Harrisfield Primary School is in Noble Park in the City of Greater Dandenong. Although the school has natural catchment boundaries of Princes Highway, Chandler Road, Corrigan Road and the railway line, many families travel considerable distances to bring their children to Harrisfield. The school is a dynamic and vibrant learning community where effort is valued and students are supported to achieve in a warm and nurturing environment. The rich multicultural nature of our community makes Harrisfield an exciting place for both students and teachers. The physical structure of our school buildings supports a collaborative, team based approach to teaching and learning for which we have been recognized both nationally and internationally.
The traditional African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” epitomises Harrisfield Primary School. We ensure that all students are supported in their learning by employing only the best staff, maintaining extremely favourable teacher to student ratios for reading, writing and mathematics and ensuring staff have the skills to provide explicit, focused and targeted differentiated teaching to meet the needs of all the students they teach. By utilising every centimetre of our collaborative learning spaces and maintaining low staff/student ratios we create an extremely safe and secure learning spaces where students’ emotional wellbeing is easily monitored.
The school’s strength is its emphasis on the individual. Each child is known personally by both staff and fellow students. This creates a friendly and caring environment that fosters self-esteem and social and academic confidence. Harrisfield Primary School believes that children are most likely to realise their potential within a happy and secure learning environment that values their contributions.
We actively encourage student leadership, responsibility and appreciation of diversity. We aim to develop students who are confident, competent, articulate and resilient individuals. Through their active involvement in school life our students are inspired and motivated to achieve their best and make a meaningful and positive contribution to society, both during their time at school and beyond.
Harrisfield Primary School is a Respectful Relationships school
But what does this mean?
Respectful Relationships is a whole-school approach to the prevention of family and gender-based violence. We aim to create a culture of respect and equality now, to change the story of family violence for future generation.
What do we do at Harrisfield?
We teach the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships Program to all year levels.
We use gender inclusive language, represent girls and boys equally and in non-stereotypical ways and we call out gender-based violence or exclusion in the playground and classroom.
How can we be part of it?
CHALLENGE: don’t let violence, of any kind, be an excuse.
PROMOTE: Encourage boys AND girls to be independent thinkers and decision makers.
CHALLENGE: don’t let gender stereotypes and role expectations be the norm.
STRENGTHEN: encourage positive, equal and respectful relationships – always!
Who does it affect?
All of us! Staff, students, parents and community members all play a part in promoting and modelling positive attitudes and gender equality across the school community, to help bring an end to family violence.
Respectful Relationships Resources
Resource links go here…
What is Student Voice and Agency?
Student Voice and Agency is considered an integral part of the teaching and learning that occurs at Harrisfield Primary School.
“At Harrisfield, we believe that voice is;
Openly and honestly sharing thoughts, opinions and ideas in an environment strengthened by trust and respect, where students, staff and families are empowered to take responsibility for the change that needs to happen.”
Pride Wall and Interests Wall
Each classroom has a dedicated pride wall. A pride wall is a space in the classroom where each student takes ownership over what they would like to display. It is something they are particularly proud of and have chosen for their own reasons. The idea is that students will seek peer feedback over their work and celebrate their personal successes. These pride walls are also used for peer chosen awards!
When students use their student voice and take the initiative to request a photo of their pride wall display, it will be sent home via Compass. This will allow for personal successes to be celebrated at home.
The interests wall is a space in the classroom where students are free to express their current interests and likes for teachers to utilise in their planning and teaching. It is a means of increasing student engagement with learning and involving students in the planning process, whilst also allowing teachers and students to form positive relationships.
Reflection and Feedback at Harrisfield
At Harrisfield we encourage students to take ownership of their learning in order to gain optimal engagement in the classroom.
There are many processes and practices in place to support this. This involves Reflection and Feedback stations, where students can choose from a range of tools, to reflect on their personal effort and achievements for the lesson. At these stations students are also prompted to give feedback to their teachers about the tasks, support provided and overall thoughts and ideas. Students are provided with a range of feedback and reflection tools and according to their year levels, these may vary.
Some of the tools and processes include:
• Red, yellow and green table cues for teachers as they roam the classroom (this provides ongoing feedback for junior teachers as to whether the student is experiencing great difficulty (red), requires a little help (yellow), or is experiencing independent success (green).
• Glow and Grow
When students identify a glow this is something that they are doing well. When students identify a grow, it is something they believe needs improvement.
• Breakdown Buddies (WWW/EBI)
This is where students participate in peer feedback and identify What Worked Well (strengths) and Even Better If (constructive feedback on next steps for improvement)
• Student feedback surveys created for specific purposes
• Ownership of effort and achievement reflection
Students identify the relationship between the effort they applied and the achievement they experienced
Effort is a number system 0,1, 2
Achievement is a colour system red, yellow, green
Students can use the Effort and Achievement stamp on their work which allows them to choose an effort and achievement rating
• Open feedback opportunities from students to teachers (through feedback slips or discussion)
• Open feedback from peer to peer – through breakdown buddies, group tasks, pride wall opportunities etc.
• Student reflection slips
This is personal reflection for students to identify what they learnt, whether they experienced any difficulty, any successes etc. These slips come in many different forms and templates for students to select from. Students may also choose reflection tools to reflect on their personal learning goals
• Feedback slips (through student Pride Wall – peer to peer) Students choose whether they would like feedback on their work otherwise, they are able to put it up on the pride wall just to celebrate their success.
These classroom reflection practices are always adapting to support the cohorts of students we have and this year we have work shopped some new feedback and reflection slips with groups of students who opted into the process.
Goal setting at Harrisfield
At Harrisfield, it is an expected practice that all students set their own personal, learning goals that are meaningful and achievable. We begin this process at a very basic level in the junior years, where students have visual charts and tools to support them in seeing the next steps of learning. We then work towards a more formal process in the senior years, where students use reflection and feedback to set their own learning goals, in which they are in charge of monitoring.
This process looks different across the year levels, however students are supported to set learning goals across Literacy and Numeracy until this process is completely independent. Students are given time to monitor and reflect on their progress towards achievement of the goals and track this process, using their ‘Personal Learning Goal Journals’.