This unit took place at Waterford West Primary School in a low socio-economic and culturally diverse community in an urban area in south east Queensland. The package was implemented in a Year 4 class over four weeks. This consisted of:
- three 40-minute lessons
- one 120-minute lesson
- extra time allowed to follow up and complete tasks.
The school and teachers
The school is a Federal Government National Partnership Agreement (NPA) school, indicating that students' literacy and numeracy levels are substantially below the national average. The school is culturally diverse: 12% of students identify with Indigenous cultural heritage, and 14% of students come from ESL homes. NPA provides additional funding to the school to enhance students' literacy and numeracy standards.
The classroom teacher Tracy Hertslet described herself as a lead teacher in most of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Professional Standards for Teachers. She has worked as an acting head of curriculum and is a lead teacher in mathematics. She has less expertise in arts education, but has been part of an ongoing modelling and mentoring project, co-teaching media arts with a media arts specialist teacher, Amanda Levido.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) content descriptions
The unit targets content descriptors for band level 4 for ACARA's Australian Curriculum: The Arts. The cross-curricular priorities that most apply to this package are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures (ATSIHC), and Sustainability (SUST).
Students explored aspects of ATSIHC through storytelling. For example, a number of Indigenous students told stories with an Indigenous focus. Students explored SUST through Enables individuals to meaningfully participate in societies in which digital media technologies are widely used at home, school, work and for leisure. skills to become 'confident and creative individuals and active informed citizens' in a digital context. Students worked with the general capabilities of:
- Literacy (multimodal language use)
- Numeracy (spatial awareness and timing)
- Information and communication Technology (digital technologies for storytelling)
- Critical and creative thinking (creatively telling a story with text, images and sound).
Based on ACARA materials
The unit addresses the AITSL Professional Standards for Teachers (1-5) by ensuring that teachers know:
- their students and how they learn
- the content and how to teach it
- how to plan and implement effective teaching
- how to encourage learning in a supportive and safe environment
- how to assess student progress.
Teachers may also collaborate with colleagues and/or the community (Standard 7).