Mount Waverley Primary School

Mount Waverley is located in a middle class area of Melbourne with above state average achievement and a significant number of students from non-English speaking backgrounds. It is a feeder school to two high performing government secondary schools and numerous non-government schools. Anim8tors@MWPS is a program offered at Year 6 level at Mt Waverley Primary School. Anim8tors@MWPS brings together the synergies of innovative teaching and learning practices, developed through collaborative teaching and learning around film animation. The Year 6 animated film-making program based on claymation was developed to re-engage students through interdisciplinary based tasks working in small groups for a day a week. Anim8tors@MWPS was enabled by a school re-building program that provided new learning spaces. The flexibility of a shared ‘Great Space’ space between the Year 6 rooms facilitated multi-modal teaching in teams and across disciplinary areas and classes.

The concept was developed by three teachers because of a perceived need to replace an annual performance that provided an avenue for a few students to a pedagogical activity that involved all children that recognised and enhanced their particular capacities. The teaching team brought together different skills in ICT and claymation and leadership, with significant support of the Principal and School Council. The program organised learning around team teaching and group learning in ways that encouraged independent learning, social interaction through group work and inter-disciplinary problem solving. Team teaching required considerable planning in a dedicated time and working with specialist teachers to integrate the program. There was strong evidence that individual students had enjoyed but also benefitted in terms of engagement by all students. Other areas of the school were affected in terms of the use of ICT and developing skills in preparation for the program.

Community partnerships, including an expert in claymation movies, the Centre for the Moving Image and Applestore were critical in terms of providing technical advice to the program initiators and assisting with the extensive professional development. Parents were supportive of the program particularly since it now engaged all students across year six, was technologically oriented, and also acted as a good transition into secondary schooling.

Principal walk-through

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Mount Waverley Primary School (pdf, 783kb).

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Jill Blackmore