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Upper Yarra Secondary College, Yarra Junction

National Partnerships Schools Forum presenterThe majority of the 500-plus student population at Upper Yarra Secondary College come from a number of isolated communities on the rural fringe of Melbourne's outer-east.

Strategies employed at Upper Yarra Secondary College to address the literacy issues included a blend of personalised literacy coaching for teachers and working in Professional Learning Teams. These approaches have encouraged the development of effective collegial relationships, the improvement of teamwork, provided differentiation for teacher learning and have led to demonstrable teacher confidence through improved capacity and levels of knowledge of explicit teaching strategies.

A range of new initiatives trialled and embedded into core curriculum practice include Readers Workshop, Writing to Learn strategies and Quality Conversations to deepen student thinking and engagement across domains in all years 7 to 12. Utilising an action research model, trials of an Inquiry Based Learning process have met with encouraging signs of success.

A new Year 7 Future Learners Integrated Program will be trialled in 2012 and incorporates all of these approaches in a redefined open learning plan environment where teachers will plan and teach in teams.

Presenters: Robert Miller – Principal; Rose Draffin – Coach