During Year 1 & 2 students need to be supported while they are encouraged to work more independently. At school they are required to complete more tasks on their own and show initiative when working. This is a huge undertaking for anyone, especially a child.
The Self-Starters program works at getting your kids to work for themselves. They have established some work habits already and now need to be guided to start to develop the confidence to believe in themselves and understand that they can do things on their own using the knowledge that they have learnt. To ensure students love English, we immerse them in a program where they work towards independently understanding texts that are geared towards their interests. They experience success through first creating sentences with increasing detail as a group supported by the teacher so that they gain the skills and confidence necessary to do it alone.
In the Year 1 & 2 Self-Starters program, students work towards independently applying reading strategies to comprehend texts of increasing length and difficulty. This will allow them to begin to formulate their own questions and express ways in which they can go about finding solutions. Students build on knowledge taught in Kindergarten to answer literal questions and learn strategies to make meaning from texts where answers are not directly stated, thus requiring them to think and search for answers by monitoring, summarising and making connections.
Each week they are guided in vocabulary development to suit the purpose of writing detailed descriptions. Students work together to learn and understand the important elements they need to include in their writing through teacher modeling activities.
Then, opportunity is given to independently practice these writing skills so that they can create their very own interesting texts. It is expected that children at this stage will have to complete tasks on their own at school so we provide them with the chance to learn how to check and edit their own writing so that they are able to become self-starters with their own learning.
If we want our students to be self-starters then they need teachers who know how to get them started! The Year 1 & 2 teachers understand what is expected from students at this stage and work to move them beyond their own expectations to accomplish confidence and act with enthusiasm towards independently completing tasks. Our teachers use a framework that empowers students to be active in the learning process while teaching them to think about the purpose and choices they use to create their own work.
Homework is distributed weekly ensuring students practice the skills learnt in class. It is collected and marked on a weekly basis then returned to the student. This enables teachers to assess their students’ level of understanding and focus on weaknesses.
Informal assessments are carried out during class where teachers observe students’ level of progress through class work and give written and verbal feedback.
Students are given two formal exams at the end of Term 1 and Term 3 and feedback is provided to parents/guardians. These results are used to determine areas of need and become a focal point for further learning.
Students are provided with a class workbook each term, leveled reading books and revision booklets.
The Year 2 students are also provided with NAPLAN practice questions in Term 4 in preparation for Year 3 NAPLAN.
Student attendance, homework completion and understanding of content taught is recorded on a weekly basis for tracking purposes.