All students are treated as capable learners who can make progress in their learning. As expert educators, teachers utilise a variety of approaches to ensure that content is not simply being taught but is also being learned.
In a knowledge-rich education system, students are exposed to a well-structured curriculum that covers essential concepts, facts, and principles in subjects such as mathematics, science, literature, history, and the arts. At Dunsborough Christian College, teachers play a vital role in deepening and broadening their students’ knowledge base. This is accomplished through understanding their students’ current knowledge through meaningful assessments, curating teaching, and learning programs that integrate learning areas and utilises a range of media and information such as books, maps, world globes, defining subject-specific vocabulary, timelines, websites, documentaries, field experts, and excursions to name a few.
Direct explicit instruction
Direct explicit instruction is a teaching approach that involves clear and structured delivery of information, with a focus on teacher-led explanations, modelling, and guided practice. In this method, the teacher explicitly provides information, demonstrates skills or concepts, and guides students through practice activities.
Direct explicit instruction is effective for introducing new content, developing foundational skills, and ensuring that all students receive a common base of knowledge. While it is structured and teacher-directed, it also allows for student engagement and interaction.
At Dunsborough Christian College, the following subjects and strands are taught through direct explicit instruction:
Coupled with a knowledge-rich education and explicit literacy instruction, inquiry-based learning aims to foster curiosity, critical thinking, and independent exploration which encourages learners to actively engage in questioning, investigating, and solving problems. With Inquiry-based learning, students are encouraged to:
Become active rather than passive learners.
Formulate and pose their own questions of the subject matter.
Actively explore concepts through hands-on activities, experiments, or research.
Apply knowledge and observations to real-world situations.
Work collaboratively, sharing ideas and findings, fostering effective communication and teamwork.
Reflect on their learning experiences, helping to develop metacognitive skills and a deeper awareness of their own learning process.
In the early years, students learn to recognise and represent whole numbers. They learn to count, order, quantify and measure and identify patterns using tangible items and familiar objects. They also learn to describe objects, shapes, position, direction, and probability. They regularly practice simple mental calculations including addition and subtraction.
From middle primary, students deepen their mathematical understanding by representing concepts with models, pictures, and symbols. They may continue to use tangible objects and everyday items to further develop their mathematical understanding and assist with unfamiliar concepts. Students learn the importance of place value as they build large numbers and work with fractions and decimal numbers. They regularly practice times tables and use mental strategies to solve a variety of mathematical problems.
Across the school, we also utilise programs such as Bond Blocks and Mathletics and in conjunction with real-world and hands-on activities to learn about currency, time, measurement, geometry, statistics, and probability.
The secondary years of school mark a shift in mathematics learning to more abstract ideas. The foundations built in previous years prepare students for this change. Established mathematical principles from earlier stages can be applied creatively to solve more complex mathematical ideas. Students learn to represent numbers in a variety of ways; to develop an understanding of the benefits of algebra, through building algebraic models and applications and the various applications of geometry; to estimate and select appropriate units of measure; to explore ways of working with data to allow a variety of representations; and to make predictions about events based on their observations.
Students also learn to make connections between mathematical concepts and their application in their world. As a meaningful and motivating factor, mathematics lessons aim to directly relate to topics of relevance and interest to this age group.