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Warners Bay High School

Warners Bay High School

Quality Education for All

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Literacy and Numeracy Achievements 2019

Literacy and numeracy are ‘foundational skills’ that underpin the subsequent development of more complex skills. They underpin workforce participation, productivity and the broader economy, and can impact on social and health outcomes. ​At WBHS, supported by teacher professional learning, we are building teams to develop school wide and KLA specific  strategies to support the growth of Literacy and Numeracy skills in all students. 

In Literacy

Our top highlights were:

Literacy Achievement in NAPLAN Tests

In Year 7 NAPLAN in 2019, 46% of students achieved expected growth in Reading and Writing. In Year 9 NAPLAN in 2019, expected growth was achieved by 50% of students in Reading and 52% of students in Writing.

A Whole School Approach to TEEEL Paragraphs

A whole school approach to structuring paragraphs was devised across Years 7-10 in 2018 and this shared structure and language has become embedded across KLAs in 2019. It has also been used successfully to enhance the understanding of students, including seniors, when responding to short answer and essay-style responses. This approach helps students to understand the function and placement of each sentence in a paragraph of an argument including a topic sentence, explanation, example, evaluation and linking sentence back to the main idea/ topic sentence. This has resulted in increased student confidence in understanding how to structure an argument and it has alleviated the confusion students experienced when different acronyms were taught in different KLAs. Every classroom now has the TEEEL poster as a visual cue to enhance their writing skills.

Vocabulary Sprint

A whole school vocabulary sprint took place in Term Two from Weeks 5 till 9. Teachers were provided with a variety of vocabulary tools, selected new words that students would encounter in that unit of work and scaffolded the learning of this identified metalanguage by using joint brainstorming activities of definitions, examples of the word in context, synonyms and antonyms. Students benefitted from extending their subject specific vocabulary through this explicit focus on breaking down the metalanguage of each subject.

‘Do Now’ Literacy Activities

The Literacy Team, comprised of one representative from each faculty, has been busy creating short literacy activities for their colleagues to use in the first few minutes of their classes while they set up for the lesson. These activities are relevant to the content being taught at the time and sharpening students’ reading and writing skills. These activities were shared on the WBHS Literacy Google Drive where all members of staff could access short lesson starters. This provided opportunities for teachers and students to maximise class time while honing important literacy skills. 

Literacy Progression Mapping

Teachers of PDHPE, TAS and Music have begun mapping the new Literacy Progression codes into their junior school programs. Activities that are rich in literacy skills are thereby linked to the progressions, which assists with differentiation and ‘where to next’ skills.  

In Numeracy

Our top highlights were:

NAPLAN Achievements in Numeracy

In 2019 NAPLAN Numeracy 76% of Year 7 students were at or above expected growth and 60% of students in Year 9 achieved at or above expected growth. In 2019 the percentage of students in Year 7 and Year 9 at WBHS who achieved at or above expected growth was higher than students across the state and similar school groups. 

WBHS Numeracy Team

In 2019 WBHS established a Numeracy Team with members from all Key Learning Areas across the school. Led by Ms Amanda Lawler, Deputy Principal, Instructional Leader Numeracy, and supported by Numeracy expert Greg Archbold, the team participated in two full day Numeracy Professional Learning and planning sessions focusing on analysing Numeracy data trends for students at WBHS, identifying key focus areas for numeracy improvement and unpacking the National Numeracy Learning Progressions to support planning for numeracy improvement across all subject areas. Team members also participated in one-to-one professional learning time with team leaders to plan how best to address numeracy in the teaching and learning programs in their specific subject areas. 

Numeracy Action Plan

The WBHS Numeracy Team developed a Numeracy Action Plan 2019-2020 to support improvement in Numeracy outcomes across the school. This plan focuses on identifying numeracy opportunities in all syllabus documents and embedding these in teaching and learning programs in Stages 4 and 5 along with explicit teaching strategies and resources for numeracy with links to the National Numeracy Learning Progressions. Professional Learning activities focused on developing deep knowledge and understanding in relation to numeracy-based higher order problem solving to support explicit teaching of targeted focus areas for students at WBHS. Teachers have also been participating in a professional learning course called: Mathematics, Building Block for Numeracy. 

Leading Secondary Numeracy Professional Learning

Ms Amanda Lawler, Ms Rachel Noonan and Mr Jeremy Lloyd participated in an intensive professional learning experience through a Department of Education Leading Secondary Numeracy Program of Learning for numeracy leaders in high schools. Leaders will develop and refine their skills as they lead a whole-school initiative aimed at improving student numeracy outcomes. The program focuses on Helen Timperley's leader inquiry and knowledge building cycle to determine the needs of teachers and students, and plan to engage teachers and students in new learning experiences. Leaders also focus on building their capacity as leaders of whole-school initiatives. Leaders will use change theory and be supported in leading change in pursuit of improved student outcomes in Numeracy.

Numeracy in Action at WBHS

The Social Science Faculty are leading the way in the implementation of the WBHS Numeracy Action Plan focusing on mapping numeracy opportunities in their syllabuses to the National Numeracy Learning Progression and using explicit teaching strategies to focus on higher order problem solving.