Gold Creek School
Vision: We inspire individuals to flourish, embrace challenge and make a positive difference in our world.
The Gold Creek School learning community fosters innovative lifelong learners who:
- Strive for excellence
- Think critically, creatively and collaboratively
- Model inclusiveness, intercultural understanding and respect
- Positively engage in citizenship
- Celebrate their own and others’ successes
Gold Creek School was established in 1998 through amalgamation of Nicholls Primary School and the newly constructed Secondary school in 1998. The school now consists of three campuses: Junior (P-6), Senior (7-10) and a preschool facility located in the nearby suburb of Hall. The junior site shares facilities with a co-located Catholic primary school, Holy Spirit School, and the only such arrangement in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The schools share a library, gymnasium, canteen, out of school hours care service and a synthetic sports field. This joint facility has been in operation since the inception of both schools in 1996.
The school enrols students from a broad geographical area. Cultural and linguistic diversity is a feature of Gold Creek School, with a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and students who bring English as an additional language increasing over the last four years. The International Baccalaureate attracts interest from families beyond the priority enrolment area.
Primary Years Programme (PYP)
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate provides the framework for our curriculum from preschool to year 6. The PYP focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and the world outside. The most significant and distinctive feature is the six transdisciplinary themes. The six themes create a framework that allows students to step up beyond the confines of learning within subject areas. These themes help teachers to develop a program of in depth inquirers into important ideas identified in the Early Years Learning Framework, Australian Curriculum and by teachers. Numeracy and literacy skills underpin everything we do in the classroom. The teaching of science, geography, history, health and technology are embedded into trans-disciplinary units of inquiry. Specialist subjects – music, art, physical education, library, Japanese and Korean, support this important foundation work.
The PYP offers a balance between learning about or through the subject areas and learning beyond them. The units are substantial and usually last several weeks and are centred on the following six recurrent themes:
- Who we are
- Where we are in place and time
- How we express ourselves
- How we organise ourselves
- How the world works
- Sharing the planet
A key focus of our curriculum design is to create a love of learning through varied and stimulating learning experiences. These experiences should interest and engage students helping them to relate new content to previous knowledge and make connections between school experience and the real world. The PYP provides the framework to enable teachers to plan, implement and assess units that encourage creative and critical thinking.
Our preschool educators hold a strong commitment to world’s best practice and implement a curriculum that reflects the Reggio Emilia Philosophy, the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standards, within the framework of the PYP. Children are immersed in literature through storytelling and games and the ability to process and understand language is encouraged as children engage in meaningful learning experiences. Children enrolled in the Preschool are exposed to a wide range of learning methods and disciplines. E-learning is introduced through the use of computers, digital cameras and iPads as learning tools.
Middle Years Programme (MYP)
The Middle Years Programme (MYP) of the International Baccalaureate provides the framework of learning which encourages students to become creative, critical, and reflective thinkers. The MYP curriculum model places the student at the centre and has a philosophy that promotes the connectedness of learning.
The MYP emphasises intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and to the real world. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intellectual understanding and global engagement. It builds on the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed in the PYP and prepares students to meet the academic challenges of the IB Diploma Programme.
The MYP consists of eight subject groups. Students are required to study at least two languages (language and literature and language acquisition), individuals and societies (humanities), mathematics, sciences, physical and health education, arts and design. In their final year, students will also undertake an independent ‘personal project’ to demonstrate the development of their skills and understanding.
Subjects are integrated through the investigation of key and related concepts through the use of inquiry questions. Concepts are:
- Described by only a few words
- Each unit of work has one key concept (shared across subjects) and one related concept (subject specific)
Integration also occurs through Approaches to Learning (ATL) and Global Contexts. Through Approaches to Learning in the MYP, students develop skills that have relevant across the curriculum to help them ‘learn how to learn’. They provide a common language that students and teachers can use to reflect on and articulate the process of learning. The five ATL skill categories are: communication, social, self-management, research and thinking.
Global contexts provide shared starting points for inquiry into what it means to be internationally minded. These concepts build on powerful themes of global significance that structure teaching and learning in the PYP. Students should encounter these six MYP global contexts in every subject group.
MYP Global Context
Identities and relationships
Orientation in space and time
Personal and cultural expression
Scientific and technical innovation
Globalisation and sustainability
Fairness and development
The MYP uses a criterion-referenced model of assessment. The criterion are determined by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB) and cannot be changed by individual schools, therefore they are common to all IB students around the world. Teachers structure varied and valid assessment tasks so that students can demonstrate achievement according to objectives defined by the IB. Tasks are assessed against established criteria, not against the work of other students. Teachers internally assess all work and undertake moderation within the subject areas. Assessment tasks and examples of student work are sent to the IB for review.