We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Lyn Watts who visited our school for two days in September to consider how we might improve our curriculum delivery. Her bright, wholehearted personality, considerable classroom experience and sound common sense ensured the two days were not only inspiring and informative but also fun. As a fellow professional it was a joy to meet someone so keen and able to foster school improvement. It is no wonder her services are in such high demand throughout Australia. I am sure her visit will lead to considerable improvement in teaching and learning here at Woodford and hopefully lead to further visits in the near future. Also a huge thank you to Judy Martin our Teaching and Learning Director who accompanied and advised Lyn throughout her tour. Both Judy and I will lead a PD event for teachers after their return from break to look at ways we can incorporate Lyn’s ideas into our work here. Parents can read Lyn’s initial insights in the School below:
Lyn Watts Report
Thank you for your invitation to review the beautiful Woodford International School. It was a joy to spend last week with you observing quality classrooms and engaged learners across the school. I have completed an audit of Teaching, Learning and curriculum and can now make the following observations:
Lessons have clear learning intentions with goals that clarify what success looks like.
Sound lesson structures reinforce routines, scaffold learning via specific steps/activities. Planned sequencing of teaching and learning activities stimulate and maintain student engagement
Explicit teaching practices clearly show students what to do and how to do it.
Collaborative learning is supported by designing meaningful tasks. It involves students actively participating in negotiating roles, responsibilities and outcomes.
Questioning opens up opportunities for students to discuss, argue, and express opinions and alternative points of view.
Differentiated teaching methods teachers extend the knowledge and skills of every student in every class, regardless of their starting point.
Clearly Woodford aims to lift the performance of all students, including those who are falling behind and those ahead of year level expectations. In order to ensure that all students master objectives, effective teachers plan lessons that incorporate adjustments for content, process, and product.
The curriculum design is also very successful. Primary School students undertake the International Baccalaureate (PYP), while Middle School students participate in the Cambridge/AICE Program and Senior School students are measured against the Solomon Islands National Curriculum. These internationally recognised curricula provide excellent guidance as to effective teaching and learning processes as well as curriculum planning, development and evaluation of learning.
It is clear that the Woodford International School highly values the relationships between teachers and students, and students with their peers. There is considerable evidence to support the school strategic plan statement that,
“WIS is a community of learners that builds on each child's strengths, drawing from our diverse local context and a rich international curriculum, to develop globally ready learners equipped to shape their future and achieve their dreams.”