Primary - Curriculum

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The Primary School curriculum programs, or what we teach at St Andrew’s, is rich and diverse. Our programs aim to encourage engagement, as well as deep learning and understanding to foster life-long skills and understanding. Each year level’s curriculum programs and learning intentions are constructed using the Australian Curriculum content and skill descriptions, and the achievement standards. They have an emphasis on the skills and content students are typically expected to know in each year level which provides a clear scope and sequence. Emphasis is placed on the core skills of Literacy and Numeracy as they are the fundamental skills necessary for all learning in life. Beyond these skills, our curriculum covers a wide variety of subjects. These include:

English Mathematics Humanities & the Social Sciences (History, Geography, Civics & Citizenship, Business and Economics)
Science Languages (Mandarin Chinese) The Arts (Visual Art, Music)
Health, Physical Education & Sport Christian Education Technology

Our pedagogy, or how we teach our curriculum programs, is through the Walker Learning Approach (WLA). With the WLA, it is believed that when students are provided with learning opportunities that empower them and allow them to make some of their own decisions, the students become engaged in highly meaningful and sustained ways (Walker & Bass, 2011). This is achieved through personalising each student’s learning through a combination of individual personal interests and the Australian Curriculum. The WLA personalised, investigative pedagogy places the student and their interests at the centre of their own learning to academically, socially and emotionally develop in a warm and stimulating learning arena. We have witnessed strong success using this approach where our students pose and respond to questions, solve problems and construct deep understanding for themselves rather than being the passive recipients of someone else’s knowledge. The comprehensive nature of our curriculum and pedagogy encourages all students to be confident and creative individuals, successful self-regulating learners, and active and informed citizens for the 21st century.

 

In Prep to Year Three in 2015, our teachers and students embraced the pedagogy Walker Learning Approach (WLA). This method of teaching and learning is based on twenty years of research by Kathy Walker and Shona Bass. The Australian designed pedagogy is an investigative approach that personalises learning for each child based on their developmental needs and interests while addressing the Australian Curriculum content and skills. In Prep to Year Two, investigation sessions run four mornings a week for 40 minutes. The investigation sessions are authentic opportunities to consolidate the year levels’ learning intentions that are derived from the Australian Curriculum.

Year Three students engage in investigations in Term 1 and then transition into Education Research Projects.

Walker Learning complements our explicit teaching and learning programs in Literacy, Numeracy, Humanities and the Social Sciences and Science. In 2016 in Years Four to Six, WLA will be fully implemented. Students will continue to explicitly learn Literacy and Numeracy content and skills which are consolidated through Education Research Projects (ERPs). ERPs occur for three to four sessions a week and are jointly chosen by the teacher and each individual student using the Australian Curriculum content and skills descriptions for Humanities and the Social Sciences and Science. For more information, visit the Walker Learning website.

Oral language is the foundation of communication in the English language. At St Andrew’s, we provide explicit teaching and learning sessions to develop the oral language skills of our students. The skills of speaking and listening enhance each student’s ability to read and write. Using the Australian Curriculum year level content and skill descriptions, we have developed a comprehensive English curriculum program that explicitly teaches students the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. The reading and writing skills and genres are deliberately sequenced to mirror the developmental needs of our students. This enables our students to utilise their prior knowledge to understand or create pieces that progress in depth and complexity. In alphabet and spelling development, Prep students are explicitly taught letters, sounds, blends and spelling patterns using our school based program that utilises the Letterland resources. In Years One to Six, students sound, letter, word and spelling knowledge are consolidated, enhanced and extended through the spelling program Sound Waves. The programs are differentiated within each class through word complexity within the sound to meet individual student’s vocabulary understanding and spelling development. Our students’ skills and understanding in the English domains of speaking, listening, reading and writing are consolidated during our Investigations and Education Research Projects (ERPs) time.

Mathematics is a fundamental in life that develops numerical capabilities essential for our students to be successful members of society. Using the Australian Curriculum year level content and skill descriptions, we have a thorough Mathematics curriculum program that explicitly teaches students the skills to be numerate using the concrete materials – visual representation – abstract representation model. Our curriculum focuses on developing mathematical understanding, fluency, logical reasoning, analytical thought and problem-solving skills. These skills enable our students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations by using mathematical strategies to make informed decisions and solve problems efficiently. Student mathematical understanding is further consolidated in our investigation time as well as during the Education Research Projects (ERPs). Our curriculum program is supported by the Envision and Mathletics mathematical resources.

Humanities and the Social Sciences ((History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, and Business and Economics) is the study of human behaviour and interaction in social, cultural, environmental, economic and political contexts. They have both a historical and a contemporary focus; from personal to global contexts, as well as considering challenges for the future. Under the Humanities and the Social Sciences heading, our students are taught History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship (Years Three to Six only), and Business and Economics (Years Five and Six only) following the Australian Curriculum year level content and skill descriptions. Our Investigations and Education Research Projects (ERPs) provide authentic opportunities for our students to use their personal interests to consolidate the content and skills of this learning area. Our curriculum program in the Humanities and the Social Sciences provides our students with a broad understanding of the world in which we live, and how students can participate as active and informed citizens with skills needed for the 21st century.

Science at St Andrew’s is a dynamic, collaborative and creative human endeavour arising from our desire to make sense of the world. This occurs through our students having opportunities to make observations, explore the unknown, investigate universal mysteries, make predictions and solve problems. Our Science curriculum program utilises the Australian Curriculum’s science inquiry skills, science as human endeavour and science understanding content descriptions. It explores the four strands of biological science, chemical science, Earth and space science, and physical science. Class teachers in Prep to Year Six provide students with learning opportunities to understand important science concepts, skills and processes through explicit instruction, scientific investigations and experiments. Our Investigations and Education Research Projects (ERPs) further provide authentic opportunities for our students to use their personal interests to consolidate Science content and skills. Additionally, all Year Five and Year Six students enjoy weekly sessions in the Secondary Science Lab where all students are involved in science lab experiments. This further develops their understanding, skills, fascination and appreciation of Science.

Mandarin Chinese is the second language that we study at St Andrew’s. From Prep to Year Six, we explore Chinese language and culture through weekly lessons and whole school demonstrations. Following the Australian Curriculum content descriptions, the lessons focus on communicating and understanding in Chinese. The skills our students require to communicate and understand in Mandarin are taught using a gesture based approach called AIM Language Learning. This multisensory approach to learning a second language uses speaking and listening of the Chinese language simultaneously with hand gestures. Hearing the language and seeing the gestures enhances each student’s ability to develop the skills to communicate and understand in Mandarin. This approach is designed for students to be fully immersed in the Chinese language. Throughout the language lessons, Chinese culture is explored to gain a comprehensive perspective of the language, the Chinese people, the country and customs.

In Year Six, students are able to nominate to participate in the Beijing Primary School’s Friendship Schools Program where students travel to Beijing, China. For two weeks, students live in a boarding school with fellow St Andrew’s students and teachers along with Beijing Primary buddy students to learn more about the Chinese language, people and culture. The Beijing Primary buddy students also travel to Australia and stay with our Year Six student host families for two weeks to learn more about the English language and Australian culture. The highly successful and popular friendship schools’ program has been occurring since 2009 and it provides students with the most authentic language learning experience.

Visual Art

At St Andrew’s, Visual Art has been considered as an integral element of The Arts curriculum area. Through fortnightly double lessons, our Prep to Year Six students have been exposed to explicit skill and content instruction to explore, develop, present and to create artistic pieces. The curriculum program follows a developmental skill sequence of the elements of art and through a variety of carefully selected art mediums based on the Australian Curriculum content and skill descriptions. Students are provided with additional avenues to present and celebrate their artistic work through competitions and school wide cultural events.

Music

Music is an appreciated and enjoyed curriculum area at St Andrew’s. Our students receive weekly lessons to be educated on how to create, respond to and perform music, as well as to understand the content and skills underpinning this Australian Curriculum learning area from Prep to Year Six. In Year Three, the element of group collaboration and performance in music is introduced with all students learning the recorder. Our Music Immersion Program for Year Four and Year Five students enables all students to explore the joy, knowledge and commitment of learning a strings or band instrument. Through this program, all students have the opportunity to be included in a number of band or string ensemble groups. Our diverse, highly regarded co-curricular music program supports and increases individual student’s skills and abilities in Music.

At St Andrew’s, we value being fit, active and healthy. This belief is a strong feature of our school culture. Health, Physical Education (PE) and Sport are integral for our students to aspire to, and to live by these values. Following the Australian Curriculum content descriptions, our Prep to Year Six students are provided weekly PE specialist lessons and sports afternoons to develop movement, fitness, skill development and healthy living behaviours. Positive personal, social and community health skills, content and behaviours are explicitly taught and consolidated by class teachers to increase student knowledge and understanding. Our extensive, high-quality co-curricular sport program compliments and extends students skills and knowledge in the HPE and Sport curriculum area.

Students from Prep through to Year 6 are given every opportunity to develop as a whole person by engaging in our Outdoor Education Program. From an early age, our students learn the basics of good communication, bush craft and teamwork. A varied and sequential outdoor education and personal development program is implemented throughout the Primary School. Students are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones from time to time, but will be nurtured in such a way that allows them to grow, develop and construct meaning at their own personal level. The Outdoor Educational Camp is a required component of each child’s curriculum at St Andrew’s.

The Camping program includes:

Year Level Venue Duration Information
Prep Australia Zoo Day only The first Outdoor excursion at St Andrew’s is a trip to Australia Zoo. This is a BIG day out for our little Preppies. They have a special Zoo-Keeper’s talk about what animals need to keep them healthy, they then explore the Zoo in small groups. Each child gets the chance to get up close and personal to some special Australian animals. The Crocoseum show with spectacular birds and leaping crocs is another highlight of the day.
1 Maranatha Day only With the confidence of a year and a half of schooling behind them, the Year 1’s are ready to take on some big challenges on their camp day. Rock climbing, bush cooking, dam hike and the dizzying heights of the ‘Possum Pull’ keep everyone busy. Staff are amazed at how their charges take on the challenges as well as the responsibility of looking after one another on this camp.
2 Mudjimba Day only The Year 2 Camp Day introduces students to the venue where they will have there first overnight camp in Year 3. Children participate in fun group activities. There is also bird watching and environmental challenges to keep the Year Twos on their toes.
3 Mudjimba Overnight Year 3 students are off for their first overnight camp experience. The theme for this camp is ‘Coastal Living’ and the focus is on coastal environments and water activities. Students will explore the Maroochy River wetlands via canoe. They will also compete in a Beach Olympics and the Team Challenge Course. At night time the students enjoy a campfire and games.
4 Kiah Park 2 nights Year 4 students enjoy a farm stay experience at Kiah Park. This is a two night camp where one night is a sleep-out in tents at a remote site where students prepare and cook their own roast dinner in the campfire. Activities include horse riding, cow milking, team challenges, a flying fox into the dam and a bush hike.
5 Mon Repos, Bundaberg 2 nights

Year 5 students are travelling to Bargara Beach near Bundaberg. From this base we will visit the Mon Repos turtle hatchery each night and enjoy an afternoon of surf lifesaving and a full day of activities at Bucca Retreat Campsite.

6 Canberra 5 nights Year 6 travel to Canberra for their investigation of our nation’s capital.

St Andrew's is foremost an Anglican School where our Anglican ethos commits us to convey Christian values and beliefs. Our students are taught about love, tolerance, respect and acceptance towards their peers and adults. Our staff work with students to develop their understanding of the principles of the Christian faith through the weekly Christian Education lessons and Chapel Services. Each student is nurtured in a caring, Christian environment to help to foster their special talents and qualities to enable each child to find his or her special niche within the school and the greater community.

Design and Digital Technologies are embraced and respected at St Andrew’s Anglican College. Our Prep to Year Six students experience lessons to develop knowledge and understandings in design and digital technologies as well as the processes and production skills to be successful 21st century learners.

Design technologies refers to the knowledge, understanding and skills involved in design, it’s development and the use of technologies to enrich lives and society in general. Many aspects of the Australian Curriculum design technologies are integrated into the year level curriculum areas in Humanities and the Social Sciences and Science to provide authentic, contextualised learning experiences.

Digital technologies refers to information systems where our students require knowledge, understanding, skills and processes to collaborate, create, manage, design, select, implement and/or evaluate age appropriate apps, coded programs and websites. Through carefully designed lessons, our students are empowered with 21st century skills which enable them to create, program or evaluate developmentally age appropriate websites, apps, robots and code. We use iPad minis in Prep to Year Four to assist with teaching and learning across all curriculum areas. Years Five and Six students use individual one-to-one laptops.

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