Productive Teaching for Powerful Learning

Overview 2015



Welcome to the Townsville Catholic Education Productive Teaching for Powerful Learning Professional Learning Community (PLC). The program supports professional learning and practice in relation to a multi-dimensional approach to teaching that enhances powerful learning for the range of students in our classrooms.


Specifically, the 2015 program builds knowledge, understandings and skills in relation to what constitutes productive teaching and powerful learning and how this can be enacted in the classroom. The use of ICTs is an integral part of IBL classroom practice and provides a key avenue for professional learning, reflection and sharing. The multi-dimensional approach to pedagogy includes the use of direct teaching methods, as well as interactive and experiential ones. Our focus is on responding to the needs and aspirations of the range of students by drawing on a repertoire of teaching strategies.

The program also supports participants to lead others at their school in the use of inquiry-based learning. Participation in this program also results in teachers leading colleagues across the  Diocese of Townsville as they share their practice in a range of modes.

The 2015 professional challenge supports members of this learning community to explore, practise, celebrate and share their practice this year. The three key elements of this challenge are explored in the next section. We have designed a range of professional learning experiences to be accessed through a variety of modes, including online modes.


The prior knowledge, understandings, skills and experience of all participants in this community of learners are highly valued and are integral to successful individual and group learning. We encourage  all members of the PLC to contribute as fully as possible throughout the program.


Please do not hesitate to contact us at any stage to let us know how we can work together to enhance your professional learning and achievement as a member of this professional learning community. We wish you a productive and personally rewarding learning experience in the 2015 PLC.


Dr Jennifer Nayler (PLC Critical friend)

Megan Wuersching (PLC Coordinator)

Robie Jayawardhana (PLC Online Facilitator)

Kyle Helmore, Derek Worden and John Crowley (PLC Team: Religious Education)

Bernard Durie, Paul Ould and Megan Wuersching (PLC Team: Curriculum)

Setting the scene

According to a landmark study in education:

The experience of [high performing] school systems suggests that three things matter most: 1) getting the right people to become teachers; 2) developing them into effective instructors and: 3) ensuring that the system is able to deliver the best possible instruction for every child.

(Barber & Mourshed, 2007, How the world’s best performing school systems come out on top, p. 1, emphasis added)

Darling-Hammond (2010, The flat world and education) claims that:

Nations that have steeply improved their students’ achievement, such as Finland, Korea, Singapore, and others, attribute much of their success to their focused investments in teacher preparation and development (p. 194, emphasis added).

The quality of teaching matters in relation to how successful student learning is. This program is focused on supporting quality professional learning to build quality student learning.

Principles related to learning and teaching, beliefs, as well as roles and responsibilities within the Diocese are provided in the Learning Framework (2015–2019) Teaching and learning in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Townsville. The principles (front cover) and the ‘Beliefs about learners and learning’ (p. 3) provide key direction for this program.

The TCEO Learning Framework 2015–2019  supports teachers and other leaders in the Diocese to enact productive teaching for powerful student learning. Fundamental to teaching and learning in Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Townsville is a commitment to [the following principles including]:

  1. The ethos, beliefs and tradition of the Catholic Church in the contemporary world.
  2. The uniqueness and value of each individual
  3. The positive well-being of the wider community
  4. School, family and parish roles in nurturing church
  5. Collaborative decision making in the school community
  6. A commitment to the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians

Goal one: Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence

Goal two: All young Australians become successful learners; confident and creative individuals; active and informed citizens.


Further, the TCEO Learning Framework 2015–2019 articulates the following ‘Beliefs about learners and learning’:

  1. We support increasing flexibility to accommodate individual learning needs, because we believe in recognising and meeting individual need.
  2. We support learning activities that engage their interest and motivation, because we believe that learners are the centre of the curriculum.
  3. We seek ways to extend appropriate learning opportunities beyond existing boundaries, because we believe in developing the potential of every learner.
  4. We accommodate diversity so that cultural and individual differences do not compromise learning opportunities, because we believe in equity.
  5. We proclaim that Jesus gives meaning to life and learning, because we believe in Jesus as the way, the truth and the life.
  6. We support learning environments that sustain positive relationships particularly between teacher and student, because we believe people are our most valuable learning resource.

Note: Words and phrases have been underlined in the above set of beliefs to flag key focus areas for practice (and the gathering of artefacts) in this program. The principles and beliefs are numbered here for our convenience (listed as dot points in the original document).

This program, Productive teaching for powerful learning, has been known in the past, and is still referred to, as the ‘Inquiry-based learning’ or IBL program. What is important is that the program is about a range of key elements, including inquiry-based learning.


This program, Productive Teaching for Powerful Learning, has a clear focus: to enhance participant understandings and skills in relation to productive teaching in order to support powerful student learning (and participant professional learning).

Productive teaching, as it is defined here, is:

  1. in line with curriculum and assessment
  2. inquiry-based
  3. inclusive (differentiated support for all learners within the mandated Australian Curriculum, and assessment tasks—are explored to meet the needs of the specific class, individuals and groups (CIG)).
  4.  innovative (highlighting more appropriate teaching strategies including digital pedagogies)
  5. supports intellectual rigour (with a focus on explicit use of thinking skills and questioning frameworks)
  6. utilises integrated curriculum or ‘purposefully connected’ curriculum  (where clear conceptual links exist).

More detail on the productive teaching ‘big six’ (Nayler, 2014, Productive Teaching: A central element in achieving excellence in education, Catholic Schools Guide) is provided in the appendix of the IBL overview 2014 (pp. 9–11).

Powerful learning occurs when the student is engaged in:

  1. active and in-depth learning that is both personally and socially meaningful
  2. authentic, assessment as learning, involving meaningful performance tasks in real-world contexts
  3. opportunities for collaboration within a learning community in which student voice is heard
  4. exploring, building on and challenging, where necessary, prior knowledge, experience and development
  5. constructing knowledge around core concepts and connections
  6. development of metacognitive skills, that is, thinking about their thinking.

These statements related to powerful student learning are based on Darling-Hammond’s (2008) ‘Principles of teaching for understanding’ in Powerful learning: What we know about teaching for understanding, pp. 196–199.

The professional learning challenge

Participant learning is scaffolded through completion of the Productive Teaching for Powerful Learning challenge. In short, the professional learning challenge is about exploring, capturing, reflecting on and sharing productive teaching practice and examples of students’ powerful learning. Both ‘productive teaching’ and ‘powerful learning’ are ‘defined’ above but participants are invited to refine their own understandings of these terms as they engage in the program throughout the year (and have conversations with those at your school about these!).

Part 1

This challenge requires participants to design, implement and reflect on a teaching/learning unit in a learning area of their choice.

Participants share online the planning for this unit, including assessment task/s and guide/s to making judgments.

Specifically, the unit needs to align with participants’ school curriculum plans and with the relevant TCEO scope and sequence for the particular learning area. Further, each unit should be planned using the TCEO planning template (or the RE Template) and demonstrate inquiry-based learning through the explicit use of The IBL 5:

  1. a ‘connected and conceptual’ BIG question (or a ‘fertile question’ in RE units)
  2. a model of inquiry to sequence the teaching and learning (e.g. TELSTAR or the 5Es)
  3. a thinking skills framework (e.g. ‘three-storey intellect’)
  4. questioning frameworks (e.g. 5Ws + 1H)
  5. a range of IBL strategies (see materials provided) including those that are ICT-based.

Part 2

Drawing on this unit and its implementation, participants collect evidence of their practice in relation to:

Specifically, participants collect and share online ten artefacts (photographs, film clips, student work samples, elements of unit planning, guides to making judgments and so on). This would include three artefacts related to the TCEO Learning Framework principles and beliefs, as well as an artefact related to each of the seven professional standards. These artefacts would also demonstrate the use of The IBL 5 listed above. Practically speaking, one artefact might demonstrate a TCE principle or belief while at the same time demonstrate a professional standard—all within the practice of inquiry-based learning. (The main thing is to collect ten artefacts and start doing so soon! We have lots of examples from previous years.)

Each artefact is accompanied by a brief reflective commentary which responds to the following questions:

(for beliefs)

(for professional standards)

Part 3

As a culminating activity, participants create and share online a vodcast (approximately 5 mins in length) in which they feature the above artefacts and any other evidence of their practice, related to the principles/beliefs and standards, which they would like to share. These questions might help guide the creation of the vodcast:

Participants are encouraged to share their vodcasts within their school communities. Check out possible ways that vodcasts can be used.

Participants in this project  build their capacity in relation to information and communication technologies (ICTs). Specific ICT competencies are required to complete each of the three parts of the professional challenge. A list of competencies required is provided at the end of this section. These competencies are also flagged in the program guides for our March, June, August and November 2015 sessions as they are relevant.

More about the professional learning community

This program supports participants as members of a professional learning community which builds and shares knowledge through face-to-face sessions (see below), as well as online through the IB onLine website 2015.

Within the professional learning community, participants are members of smaller learning circles of approximately five or six participants. Throughout the program participant involvement is enhanced by sharing within their own learning circle.

The program focus is on practical strategies that lead to powerful student learning. A snapshot of the key activities for Productive teaching/Powerful learning 2015 is provided in the table below.

Credit towards continuing professional learning requirements

Participants will receive credit towards their continuing professional learning requirements upon the successful completion of the professional learning challenge.

Resources to support your professional learning

You’ll find many resources on our IB online 2015 website under ‘Resources’. See links here to  key professional learning resources which reinforce the focus of the program on productive teaching that is:

These resources are no longer than 2 pages (except for alignment checker + classroom strategies). We will use these resources during our face-to-face sessions. (This replaces the lengthier text that has been used in previous years.) Other resources, such as film clips, have also been included. (Additional resources are highlighted.)

At the bottom of this page, there’s a link to a lengthier document that contains practical strategies for the classroom. These strategies are organised under the TELSTAR model of inquiry. Before you consider printing, note that this document is 41 pages in length.

Productive teaching for Powerful learning... in line with curriculum & assessment

Design, enact & review: Three key Qs

Alignment check & Assessment health check

(This one is a Word version so that you can complete your own alignment check.)

….is inquiry-based

Inquiry-based learning

Fertile questions

*BIG questions

*More on BIG questions integrated (across learning areas or subjects) where appropriate

Integrated or purposefully connected curriculum

*Why purposefully connected curriculum?

*What is purposefully connected curriculum (identify conceptual links)?

*Purposefully connected curriculum examples intellectually rigorous

Critical & creative thinking through thinking skills taxonomies

Critical and creative thinking through questioning frameworks

Socratic questioning inclusive

Differentiating support for the range of learners innovative

Click here for Practical strategies for the classroom that support productive teaching for powerful learning described above.

*Snapshots from Jenny’s presentation at QSA, March 2014.

ICT competencies in the program

To successfully do that participants need the following ICT competencies:

  1. designing, enacting and reviewing a unit using TCE templates   IBL Site, and Intranet links
  2. collecting and sharing online ten artefacts (photographs, film clips, student work samples, elements of unit planning, guides to making judgments and so on) see above

  1. creating a blog (see ‘how to’ video re setting up a class blog and ensuring security) and using it to (you’ll be setting your IBL blog here):

(for principles/beliefs)

(for professional standards)


  1. using Movie Maker or something else to create vodcasts; see ‘how to’ video here. Those using Chromebooks can use the the YouTube editor.

Key activities in program


Focus of program


Term 1 2015

4–6 March

Before the face-to-face program: Participants are invited (via email) to set up their blogs and use their first blog post to introduce themselves.

Face-to-face program

  1. Elements of productive teaching (alignment, inquiry-based learning, inclusivity, innovation, intellectual rigour and integrated curriculum)
  2. Expectations of program: Productive teaching/Powerful learning Challenge in 2015
  3. Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (AITSL, 2011)
  4. TCEO Learning Framework 2015–2019 and other relevant resources/policies including unit templates + learning area scope and sequence
  5. Online environment for professional learning and classroom practice
  6. Planning of Term 2 unit        

...reflect on their current practice and own school policies relationships especially with members of their own learning circle

Remainder of Term 1 your BIG question to ‘Discussing and reflecting’ (in the table) by 25 March ...plan Term 2 unit and upload to units (with task sheet + guide/s to making judgments attached electronically)

...provide feedback to  members of own learning circle

Term 2 2015

Throughout Term 2

...implement Term 2 unit

...gather artefacts of productive teaching/powerful learning

1 June

Face-to-face program

  1. Participant reflection on  progress of Term 2 productive teaching and powerful learning with focus on alignment, quality assessment for, as and of learning, and innovation

...plan to enhance unit implementation

...record and share own reflections; upload at least two artefacts to own blog ...respond to members of own learning circle

Term 3 2015

Throughout Term 3

...reflect on the extent and nature of learning as a result of Term 2 unit

...upload artefacts to blogs 

...begin creation of vodcast

4 August

Face-to-face program

  1. Participant reflection on  Term 2 productive teaching and powerful learning with focus on intellectual rigour, innovation and inclusivity (including differentiation strategies)

...reflect on how they might enhance practice as a result of Term 2 unit reflections

...share and discuss artefacts with members of own learning circle and share feedback online

...upload at least two more artefacts (or more!) to own blog 

Term 4 2015

Beginning of term

...finalise vodcast drawing on artefacts already shared

...upload to vodcasts by 30 October 2015

2 November

Face-to-face program with sharing of vodcasts, reflection on professional learning and planned for enhanced future practice.

March 2015 program

Day 1 (9.00 a.m.–5.00 p.m.)


Kylie Helmore Religious Education Adviser

Acknowledgment of the Traditional Custodians of the Land

Setting the scene

Megan Wuersching, IBL Professional Learning Community Coordinator & Curriculum Adviser TCE

Dr Jennifer Nayler

Tune in

9.10 a.m.

  • to the members of the Professional learning community (PLC)
  • to the beliefs about learners and learning that drive the teaching and learning in our classrooms

Activity: What’s in a picture? &  Introductions

(Special introduction to Kristy and Patricia. Make arrangements to video sections of program.)


9.30 a.m.

  • the nature of this program and of the Professional Challenge by perusing the Overview (pp. 4 & 5 in  this document)

Our learning intentions for March program include enhanced participant understandings and skills regarding:

  1. Learning Framework (2015–2019) Teaching and learning in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Townsville with particular emphasis on principles (front cover) and the ‘Beliefs about learners and learning’
  2. Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (AITSL, 2012) with emphasis on ‘lead’ stage for APRE participants
  3. how the Learning Framework and professional standards can be enacted in classrooms and schools
  4. productive teaching for powerful learning with focus on:
  1. alignment of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy using TCE resources and ‘alignment checker’ + ‘assessment health check’
  2. inquiry-based learning (IBL) and, in particular, ‘The IBL 5’
  3. inclusivity
  4. innovation
  5. intellectual rigour (thinking skills taxonomies + questioning frameworks)
  6. integrated curriculum (or ‘purposefully connected’ curriculum)
  1. Three parts of the Professional Challenge with focus on designing Term 2 unit (and building particular learning area knowledge)

Activity: Discussion circles with sentence stem.s.   

Activity: Brainstorm questions about the Professional Challenge and discussion of any questions   

  • this three–day program to see where our questions will be addressed

Check out  exit ticket template. Copy and paste into your blog and update ready for sharing at end of Day 3 (and throughout 2015).

Day 1 (9.00 a.m.–5.00 p.m.) cont’d

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10.20 a.m.


Form a group of 3 (based on same year level). Consider the belief* allocated to your year level.

Select a vodcast from IBL 2014. Look for evidence in the vodcast of this belief being enacted. Draw on your own practice in relation to how this belief can be enacted if you do not find evidence in the particular vodcast.

Design a poster based on your allocated belief (a Y-chart for example) with presentation to whole group captured in vodcast (uploading, if possible, to ‘Discussing and reflecting’ under ‘Sharing our practice’

Morning tea 11.00 a.m.–11.20 a.m.

Explore and

Look at

11.20 a.m.

  • our BIG question for the three-day program: How can inquiry-based learning (IBL) lead to powerful learning?
  • our sub-Qs by sharing your knowledge, attitudes and further questions:
  1. What is IBL?
  2. Why should we practise IBL?
  3. How can we practise IBL?

Activity: Silent QuAK  

Activity: Collaborative processing of brainstorming using ‘3–storey intellect’ (+ input from facilitator); see resource: Intellectual rigour: Thinking skills taxonomies  

Note: We’ll begin next phase prior to lunch.

Lunch 1.15 p.m.–1.45 p.m.

Not sure how to do something ICT-wise?

Check out ICT competencies and ‘how to’ videos.

Day 1 (9.00 a.m.–5.00 p.m.) cont’d

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1.45 p.m.

  • participants’ ideas +  then facilitator input with a focus on:

 —What is  inquiry-based learning  (IBL)?  

Why should we practise IBL?   (Research findings)

How can we practise IBL? (see below)

(15 min break at 3.15 p.m.)

  • the year-long program (see Program Overview: Productive Teaching/Powerful Learning) noting:

—credit towards the requirements for continuous professional learning (Megan Wuersching)

—milestones and activities to support participants’ successful completion of the IBL Professional Challenge 2015

—how participants will share their learnings and action in this program with their school-based colleagues

How can we practise inquiry-based learning (IBL)?

The IBL 5 includes the explicit use of:

  1. ‘connected and conceptual’ BIG questions to drive units

  1. a model of inquiry to sequence teaching and learning e.g. TELSTAR or 5Es (note ‘generic’ TELSTAR  which scaffolds your planning at each phase of the model)

  1. a thinking skills taxonomy 

  1. questioning frameworks 

  1. a range of IBL strategies–they are arranged under TELSTAR phases but many are suitable for use in other phases.

The links above are to resource sheets. Note that #5 is 41 pages in length.

Check out how 2014 IBLers designed their teaching/learning units

using The IBL 5 by perusing the units below.

Prep year

Jessica Conn: Science & English: Why don’t we live in a gingerbread house?

Michael Feaver: Health & Physical Education: Why am I not a bully?

Anna Davey + Sean White: Religious Education: Who is Jesus?

Year 1

Melissa Clive & Carmel Thompson (+Prep): Religious Education: What can we learn from the Holy Family?

Joanne Weir: Religious Education: How do I celebrate with God?

Janet Wigan, Popo Ban & Jessica Smit (+Yr 2): Religious Education: How can I live God’s dream?

Year 2

Aimee Watkins (NB: Uses 5Es) Science: What would St Clare’s be like without water?

Charley Kelly: Science: Why would a worm make a good pet?

Julie Hornstra: Geography: Why should people visit Proserpine?

Year 3

Trina Neilson: Religious Education: How do we pray?

Debbie Garnett: Religious Education: What’s so super about heroes? 

Lauren Horsnell: Religious Education: How can I have a better relationship with God?

Year 4

Brooke Gralow & Tessa McKinnon: Religious Education: How can I follow in God’s footsteps?

Amanda Jones: Mathematics: How can we plan Year 4’s ultimate fun day?

Tessa McKinnon: Science: Could I wear my lunchbox?

Year 5

Rebecca Kirkwood & Chris McConochie Geography: Are you ready [for bushfires]?

Kerry Ann Fazel: Religious Education: 

Being Catholic in a new, free society raised challenges.  How was it different to how we demonstrate our Catholic faith today?

Mary Ferguson: Religious Education: What can pioneer Catholics teach us today?

Michelle Dunbar: English: How can I make my opinion count?

Year 6

Mari Quabba: Science: Who made the mess? (forensic science)

Annette Poulsen: Religious Education: Where does Jesus live in the sunburnt country?

Michelle Jones: Religious Education: If you bumped into Jesus, how would you know it was him?

Year 7

Madeleine Carter: English: Can we communicate through poetry? (PDF)

Year 9

Leisa Rigby & Leisa Priebe: Religious Education: Do people in my community walk in Christ’s footsteps? Why should I walk in Jesus Christ’s footsteps?

Year 10

Rachel Bond & Rachel Harrison: Religious Education: Do I have the courage to be Christian?

Feel free to provide feedback to your colleagues. Use comments function, or ‘+’ followed by their email address.

Day 1 (9.00 a.m.–5.00 p.m.) cont’d

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Intro: 4.00 p.m.

Team conversations:

4.05 p.m.–4.40 p.m.

Sharing with whole group :

4.40 p.m.–5.00 p.m.

  • (working in learning area groups) a specific curricular area in relation to

enacting IBL with guiding questions for discussion and whole group sharing:

  1. What opportunities exist for enacting IBL?
  2. What challenges exist  in relation to enacting IBL?
  3. What are the possible solutions to these challenges?
  4. What does IBL look like in this learning area? ––

As part of this ‘look & sort’ consider:

QCAA resources and links to Australian Curriculum

—alignment with TCE scope and sequence (English, Mathematics, Science and History); Australian Curriculum: Geography scope and sequence in Shared files; Religion P–12 Curriculum  and school curriculum plans (people writing RE units are reminded of Learning Bytes, noting that resources—not units—are located here)

—using TCE unit planner 

N.B.: If you want to save any points from your discussion, go to ‘Discussing and reflecting’

Participants choose one area.

See group leaders opposite (TBC)


Petreah Carroll, Paul Ould

History (resources)

Jenny Nayler, Bernard Durie

Religious Education

Kylie Helmore, Derek Worden and/or John Crowley, Megan Wuersching

The 2015 IBL Professional Challenge is all about improving engagement, learning & achievement for all students (as Ursula Ferguson shows us in her 2012 practice)...

Day 1 (9.00 a.m.–5.00 p.m.) cont’d

Optional overnight task

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  • any questions you have (questions will then be sorted and addressed throughout Day 2)
  • think about how you would like our  learning circles for the project set up; specifically think about:

—the nature of the learning circles (e.g. to provide feedback to other members of learning circle)

—how these might be formed (e.g. based on geographical location, ‘like’ schools, shared year level, learning area or some other criterion)

Don’t forget to bring a hard copy of

a current teaching/learning unit +

the accompanying assessment tasks

for consideration in first session on Day 2.

The planning materials are ‘for your eyes only’.

Not sure how to do something ICT-wise?

Check out ICT competencies and ‘how to’ videos.

Day 2 (9.00 a.m.–5.00 p.m.) cont’d

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9.00 a.m.

Activity: Completion of ‘alignment check’ + ‘assessment health check’ on own unit

Activity: Reflection and sharing via blog and face-to-face discussion

Morning tea 10.30 a.m.–10.45 a.m.

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10.45 a.m.

  • the online environment in which professional (and student learning) will occur (Robie Jayawardhana):

—IB onLine 2015 website with focus on:  Our blogs

This session introduces you to various different ways to share your voice.
Pre-session task:
Creating and submitting your blog.

Having a voice: Click here for our session details.

Members of the PLC are invited to post questions under the relevant section of ‘Q&A’ on our website (prior to the beginning of Day 2 AND any time throughout the year):

the IBL Professional Challenge 2015 

the online environment  under ‘ICT questions’

any other aspect of the program.                

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12.30 p.m.–1.00 p.m.

Lunch 1.00 p.m.–1.30 a.m.

Not sure how to do something ICT-wise?

Check out ICT competencies and ‘how to’ videos.

Day 2 (9.00 a.m.–5.00 p.m.) cont’d

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1.30 p.m.

  • your use of assessment for, as and of learning in your current practice and in your future practice in IBL unit

Activity: Completion of ‘Assessment: The frameworks and the practice’ placemat (pairs in cross-learning circles); here’s the solution on p. 2

  • assessment that is valid, clear and fair (see QCAA film clip, ‘Designing good assessment’
  • assessment that maintains the integrity of the Australian Curriculum achievement standards (aka how to design a GTMJ)

Activity: Working in a small team of four, design a hard copy flow-chart to show how to design a Guide to making judgments (using the resources listed below)

(NB: Guides to making judgments in RE are currently based on the ‘assessable elements’ of the previous curriculum.)


  1. A QCAA ‘task-specific standards matrix’ (or GTMJ): First Contacts: A First Fleet story
  2. The Australian Curriculum achievement standard for Year 4 history
  3.  The QCAA standard elaborations for Year 4 history
  4. The QCAA ‘task-specific standards — matrix’
  5. A film clip from QCAA on how to design a ‘task-specific standards matrix’ (or GTMJ)  

(You also need material to create your flow-chart: paper, pens, glue & scissors.)

Extension activity: Film your explanation of how to design a GTMJ (Check out what Carmel did with this activity in 2014.)

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2.45 p.m.

Break at 3.30 p.m.

Sharing at 4.15 p.m.

  •  our own best practice using an ‘appreciative inquiry’ approach by responding to sentence stems (related to the  Australian Professional Standards for Teachers 
  • Q&A re the standards
  • your allocated 2014 vodcast to locate evidence of practice in each of 7 standards  noting location according to time within each vodcast (working in small groups)

*APREs working together to explore ‘lead’ stage examples with support from Sean White, APRE Ryan Catholic College

Activity: Mapping IBL 2014 practice to standards and sharing in ‘Sharing practice’

Optional activity: Identify AITSL ‘illustrations of practice’ re standards (e.g. Student-led science inquiry)

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4.30 p.m.

  • TCE resources to support IBL unit design and implementation:

—iLibrary (Kim Smith, Library Resources Coordinator)

Day 3 (8.30 a.m.–3.00 p.m.)

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8.30 a.m.

  • Day 3  challenge: (working in groups of 3 with each group made up of people from different learning circles) create a concept map or other visual graphic to answer this question: What is the focus of our program and how do the elements fit together? (Use the labels provided to create a hard copy poster. Create an electronic image of your poster. Alternatively, create an e-poster using the labels located in ‘Sharing files’ under ‘Resources’. Upload your poster to ‘Discussing and reflecting’ under ‘Sharing practice’)

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9.15 a.m.

  • Effective practices for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Learners (Jennifer Wills, Senior Education Officer, Teaching and Learning, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education)

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9.45 a.m.

  • specific planning for IBL unit focusing on possible:

—BIG question that is ‘connected & conceptual’

—model of inquiry to sequence the teaching and learning (e.g. TELSTAR or the 5Es)  

—a thinking skills taxonomy e.g. ‘three-storey intellect’  

—a range of questioning frameworks

—range of IBL strategies (see materials provided) including those that are ICT-based

—Learning Framework beliefs that will be enacted

Optional activity: Note how past IBLers have used a model of inquiry to sequence teaching/learning e.g. units by Tess (5Es) or Chris & Bec (TELSTAR)

Activity: Individual or collaborative planning (with collaboration across schools where possible)

Morning tea 11.00 a.m.–11.20 a.m.

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11.20 a.m.

  • an aspect of the project about which you want to improve your knowledge, understandings or skills through engagement with other members of the PLC e.g.:

—a colleague teaching at same year level at another school, or someone with expertise that you need

—TCE Curriculum Team or facilitator re planning your unit or resources

—Robie Jayawardhana re the online environment

—members of your learning circle

Activity: Individual or collaborative planning of IBL unit

Note: Participants may wish to continue specific planning of their Term 2 unit.

Tegan Barter and Wilna Oodendaal share their IBL practice from 2013

Day 3 (8.30 a.m.–3.00 p.m.) cont’d

Lunch 1.00 p.m.–1.30 p.m.


1.30 p.m.

  • the extent to which we have have achieved our learning intentions by sharing your exit ticket with a partner in your learning circle
  • share your major learnings with everyone in your learning circle
  • share dilemmas, challenges and aspirations with whole group  


2.00 p.m.

  • to gain further knowledge, understandings and skills identified as still needed in the ‘test’ phase
  • record on your blog actions you’ll take:

...within the next week

...before the end of March

...before the June IBL session

Activity: Action planning


2.30 p.m.

  • on what you have learnt and how you have learnt it
  • on what you need to learn
  • by completing evaluation 

Activity: Traffic lights  

Activity: Completion of evaluation

Not sure how to do something ICT-wise?

Check out ICT competencies and ‘how to’ videos.

June 2015 program

8.30 a.m.–5.00 p.m.

8.30 a.m.–

9.00 a.m.

Participants are invited to commence this activity following arrival.

Mini inquiry 1 

  1. What challenges and successes have I had in relation to IBL-focused planning and teaching?
  2. (APRE) How am I leading/supporting IBL in my school?
  3. How am I progressing in terms of the IBL Professional Challenge?
  4. What  challenges and successes have I had in relation to using Google Apps for professional and classroom learning?
  5. Update your exit ticket—you made a copy of the one at the end of this document during our March sessions. (See Dani’s exit ticket connected to her blog and set up as a google doc so that she can update it. Look at the details in Steph’s)

Activity: Share reflections online via ‘Our blogs

9.00 a.m.

Formal welcome, Prayer and Acknowledgment of the Traditional Owners of the Land

9.15 a.m.

  • Discussion of reflections re:

—challenges and successes related to IBL-focused planning and leading planning (in learning circles)

—progress in terms of the IBL Professional Challenge (pp. 4 & 5 of this guide)

 Activity: Think–pair–square–share

  • Gathering of questions re the use of Google Apps for professional and classroom learning (for afternoon session tutorials); leave your questions at Q&A
  • Perusal of program with any modifications needed.. 

10.00 a.m.–

11.00 a.m.

Mini inquiry 2 

(Think about the artefact/s you could create here for use in

Part 2 of the Professional Challenge.)

How  strong is my Term 2 IBL unit in relation to the alignment of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy? How could it be strengthened?

Activity: Creation of an artefact using Alignment checker 


Find a QCAA Guide to making judgment (GTMJ) exemplar in your learning area and year level.

  1. How would you describe it? How would you describe your GTMJ?
  2. How are the two examples different/similar?
  3. How could the QCAA exemplar be improved? How could your GTMJ be improved?

Did you recognise the ‘three-storey intellect’ (Bellanca & Fogarty, 1991) used above as a questioning framework?

Remember that QCAA uses ‘Applying’, ‘Making connections’ and so on instead of ‘A’, ‘B’ and so on for Prep to Yr 2. You use the former for Prep and Yr 1 in this Diocese. As a result, if your work is based on Yr 2 you might like to look at a Year 3 QCAA example in terms of how to set out the GTMJ. You might like to look at an TCEO RE example if you were working on an RE unit. You might identify examples from your group to share with the RE Team..

Remember: QCAA now refers to what we call a ‘GTMJ’ as a ‘task-specific standards matrix’.  

Activity: Creation of an artefact (Venn Diagram) to demonstrate your reflection

Even if you have finished teaching the unit, reflect, review and record action so that the unit will be better in the future.

MORNING TEA 11.00 a.m.–11.20 a.m.

June 2015 program cont’d

11.20 a.m.–


Mini inquiry 2 cont’d

Activity: Whole group sharing


1.00 p.m

Mini inquiry 3

How can I best advance work on my Professional Challenge. Can I:

—upload evidence of practice to own blog in ‘Our blogs

You might like to look at some examples from 2014:

(for APREs, especially): Sean White’s blog, Aimee Watkins’s blog, Rachel Bond’s blog (a secondary school example) and Anna Davey’s blog

Ensure that you’ve got your blog organised that that you can share artefacts related to 7 standards and 3 beliefs (check out Hayley’s blog)

—refine Term 2 planning and record reflections.

LUNCH 1.00 p.m.–1.30 p.m.

1.30 p.m.–

3.00 p.m.

Mini inquiry 4 (as needed by participants)

—What have I learnt about Google Apps that supports my professional learning? What have I learnt about Google Apps that supports student learning?

Activity: (working with partner from your learning circle) Review of a colleagues’ use of Google Apps and professional conversation + whole group sharing

—What else do I want/need to learn? Could I lead a tutorial?

Activity: (from 2.00 p.m.) Tutorials—run by participants where possible—

around core topics & questions raised here and in morning session

3.00 p.m.–

4.00 p.m.

This is your opportunity to advance work on your Professional Challenge

(e.g. your Term 2 IBL unit, gathering or uploading artefacts, writing commentaries for artefacts—or acquiring further knowledge or skills required).

4.00 p.m.–

4.30 p.m.


Reflection and consolidation of actions to be completed

—reflect and share reflections via  own blog in ‘Our blogs:

What are my major learnings for today? What else do I want to learn?

—plan future action and share via own blog in ‘Our blogs::

What actions do I need to take in the:

short-term  (within the next week)

medium  term (within the next month)

in order to work towards the successful completion of  the Professional Challenge?

—update exit ticket (which should be on your own blog)

Activity: Individual and group reflection

—completion of evaluation online.


APST = Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

GTMJ = Guide to making judgments

August 2015 program: 8.30 a.m.–3.00 p.m.

Learning intentions and success criteria

Our learning intentions for August 2015 program include enhanced participant understandings and skills regarding:

Demonstrate your success through further updating of your exit ticket.

Scope and sequence for session

8.30 a.m.–

9.00 a.m.

Participants are invited to commence this activity following arrival.

(Tuning in and Exploring)

Have I completed the ‘use feedback’ section of my Term 2 IBL unit plan?

What successes have I had in relation to some of the following (or all):

  • inquiry-based learning (explicit use of BIG questions, inquiry models, thinking taxonomies, questioning frameworks and IBL strategies)
  • enacting the Australian Curriculum or the Religious Education curriculum
  • working towards the completion of the Professional Challenge
  • making sure that curriculum, assessment and teaching/learning are aligned
  • designing quality assessment
  • sharing my IBL practice with others in the school community?

What challenges have I had in relation to the above or any other aspect of my participation in this project? How has my practice improved as a result of this professional learning?

Activity: Blog entry or updating of exit ticket

(The poster or blog entry could be used as an artefact for

Professional Challenge: Standard 6.2 Engage in professional learning and improve practice with examples of improved practice.)

Mini inquiry 1: What feedback have I received in relation to my Term 2 unit? What action will I take in response to this feedback, especially in relation to future planning?

Activity: Checking feedback provided online

9.00 a.m.

Formal welcome, Prayer and Acknowledgment of the Traditional Owners of the Land

9.15 a.m.–

10.15 a.m.

(Looking & Sorting)

Professional conversations (focus on ‘use feedback’ section of unit template; how could we scaffold teachers’ completion of this?)

Activity: Working in your Learning Circle, share your successes and challenges generally and feedback re your IBL unit (with APREs working with their RE Team member)

(Any written or video reflections/conversations could be used as an artefact for

Professional Challenge: Standard 6.2 Engage in professional learning and improve practice, with examples of improved practice.)

Activity: Sharing reflections with whole group

August 2015 program cont’d

10.15 a.m.–

11.00 a.m.

Mini inquiry 2: How can we differentiate support for the range of learners in our classrooms?

Activity: Professional conversations in groups of 7 using 6Ws +1H as scaffold

Key points from input from facilitator:

—‘curriculum adjustments’

—‘instructional [or teaching] adjustments’

—‘environmental adjustments’

  • Tomlinson & Imbeau (2010), advocate modification of:

—four curriculum-related elements: content, process, product, and affect which are based on:

—three categories of student need and variance—readiness, interest, and learning profile. (See ASCD review of their book, Leading and managing a differentiated classroom.)


—product or assessment

—teaching/learning (including level of teacher direction, environment and so on)

Activity: Plan a differentiated lesson (or review & improve one) OR

upload an artefact that demonstrates your differentiated support.


Food for thought and action about differentiation

In a way, it’s just shaking up the classroom so it’s a better fit for more kids.

Carol Ann Tomlinson (quoted in UNESCO, 2004, p. 14)

According to UNESCO (2004, p. 14):

In order to be fair to our students and facilitate learning of all students, we need to adapt or modify the curriculum so it ‘fits’ the students’ learning needs. Teachers differentiate the curriculum so they do not discriminate and teach to only a select group of students (i.e., only those students who are at, or near, year (grade) or age level ability in the prescribed curriculum). Teachers offer students a variety of learning experiences to meet their different learning needs.


Curriculum differentiation, then, is the process of modifying or adapting the curriculum according to the different ability levels of the students in one class.


Teachers can adapt or differentiate the curriculum by changing: the content, methods for teaching and learning content (sometimes referred to as the process), and, the methods of assessment (sometimes referred to as the products). (emphasis in original)


 MORNING TEA 11.00 a.m.–11.15 a.m.

August 2015 program cont’d


Making use of the iLibrary − Kim Smith, Information and Resources Adviser

11.30 a.m.–

12.30 p.m.

(Looking & Sorting)

Mini inquiry 3: What strategies can I use to enhance quality thinking in my IBL classroom?

Key points from input from facilitator:

—is embedded in content descriptions

—identifies what learners can typically do at the end of F[P] and Yrs 2, 4, 6, 8 & 10 (through the Learning Continuum)

—the Learning Continuum is organised under the following: inquiring; generating ideas, possibilities & actions; reflecting on thinking & processes; and analysing, synthesising and evaluating reasoning & procedures

—draws on theories related to dispositions, taxonomies of skills, habits or frames of mind, thinking strategies and philosophical inquiry

  • Four ways to improve student thinking include:
  1. using questions & questioning frameworks explicitly
  2. using thinking skills frameworks explicitly
  3. using graphic organisers
  4. supporting student metacognition

(adapted from Bellanca & Fogarty, 1991)

Activity: Work in a team of 4 to identify a successful strategy for each of the four practices above

Activity: Collaborative completion of retrieval sheet, ‘Practical strategies to improve student thinking’

(Your completed retrieval sheet could be used as an artefact for Professional Challenge: Standard 3.3 Use teaching strategies.)

12.30 p.m.–

1.00 p.m.


1.30 p.m.–

2.30 p.m.

(Looking, Sorting & Testing)

Mini inquiry 4: How can I work towards completion of my Professional Challenge? 

Activity: Professional conversations in Learning Circles (sharing how you have or will respond to the questions below; sample responses have been given)


As part of the Professional Challenge, participants gather and share examples of their practice which demonstrate their enactment of the:

Note: Full details of the Professional Challenge are on pp. 4 & 5 of this document. See info on commentaries on next page.

Activity: Upload artefacts with commentaries

LUNCH 1.00 p.m.–1.30 p.m.

August 2015 program cont’d

What to write in commentaries on artefacts?

(Possible responses to the set questions are provided below.):

Specifically re the Standards

  1. Which standard am I demonstrating? What is my evidence of this particular standard?

This film clip, which shows me leading discussion circles, is evidence of Standard 4: Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments and, in particular of the focus area, 4.1 Support student participation. In this example I communicate the sentence stem clearly and provide time for pairs of students to share their responses before they move onto a new partner to share their responses to a new sentence stem.

  1. At which career stage am I demonstrating the standard? 

My practice demonstrates the ‘proficient’ career stage as there is a match between my practice and the descriptor: Establish and implement inclusive and positive interactions to engage and support all students in classroom activities.

  1. How does the evidence demonstrate the standard?

My pedagogy here shows all students responding positively to the sentence stems provided and interacting with other students in positive ways to share knowledge about the gold rushes in Australia. The sentence stems displayed on the whiteboard further enhance the inclusive interactions between students.

Specifically re the beliefs

  1. Which belief am I enacting?

I’m enacting the following belief from our Learning Framework:

 We support learning activities that engage student interest and motivation, because we believe that learners are the centre of the curriculum.

  1. How am I enacting this belief?

This video clip shows my Year 4 students working in groups to devise questions that they later asked our guest speaker. Specifically, the clip shows how my learners were engaged as they devised 4 questions in each level of the ‘three-storey intellect’. Specifically, their task was to collaborate to come up with 4 clear and concise questions in each of the categories:  gathering, processing and applying. The clip also shows the learners taking a ‘gallery walk’ to view and discuss each group’s questions. Finally, the clip shows students asking some of their questions and the responses they received from our guest. A second artefact here shows some of the students’ reflections in response to the question: How did the ‘three-storey intellect’ help you to devise helpful questions?

This activity resulted in high levels of student interest and motivation. This was especially evident in relation to some learners who are often reluctant to collaborate with others.

Food for thought: When writing commentaries about your use of digital technologies, use SAMR

(e.g. Standard 3.4: Select and/or create and use a range of resources, including ICT, to engage students in their learning. )

Substitution: Am I just using new technology to replace old ones e.g. using the electronic whiteboard as a traditional white/blackboard?

Augmentation: Are I still replacing old technologies with new ones but with added functionalities e.g. taking advantage of auto saving, auto syncing from Google Docs?

Modification: Am I using technology more effectively e.g. using the ‘comment’ function on Google Docs?

Redefinition: Am I using technology to create new tasks for my students e.g. using PowToon to embed clues in a student-centred inquiry or to engage learners with assessment task?

Source of SAMR: Developed by Dr Ruben Puentedura (see

August 2015 program cont’d

2.30 p.m.–

3.30 p.m.

(Looking, Sorting & Testing)

Mini inquiry 4:

What else do we need to know and be able to do to support:

  • inquiry-based learning for our students

(including SAMR activity—see box above)?

  • professional learning and action to complete our Professional Challenge (noting vodcasts to be uploaded by 30 October prior to our 2 November session)?

Working afternoon tea around 3.00 p.m.

3.30 p.m.–

4.30 p.m.

(Acting & Reflecting)

Reflection and consolidation of actions to be completed

  • Reflect on your learnings via  own exit ticket on own blog
  • Plan future action and share via own blog:

—What actions do I need to take in the;

...short-term  (within the next week) the medium  term (within the next month) and 30 October in order to work towards the successful completion of  the Professional Challenge?

What actions will I take to share my practice further with others in my school community?


You’ll find some great ‘how to’ guides at:  

Activity: Individual and group reflection

  • Complete the evaluation online.

Activity: Evaluation


APST = Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

GTMJ = Guide to making judgments                

2 November 2015 program

8.30 a.m.–3.30 p.m.

Celebrating (and exploring) our learning

8.30 a.m.8.45 a.m.

  • Updating your exit ticket (the one you saved back in March).

8.45 a.m.

  • Formal welcome, Prayer and Acknowledgment of Traditional Owners of the Land
  • Discussion of program with focus on updating your exit ticket.

9.15 a.m.10.30 a.m.

(75 mins)

  • Sharing of vodcasts without introductions or sharing of verbal comments; recording of reflections by IBL participants in relation to each vodcast.


*Record your comments in the ‘comment’ section below each vodcast.

*Record (if you can):

  • a learning
  • a question or
  • a possible action motivated by vodcast

If you can, focus on the enactment of:

*Provide detailed feedback to your allocated IBL colleague (allocations made here).

10.30 a.m.10.45 a.m.

Morning tea

10.45 a.m.1.00 p.m.

(135 mins)

  • Sharing of vodcasts (with reflections recorded)

1.00 p.m.1.30 p.m.


1.30 p.m.2.00 p.m.

  • Sharing of vodcasts (with reflections recorded)

2.00 p.m.2.30 p.m.

  • Substantive professional conversations between IBL colleagues: sharing of detailed feedback on each other’s vodcast + progress towards updating exit ticket)

2.30 p.m.3.00 p.m

  • Planning for improvement in 2016 (in planning, assessment, use of ICT and so on) with ideas recorded in blogs (for own use)
  • Planning for sharing in own school (unless completed)

3.00 p.m.3.30 p.m.

  • Completion of evaluation of session and program
  • Discussion of evaluation of session and program with  facilitator and TCE team
  • Program close

Exit ticket 

(This is what you copied in March session and have added to since; go to your own copy of this to update.)

Our learning intentions relate to increasing our knowledge and skills re the areas shown below in blue.

Copy this into your blog and make it your own. Update it during our March program for sharing at the end of Day 3. Return to this exit ticket throughout further sessions in 2015.


What I WANT to know

What I’ve LEARNT

Learning Framework (2014–2019) Teaching and learning in Catholic schools in the Diocese of Townsville

e.g. our focus is on principles (front cover) + beliefs about learners and learning (p. 3)

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (AITSL, 2012)

e.g. there are 7 standards with focus areas within each

e.g. what ‘challenging learning goals’ might look like for my class in mathematics this year?

e.g. As an APRE, I need to focus on the ‘lead’ stage of the standards.

How the Learning Framework and professional standards can be enacted in classrooms and schools

e.g.  how could I demonstrate ‘know[ing] the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area’ (2.1)

e.g. I could include an artefact that shows my students using historical sources to help them understand the concept of evidence in history.

Productive teaching:

alignment of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy

e.g. I know how to do an alignment check to ensure that the curriculum (what I have to teach), assessment and teaching/learning are all lined up!

Productive teaching:

inquiry-based learning (explicitly using BIG Qs to drive units; model of inquiry such as TELSTAR to sequence teaching and learning, thinking skills frameworks, questioning frameworks and a range of IBL strategies)

e.g. I’m doing IBL already when I support learners to conduct a fair test in Science or when they pose & answer questions in a range of learning areas

e.g. how can I expand my repertoire of IBL strategies?

e.g. I can use these:

...Productive teaching for powerful learning

...A-Z strategies.

Productive teaching:


e.g. how can I differentiate support for the range of learners in my classroom?

Productive teaching:


e.g. how can I use Google Docs and the comments function to support ‘assessment as learning’ (or formative assessment).

Productive teaching:

intellectual rigour

e.g. what thinking skills framework can I use to ensure my learners are using higher-order thinking skills?

e.g. I can use the ‘three-storey intellect’: gathering, processing & applying.

Productive teaching:

integrated curriculum (or ‘purposefully connected’ curriculum)

e.g. I want to know how I can draw on more than one learning area in a particular unit but still keep the integrity of each learning area

e.g. I’ve learnt from Jenny’s paper that I can connect curriculum across learning areas when complementary or overlapping conceptual links exist.

Professional challenge: Design, implement & reflect on an IBL unit (Part 1)*

Professional challenge: Collect artefacts from your practice  (Part 2)*

(demonstrating your enactment of the Learning Framework and the National Professional Standards for Teachers  in the context of IBL)

Professional challenge: Collect artefacts from your practice: Create and share online a vodcast of your practice  (Part 3)*

*You’ll find some questions and answers under Q&A re the professional challenge here. The above template has been designed to support you to keep a record of what you know, want to know and what you’ve learnt.