Tasmania’s John Calvin School assistant principal Tim vanWinden recalls being part of an early pilot class many years ago when ORIGO Education’s Stepping Stones came to the island state.
“While I was teaching at Youngtown we ran the pilot, and it was so successful we rolled out Stepping Stones across the school from Prep to Year Six,” Tim says.
It was the perfect introduction to the ORIGO Education curriculum for Tim who said, at the time, Youngtown didn’t have a set way to teach Maths. He has been convinced of its value ever since.
“Back then, my approach to teaching Maths was less mapped out,” he said. “With Stepping Stones the biggest advantage as a leader and as a teacher is that you can guarantee Maths curriculum coverage.
“No matter what class I go in to from Prep to Year Six, I know the curriculum is being covered and in depth – regardless of a teacher’s skills, passions or preferences.
“I know that they are all teaching the core content students need to know.”
Tim, who is now based in South Launceston, says he also believes Stepping Stones has improved over the years, with 12 modules – and 12 lessons in each – to get the progression students need before they move to another topic.
“To a certain extent, it still comes down to when we are teaching skills in Maths, there will always be those who excel because they are more passionate about it,” said Tim.
“With Stepping Stones, we find the students do progress from year to year and we have seen positive results in testing, standardised testing and NAPLAN.”
“I would highly recommend Stepping Stones to other teachers and my advice is to use all the available accompanying resources, and be well prepared.”