feeling and a willingness to work together
  • Local community, organizations and business links come to the fore
  • Parent involvement - partnerships in teaching, communication and sharing

7.Students lead the way - caring for people, caring for mother earth and caring for tomorrow

  • Opportunity for all students from Prep - 6 to 'lead the way'. Confidence to speak and debate, comfortable and confident to speak to others about our schools initiative and daily practices.
  • Leadership positions are offered in many and varied ways
  • Children learn best when they are free to discover the underlying principles for themselves

8.In a nutshell

Our aim is for our school to be the best... a school without failure, where all children leave school having Identified a talent, a skill, an intelligence, through which they can become whatever they want to be... Children who are both passionate about, and capable of, creating and maintaining sustainable environments, as free-thinking contributors to our global community of the 21st century.