Teaching & Learning
Tiwi College offers multi-year-level classes grouped into Middle School and Senior School age-groups. Male and female students are educated separately, following the wishes of the Tiwi Education Board. There is also a small multi-year-level Primary class which caters for children of staff.
Within each class, Tiwi College teaching staff provide a comprehensive, holistic approach that caters for the range of student learning styles and abilities. Teachers are expected to differentiate within all classes for different intellectual, physical and psychological needs. Students with higher level learning needs or disabilities are also supported through Personal Learning Plans. Gifted and talented students are supported through extension tasks.
At Tiwi College we emphasise a team-based approach to learning, as the young Tiwi work better in this way. We have developed and adopted a Tiwi based pedagogy to provide an effective and relevant approach to teaching and learning with strong links to students’ lives, land and community. We aim to provide a teaching and learning style which is relevant to students’ interests, delivered in context, and which draws on Tiwi students’ strengths as visual, kinaesthetic and aural learners.
Each literacy and numeracy unit involves pre- and post-testing, with results openly explained to students and the wider community via ongoing teacher-student feedback, reports to parents, and reporting to Tiwi Education Board members.
Tiwi College Primary and Middle School classes use the Australian National Curriculum as a guiding framework, with adjustments made for students’ needs and abilities. Particular weight is given to literacy and numeracy skills which are most useful to students’ daily lives and employment pathways. Middle school classes are structured so that they foreshadow the Senior School curriculum and prepare students to succeed when they make this transition.
Literacy at Tiwi College has a phonics-based foundation via resources and programs such as PM Readers, Thrass concepts, Honey Ant Readers (Aboriginal English), QuickSmart Literacy and an ability-streamed daily guided reading program. We focus on the 6 key concepts of literacy in oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Primary students follow individually developed reading and language comprehension programs using the Direct Instruction model. Middle School students continue to build core literacy skills while developing familiarity with text types, expanding their vocabulary and developing comprehension skills.
Our numeracy program utilises resources and programs such as Mathletics, QuickSmart Numeracy and Natural Maths Strategies to assist student engagement and learning. Students build core numeracy skills, with a focus on automaticity and mental mathematics. Number, shape, measurement and data skills are built sequentially, with a focus on real life scenarios such as money and budgeting, sports statistics, construction and cooking.
At our Senior School level, the goal is for students to attain skills for finding employment and having a successful, healthy life. Students study a range of subjects according to employment pathways and academic ability, and are supported into employment and/or further education upon completion.
The direction for the Senior Girls class is largely academic, running Northern Territory Open Education Centre (NTOEC) courses at Year 10, 11 and 12 level across a range of subjects such as English as a Second Language, Numeracy, Child Studies, Workplace Practices and more. Learning also takes place through programs such as work experience in Darwin and writing workshops interstate. Most Senior Girls aim to achieve the required credits to complete their NTCET Year 12 Certificate, with some choosing to return for Year 13 in order to complete this.
The Senior Boys follow a pathway with the Sports and Education Development Association (SEDA) and Vocational Education and Training (VET), including work experience and structured workplace learning. We currently work collaboratively with RTOs to deliver VET certificates relevant to growing Tiwi industries such as construction and forestry. This approach effectively engages students in learning they find relevant and meaningful for their futures. The Senior Boys are also beginning to study selected subjects through NTOEC at Year 10 and Year 11 level, with some boys aiming to complete NTCET Year 12 Certificates in future using a combination of credits from academic and vocational subjects.
Our aim at Tiwi College is to develop students both academically and personally with the capabilities necessary to be both work ready and contributing citizens to their Tiwi communities and Australian society more broadly.
All units of work use a combination of standardised tests or pre- and post-testing in order to obtain objective data regarding levels of improvement. Test results are collected and records kept by teachers and the Academic Assistant Principal to monitor student progress and put in place any necessary learning programs or intervention needed.
Literacy and numeracy results along with completion of units in NTOEC and VET are collected by the Principal and reported to the Tiwi Education Board as part of auditing our College Mission Statement.
Reporting is undertaken per term to our community: short progress reports are provided in Terms One and Three, and detailed semester reports in Terms Two and Four. Progress reports use a 1-5 emoticon scale to provide students, parents and community members with easy to interpret feedback regarding student academic performance and behaviour. Semester reports provide detailed grades and comments for each subject. In order to fully reflect students’ academic achievements, students are reported on using A-E grades according to Australian Curriculum standards as well as in comparison to their peers. Effort is assessed using a 1-5 emoticon scale. Students’ reflections on their achievements and goals are also included in the semester reports.
It is Tiwi College policy to have a day at the end of each term when staff travel to the communities to hand deliver the reports and speak with parents and caregivers regarding students’ academic progress along with their attitudes and behaviours.
For cultural reasons and therefore a more conductive learning environment we have single sex classes.
Tiwi College is currently structured in the following way;
• Primary class
• Middle School Girls (11-14/15)
• Middle School Boys
• Senior Girls (15/16 ongoing )
• Senior Boys
These classes are composed of students with differing literacy levels and maturity, thus the composition of each class is flexible to ensure the best learning environment possible for our young Tiwi.
Our timetable is reflective of the passion of the Tiwi – AFL Football. Each day has 4 quarters:
1st Quarter: 8:30 –10:00am
2nd Quarter 10:30am – 12:00pm
3rd Quarter 12:00 – 1:45pm
4th Quarter 2:00 – 3:15pm
Academic staff work hours
8:00am - Planning meeting
8:30 – 3:15 Lessons
3:30 – 4:30 Monday – Wednesday: Structured Team Planning /Academic Meeting time.
7:15 – 7:45 Homework - Tuesday & Wednesday (Academic staff and FGH staff )
Fridays Day ends 2:30pm
We have a team of drivers that pick up students of a Monday and drop off students of a Friday, which provides Academic staff with peer coaching opportunities, individual planning & preparation time for their classes.
To view a print friendly PDF of the Tiwi College Numeracy Strategy please click here.
To view a print friendly PDF of the Tiwi College Literacy Strategy please click here.
English as an Additional Language Strategy
To view a print friendly PDF of the Tiwi College English as an Additional Language Strategy please click here.