Hillcrest Christian College, with about 1,350 students from Kindergarten to Year 12, is a learning environment that strives to challenge, inspire and maximise every student’s potential.
Named as one of The Educator magazine's Innovative Schools for 2017, Hillcrest Christian College provides students with an innovative and responsible 21st Century digital learning environment.
The school’s view is that technology enhances pedagogy and learning, and using outstanding digital resources to develop students’ literacy and numeracy skills enable it to be at the forefront of change in education.
Teachers for the Junior Learning Community (JLC), Prep to Year 6, were looking for a digital method of engaging students in literacy. They were aware of LiteracyPlanet and some had used it at other schools.
The school uses LiteracyPlanet across multiple year levels to help students all key English literacy skills.
According to Danni Foster-Brown, Deputy Head of JLC - Academic Performance and Innovation, the depth and breadth of content helps to boost student outcomes: “LiteracyPlanet improves the learning outcomes of students by providing a comprehensive suite of resources and activities, covering everything from reading to writing, to grammar, and more.
“Students can access high-interest, visually-appealing texts at all levels, and teachers can find quality online materials to support the teaching of a range of genres.”
Popular uses include incorporating the customisable spelling exercises into the school spelling program, and the comprehension texts, which explore all 12 types of comprehension strategies.
“I love LiteracyPlanet. We use it for customised group words that complement our spelling program. The students love the activities and the rewards when they have completed their tasks,” says Danni.
Another favourite is LiteracyPlanet’s annual Word Mania competition, when students can flex their word-building skills to try and win prizes for the school.
Aspects of the program that teachers value the most include being able to easily differentiate and the genuine enjoyment students find in using it.
“Differentiation is important to all 21st Century classrooms, and having the ability to assign tasks to students of differing abilities is a key feature,” says Peta Jorgensen, P-12 Digital Learning Co-ordinator. “We also enjoy the exuberant joy that children display when they complete tasks to the best of their ability.”
Students say the exercises are 'fun' and 'interesting' and they especially enjoy being able to encourage classmates by giving them a ‘high fives’ or a ‘thumbs up’.
Teachers find the fun and engagement provides an environment that encourages learning. "Students love the activities and the rewards when they have completed their tasks," says Peta.
Gold Coast, Queensland
Co-educational K-12 independent school
LiteracyPlanet improves the learning outcomes of students by providing a comprehensive suite of resources and activities, covering everything from reading, to writing, to grammar, and more."