Learning Support

CAFÉ – Learning Support Program   kathleen-6

What is Café?

Café is a reading program that supports targeted students across the school for two 40 minute intensive literacy sessions a week. Each fortnight a different reading component is focused on, in order to develop successful reading strategies.  The four components of reading are Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanding vocabulary – CAFÉ.

The goal of CAFÉ is to build independent readers through small literacy groups.  These groups are held in ‘The Achievement Room’ twice a week and don’t exceed a 5:1 student/teacher ratio to allow all students to reach their full potential.  The groups are leveled into year levels and the program is designed on the individual needs of each group.

Some strategies used when focusing on Comprehension:

  • Checking for understanding
  • Using prior knowledge to connect with text
  • Make a picture or mental image
  • Summarize text

Some strategies used when focusing on Accuracy:

  • Cross checking
  • Using pictures
  • Using beginning and ending sounds
  • Chunking letters and sounds together

Some strategies used when focusing on Fluency:

  • Read appropriate levelled text
  • Reread text
  • Practice common sight words
  • Use punctuation to enhance text

Some strategies used when focusing on Expanding vocabulary:

  • Tune into interesting words
  • Use pictures, illustrations and diagrams
  • Use prior knowledge to predict
  • Use dictionaries, thesauruses and glossaries 

Café has run at St Francis over the last two years and we are seeing great improvements in literacy levels from the targeted students.  Café runs from year 1, through to year 6 and incorporates a variety of learning styles and activities.  We include reading and writing in these sessions, but we also incorporate fine and gross motor development through dancing, movement, cutting, pasting and drawing.  We also recognise the need to stimulate both sides of the brain and participate in midline movements which complement the development of coordination as well as reading, writing and other fine motor skills.

It is our goal in CAFÉ to help every student reach their full literacy potential in a fun, caring, learning environment.

Extended Learning

Learning opportunities for the gifted and talented.
Gifted and talented children and young people experience a sense of wellbeing and engagement when provided with supportive and challenging learning environments and opportunities that are responsive to their individual strengths and interests.

The St Francis School settings respond to each individual child’s or young person’s learning profile. For the gifted individual, this often requires modifying the curriculum. Planning a differentiated curriculum makes it stimulating for gifted children or young people.

A differentiated curriculum is a curriculum that offers a variety of entry points for learners who differ in abilities, knowledge and skills and allows them to progress through it at a rate that matches their learning. The program at St Francis offers opportunities for students to work at accelerated rates through a multitude of problems so that they may become confident, creative and divergent problem solvers.

The following programs are offered for the extension opportunities within our school:

  1. Opti –minds a group task that involves problem solving and creative thinking in a team environment and presented in a variety of ways at a University presentation day.
  2. Toolooa Super Challenge Day is an opportunity for gifted students to work in groups within a chosen specialty curriculum area and to demonstrate their unique talents with students from other schools.
  3. Standardised Tests – Maths, Science English and Technology exams that are nationwide.
  4. Robotics program – a new initiative within the school that enables students to use their mathematical and analytical brains to perform functions and complete challenges within a robotics setting.

Group maths investigations

both within the classroom and in specialist extension group students are given difficult mathematics problems to solve and develop a deeper understanding of problem solving and critical thinking strategies.

  1. Many of these are based on Higher Order thinking skills and the thinking Keys.
  2. Literacy Carnival offers opportunity for middle school to interact with top authors from around Australia and provides opportunity for in-depth literacy and novel studies to extend and excel our Gifted Students.
  3. 21st Century Fluencies – Is a project based learning approach where students move vision into practise through the process of investigating the impact of change on our society through problem solving, creative thinking, digital technologies, information and solution processes and working cooperatively..

21 Century Fluencies

St Francis is providing opportunities for students to work with 21st Century Fluencies. There is an urgency and importance of preparing our students for the 21st Century and the skills needed for jobs in the future.  By exposing our students to the 21st Century Fluencies, we are setting our students up to succeed in life.

What skills will students need most to succeed in the 21st century?  These are:

Problem Solving;

Creativity;

Analytic Thinking;

Collaboration;

Communication; and

Ethics, Action and Accountability

In a 21st Century learning environment, the method is different. We provide problems that are interesting and relevant to students, problems whose solutions involve the elements of the Australian Curriculum. We provide them with the 6D’s, a process by which they can solve any problem they encounter.

Define

Discover

Dream

Design

Deliver

Debrief

Our ‘champion’ teachers are the first round of teachers to be using this framework in class and there has been a significant increase in students’ involvement, focus, collaboration, persistence and resilience.

Norm Thompson