We believe that differentiating instruction is key to ensuring that every student can achieve academic success. Our teachers use a variety of strategies, such as flexible grouping, tiered assignments, and scaffolded tasks, to differentiate instruction and meet the needs of diverse learners. This approach to teaching and learning happens within the classroom and is based on the teacher’s professional judgement as to who needs a differentiated task. We recognise that differentiation requires ongoing assessment, reflection, and adjustment, and we are committed to providing ongoing professional development to support out teachers in this endeavour.
For students looking for additional academic stretch, a range of enrichment opportunities are on offer. Students can explore their interests and passions through activities such as clubs, cocurricular activities, competitions, and in Senior School, elective courses. Our teachers use a variety of pedagogical approaches, such as project-based and experiential learning, to stimulate intellectual curiosity and foster a love of learning. St Hilda’s appreciates that engagement in learning at a deeper level is key, not simply volume of work.
At times, students display a level of academic achievement that is beyond their academic grade. When that is apparent, the school recognises that they may require more advanced instruction to reach their full potential. Our teachers use data to identify gifted and talented students and provide accelerated learning opportunities. This includes whole-year acceleration, subject acceleration or advanced courses.
At one point in time, nearly every student needs additional support. As each student has differing abilities within various subjects at school, this support is needed at a variety of times and for different content. Using data to inform a process, students are grouped in or out of class to work within a small group setting. In a small-group context students are provided with opportunities to engage in repetition of content to consolidate and address gaps in learning. St Hilda’s Tutoring Centre, open before and after school, is staffed with teachers who can provide additional support for those who seek it.
Assistance programs are a critical component in supporting students who have significant gaps in their learning or a diagnosed learning challenge. Before implementing an intervention program further diagnostic testing is completed. This process highlights the specific needs of the student. Based on those needs, the targeted program is chosen and delivered. This intervention may included 1:1 or small group support before, during or after school time.