Baringa School provides a safe, supportive learning environment, through individualised learning programs aimed to maximise the potential of all students.
To help all our students to continue to build and develop their literacy skills, we use a research-based literacy program called MultiLit (InitiaLit, PreLit) at Baringa. MultiLit addresses reading, spelling, and writing by explicitly teaching the relationship between sounds and letters which builds knowledge and understanding of word structure, providing students with a reliable set of skills and strategies to use when reading and writing words. These strategies include sounds and blending strategies, syllable and segmenting strategies, handwriting practice, role play activities and activities which help build vocabulary and comprehension skills.
The MultiLit program is taught across the school to all Lower Primary, Upper Primary and Secondary students.
In 2023, Baringa implemented The Writing Revolution in half of the schools’ classrooms. In 2024, the program will be implemented school wide.
The Writing Revolution provides teachers with an evidence-based and proven instructional methodology known as The Hochman Method for teaching writing. The methodology rests on explicit, carefully sequenced instruction, building from sentences to compositions. The 6 principles of the Hochman Method as listed below inform writing instruction at Baringa.
1. Students need explicit instruction in writing, beginning in the early grades.
2. Sentences are the building blocks of all writing.
3. When embedded in the content of the curriculum, writing instruction is a powerful teaching tool.
4. The content of the curriculum drives the rigor of the writing activities.
5. Grammar is best taught in the context of student writing.
6. The two most important phases of the writing process are planning and revising.
Baringa also uses the Writing With All Tools Continuum, a specifically designed writing assessment tool that allows our staff to monitor the small changes that students might make over time in their writing. It has a strong emphasis on the skills each individual needs to develop as they move to the next stage of writing, including functions of print, language, and form.
Baringa recognise that writing may look different for everyone, so we ensure that each student has opportunities to learn to write with a tool which is suitable to them (e.g. a keyboard, the alphabet in their communication system, a pencil etc.).
Speaking and listening
Many of the students at Baringa School have speech and language disorders or complex communication needs, meaning speech is not meeting their needs. For this reason, there are many strategies in place to support each student’s speech and language. Baringa implements several programs/strategies that support speech development and communication.
Our classroom-based teaching and learning strategies include:
Supporting and prioritising student communication across all subject areas.
Staff making necessary and reasonable adjustments to curriculum materials to ensure that students with speech, language disorders and/or complex communication needs can understand and respond to content.
Staff prioritising time for Individual Therapy Plans (ITP’s) expand (developed by a Speech Pathologist) as needed.
Students who require Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) are supported to use their systems.
Staff adopting a multimodal approach and considering all forms of communication as valuable i.e. signing, use of electronic and non-electronic AAC. Staff are trained in many different types of communication systems (e.g. LAMP WFL, PODD communication systems, Proloqou2go, Snap Core First etc.).
Aided Language Stimulation is provided through the use of robust communication systems and aided language displays (ALDs). Each classroom is also provided with a Group PODD book to use to support their students receptive and expressive communication.
Aided language stimulation is provided in a naturalistic way throughout the school day. This means that staff model the use of AAC systems and ensure they are always available.
Staff prioritising literacy learning to support each student to become truly autonomous.
To further support our student’s language development, Language Lift, another evidence based MultiLit program is used to support our primary students. Language Lift supports students with oral language difficulties and targets the areas of vocabulary, grammar, story comprehension and production.
Baringa also have a dedicated Speech Team that support in every classroom. They provide regular training to staff members on communication, write ITPs to support student’s speech or language, liase with external Speech Pathologists and support students to access individualised communication systems.
Baringa also implements Heggerty. Heggerty is an oral language program designed to develop students’ phonemic awareness. The lessons include 8 phonological and phonemic awareness skills, taught in systematic progressions. Through the program students are taught to isolate, blend and segment phonemes. The program also helps students develop alphabet knowledge though its songs and nursery rhymes.
At Baringa, we are committed to optimising student learning outcomes by implementing effective teaching strategies in Numeracy.
We believe that a strong foundation in mathematics is essential for students to develop the functional life skills required to be successful as adults. To ensure effective learning outcomes in mathematics, we employ evidence-based strategies, including providing a sequential curriculum, targeting students at their learning level.
At Baringa we engage in a variety of assessment practices including assessing for, as and of learning. We use this information to scaffold students learning by breaking down mathematical concepts into smaller more manageable skills. Where possible we employ hands on learning activities and provide opportunities for students to transfer their skills into real life situations.
This systematic approach allows students to build a solid mathematical foundation, building on previous knowledge to ensure they progress in their learning and throughout their schooling.
The Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships learning materials have been designed for teachers in primary and secondary schools to develop students’ social, emotional, and positive relationship skills. Efforts to promote social and emotional skills and positive gender norms in children and young people has been shown to improve health related outcomes and subjective wellbeing. It also reduces antisocial behaviours including engagement in gender-related violence.
The Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships (RRRR) learning materials cover eight topics of Social and Emotional Learning across all levels of primary and secondary education: Emotional Literacy; Personal Strengths; Positive Coping; Problem Solving; Stress Management; Help Seeking; Gender and Identity; and Positive Gender Relationships.
The teaching and learning materials use a range of collaborative learning activities such as paired sharing, small group problem solving, scenario-based discussions, skill development exercises, role plays, storytelling, games, experiential activities, and class discussions.
As a Respectful Relationships school, we promise all employees, students, parents/carers, volunteers and visitors to our school will be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their sex, gender, identity, socioeconomic status, cultural background, sexual orientation or level of ability.
Baringa School has developed an Indigenous Calendar and Curriculum Resource, that supports the school to implement the Child Safe Standard -
Creating Culturally Safe Environments in schools.
Baringa is committed to establishing a culturally safe environment for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders students that acknowledges the importance of reconciliation and education within our school community.
Our Indigenous Calendar and Curriculum Resource document is a starting point for our school community to celebrate, learn, acknowledge, and educate our staff and students on Indigenous culture and customs, history and our commitment to reconciliation.
The significant dates that are celebrated in this calendar were decided on through consultation with the school’s KESCOs, local GunaiKurnai elders and GLaWAC representative.
Each date that is celebrated has educational activities for students and staff professional development based on each date’s significance to our Indigenous community.
Independent Living Skills
A significant focus across the school is our Independent Living Skills (ILS) programs. These programs look differently across the different sections of the school.
The Primary section predominantly focus on Road Safety, Community Access and Cooking.
The Secondary sections prioritise Cooking (utilising our Childers homestead), Grounds Maintenance, Advance (community engagement program), and Travel Training.
The Senior Learning Centre (SLC) place emphasis on Work Related Skills, Pathways to Independence (students’ study for their learners, applied learning modules) and Enterprise Program (running the school coffee shop).
Other specialised programs include:
At Baringa we use technology as a tool to strengthen student engagement and support student learning.
Banks of iPads are currently available for use by our primary section with some classrooms having 2 or 3 desktops available for student use. Each Primary room is fitted with an interactive iPad or TV.
Each Secondary and SLC student has a laptop computer provided by the school that they utilise to support learning while at school. All Secondary and SLC classrooms are fitted with whiteboards and projectors.
Each classroom across the school has an IPod used for photos and music.
Camps and Excursions
At Baringa camps and excursions are an integral and essential part of the school program. Each year our Secondary and Senior Learning Centre (SLC) students attend a two night camp. Our primary students on alternating years attend an overnight school camp/school sleepover or unit excursion.
An eight session program is conducted at our local heated swimming pool for students in our primary section from grade one and above. Our secondary students can access the swimming program on a needs basis on Wednesdays in term 3. The program is managed by trained swimming teachers and school teachers and aims to develop children’s skills in water safety.
Our aim is to develop independent and motivated students who take responsibility for their learning by providing consistent, targeted and differentiated instruction and learning opportunities. Experienced and dedicated staff teach students the skills and knowledge they need to become valued and contributing members in their local communities.