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Professional Experience - Secondary

Observation Notes

Learning Area
Design & Technology (D & T)
o Visual Arts & Technical Drawing
o Woodwork (IEC)
o Woodwork (Education Support)
o Certificate II Engineering

Other Learning Areas Observed
English (Year 11)
Link Program (IEC)

School Overview
The school is a senior campus that accommodates Year 11 and 12 compulsory classes,
education support classes, IEC (Intensive English Centre) classes, and adult certificate
courses (e.g. Certificate II in Engineering). The campus consists of students ranging from 16
years old to 60 years old (on average). The school structure is unique to those secondary
schools that also accommodate students from lower secondary school. The campus adopts an
adult ethos whereby students are expected to be responsible for their own learning and
completion of set work tasks.

Behaviour Management Strategies (Whole School & Classroom)
Through the uniqueness of this senior campus the school adopts an adult ethos whereby
students are respected as adults and expected to be responsible for their own learning. Those
students who neglect their academic responsibilities are reminded that they are enrolled at the
campus by choice and are expected to take their academic responsibilities seriously. It is
because of the whole campus adult ethos that few rules are enforced apart from serious
violations such as drug use or violence. Minimal behaviours were observed. My Mentor Teacher
explained that because of the adult ethos that the campus adopted students were often more relaxed
and responsible for their own learning knowing that there were fewer rules than regular high schools.
A small minority of students would either arrive late to class or be off task. The class teacher
reminded these students that they were responsible for either achieving or failing their respective
courses.

Class Sizes & Class Times
The Design & Technology classes that I attended were smaller in comparison to the Year 11
English and Link Program (IEC) classes that I visited throughout the week. They mainly
comprised of 6-8 students per class with the exception of a Visual Arts & Technical Drawing
class conducted with a group of 15 IEC students towards the end of the week. The class
sessions usually extended across at least two periods and sometimes across three or four
periods. This often meant that only two subjects were taught over an entire school day.


Professional Experience - Secondary
Observation Notes

Day 1 Monday, 25
th
August 2014

Visual Arts & Technical Drawing
The Visual Arts & Technical Drawing class consisted of a group of 6-8 students studying
Certificate II in Technical Drawing utilising the Auto-CAD and Archi-CAD drawing
programmes. The class consisted of a mixture of male and female young adult and mature-
aged students. These students worked independently on their pre-set tasks, and only required
the class teacher to intervene if they had questions about their tasks. Their design tasks also
included the designing and printing out of 3D figures utilizing a 3D printer. The classroom
had a relaxed, adult atmosphere where the teacher acted in a supervisory capacity to assist
students rather than instruct them.

Woodwork (IEC)
The Woodwork (IEC) class consisted of a group of students from the Intensive English Centre (IEC).
These students were involved in a programme whereby they could enrol in short term courses which
gave them an opportunity to experience a range of courses learnt at a secondary level in Australia.
Participating in this way also gave these students an opportunity to practice their English listening and
speaking skills in a variety of learning environments whilst teaching them the appropriate English
terminology in each learning area. In fact, the constant use of English in various settings was an
important outcome for the IEC students.

During the session the class teacher delivered clear and precise instructions to the students in order for
them to undertake the set tasks independently. The teacher oversaw woodwork operations and correct
use of machinery to ensure clear understanding of instructions and safe application of equipment.
Whilst students worked independently or collaboratively to complete their individual projects it also
seemed necessary for the teacher to be more hands on with the students to clarify their
understanding of initial instructions.

End of Day 1


Professional Experience - Secondary
Observation Notes

Day 2 Tuesday, 26
th
August 2014

Woodwork (Education Support)
The Woodwork (Education Support) class consisted of a group of four students with education
support needs who were assisted by two Education Assistants. The special needs students were
assisted with their specific woodwork projects with tasks such as hammering nails, gluing, verbal
prompting to keep on task and use of machinery. The students were encouraged to complete their
projects as independently as possible without assistant from the staff. They had chosen projects
earlier in the year such as trucks, jewellery boxes and storage boxes. Whilst completing their projects
they attempted such tasks as hammering nails, gluing timber, filing & sanding timber, and use of
machinery.
English (Year 11)
During the Mentor Teachers DOTT time I was given the opportunity to observe a Year 11English
class which consisted of 14 students. During this particular session the lesson comprised firstly of a
grammar lesson which was taught to assist students in the writing of a newspaper article. The class
teacher commenced the lesson by discussing sentence structures and how they could be applied to the
newspaper article they were writing. Students were set independent tasks to complete, and those who
finished early were given extension tasks to complete. Observation: The importance of providing
extension tasks to students who complete initial set tasks early. I have observed this during both the
Primary & Secondary Professional Placements. Although the teacher adopted the adult ethos of the
campus there were students who needed reminders about noise level and staying on task. During the
latter part of the lesson the students completed draft copies of a newspaper article. To conclude the
session the teacher re-grouped the students to conduct a reading comprehension activity which was
relevant to the novel they were reading (The Great Gatsby).
Visual Arts & Technical Drawing
During the afternoon session I resumed in the Technical Drawing (Certificate II) class whereby I
conducted a micro lesson associated with House Design. As part of the unit the students
would be designing a house using the Archi-CAD programme. As an introduction the class
teacher wanted the students to consider factors such as energy efficient products and house
orientation during their planning phase. My particular lesson was designed to give the
students an opportunity to think about the energy efficient products component of the
designing process. The lesson comprised of an investigation whereby the students were
required to research particular energy efficient products using the internet. As part of the
questioning component of the lesson I included three key aspects for them to consider whilst
investigating their particular energy efficient product (price, product features & cost savings
associated with the product).
End of Day 2


Professional Experience - Secondary
Observation Notes

Day 3 Wednesday, 27
th
August 2014

Visual Arts & Technical Drawing
I resumed in the Technical Drawing (Certificate II) class whereby I continued to observe the
students using the CAD programmes to independently complete their set tasks. The class
teacher also demonstrated how the 3D printer operated when printing out 3D model that had
been designed on the computer. He explained how errors at the original design phase meant
that the 3D product was printed incorrectly and had to be re-designed.
The teacher presented me with a Mathematics lesson that I was to prepare for and implement
to the Certificate II Engineering students the following day. I was advised that some of the
students were unsure of particular mathematics concepts that they were required to have
knowledge of as part of the Certificate II Engineering course.
Woodwork (IEC)
The Woodwork (IEC) class consisted of a different group of students from the Intensive English
Centre (IEC) than those from the Monday class. This group consisted on seven IEC students who
were making wooden storage boxes as their particular project. During this session the students were
given the opportunity to use rulers to measure, the bandsaw to cut, an electric sander and a timber
engraver. Prior to each set task the teacher provided clear instructions (1-2 words) and modelled the
task. I observed that the teacher was required to repeat some instructions and concepts that the
students did not understand. The teacher on occasion used simple instructions (1-2 words) to reiterate
safety information when using machinery
Certificate II in Engineering
I was introduced to the Certificate II Engineering class which consisted of five young male students.
The students were independently completing manual projects in the workshop and theoretical tasks in
order to obtain a pre-apprenticeship as a Boilermaker. As part of the course the students are expected
to design, create and paint their particular projects from commencement to completion. The Mentor
Teacher advised me that I would be presenting my Mathematics lesson the next day to this particular
group of students with a possible attendance by several others. This session provided me with the
opportunity to observe some of the students and how they interacted with their theoretical tasks in
order for me to appropriately plan the lesson.
End of Day 3

Professional Experience - Secondary
Observation Notes

Day 4 Thursday, 28
th
August 2014

Link Program (IEC)
During the Mentor Teachers DOTT time I was given the opportunity to participate in the Link
Program which consisted of six students from the Intensive English Centre (IEC). During this
particular session the lesson comprised of group discussions and activities where I was requested by
the class teacher to assist particular students. Initially I assisted a student with a writing exercise
where the student was required to write a sentence about an everyday topic using correct sentence
structure, correct grammar and spelling. The next part of the session comprised of a quiz whereby
students were required to answer questions about an excursion they had attended the previous week.
During this activity I assisted three students with their written grammar, spelling and recalling skills.
Prior to the group work the class teacher conducted an informal discussion group whereby
questioning strategies (closed questioning) were used by the teacher to assist the students in recalling
and discussing an excursion they had attended the previous week. The questioning strategies were
also used to encourage the students to utilize their English skills when recalling events and places
seen during the excursion.
Certificate II in Engineering
During this session I conducted a whole class Mathematics Lesson. The learning focus was
concerned with Fractions, Percentages, and decimals. I based my lesson plan around a Mathematics
booklet the mentor teacher had provided. I was instructed that apart from the mathematics concepts
the other main focus of the lesson was to ensure collaborative working relationships amongst the
students and clear and concise visual models to be demonstrated on the whiteboard. The mentor
teacher was confident that I provided for those needs during the lesson. At the completion of my
lesson the class teacher continued the Mathematics lesson by introducing ratio concepts.
Visual Arts & Technical Drawing
During the afternoon session I resumed in the Technical Drawing (Certificate II) class which
consisted of a new group of students. This group of students comprised of 15 IEC students.
During the session the class teacher discussed how to draw 3D shapes which continued on to
the students completing the task independently. The second part of the lesson comprised of
the teacher speaking to the class about horizon lines. The students were then set an
independent task whereby they were required to draw a group of buildings representing
horizon lines.
Certificate II in Engineering
During the final two periods of the day I observed the other Professional Experience student conduct a
Mathematics Lesson with the learning focus being Geometry. This lesson was the second part of the
lesson I had presented to the students in the morning.
End of Day 4



Professional Experience - Secondary
Observation Notes

Day 5 Friday, 29
th
August 2014

Professional Development (PD)
Friday, 29
th
August was a student free day whereby Professional Development was conducted for
staff. During Professional Development sessions were conducted comparing two different education
systems from two different countries around the world to the Australian education system. The first
PD looked at the education system in Finland and compared it to the Australian (and USA) education
system. The speaker giving the PD looked at Global Education Reform Movement (GERM) VS
Finnish Education. The second PD investigated the aspects of online assessment (OLNA). The third
PD was concerned with Australias Engagement with Asia a cross Curriculum Priority, and
provided an insight into the education system in Malaysia.
The sessions concerning the two different education systems provided the staff with first-hand
knowledge about these subjects because the school Principal had participated in seminars and/or
school tours in each of these countries when attending professional development. The session
concerning online assessment provided the opportunity for staff to ask questions pertaining to the
assessment.
End of Day 5
End of Professional Experience - Secondary