Our curriculum

Our framework for teaching and learning

We at The Launceston Preparatory School believe that if basic schooling is to serve the purposes of “labour, leisure and learning” it can be achieved most effectively through three specific modes of teaching and learning:

 

 

1 - Didactic Instruction

There is a certain body of organized knowledge across key learning areas which children need to acquire during their years at primary school.  This is best taught through the means of didactic instruction and in conjunction with textbooks and other similar aids.  Approximately 30% of time is spent by teachers and students on this mode of instruction.

 

 

2 - Coaching

Coaching is the major form of teaching and learning.  The teacher acts as coach to small groups (usually, but not prescriptively, 4-10 children) on the practice of skills in:

• Reading• Writing• Speaking      • Listening• Estimating• Calculating        • Problem-solving• Observing• Measuring          • Exercising• Critical judgement.

 

 

Approximately 60% of teaching and learning at our school is conducted through this mode of instruction.

 

 

3 - Socratic Learning

Socratic teaching follows the method initiated by Socrates in ancient Athens, where the philosopher asked his students probing questions which forced them to think hard about their ideas

 

In a similar vein, we encourage our students to think critically and support their opinions with facts, evidence of their own or wider experience or from literature.

 

The aims of this method are to enlarge the children’s understanding of ideas and values, stimulate their imaginations and intellects and give them critical insight into issues and ideas.

 

Approximately 10% of time is devoted to this mode of teaching and learning.  Whilst it is used across the curriculum as a guide to children’s discovery of principles and understanding of concepts in regular classroom activities, the Socratic method primarily comes to fruition through the conduct of “SEMINARS”.

 

Socratic seminars are sourced from works of literature or other forms of human art.  The source materials are ones that present ideas or broach issues; they cannot be catalogues of information or direct expositions of factual knowledge since these are designed as instruments of didactic instruction.

 

Socratic seminars are conversations in which the teacher acts as moderator who leads students through a process of questions to which there are no right and wrong answers, only responses to issues which spring from and clarify students’ own beliefs and values.

 

Integration

 

The acquisition of knowledge (didactic learning), possession of intellectual skills (through coaching), and understanding of what is known and how skills should be used (Socratic learning) are the principle elements of our approach to teaching and learning at The Launceston Preparatory School.  Although these three strands are distinct from one another, they cannot be separated in their use.  At our school, they are integrated at every stage of the educational process.

 

We believe this framework provides us with the best method of achieving our aims from K-6:

 

• to provide young people with knowledge about their world;

• to give them all the skills of learning; and

• to give  them the incentives and the stimulation to continue learning all their lives.

 

The Launceston Preparatory School works upon a spiralling curriculum where skills are introduced and reviewed at each level from Kindergarten to Grade Six.  Our curriculum is designed sequentially with Year Six as an endpoint.

 

We aim for a degree of mastery in all subjects and skills proportionate to the individual student’s capacity. To achieve this, we are less concerned with just touching on a wide variety of experiences and instead are more ambitious about every student’s active engagement in learning.

 

 

The curriculum

(1) develops the whole child as much as is possible within the short time at school.

 

(2) is science-based and literature-based as much of our society in the present century rests on a base of science and technology.

Literature provides a solid background for our studies in humanities.

 

(3) encourages all students to be active explorers and make a worthwhile contribution as effective participants – our future citizens – in

our democratic society.

 

(4) gives all children the opportunity to study in enough depth to satisfy curiosity and to develop the individual potential.

 

(5) sequences learning activities, within specified disciplines of knowledge, enabling the students to progress at their own rate.

 

 

ACARA - Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

The Launceston Preparatory School Call us today +61 (03) 6334 0234

Address:

117-119 Elphin Rd, Newstead,

Launceston, TAS 7250, AU.

 

Phone:

+61 (03) 6334 0234

Fax:

+61 (03) 6334 9722

Opening Hours:

 

Term time

8.15 am - 4.30 pm

Monday to Friday

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9.00 am - 1.00 pm

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