Four Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood staff have received 2022 Teacher’s Guild of NSW Awards in recognition of their outstanding work in Mathematics, English and Human Society and its Environment (HSIE).
From digital publishing opportunities for students to giving Mathematics modules made for the COVID lockdowns a second life after face-to-face learning had resumed, we take a closer look at the stellar work of Champagnat’s teachers.
Mathematics: Online progress
Charlotte Buxton and Emma Pracey, the winners of the Regional / Remote Teaching and Learning Excellence Award, developed a series of online Mathematics learning modules for years 7 to 10 students during the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.
The user-friendly lessons developed by the Mathematics teachers include three levels of question – basic, challenge and enrichment – to provide opportunities for students to extend themselves.
They also contain ‘success criteria’ and learning intentions to keep students on task, in addition to theory, worked examples, videos, and interactive games.
Ms Buxton and Ms Pracey later adapted the lessons to enable a blended learning approach to the subject.
“Receiving the [Teacher’s Guild of NSW] Award was surprising but very gratifying,” Ms Buxton said.
Teachers can now give explicit instruction on a topic, then have students work through the module independently – giving the flexibility for lessons to continue seamlessly when COVID strikes, for example.
The blended learning approach also supports the college’s commitment to formative assessment, a practice where teachers monitor learning and give ongoing feedback to help students build on their strengths and address areas that need work.
“We have so much information about what our students do and do not understand” – Charlotte Buxton
English: Biography success
At Champagnat, Year 7 English students develop their writing, questioning and digital publishing skills in a unit on biography that sees students interview a family member, collect old pictures of them and publish what they learn.
The college’s English department introduced new software to allow students to also share their stories in professional looking e-books.
Champagnat’s Key Learning Coordinator: English, Monica Jarman, received a World Teachers’ Recognition Award in acknowledgement of the project.
“I am very proud to be able to share this award with the Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood community and grateful to all members of the English department,” Ms Jarman said.
“Students were able to spend lockdown in 2021 interviewing family members and writing up their families’ stories” – Monica Jarman
HSIE: Sharing to improve performance
A Modern History class who blitzed the 2020 HSC and a thriving Human Society and its Environment (HSIE) faculty were the impetus behind Leila Francis’s World Teachers’ Recognition Award nomination and win.
The students’ academic success continued in the most recent HSC: the majority of HSIE classes achieved above state average and showed positive learning growth.
Ms Francis has developed mentoring and coaching skills to further develop and support staff, and a culture of sharing and a school-wide focus on literacy have helped students’ learning to grow in leaps and bounds.
“Every year we set a goal and implement strategies to achieve that goal,” said Ms Francis, who is the college’s HSIE and assistant curriculum coordinator.
“A few of us will work together to develop and update our programs to develop literacy skills.”
For example, years 9 and 10 will look at how to improve written expression or increase their ability to write in a more academic manner.
“We use a lot of exemplars and models to increase the sophistication of their writing,” Ms Francis said.