Part 1: Structure
When designing constructing a new school in a growth corridor adjacent to a major Australian city, it is essential to take into consideration what school and schooling, in general, mean to students. Only in this way, it will become possible to decide how the school should be set up as well as what it should offer to students in the way of curriculum, and the contexts both physical and social in which students learn (Clarke & Pittaway, 2014). That is why the map provided above is designed in such a way that clearly reflects the basic needs of students for receiving a decent education. In addition, it takes into account the demographics of the school. Due to the fact that this public school is situated within a multi-cultural, multi-faith community and consists of a diverse student population of approximately 500 students and 20 teachers, it is also essential to consider cultural and indigenous issues as they apply to Australian schooling (ACARA, n.d.). The organizational chart corresponds to policies and practices in Australian education that meet both societal and professional expectations (AITSL, 2011).
Part 2: Curriculum and pedagogy
It should be mentioned that the main aim of this school is to become the place where students can express their knowledge and skills. In this way, it will provide all students with the broad curriculum areas such as Maths, English, History, Business Studies, Geography, Religious Studies, Citizenship, Design and Technology, Music, Art and Design, Cross Cultural Studies, and such specific subjects as Drama and Modern Foreign Languages.
The overarching pedagogical approach in this school implies such features as differentiation in order to make the learning accessible; a transformative approach that can help to provide students with learning without limits; social and emotional response (both teachers and students) in order to create the curriculum that connects; a dynamic response that can create an interactive and process-based curriculum (Nind, Rix, Sheehy & Simmons, 2013). In addition, teachers and school management always take into consideration the desires and suggestions of students in order to meet the expectations and improve the educational process (Killen, 2007). Thus, there is a friendly atmosphere that turns learning into a fascinating process for students and significantly helps teachers find the right approach to all students. In general, it can be said that the pedagogical approach aligns with the curriculum focus of the school.
The choice of such specific subjects as Drama and Modern Foreign Languages may be explained by the fact that the development of creativity in students is an integral component of education (Nind et al., 2013). Thus, such a class as Drama will become the perfect place where students can show their talents and creativity. Today, knowledge of foreign languages significantly expands their outlook as well as provides a wide range of opportunities (Nind et al., 2013). That is why such a class as Modern Foreign Languages will offer students the possibility to learn new languages with no difficulties. The overarching pedagogical approach in the school is developed in such a way that it helps to create a friendly atmosphere and motivate students. At the same time, it is essential to mention that it corresponds to the duties, responsibilities, and common administrative expectations of teachers mentioned in Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (AITSL, 2011). In this way, such an approach both helps teachers to express their professionalism and motivate students to gain new knowledge.
Part 3: Policy and Values
Part 3a. School mission statement: We aim to sustain a collaborative learning environment, for our students to become successful, independent learners with a safe, respectful, and nurturing environment.
Part 3b. Five values underpinning the school ethos: 1. Respect
Part 3c. 10 core policies of the school:
The school will have a coherent, consensus-based philosophy or a set of values upon which, the process of achieving good behavior is based on multi-culturalism, which guide the staff to their collective vision of the future.
The educational staff will be able to implement a developmental process that consistently seeks to improve pupil behavior, and is not afraid to examine accepted practice for its strengths and weaknesses.
The faculty shall recognize individual similarities and differences in staff skills and attitudes to working in their area of expertise and use them to the benefit of all.
The faculty and staff will be committed to supporting an experimental or project mindset, which facilitates the monitoring and hence, evaluating the effectiveness of any action being taken and any procedure that has been put in place.
The faculty will focus on the provision of support and opportunities to students for them to experience success.
The faculty staff, parents or caregivers, and the students will work hand in hand to create a caring, orderly, safe, and productive learning community that supports the rights of all the students to learn, as well as, all the teachers to teach.
The school will implement policies centered on developing the students’ acceptance of role and responsibility for their actions and behavior.
The school will implement the high school diversification policy to bring in more variety to both faculty and students.
The school will establish a long-term national education policy framework by presenting a simplified outline direction for the national curriculum.
The current subject instruction-oriented teacher development system will be revised to a method that helps teachers better understand students, and nurtures teacher capacity to self-formulate the curriculum in light of student needs.
Part 3d. Rationale:
The 10 policies were chosen based on the 5 values underpinning the school ethos, which are the following: (1) respect; (2) integrity; (3) diligence; (4) optimism; and (5) excellence. These policies will enhance the student experience by helping them create a collaborative learning environment within the school grounds, for the students to become successful individual learners in their own fields. Most of all, the policies and ethos are aligned to make sure it enhances multi-culturalism, in which there is respect to each one’s identity, no matter what the student’s or staff’s religion or culture is. These policies shall align with the curriculum and pedagogy that the school will be offering, in which there is a collective vision of the future, set to create a united, collaborative community of learners. This is based on the rationale of the Department for Education and Child Development or DECD in Australia, which is accountable to the community for managing student behaviour. Its policy is set to “creating safe, orderly, productive and successful learning communities” (Department for Education and Child Development, 2007, p.2). Its principles are set to preparing young citizens to be capable of participating in the future society, and to create a context of a wider society. All individuals and groups should be respected, with the freedom to choose the behaviour they want. This rationale is under the principle that faculty staff, families, and the society should all influence the behavioral development of young citizens.
Part 4: Classroom Setup
Part 4a. A layout of upper primary classroom
Part 4b. Rationale:
The layout for upper primary classroom should represent space that is equivalent for about 30 people, and it has to be organised, such that each and everyone can share the same space for a long amount of time (Department of Education and Training, 2013, p.1). As seen in the platform, the desks should be positioned in such a way that, people who enter the room should see the physical representation of organisational skills. According to the Department of Education and Training (2013), “The space needs to be bright, airy, well laid out and tidy, with plenty of storage space” (p.1). Thus, it is seen that all of the left and right sides of the room consist entirely of the storage space, with the white board on the north side. The south side of the room also consists of storage space, as it consists entirely of shelves. In addition, the desk is positioned in a way that the person sitting would have a clear view of all areas of the classroom, to enable the teacher to greet all students, staffs, and parents while they enter. The classroom would also have to be safe and spacious, and should have a caring and supportive environment, in which students feel a sense of belongingness inside their classroom, to form bonds with other students and the teacher. It should be clean and tidy by the time the class begins, as cleaning the room before the class starts can be quite frustrating.
Part 5 five: Reflection (600 words)
I chose to implement the feedback my peers provided. I found it very useful, especially since most of them addressed areas that I had not noted even after going through my work. The feedback was used to make improvements that ensured the paper had met the assessment requirements. Also, I relied on the feedback to alter the school’s organisational structure and make some more detailed information. One of my peers also mentioned that the class diagram was not according to the assessment criteria. Another suggested that the upper primary diagram did not have any structure that would identify it is an upper primary class. With such feedback, I looked at the question differently and drew the diagram afresh. Some feedback was positive with my peers congratulating me on my outlook on the assessment. Such feedback motivated me to implement more creative ideas in my work. One of my peers gave me feedback on making my subjects more specific.
There are some challenges I encountered along the way and I took them as learning opportunities. One of them was in identifying the right information to use for this assessment. Being that the assessment was meant to address Australian schools, it was important to find the right information to complete the assessment. In order to deal with this challenge, I looked for a number of resources that addressed this subject. Also, I made sure to use the latest resources to ensure the information was still relevant. Another challenge was coming up with a creative idea that was well-thought out and unique. To overcome this hurdle, I read a wide variety of material related to the subject, including sources that were based on schools in different countries. I found this strategy to be very useful since it opened me up to a number of different ways of thinking on the subject. If I was to do this task again, I would pay more attention on the school structure to ensure nothing was left out. This is an important part of any school and it is important that no detail is overlooked. The Australian school system has certain policies that every school is supposed to meet. It is important when developing a school, to consider the community or the students targeted to attend this school. The consideration is in matters of culture, race, and religion (ACARA, 2010). This is important to ensure that the school is tailored to the needs of these students.
I would award myself an A for this assessment. The detailed map shows all the important parts of the school, including every specific subject that the school offers. This diagram also shows the administration positions of the school and it is arranged in a sensible manner. The organisational structure shows the most important hierarchy levels in the school and the people who make up these levels. The justification section speaks of the key factors that justify the construction of this school. These factors include those that are in line with the Australian policies. The justification also includes sections that validate developing the school for the students’ sake. The curriculum section clearly explains what the school will offer, including the subjects that will be covered. The justification of this section explains why the specific curriculum was selected for this school. The policy section clearly states the school’s mission, policies and the ethical values to be followed. The rationale section also explains how the above policies were created and why they should exist. The classroom setup is a diagram indicating a pictorial diagram of how the classroom should look like while the rationale justifies this setup.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (n.d.a). Australian Curriculum.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2010b). The Shape of the Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/shape_of_the_Australian_Curriculum.pdf
Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Limited (AITSL). (2011). Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Education Services Australia. Retrieved December 29, 2015, from http://www.aitsl.edu.au/docs/default-source/apst-resources/australian_professional_standard_for_teachers_final.pdf
Clarke, M., & Pittaway, S. (2014). Becoming a Teacher: Knowledge, Skills and Issues (6th ed.). Australia: Pearson Higher Education AU.
Killen, R. (2007). Effective Teaching Strategies: Lessons From Research and Practice (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic.: Thomson Social Science Press.
Nind, M., Rix, J., Sheehy, K., & Simmons, K. (Eds.). (2013). Curriculum and Pedagogy in Inclusive Education: Values into Practice. New York: Routledge.