Teaching and Learning
The Teaching and Learning Program in Senior Schooling allows students to build on the skills they have developed throughout Middle Schooling, applying them at a deeper level and in more complex situations. A large focus is placed on ensuring that students are well-equipped with the skills they will require for the world beyond school, and to foster an appreciation of the importance of lifelong learning. In addition to a relevant curriculum, students are also offered substantial career guidance and investigation where they can explore possible career pathways
and make well-informed decisions.
The Teaching and Learning philosophy at The Springfield Anglican College places significant emphasis on students developing critical skills which will enable them to be successful in the community and the workforce. Supported by the use of technology, the staff at TSAC assist students to become creative, communicative, collaborative, self-directed, reflective and critical thinkers. Our curriculum offers opportunities for those pursuing academic learning as well as those wishing to enter vocational study, and balances traditional subjects with skills such as STEM, programming and coding, and entrepreneurialism, which are increasingly important to young people as they prepare for life in an ever changing world.
Throughout Years 10 to 12, other activities are provided for students to assist them in preparing thoroughly for the rigours of Senior Schooling. Weekly QCS preparation lessons and practice QCS tests allow students to become familiar with the requirements of the QCS test and develop their understanding of the Common Curriculum Elements (CCEs), so that they are positioned to achieve their best in the end of Year 12 examinations. Before school and weekend tutoring is also offered in some subjects to students to assist them in gaining necessary additional assistance, or to further extend their ability and understanding within the subjects offered.
Our core business is providing students with the pathways and opportunities they need to succeed in their academic studies. As such, our curriculum offerings are broad, relevant and engaging, and our support and extension programs are designed to provide every student with every opportunity to succeed. The core subjects listed below, in line with Australian Curriculum requirements, assist in equipping students with the fundamental knowledge and skills to be successful at school and beyond. At The Springfield Anglican College, we also believe that it is important for students to have an element of choice through elective and extension subjects in order to prepare a pathway for their future and create a varied and engaging learning experience. In addition, the senior teachers at TSAC are active learners themselves, and stay at the cutting edge of teaching and learning practices. As such, lessons for students are focused, varied and include a variety of strategies to ensure that all students can connect with content and tasks, and which allow students to achieve their best outcomes.
Mathematics and Science Faculty
At TSAC we believe that the academic and personal success of students is dependent upon their learning experiences and growth of their core skills which enables them to engage in the curriculum and also have the confidence and ability to communicate in problem solving and STEM environments. The Mathematics and Science program in the Senior School are built upon the notion that studies in these areas are not static in their understanding and application. The curriculum within the Mathematics and Science Faculty encourages students to be curious, to develop and solve problems, and to apply their learnings in real world contexts. In Year 10, Mathematics and Science subjects are compulsory and provide an introduction to the elective options in Year 11 and 12, which include Mathematics A, Mathematics B, Pre-Vocational Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
English and Languages Faculty
The English and Languages Faculty support students to become reflective learners and critical thinkers, with the ability to work independently and collaborate with others. Within English, students are assisted to become confident communicators, imaginative thinkers, and informed, empathetic citizens. Extending into Senior School, a literacy program supports and extends to all students, helping them to become confident and creative individuals who aspire to excellence. A balance is sought between traditional skills such as handwriting, and embracing technological innovations which enable students to collaborate and access the curriculum at a level appropriate to their individual needs. English in Year 10 is designed to introduce students to the English options available in Year 11 and 12, Senior English and English Communication, whilst at the same time being an engaging exploration of texts and an opportunity for text production. A selection of Modern Foreign Languages is available to students, as core elective subjects in the Senior School, including Mandarin Chinese and French. Throughout these subjects, students develop the core skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening, aided by the use of technology.
The Humanities Faculty focuses on the key subjects of Geography and History, and students connect with local, national and global communities to analyse the world in which they live and develop a solid foundation of understanding, skills and values. Students are also encouraged to create new ideas and apply these across subject disciplines in real-world situations. From Year 11, students may elect Geography and Modern History.
Design, Technology and Business Faculty
The application of digital solutions can lead to discoveries, new learning, and innovative approaches to understanding and solving problems. The study of subjects in this Faculty provides a platform for deeper interdisciplinary learning providing opportunity to make connections with innovation in other fields and across other learning areas. Students create practical, innovative solutions to problems of interest. By extracting, interpreting, and modelling data sets, students identify trends to examine sustainable solutions to problems. Subjects within the Design, Technology and Business Faculty are elective for students in the Senior School. These subjects include Business Studies in Year 10 and Business Management in Year 11 and 12, Design Technology in Year 10 and Technology Studies in Year 11 and 12, and Graphics in Years 10 to 12. The subjects taught in this Faculty are extremely beneficial in developing skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, innovation and problem solving. In addition, students are provided with opportunities to study and experience enterprise and entrepreneurialism, which are widely recognised as skills young people will increasingly require as they enter the workforce.
Creative Arts Faculty
A number of elective subjects are available to Senior School students in the Creative Arts Faculty and all are accessible to students who either wish to extend their ability in the Arts or who wish to undertake the subject for enjoyment. These subjects include Music, Dance, Drama and Visual Art. Learning within the Creative Arts encourages the development of invaluable skills such as flexibility, reflection, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, creativity and expression, while developing a strong sense of self. Creative Arts staff enable students to fully develop these skills by embedding technology within appropriate components of the curriculum. Students with a strong ability in Music are also able to elect to undertake Music Extension in Year 12. Instrumental Music is also available to all students in the Senior School, free of charge, within the school day. Students undertake lessons in a group setting, with highly-qualified professional musicians who are specialists on their chosen instrument or instruments. A large number of ensembles are also available to students.
Health and Physical Education Faculty
The Senior School Health and Physical Education Faculty has designed a program that provides engaging opportunities for students to enhance their health and wellbeing, and adopt lifelong healthy and active living habits. Within compulsory Health and Physical Education lessons, Senior School students investigate and develop tactics, strategies and practices to analyse and enhance their own and others’ performance in physical activity. They also have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills through the Sports Leaders Award. Students may also elect to undertake Physical Education as part of their subject offerings. The elective program provides students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and understanding in greater depth. Professional sportsmen and sportswomen are engaged to provide coaching and guidance to Physical Education students in areas such as golf and kayaking. In addition to our vibrant and relevant curriculum, designed for the needs of our students, we also have a series of dedicated approaches to ensuring that they have every opportunity to succeed and flourish.
Technology is used as a learning and organisational tool to support the curriculum at the College. In the early years, children have access to class sets of iPads and Microsoft Surfaces. From Years 4 to 6, students work with 1:1 devices in classroom, specialist and extra-curricular lessons. Access to this technology allows students to engage with the Digital Technologies curriculum. Students develop knowledge about digital systems and develop skill in computational thinking. In Middle and Senior schooling students have access to virtual and online learning resources including a wireless campus, fully equipped computer labs with a variety of Mac and PC’s available. Students across all year levels engage in an integrated STEAM unit each year, which combines content from Science, Technologies, early Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. This unit is developed around a central theme and is a vehicle for creativity and collaboration, with the aim of students developing solutions for problems or applying knowledge in new ways.
Learning Analytics is the process of using school data, statistical analysis and modelling to gain insights into student performance. It gives school leaders, teachers, parents and students access to rich academic data which informs teaching practice and school management. The Learning Analytics platform provided by the College is a comprehensive educational data analysis solution which aggregates, analyses, and publishes academic data in real-time. Our students have access to results as they are recorded within the platform, which they can use to monitor progress and create targets to aim for to improve their academic success.
We are aware that no two students learn in the same ways or at the same speed. As such, we have a comprehensive Learning Enhancement program which is an extension of the core curriculum across all year levels, offering additional opportunities for students who show interest and potential in a variety of areas.
The College wide approach to academic extension is led by the Coordinator of Academic Extension, in close consultation with the Director of Teaching and Learning, and Heads of Department. This ensures that all programs encourage personal academic excellence through the application of inquiry-based learning and higher order thinking skills. The collaborative design of the curriculum allows student opportunities to tackle complex, challenging and open-ended problems that promote higher order thinking skills, and meaningful tasks with practical application and collaborative student led projects. Academic Extension Program has three areas which include:
- Focused extension programs
- Flexible groupings
- Differentiation of student learning
Focused Extension Programs The purpose of extension programs is to provide the appropriate level of academic challenge for the needs of individual students, including their intellectual, social and emotional development. Focused Extension programs include:
- Classroom Extension Elective Programs
- Extra-curricular programs in STEM, Debating, UNSW competitions, Poetry Feast, The Australian Maths Competition, Kids Lit Quiz, Maths Olympiad, da Vinci Decathlon and Optiminds
- Access to external programs such as Days of Excellence
The College philosophy for extension is based on understanding the different needs of individual children. When students are able to demonstrate a working knowledge beyond year level expectations, the Academic Extension Co-ordinator and teachers collaboratively plan for extension opportunities in one or all focused extension programs. Flexibility in Class Groupings We focus on a student’s ability and interests. As such, it is not always appropriate or in the best interests of a student for them to stay in one class which progresses through the school year by year. Where appropriate, our approach can include movement between classes in order to cater for the individual needs of children, creating a rate, depth and rigour of learning in keeping with their ability. We believe a student’s extension is part of the daily curriculum and it is through flexible grouping that this can be achieved. Implementing a balanced inclusion and withdrawal approach ensures students are extended in their areas of talent throughout their learning program, not for just for one lesson per week. A range of flexible groupings is formulated across all areas of the College based on students’ academic and personal learning needs:
- Ability groupings within classes
- Subject Specific Extension Classes for Year 7 and beyond
- Subject acceleration
- Year level acceleration
- Early access to University entry subjects
Differentiation of Student Learning Students in all classes are challenged according to their specific needs with all teachers practicing our commitment to individual excellence through a differentiated approach, which involves responding constructively to what students know and need, providing multiple learning pathways so that students can have access to the most appropriate learning opportunities commensurate with their potential to learn. Through the design of rich and challenging learning experiences, our teachers ensure all students have the opportunity for extension within the classroom environment and enrichment beyond the classroom. Learning Support We provide a caring, nurturing environment in which every student is recognised as an individual with unique strengths. We believe every student deserves the opportunity to access the curriculum at a level of challenge that is appropriate for them. We provide a continuum of support with increasingly focused and personalised teaching and intervention at each successive layer including curriculum differentiation, intensive learning support teaching and the provision of Support Plans.The College identifies the appropriate layer of support through analysis of student data and ongoing monitoring of student progress. In the first level of support, teachers differentiate instruction in response to data and day-to-day monitoring that indicates the particular learning needs of students. Teachers vary what students are taught, how they are taught and how students demonstrate what they know. Our teachers purposefully plan a variety of ways to engage students, assisting them to demonstrate their learning. A second level of support is available for students who may require a more intensive approach for their learning needs, through focused teaching by a Learning Support Teacher. These students may elect the subject LANS (Literacy Assignment Numeracy Support) to participate in guided learning activities with a Learning Support Teacher. This provides the students with an opportunity to consolidate their understanding of core content, through discussion, hands-on learning activities and engagement with interactive technology. The students not only develop their literacy and numeracy skills, but they improve in confidence and self-esteem, and become more willing to take risks with their learning. Students with additional learning needs may be guided by the provision of a Support Plan. This provides additional support through adjustments to promote access to the curriculum and participation in college-based activities. The Learning Support team works collaboratively with classroom teachers, parents, other staff and, if required, outside relevant professionals to establish teaching and learning adjustments that help nurture the uniqueness of every student to help them reach their potential. Students may also have the option of attending our Drop-In Zone, where they can access additional assistance with homework and assignment tasks before they commence the College day.
The Senior School structure has been developed to prepare students for life after school, whether they choose to move on to tertiary study or enter the workforce. High quality facilities, an excellent technology platform and a diverse range of programs challenge students to realise their potential.Learn More
Student Care is at the heart of everything we do at the College. We understand that the emotional wellbeing of students is fundamental to their academic success, and so we offer a holistic approach that develops students’ understanding of wellbeing through explicit teaching of strategies to develop growth mindsets, grit and wellbeing.Learn More
We believe that the important learning experiences that a school provides happen in and out of the classroom, and our vibrant and varied student activities and co-curricular programs are vital in allowing us to achieve our goals of educating the mind, body and spirit of our students.Learn More