Three new IEU Reps have recently been appointed to represent teachers’ views to BOSTES curriculum committees.
The new technology syllabus will throw up some 'unique twists' for K-6 Technology Committee Rep and Emmaus College Kemps Creek Leader of Learning in TAS Steven Bauer.
The syllabus has been expanded from three to five areas. It is now compulsory to teach agriculture as well as digital systems, engineering principals and systems, food technology and materials technology.
Traditional subjects that schools are well set up for such as woodwork, textiles and metalwork have been compressed into materials technology.
Steven said teaching agriculture is going to be a challenge for city based schools.
The committee will discuss this, and how all schools will manage the compression of their more traditional TAS subjects.
“I need to voice those concerns from teachers and find out how teachers will be supported,” Steven said.
“An IEU Rep can bring balance to the committee. Without the teacher’s voice academics can push out an ideology with all good intentions, but if it does not meet the needs at the coalface it will be difficult to teach to a good standard.”
Steven said he felt privileged to have the opportunity to see where ideas come from and the direction they are supposed to take in schools – to really understand the intent behind the curriculum.
Contact Steve by email
Fruit ‘n’ Veg Month exponent Kerry Seadon has had a long passion for all things PDHPE.
The St Therese’s Primary School, West Wollongong PDHPE Leader said at a recent BOSTES PDHPE syllabus development consultation meeting she had received a lot of support from her secondary colleagues for her view that students were coming to school no longer equipped with fundamental movement skills like running, swimming and throwing a ball.
Adjusting the curriculum to make provision for this was necessary. But Kerry’s main goal is to make sure the curriculum takes into consideration the demands on the teacher in the classroom.
“The syllabus should reflect contemporary life and activity as well as being clear and easy for teachers to implement,” Kerry said.
“Having been a classroom teacher for so long, I understand how hard it is to fit the expectations of all syllabus into a normal hectic school week.”
As well as her 20 years experience in the classroom, Kerry has coached softball at state level, represented Australia in triathlon and NSW in track cycling and has written material for the Healthy Kids Association, which provides nutritional advice to schools though programs such as Crunch and Sip and Fruit ‘n’ Veg Month, and has had roles with NSW Health and ACARA.
She will advocate for proper resourcing and support for teachers to implement syllabus, and that “one KLA does not become more important than others”.
Having the collective voice of the IEU on the committee was crucial, and Kerry plans to network widely to gather ideas to take back to BOSTES. She also wants to make sure the voice of primary school teachers is well represented.
Contact Kerry by email
STEM to STEAM
St Bernard’s Primary School Batehaven Teacher Sallyann Burtenshaw has an arts background but has embraced new technology.
Her aim on the K-6 Science and Technology curriculum committee is to make sure science and arts teaching are integrated into the primary curriculum, so teachers are not threatened by teaching STEM subjects.
At her school Sallyann runs the Makerspace and a coding club, teaches robotics and enquiry classes.
They have introduced the concept of ‘STEAM’ instead of STEM subjects at their school, getting the ‘arts’ in with the science, technology, engineering and maths.
She wants to make sure there is enough support and PD for teachers to integrate STEM into the curriculum, and that what is being proposed is workable.
“Online tutorials and webinars are great and having those attached to the curriculum would be very helpful for teachers,” Sallyann said.
“Also the funding has to be there. We obtained a grant for our Makerspace, but if schools don’t get the funding they are not going to teach robotics”
Sallyann said she had attended a great presentation by an academic, but two hour lessons were suggested.
“You just don’t get the opportunity to do two hour lessons.
As an IEU Rep I want to make sure teachers are not left spending hours of their own time having to prepare for this curriculum.”Attending IEU chapter and council meetings will give Sallyann a chance to hear what her colleagues are experiencing on the ground and bring it back to BOSTES.
“Curriculums can look great on paper but to make it a workable document you need that input from teachers.”
Contact Sallyann by email
Sue Osborne Journalist