STEM is a global initiative to encourage greater interest and competence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. The aim of the initiative is to address the declining participation rates in post compulsory STEM subjects and to prepare students for an increasingly technological future. Because of the important role that creativity plays in problem solving, it has been suggested that the Arts be included in the STEM subjects, resulting in acronym “STEAM” instead of STEM.
The Carine STEM Centre and the STEM Gifted and Talented Program
The Carine Senior High School STEM Centre will be operational in 2020 and will have its first intake of students into the STEM Gifted and Talented program in the same year. The aim of the STEM Centre will be to:
- Encourage greater interest and competence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, and seek to increase the proportion of students studying these subjects in senior secondary years.
- Develop in students skills for emerging industries and technologies including teamwork, problem solving, creativity, independent thinking, critical analysis, initiative and communication.
- Ensure students are confident and adaptive users of technology to prepare them for the learning, social and employment opportunities of the future.
The facilities offered in the STEM Centre will be ideal for providing for the educational needs of students enrolled in the STEM Gifted and Talented program. However, it will also be used to promote STEAM across the broader schoolcommunity.
A Whole School Approach to STEAM
In recognition of the importance of creativity in problem solving, Carine Senior High School has adopted “A Whole School Approach to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths)” as a School Priority. The two main strategies used to achieve this will be:
- Learning Areas will collaborate to provide a contextualised learning experience addressing real world problems through project and enquiry based learning strategies.
- Teachers will employ pedagogy which promotes, interest, engagement, problem solving, adaptability, teamwork, creativity, independent thinking, critical analysis, initiative and communication.
Academic Extension Program
Carine Senior High School has an excellent Academic Extension Program (AEP) in Years 7 to 10 for English, Maths, Science and Humanities and Social Science (HASS) that provides a personalized, differentiated curriculum. From 2018 students in Year 7 will also be offered the opportunity to enrol in AEP for French.
Year 7s in 2018 will be selected after sitting tests given by Carine staff, either at their primary school or at Carine on the day of the general testing session in Semester 2. Selected students will be sent a letter of offer following this. Movement into and out of classes through Years 7 to 10 is based on the AEP Policy Guidelines, and following detailed consultation with staff and parents. Students may be offered one, two, three or four of the Academic Extension Programs depending on their academic performance in individual subjects.
Connect is the Department of Education’s online environment which provides teachers, students and parents with secure access to a collaborative online learning environment via the internet. For more information click here.
Carine Senior High School has implemented Elevate Education study skills from Years 7 to 12. This comprehensive whole school study skills program works with parents, teachers and students to introduce study techniques, time management skills, interview and writing skills and exam preparation in a range of modules delivered by Elevate presenters. The program is facilitated by a Library Homework and Study Scheduled staffed by specialist teachers every morning and afternoon in the Library at no cost to families.
Study and Homework Program
Our school recognises the value and importance of homework and study as integral to supporting students to achieve to their full potential. Homework is part of a planned approach by teachers to provide relevant opportunities for students to practice and extend their learning, independent of the class environment. This is also the time students would be expected to finish work not completed in class time or missed through absence. Invariably, assessment tasks require some independent work to be completed away from the classroom. In order to support the completion of homework and assessment tasks our school offers students free teacher-supervised homework and study assistance in the school library before and after school from Monday to Friday.
Semesterised Report Reviews
Our school is committed to raising the expectations and standards of every student. At the end of each semester reporting period the Principal leads a review of Year 7-10 student’s Attitude, Behaviour and Effort (ABE)achievement. Students that demonstrate a high number of ‘sometimes’ and ‘seldoms’ in ABE achievement are identified by the Student Services team. The review process includes student and parent meetings and the implementation of an ABE Improvement Plan. Improvement is monitored and a report completed at the end of Term 3 and Term 4.
Making Thinking Visible
As part of our school’s commitment to improving the teaching and learning process, a number of teachers have embraced the Making Thinking Visible approach to teaching, meeting regularly along with teachers from the local primary schools, forming a Visible Thinking Learning Community.
Making Thinking Visible is an approach coming from Harvard University which has been trialled in schools across the globe. It makes use of many of the collaborative learning approaches developed previously, but requires teachers to analyse lessons in terms of the thinking students are required to do during the lesson. It emphasises that understanding is not a type of thinking but an outcome of thinking.
‘When we create opportunities for thinking, we must realise that students’ thinking may still be invisible to us. To make sure thinking isn’t left to chance and to provide us with the information we need in order to respond to students’ learning needs, we must also make their thinking visible.’ P27 Making Thinking Visible R Richhart, M Church, K Morrison.