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Curriculum Overview

At Altona Green Primary School we believe all students want to learn and are capable of learning.
We believe learning is best supported in classrooms that promote a co-operative approach to learning and in a class culture of high expectations. Our teachers scaffold learning in order to develop each child as a successful learner.

Teams of teachers at our school meet regularly to plan classroom programs that:

  • follow the AusVELS is the Prep to Year 10 curriculum that provides a single and comprehensive set of prescribed content and common achievement standards. AusVELS reflects the design of the Australian Curriculum while retaining Victorian priorities and approaches to teaching and learning.
  • report against AusVELS.
  • recognise the development of literacy is central to all key learning areas.
  • recognise that literacy involves thinking, speaking, listening, reading and writing within a relevant context.
  • recognise the importance of developing deep understandings of mathematical concepts and challenges students through the use of multiple representation in problem solving
  • build upon previous learning which will lead to future learning.
  • build confidence in the use of the inquiry process, experimenting and employing creative activities.
  • acknowledge teaching styles are matched with learning styles (multiple intelligences).

Students within each class present their teachers with a wide range of literacy and numeracy experiences, knowledge and skills. The challenge for teachers is to ensure that all students are provided with the knowledge and skills to continually improve their literacy and numeracy.

Literacy

Classroom Libraries – Independent Reading Practices

  • Research supports the notion that the books students read and enjoy the most, come from the classroom library. This research links to Altona Green Primary School’s philosophy of fostering a ‘love of reading’
  • All classrooms have established classroom libraries and they contain a wide selection of text, both fiction and non-fiction. These reflect text levels of difficulty as well as interest levels.
  • All children participate in daily independent reading – they are involved in self-selection of ‘just right’ books according to text difficulty. Teacher guidance supports student selection.
  • Our Literacy program allows for small groups of children working together on specific reading needs as well as whole class instruction/modelling of literacy strategies.
  • Reading logs and journals are a common feature across all levels and are used for responding to text and identifying reading goals in conference with the teacher.
  • Independent reading is promoted beyond school hours and is linked to homework.
  • Children have input into the selection of, and organisation of independent reading materials in each classroom.

Literacy Block

  • All classes in the school have a daily 2 hour literacy block (1 hour – reading, 1 hour – writing) in the morning session with the emphasis on developing reading, writing and spelling skills.
  • Conventions of spelling, grammar and punctuation are formally taught through reading and writing experiences. The school shows a commitment to continually building on the purchase of high quality reading materials for students to access in their classroom.
  • A variety of text types in writing are explicitly taught across the school.
  • Children engage in speaking and listening tasks to consolidate and expand their understanding – telling a personal story, responding to and asking simple questions, re-telling stories, giving and following simple instructions, participating in social interaction.
  • Yearly and term planners are developed by each team of teachers to ensure all foci are covered over the year.

Numeracy

  • All classes in the school have a daily ‘Numeracy Hour’ with the emphasis on developing deep understandings in numeracy, not just the right answer.
  • Wherever possible our teachers relate mathematics to the real world as well as seizing opportunities when they arise, to use newspapers, sports results, weather, cooking to develop graphs, make predictions etc.
  • We draw on open-ended tasks and mathematical investigations encouraging our students to use a variety of strategies to solve the task.
  • We encourage a “hands on” and active participation across the school in our maths sessions.
  • Children are exposed to and involved in using mathematical language, expressing their answers in many ways eg. in words, through pictures and by number representation.
  • We revisit basic counting and the four operations regularly, always promoting the inter-relationships between operations.
  • Teachers prompt and pose questions in order for our students to explain their mathematical understanding and reasoning.
  • Children are encouraged to question each other as well as the teacher. Teachers ask for explanations, promoting the use of mathematical language with children.
  • Our classrooms have many student generated mathematical charts or displays around the room and rich mathematical words on display which are used by students.
  • We teach measurement concepts in context; the Kitchen Garden program provides real-life experiences in which to connect these concepts for students.
  • Yearly and term planners are developed by each team of teachers to ensure all foci are covered over the year.