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Teaching & Learning Model

Teaching & Learning Model

The Matthew Flinders Girls Teaching and Learning Model (MFGTLM) is used by teachers in conjunction with the The Victorian Teaching and Learning model. These together bring the framework for improving student outcomes (FISO) into our classrooms and learning environments. Together they create a line of sight between our whole-school improvement approach and classroom practice.


The Understanding by Design framework is guided by the confluence of evidence from two streams—theoretical research in cognitive psychology, and results of student achievement studies. A summary of the key research that undergirds UbD framework can be found at www.ascd.org under Research A Topic.

Simply, we use a six stage approach to designing our curriculum and the learning experiences and lessons for our students:

  1. Stage 1: Identify the Understandings, Knowledge, Skills and Essential Questions (including the Victorian Curriculum). This includes the Tier 3 Vocabulary that is specific to the Unit / topic.
  2. Stage 2: Determine what the assessment evidence will be that best provides the learner will the opportunities to demonstrate the understandings, knowledge and skills.
  3. Stage 3: Create the Learning Plan so that it is sequenced, coherent and differentiated to meet the learners’ needs, interests and learning profile.
  4. Stage 4: In what ways can we engage the learners’ parents and carers in the learning so as to enhance the learning experience and outcomes for the learners?
  5. Stage 5: Identify the most effective and engaging Resources that can be used to bring the Learning Plan, the teaching and the learning experiences for the learners to life.
  6. Stage 6: Reflect on the impact of the teaching, student learning outcomes and achievement and make improvements and refinements to the curriculum design.


To enhance our collective focus on student learning, our teachers participate in a ‘Teacher Learning Community’ (TLC). This is a form of professional learning through collaboration and provides each teacher with an opportunity to identify an aspect of their teaching practice that they wish to improve or refine.

Our teachers’ focus on five key formative assessment strategies is best represented by this diagram.


Effective teachers use evidence of student learning readiness, learning progress, and knowledge of individual student learning profiles, to make adjustments for individuals so all students experience challenge, success and improved learning.

Our teachers use differentiated teaching in order to extend the knowledge and skills of every student in every class, regardless of their starting point. Their objective is to lift the performance of all students, including those who are falling behind and those ahead of year level expectations.


The concept of intellectual character (Ron Ritchhart, 2009) is an attempt to move out of the prevailing paradigm of abilities-based conceptions of intelligence. The term intellectual character is an umbrella term to cover those dispositions associated with good and productive thinking. Intellectual character describes a set of dispositions that not only shape but also motivate intellectual behaviour. There is a large degree of overlap between these dispositions and our 11 MFG traits.

  • The disposition to be open-minded
  • The disposition to be curious
  • The disposition to be metacognitive
  • The disposition to be seeking truth and understanding
  • The disposition to be strategic
  • The disposition to be sceptical

Our teachers use the thinking routines, developed by Harvard University’s Project Zero, to support and scaffold their students’ thinking and the development of these dispositions and the MFG traits. These routines become part of the infrastructure of the classroom and a known way of doing things. These thinking routines are used across different disciplines, contexts and classes and for different purposes. These routines help direct our teachers’ attention straight to the issue of thinking; provide specific practices that our teachers employ and see results from almost immediately; make students’ thinking visible; encourage action and discussion around thinking and help build the infrastructure for thinking and learning in our classrooms.


The High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS) are 10 instructional practices that reliably increase student learning when they are applied.

HITS have emerged from the findings of tens of thousands of studies on what has worked in classrooms across Australia and the world. International experts often rank HITS at the top of strategies that contribute to student learning.

There are 10 High Impact Teaching Strategies or HITS:

Strategy 1: Setting goals

Strategy 2: Structuring lessons

Strategy 3: Explicit teaching

Strategy 4: Worked examples

Strategy 5: Collaborative learning

Strategy 6: Multiple exposures

Strategy 7: Questioning

Strategy 8: Feedback

Strategy 9: Metacognitive strategies

Strategy 10: Differentiated teaching