The Antonio school community has embraced the Walker Learning Approach (WLA) as an exciting and innovative learning program with huge benefits for children's' learning and development. We are proud to provide such an inclusive and wholesome learning approach and look forward to sharing our classroom investigations and research projects.
The WLA is the result of many years of research and practice in early childhood development, educational psychology and teaching and learning.At Antonio, we are privileged to be mentored by Kathy Walker and her associates to help us in planning for and implementing a dynamic, rich, relevant and highly engaging junior primary curriculum, due to Antonio being the first Catholic school in South Australia to access and implement these teaching and learning principles.
The approach is now successfully implemented in a number of schools across Australia.
The early years (Reception to Year 2)
As an overview, the children spend the morning working on their own personal projects and investigations within various learning centres e.g role play, collage, construction, sensory area, reading/writing areas. Teachers work as facilitators, recording detailed notes on focus children, observing individual developments, and providing scaffolding and support for children to challenge and extend themselves through their chosen investigations.
Focus areas in literacy and numeracy are incorporated into the morning sessions, so that students have a real and immediate point of reference when we come to explore these concepts in a more formal, explicit setting. Each morning, children are given specific roles and responsibilities to record, observe and report upon their findings. These recordings are then shared through whole-group discussion after the investigations, when students have a chance to reflect on and further develop their learning and experiences.
Many years of research across Australia and our own experiences have shown:
- Higher levels of engagement and motivation
- Higher oral language skills
- Increased writing
- Increased pro social skills
- Decreased behavioural problems
The Primary and Middle Years (Years 3 to 7)
The Walker Learning Approach for primary and middle years students aims for maximum engagement from students and includes these key components:
- empowering and student-focused learning environment
- student-teacher-parent communication boards
- electronic media
- focus students
- clinic groups
- explicit instruction teaching sessions
- student-teacher class meetings
- student project work (education research projects known as ERPs)
- teacher, self and peer assessment
- planning, documentation and reporting
More information for parents
We offer Parent Information Sessions run by our staff and Walker Learning associates. In the meantime we recommend you have a look at the Walker Learning website or ask Leadership staff for more information about the approach.