Westgarth Primary School prepares students with the skills to succeed in the digital world. Digital technologies are embedded across all curriculum areas and are utilised as both learning and student engagement tools. Teachers use digital technologies to provide students with authentic learning challenges that foster curiosity, creativity and the ability to collaborate with others.
In a world that is increasingly digitised and automated, it is critical to student well-being that they are taught safe and ethical online behaviours. Westgarth is an eSmart school and follows a framework to ensure that students monitor their digital footprint and exhibit positive online behaviours.
One of our leading teachers supports classroom and specialist staff as a digital learning coach. This includes modelling effective use of resources to both staff and students. All classes have access to an Interactive Whiteboard or Smart TV, which are utilised for such learning tasks as engaging students with interactive texts, Literacy and Numeracy activities and web research relating to specific units of Inquiry. The school aims to provide confidence for students using a range of both Apple and Windows devices, including iPads, Microsoft Surface Tablets, laptops and desktop PCs. Teachers also make use of our Computer Lab for lessons with a whole class focus.
Westgarth have implemented some exciting initiatives around digital technologies. With the introduction of the Victorian Curriculum, many of these have centred on ‘coding’. Students are supported by teachers to generate basic computer programs in order to create animations, games and even procedures for a robots to move. One of the main resources that we use to teach visual programming language is Scratch. This free to use software was developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is a fantastic platform to teach children how to code.
We also offer several programs for our year 4 to 6 students to extend and enrich their use of digital technologies, such as our ‘Reaching for the Stars’ initiative. This includes our afterschool ‘STEM for Girls’, ‘Code Club’ and ‘Lego Robotics Club’. These clubs provide students with opportunity to explore coding beyond the visual programming language that they use in the classroom to text based coding. Last year our year 6 students presented their coding skills and digital learning on a global scale at the World Congress of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Our ‘STEM for Girls’ group was established following this event to encourage the need for gender parity in this field.
We encourage parents to attend our Digital Learning Committee meetings, which are generally held twice per school term to contribute to achieving the goals outlined in our four-year Digital Learning Plan. Notification of each meeting is sent out in advance on Compass platform.
Information about the eSmart initiative is published on this website.
Above: Year 6 students share their ideas around improving safety on our roads at ITS to Ng Chee Meng, the Singaporean Minister of Education.