Centre for Professional Learning courses

Term 1

Term 2

The NSW Teachers Federation is endorsed to provide Quality Teaching Council Registered Professional Development for teachers accredited at Proficient Teacher. Please register here.

Course descriptions

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT THROUGH EFFECTIVE TEACHING

This course focuses on the key concern of classroom management through the essential development and use of effective teaching strategies. Highly-experienced teachers present the course in partnership with younger teachers who specialise in mentoring and teacher improvement. The course provides participants with practical strategies and deeper understanding of the theory and practice of good management and good teaching. There are whole-group discussions and participants also break up into specific primary and secondary workshops.

Target participants: Teachers in the earlier stages of their careers

CONVERSATIONS ABOUT TEXT IN THE SECONDARY SCHOOL

The focus of this workshop is on supporting participants to identify the language demands of texts commonly read and written in the secondary school and recognising the features of their students’ writing. We will focus on the teaching of writing as the context in which grammar is taught to support meaning and we will outline those grammatical features which best support teachers to make an impact on students writing extended responses. Our aim is not to focus on the basics but we will briefly review or address grammar for those who might be addressing it explicitly for the first time. This will enable participants to identify and address their students’ needs as they analyse their written work. We will provide practical examples for engaging students in writing and supporting students to write effectively.

All participants are requested to bring copies of their students’ writing, preferably three examples with two copies of each.

Target participants: Secondary teachers

EARLY CAREER TEACHERS

This course will provide “new” teachers with an overview and orientation to the profession and to teaching. It will have a range of presenters who will consider questions around classroom management, the BOSTES and accreditation, planning and research, specific sector issues, mentoring, the importance of the big picture, programming, the stages of a career, and why everyone in public education is a leader.

Target participants: Teachers in the first two years of their teaching career

EFFECTIVE DECISIONS FOR SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL LEADERS

This course is designed for school leaders and aspiring school leaders, encompassing the various components of school decisions critical to the role of a school leader at any level. It is presented by Peter Johnson, who has had an extensive and diverse career with the NSW Department of Education.

The course is intended to provide participants with a sound knowledge of the basics of decision-making in schools, including the evidentiary basis for those decisions, a framework within which to make those decisions and exposure to a range of scenarios their colleagues have faced.

The course also deals with the personal and professional ethics which play a major part in decision-making in schools.

Three key aspects of decision-making in schools will be discussed before participants go on to consider the elements of an effective decision-making framework:

1. the distinction between leadership and management

2. international and national trends in devolving decision-making to schools

3. the personal and professional ethics of decision-making in schools.

The course will workshop examples of real-life scenarios within the context of a decision-making framework and with reference to the ethical basis for those decisions.

It will draw on the career experience of the presenter to provide an insight into how the scenarios played out and how they should have been resolved.

Participants will complete the course with an understanding of the components they need to consider when making decisions in schools. These decisions will relate to curriculum offerings, the allocation of resources, selection of staff, use of school finances and any other decisions that need to be considered in delivering educational services to a school’s students and its community.

Target participants: Teachers in leadership positions in schools or aspiring to those positions

EXPLORING PROBLEM-SOLVING AND WORKING MATHEMATICALLY K-6

This workshop will provide an insight into the five components of working mathematically in the NSW Mathematics syllabus K–6. It will include word problems and open-ended problems that develop student understanding, enabling them to confidently solve problems related to everyday life. Teachers will gain knowledge and understanding of syllabus content including assessment and planning for teaching.

Target participants: Teachers K–6 who wish to deepen their understanding of working mathematically and problem-solving as outlined in the NSW syllabus for the Australian Curriculum Mathematics K–6. Participants will explore how to practically implement aspects of working mathematically in their classrooms

HISTORY 7-10 QUALITY PROGRAMMING AND ASSESSMENT

This course will strengthen teachers’ understanding of quality programming and assessment practices and build their capacity to develop, evaluate and review their own programs and assessment activities for the NSW History 7–10 syllabus. It will also enhance their knowledge and understanding of syllabus content, concepts and skills.

The course will begin with a quick refresher on the practicalities and advantages of having an effective scope and sequence to show at a glance how relevant features of the syllabus will fit into the school year.

In workshop activities on programming, participants will be encouraged to discuss and evaluate a range of history teaching and learning programs to identify the format or features most appropriate for their school context and their own professional needs.

In workshop activities focusing on quality assessment, participants will discuss the purposes of different types of assessment strategies and will develop and apply criteria for evaluating a range of sample assessment tasks.

The two strands will be brought together in an activity providing the opportunity for participants to begin planning to integrate assessment activities into a teaching and learning program of their own design.

Target Participants: Teachers of History 7–10 who wish to strengthen their skills in designing quality programs and assessment activities

HISTORY K-6 INTEGRATING GEOGRAPHY

This course provides an overview of the new history and geography K–6 syllabuses and the possible links between them. The course aims to clarify the content, skills and concepts in each course and to identify topics where integration makes good sense for teaching and learning.

With this as the foundation, course participants will engage in hands-on activities to develop more fully their understanding of the ways that both courses can be integrated to reinforce each other and broaden understanding. Some topics lend themselves more fully than others to integration and these will be the focus.

The first part of the course will be devoted to outlining the content, skills and concepts of both syllabuses and providing sample strategies for integration. Participants will then plan an integrated learning sequence based on a topic of their own choice.

The second part of the course will focus on how to reflect the integration of history and geography elements in scope and sequence plans and teaching and learning programs.

Engaging in these activities will help build teacher confidence and generate a multitude of ideas for the classroom. The course will encourage the sharing of resources and ideas and provide the opportunity to discuss issues and concerns relating to the implementation and teaching of both HSIE syllabuses.

Target participants: Teachers K–6 who wish to develop a deeper understanding of approaches to integrating some aspects of the history and geography K–6 syllabuses

IMPLEMENTING A DAILY ENGLISH BLOCK USING THE ENGLISH K-6 SYLLABUS

The NSW English K–6 Syllabus has two key processes at the heart of its organisational structure — responding and composing. This workshop will look at the literacy session through responding and composing in order to teach syllabus content in a meaningful and coherent way. Teachers will deepen their understanding of the components of an effective English block and learn techniques and routines for the smooth implementation of quality literacy practices.

Target participants: Teachers K–6 at the beginning of their career and those wishing to revitalise their daily literacy session in light of the current NSW English syllabus. Participants will explore the components of an effective English block, how each component relates to syllabus content and how to address the individual learning needs of all students in their class.

LEADING ABORIGINAL EDUCATION IN YOUR SCHOOL — RELATIONSHIPS, PARTNERSHIPS AND GROWTH

Leading Aboriginal Education — Relationships, Partnerships and Growth is a course designed for principals and aspiring principals, leading the implementation of Aboriginal Education in school communities. Participants will reflect on the importance of explicit leadership to support the implementation of the Department’s Aboriginal Education Policy in the context of various and relevant NSW and federal government policies. There will be an exploration of the different ways to meet the challenges often associated with the implementation of whole school change with a focus on the importance of relationships and partnerships. Our presenters, who are highly experienced in varied leadership roles in the Department, will explore practical examples of ways to build cultural knowledge and understanding in schools and assist participants to develop an action plan within the six domains of the National and Torres Strait Islander Education Action Plan 2010–2014.

Target participants: Principals and aspiring principals, leading the implementation of Aboriginal Education in school communities

LIFTING ACHIEVEMENT IN YEARS 7–12

This course focuses on developing approaches to improve student performance in public high schools. Professor Wayne Sawyer, who has conducted extensive research in this area, is joined by senior, experienced teachers to share demonstrated, successful strategies and ideas for lifting achievement levels. The course focuses on what individual teachers can do, what faculties can do and which whole-school approaches have the most success.

Target participants: Classroom teachers and teachers in promotions positions in secondary schools

MATHS 7–10 QUALITY PROGRAMMING AND ASSESSMENT

The Maths 7–10 Quality Programming and Assessment course is a collegial and workshop styled course where participants will review research, interrogate aspects of the NSW Mathematics 7–10 Syllabus and evaluate a range of maths teaching and learning programs that have authentic assessments embedded in them. In groups, course participants will discuss engaging tasks and activities that they bring along with the purpose of developing engaging assessment tasks, meaningful assessment rubrics and formative teaching activities that are appropriate for unique school contexts.

Course participants will share and present their resources and ideas in a collegial plenary session.

Target participants: Teachers of Maths 7–10 who wish to strengthen their skills in designing quality formative and summative assessment activities and embedding those activities in quality programs

PLANNING FOR SUCCESSFUL LEARNING USING THE MATHEMATICS K–6 SYLLABUS

This hands-on practical course is designed for teachers, in particular those in the earlier stages of their careers, who are exploring the NSW Mathematics K–6 syllabus. Participants will explore classroom set up, student grouping, lesson planning and assessment to create a differentiated classroom where all students are actively engaged at their instructional level.

Target participants: All teachers K–6 in particular those in the earlier stages of their careers

SPELLING AND THE NSW ENGLISH K–6 SYLLABUS

This course will help participants to revitalise their approach to the teaching of spelling. Participants will examine how to embed spelling in reading and writing instruction for the NSW English syllabus for the Australian Curriculum. In addition participants will explore the importance of vocabulary development and editing skills. Participants will unpack the four types of spelling knowledge and examine the spelling strategies every student needs to understand.

Target participants: Teachers K–6 who wish to rethink their teaching of spelling to more effectively engage with 21st century learners and the NSW syllabus for the Australian Curriculum

TEACHING GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION AND VOCABULARY ENGLISH K–6

This course is designed for teachers who wish to deepen their knowledge of the NSW English K–6 syllabus. This course takes a hands-on approach to the age-old problem of teaching students to apply the conventions of accurate grammar in their writing.

Target participants: Teachers K–6 who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the NSW English K–6 syllabus outcomes for grammar, punctuation and vocabulary

TEACHING READING AND WRITING YEARS K–6

This course is designed for teachers who wish to deepen their knowledge of the NSW English K–6 syllabus. This workshop will engage participants in an examination of syllabus outcomes for reading and viewing and writing and representing. There will also be an examination of text sets and the key processes of responding and composing.

Target participants: Teachers K–6 who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the NSW English K–6 syllabus

TEACHING READING, COMPREHENSION AND CRITICAL THINKING K–6 USING THE ENGLISH SYLLABUS

Effective readers can decode and comprehend a variety of texts. They have a range of strategies they employ to decode, comprehend and think critically about texts. This practical workshop unpacks how to teach these strategies in an explicit and systematic way using the NSW English syllabus K–6. Participants will explore effective reading strategies and lesson planning in order to meet the learning needs of the students in their classrooms.

Target participants: Teachers K–6 who wish to deepen their understanding of the explicit and systematic teaching of reading, comprehension and critical thinking as part of the NSW English syllabus K–6

TEACHING STUDENTS TO WRITE IMAGINATIVE, INFORMATIVE AND PERSUASIVE TEXTS K–6 USING THE ENGLISH SYLLABUS

Participants will examine the text structures and language features of texts written for different purposes and audiences. There will be discussion on how to develop lifelong writers using the NSW English syllabus K–6. This is a practical course and will look at the use of mentor texts and the key processes of responding and composing. We will explore teaching the writing process as part of the daily English block. Participants will explore what makes an effective piece of writing and how to develop writing sophistication across years K–6.

Target participants: Teachers K–6 who wish to develop a community of writers in their classrooms. Participants will explore how to teach writing effectively in years K–6 so that students are confident, independent writers across a range of purposes

TEACHING STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN MAINSTREAM CLASSES

This course provides participants with a snapshot of the priority focus areas to be considered when addressing the needs of students with disabilities and special needs.

The course provides understanding and strategies to engage students through adjusted planning, teaching and behaviour support. The relevant Disability Standards are outlined to participants and ideas developed about how to adjust and accommodate teaching and learning programs, teaching strategies, behaviour management and assessment for diverse learners.

Target participants: Current or early career teachers with limited experience catering for students with disabilities or special needs in mainstream classes

TEACHING VISUAL LITERACY K–6

We all live in a visual world and students need to be able to critically analyse visual images in texts. This course will provide participants with a closer look at the metalanguage of visual literacy in the NSW English K–6 syllabus for the Australian Curriculum.

Participants will explore the ways in which the visuals in print and multi-modal texts add to the author’s purpose and impact on the intended audience. Resources and ideas will be shared and participants will learn how to plan lessons on visual literacy for students K–6.

Target participants: Teachers K–6 who wish to develop a deep understanding of visual literacy and the NSW English syllabus for the Australian Curriculum

TEACHING WRITING IN SECONDARY ENGLISH: PRACTICAL APPROACHES TO BUILDING CONFIDENCE, ENJOYMENT AND ACHIEVEMENT

This course will provide secondary English teachers with exciting, hands-on opportunities to expand and deepen their pedagogical knowledge and understanding of the most effective approaches to teach writing. There will be a focus on the application of evidence-based strategies to address the needs, interests and capacities of a diverse range of students, including those who are reluctant or underachieving writers.

A host of resources, including digital resources, along with practical ideas for building confidence and accomplishment in writing will be mapped to the demands of the NSW BOSTES English syllabus documents in Stages 4–5 and Stage 6.

The course will address the principles and processes of creative, imaginative, analytical and interpretive writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences. It will also foreground the importance of integrating the language modes of speaking, viewing, representing and reading in order to optimise students’ engagement with and achievement in writing.