At Victoria University Secondary College, we believe all students can succeed with effort and persistence. We teach our students to aim for excellence in all that they do.
Our teaching and learning framework is based on a synthesis of educational research into what contributes to students’ success, beginning with the meta-analysis performed by McRel International.
In order to create a high reliability school we focus on creating a safe and collaborative culture, providing effective teaching in every classroom and providing a guaranteed and viable curriculum for students. As part of delivering effective teaching we use a standardised lesson format, known as the VUSC Learning Improvement Framework for Teaching or LIFT. We also encourage teachers to use High Impact Instructional Strategies in their lesson planning.
Teachers collaborate in Professional Learning Teams to improve their teaching by preparing tasks, planning curriculum, observing lessons and reflecting on student outcomes together. Our signature programs – AVID, the Music and Performing Arts Program and the Sports Academy, enrich and extend student learning across all year levels.
The VUSC school wide pedagogy is underpinned by our Vision and Values, shared belief statements and these five pedagogical principles:
The pedagogy of CRITICAL THINKING aims to enable members of our learning community:
- To be curious
- To actively evaluate and make judgments about new knowledge to tests its quality, value and reliability
- To be able to give an evidence-based response or informed opinion in a range of contexts
- To be able to reflect on their thinking in order to be independent learners.
The pedagogy of COLLABORATIVE LEARNING aims to enable members of our learning community:
- To be active and engaged learners working together towards a common goal
- To develop a culture of cooperation and teamwork with active listening and shared discussion
- To share ideas and resources while respecting and recognising individual contributions
- To empower students to be accountable for their own learning and the learning of others
The pedagogy of MAKING CONNECTIONS aims to enable members of our learning community:
- To explore the relevance of concepts learnt to the individual, local and wider community
- To relate new learning to prior knowledge and connect to future opportunities
- To develop the skills to create effective and respectful learning relationships, within the school and the wider community
The pedagogy of EMPOWERMENT aims to enable members of our learning community:
- To develop control over their own thinking and actions
- To develop the self-belief and confidence to persevere with learning challenges and tasks
- To take initiative and act
The FUTURE FOCUSED pedagogy aims to enable members of our learning community:
- To adapt to an ever changing world and prepare for global challenges
- To have the skills to engage with current and emerging technologies
- To be adaptive and flexible in their thinking
- To encourage visionary thinking
To help all students develop as writers, teachers at VUSC create strong writing programs that allow students to explore the craft of writing. These writing programs support all students throughout the year to not only see themselves as writers, but to develop the craft needed to become effective writers in any writing situation.
The Writers’ Workshop is a peer-editing system that provides students with a structured process for getting feedback on their writing, and learning how to use feedback for effective revision. In Writers’ Workshop, students individually read their manuscript out loud to a small team, who provide specific, targeted feedback after it has been read. After each member of the team has read his or her essay, and received feedback, students carefully consider their feedback in revising their final piece of writing.
Writers’ Workshop is conducted in all Domain areas, excluding the Maths Domain.
In the Writers’ Workshop students:
- see themselves as writers
- learn how to provide effective writing feedback to their peers
- consider how to use feedback as part of their revision process
- examine the many parts of the craft of writing
- find out if their piece of writing works
- see writing as a process including both drafting and revising
- experience and celebrate achievement.
For the last few years, VUSC has engaged award-winning education consultant Dr William DeJean to facilitate extensive professional development for teachers, including the Writer’s Workshop program, Unleash Learning program, Positive Classrooms and more. Below are links to interviews that Dr DeJean has conducted with some of our teachers at VUSC:
What Is Lifting the Weights
How To Create A Positive Classroom