Ignite the creativity in every student
About the BYOD Program
Digital technologies are dramatically changing how we educate our students. Increased access to electronic devices such as laptop computers or tablets and the explosion of online information enables our students to interact with and create high quality content, resources and tools.
Through increased access to devices, students can leverage learning that is interactive, differentiated and collaborative. The precise application of technology and quality instruction can enhance learning. The increased connectivity between school life, private life and social life coupled with portable devices and high speed broadband open up the possibility for new models of instruction outside of the traditional classroom setting.
Schools play an important role in introducing technology to children, ensuring it is used appropriately to enable efficient and effective learning and teaching practices and prepare students for life and work. Many schools are choosing to implement a 1-to-1 learning program in which each student will have access to a device to complete learning tasks.
Why We Choose Apple
The Apple ecosystem for iPads (iOS) provides schools with infrastructure specifically designed for the classroom. Tools such as Apple Classroom, iTunesU and Swift Playgrounds allow teachers to plan for, monitor and distribute specific learning tasks. Integration with Google (G-Suite) is seamless and the ability for students to complete tasks efficiently using a small collection of apps makes learning powerful.
Our school has excelled in the integration of the iPad into the classroom and we have published a growing collection of materials via our Mackellar PS iTunes U public site and Apple Books. These platforms provide a vehicle for the sharing of best practice and our school is proud of the recognition we’ve received globally as a leader in Digital Learning. Simply put, Apple products provide the tools for teachers to create engaging content in the classroom, and for students to explore and unleash their learning potential.
At Mackellar Primary School we work with prerequisites of devices:
Minimum of 10.9″ screen
iPad 6th Generation or above
How to identify which model you have
On the back of your iPad in the lower centre section, under the word iPad is the capacity (16, 32 or 64GB).
Below the storage is the fine print about the iPad.
You will see ‘Model’ and a 5 character model number beginning with the letter ‘A’.
In order to keep the iPad safe and well-protected, it is compulsory for all students to purchase a recommended (or similar) iPad cover.
Cases we recommend: Longitech, Otter, Case Buddy, Targus, STM case for iPad (JB HiFi). If unsure please check with us.
Accounts and Management
School WI Fi and Internet connection – Students’ iPads will be connected to the School’s Wi-Fi when at school – 3G/ 4G must be disabled.
Restrictions – We strongly urge parents to set up appropriate ratings based on their family values and restrict content in the restriction setting selection on iPads.
Digital User Agreement
All students and parents/guardians must sign a Digital User Agreement to allow their child to access digital technologies, media tools and digital learning environments established or accessed by Mackellar Primary School.
Insurance and Protection
Your iPad is not covered by Mackellar Primary School or The Department of Education’s insurance policy. Please check with your home and/or contents insurer if your existing cover extends to an iPad being brought to school by your child. If you purchase your device and purchase Apple Care, you may select insurance through Apple as an optional extra. All Apple hardware comes with a one-year limited warranty and up to 90 days of complimentary telephone technical support. It is recommended you extend your coverage further with the AppleCare Protection Plan.
An insurance indemnity form for your iPad must be signed before use at Mackellar Primary School.
Cyber safety practices are a high priority at Mackellar Primary School and appropriate duty of care is extended to all our digital environments. Students and Parents also have a responsibility in this area to minimise risk or exposure to unsuitable material. Any misuse of digital technology or online tools will be handled in line with Mackellar Primary School’s Behaviour Policy.
Learning at Mackellar
We empower every learner with the means to engineer their own future.
Our drive and passion for creating learners who are empowered to engineer their own future means matching the core of literacy and numeracy with diverse and innovative learning opportunities that redefine student outcomes. This starts with rigour in knowing our students and teaching them at their point of need. This foundation is built on with integrated technology through a BYOD iPad program, innovative specialist programs and weekly learning in the Hive space.
First 20 Days of Reading
During the first four weeks of school, Mackellar PS delivers the ‘First 20 Days of Reading’ program to ensure consistent approaches to the set-up of classroom libraries, student expectations and teacher practice. Strategies are given to the students during the time to set up choosing ‘Just Right’ texts, library visits/borrowing and take-home readers (P-3).
The Reading lesson begins with a mini lesson that involves explicit teaching of strategies and skills. This is followed by independent reading: time spent reading appropriate texts ‘Just Right’ for the student and putting into practice the strategies taught in the mini lesson. The students then engage in authentic talk about their books and share their learning with their peers and the whole class. During independent reading the teacher is working with individual students or small groups, supporting their growth as readers and enabling students to attain specific reading goals.
Home reading is a vital part of our reading program and allows your child to reinforce what they are learning at school. In addition, reading to your child will assist in developing their vocabulary, create a mutual love of reading and make you a role model for your child. At Mackellar, the students have a home reading bag that includes a writing book that they use to write a response after an adult has listened to their reading. At the beginning of the Foundation year this will mostly be the parent supporting the child by reading the book to them, looking at the pictures and discussing the content. Looking at the letters and discussing the sounds they make will also assist your child.
Students also have access to Literacy Planet at home and school. This is an online program that supports the school program in an interesting and engaging way through reading games and activities. There are also a range of apps on the iPad to support reading at home.
First 20 Days of Writing
The ‘First 20 days of Writing’ echoes the work of reading in setting up expectations for students around practices and strategies in writing. It provides the strategies that lead into The Writer’s Workshop setting the students up to be successful writers. After this, students move into a series of genre studies that set up for students to respond throughout the year with authentic writing experiences as they strive to communicate with increasing empowerment
The Writing Workshop has the same structure and commences with a mini lesson that focuses on a particular aspect of writing. This learning is then reinforced through application in individual, small group or independent writing. During independent writing time the teacher is working with individual students supporting their growth as writers, addressing concerns and enabling students to attain specific writing goals.
Spelling & Vocabulary @MPS
Spelling and vocabulary are taught through both the reading and writing sessions in addition to following specific programs.
At Foundation and Year 1 the students develop knowledge of sounds and letters through the Little Learners Love Literacy program. They are taught to read and write the letters that are introduced in a systematic way throughout the year. High Frequency words are matched to the Little Learners Love Literacy program and are introduced in a sequential way.
In Years 2 to 6, students are also taught in an explicit and systematic way using the Look, Say, Cover, Write and Check approach. Phonological knowledge is the ability to break words into syllables and individual sounds. Orthographic knowledge is a visual skill that involves choosing the correct letters that make a sound in a word. Etymological knowledge is the study of where words come from and morphemic knowledge is how prefixes and suffixes change the meaning of base words.
At Mackellar, whilst we call our specific lessons mathematics, our end goal is to ensure that, through carefully scoped learning progressions, our students are highly numerate and engaged as learners. In all year levels the pedagogical release flows from concrete materials and manipulatives, to modelling, abstract and finally transference to real life situations. This sets the scene for depth of learning in numeracy.
In years 3-6 there are a number of resources to support with the use of iPads in numeracy, including iTunes-U courses that are published to the iTunes-U public site. These have embedded videos, tasks and questions for the students to work through and are a secondary resource to the quality teaching in mathematics.
The lesson structure for mathematics follows that of Reading and Writing with the addition of a small warm up that should get students thinking mathematically. Small group instruction targeted at students allows delivery of the curriculum at point of need. There is more of a focus on collaboration and this is reflected in the types of tasks, experiences and investigations that students undertake.
Technology to Support Numeracy
Students use their iPads in a variety of ways to support their growth in numeracy. As well as annotated photographs, modelling using keynote and video reflections, the iPads enable us to reimagine tasks through the various apps. For support or coaching please link in with our digital learning coach, Phill Cristofaro.
Inquiry Learning @MPS
Inquiry learning is an active thinking and learning process that requires the students to form inquiry questions. This enables purposeful and worthwhile information gathering, set goals, make plans for finding the information, decide on the appropriate sources of information and evaluate the information they gather. Students then use their data to form answers that build on and extend their prior knowledge and lead to deeper understanding. Students are both problem posers and problem solvers within inquiry learning.
At Mackellar Primary School, we use the Inquiry Learning approach in a range of different curriculum areas and more specifically in the area of building world knowledge. Inquiry learning can take many forms, for example, integrated with other curriculum areas, issue or problem-based, action led, negotiated and play based. However, inquiry is essentially a student-centred learning approach, characterised by students:
- asking questions
- building on prior knowledge
- making their own discoveries
- finding information from a range of sources to answer their own questions
- develop deep conceptual understandings making connections between ideas
- reflecting on and taking action on their new understandings.
Kitchen Garden Program
Mackellar’s Kitchen Garden program provides engaging and educational gardening and food experiences for all our students.
The school has had a long history of operating a gardening program but in 2017 with the help of a dedicated team of parents and support from the community we were able to install a purpose-built kitchen to extend the program to include regular cooking lessons for our students.
The Kitchen Garden program is guided by seasonal harvest, student interests and the festivals and events which are important to our diverse community at Mackellar Primary School. The specialist Kitchen Garden teacher, Sally Wilson, runs these sessions and is committed to the outstanding benefits this program brings to our community of learners, their families and the wider school community.
Participating in an inclusive Physical Education program is vitally important for young people so they can develop healthy, happy lives. Through this program, students at Mackellar will learn a wealth of important skills and behaviours that will enable them to build and maintain their physical, social, mental and emotional health. By integrating the complementary skills taught through the SEPEP (Sports Education in Physical Education Program), the students have the opportunity to implement their understandings in different contexts.
To encourage a sense of social connectedness, which is vital for students’ wellbeing, students are encouraged to work together and show good sportsmanship at all times. This is carried beyond the school gates through participation in community programs such as Regional Athletics and Interschool Sports. Students throughout the school are provided with the opportunity to participate in a swimming program on a yearly basis. Our swimming program incorporates activities to cater for a wide range of skills and ability levels and is taught by qualified instructors at local swimming pools.
Excursions and Camps
At Mackellar Primary School, students have the opportunity to participate in our Camping Program. Students in Years 3-6 attend a three-day camp at either a bush or beach setting. Activities include visiting local attractions, outdoor activities such as canoeing, team building activities, bush cooking, orienteering ropes courses and much more. These activities are supervised by teachers and staff trained in outdoor education. Camps are an important part of our program and a great opportunity for personal development. Students have the opportunity to make new friends, face new challenges and learn to work together. It is a great setting for teachers and students to really get to know each other. And a lot of fun.
Educational excursions and incursions are regarded as an integral part of the learning process and a fundamental part of children’s education. They provide experiences which stimulate curiosity and create springboards for future learning. Excursions and incursions are not isolated learning experiences but are linked to themes being studied in the curriculum.