The Australian Curriculum
Our curriculum provides students with rich learning opportunities aligned to the Australian Curriculum. Teachers integrate the General Capabilities of literacy, numeracy, information and communication technology, critical and creative thinking, ethical behaviour, personal and social competence and intercultural understanding, and Cross-Curriculum Priorities - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, Asia & Australia’s Engagement with Asia and Sustainability, into each of the eight curriculum areas.
Our emphasis is on the development of core knowledge, skills and understandings in eight required areas of study, which includes:
The study of English is central to the learning and development of every student and underpins all of our work. It helps create con dent communicators, imaginative thinkers and informed citizens. Students learn to analyse, understand, communicate with and build relationships with each other and with the world around them.
Our students are taught reading, writing, spelling, grammar, handwriting, speaking and listening through the 3 focus areas of the English Curriculum: Literacy, Literature and Language.
Enter a classroom at McLaren Vale Primary School and you will see a diverse range of activities.
These may include students:
- Developing skills in comprehension, accuracy, uency and vocabulary
- Recognising and writing texts that persuade, explain and entertain
- Using correct grammar, including simple and compound sentences
- Using accurate spelling and punctuation and editing their own writing
- Planning and making presentations to the class
- Engaging in discussions to share ideas and information and communicating clearly with others
Learning mathematics creates opportunities for and enriches the lives of every student. Mathematics provides students with essential mathematical skills and knowledge in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry and Statistics and Probability. It develops the Numeracy Capabilities that all students need in their personal, work and civic life. Students are encouraged to become self-motivated, confident learners through inquiry and active participation in challenging and engaging experiences.
Our students are provided with opportunities to apply their learning in everyday situations. Building on from what learners know and guiding them from using concrete objects to representing their ideas in an abstract way is how we manage the mathematics journey from R-7. A typical lesson is based on a four-part framework including a tune in/warm up activity to activate our mathematics thinking, explicit teaching of concepts, guided practice and reflection/sharing.
You may see students:
- Working individually or as part of a group to solve a problem or investigation
- Undertaking problems that may have multiple answers
- Using various strategies within their work
- Engaging in learning conversations with their teacher and with each other
- Using mathematical language to re ect on what they have learnt
- Playing games to consolidate learning
Our students are involved in a wide range of opportunities to be immersed in the Arts. Experiences engage, inspire and enrich all students, exciting the imagination and encouraging them to reach their creative and expressive potential. Our Arts program includes learning about and using knowledge, skills, techniques, processes, materials and technologies to explore arts practices and make artworks that communicate ideas and intentions. Students are given opportunities for exploring, responding to, analysing and interpreting artworks.
Typically, students will:
- In Dance, create dances to tell a story, mood or emotion
- In Drama, choreograph and develop performances from stories or picture books
- In Media Arts, use technologies to change images, add words and record sounds
- In Music, sing and explore beat and rhythm using instruments to create music
- In Visual Arts, look at an artist’s work and create their own, experimenting with materials
In all five areas of The Arts, students are given opportunities to understand Australia’s histories and traditions through engaging with the artworks, both traditional and contemporary of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
Celebrating our students’ talents whether they are performing, painting or playing is a big part of our school and community life.
The Science curriculum provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of science concepts and processes, the practices used to develop scientific knowledge, of science’s contribution to our culture and society and its applications in our lives. Our students are provided with experiences based on science inquiry, science as a human endeavour and science understanding in the core areas of biology, chemistry, physics and earth and space.
You may see students:
- Conducting ‘fair test’ experiments to answer a question or hypothesis
- Recording their findings in multimodal ways (computer, iPad, photos, aurally or written as an explanation, procedure or in a report)
- Exploring the action of forces
- Realising that living things form parts of ecosystems
- Understanding that actions of humans can have an effect on their world
Languages - Japanese
Learning a second language has many bene ts such as increased learning outcomes across all curriculum areas including literacy in the first language. Language learning provides opportunities for students to make connections between themselves and others and develops an appreciation for all cultures. We have offered Italian up until 2017 and are currently phasing in Japanese to the senior students. In order to link with other feeder primary schools and to the Asian studies program at Willunga High School, as of 2018, all students will be involved in the study of Japanese. Experiences provide opportunities to speak, listen to and write the language as well as immersion in the culture of our nearest neighbours.
Typically, when learning a language, students will be:
- Participating in routines, interactions and learning activities which involve listening, responding and initiating
- Learning new words and using familiar vocabulary to make simple statements and ask simple questions
- Communicating in familiar interactions and situations such as participating in performances and play
- Exploring the relationship between culture and ways of communicating
Health and Physical Education
Our students have weekly lessons with a specialist Physical Education teacher in our gymnasium and classroom teachers provide additional fitness and skills lessons. R-5 students access a swimming program at Noarlunga Leisure Centre and 6-7 students an Aquatics program at Port Noarlunga beach. A sports day is held annually and is a key event in our community. Staff are committed to our students’ sporting success in a range of arenas including basketball, netball, cross country, athletics, swimming and soccer.
Students also learn about changes they experience as they grow up, valuing difference in others.
Typically, students will be:
- Talking about challenge, risk, success and failure and how these affect the way they see themselves
- Keeping themselves and others safe and healthy in and out of the classroom
- Building positive relationships and become more aware of emotions
- Understanding their own family background and valuing all people and cultures including their own
- Playing games in a range of outdoor places
- Improving their skills in different activities
- Using rules, scoring, tactics, fair play and teamwork
Technologies - Digital and Design
Technologies ensures that all students benefit from learning about and working with traditional, contemporary and emerging technologies that shape the world in which they live. By applying their knowledge, practical skills and processes when using technologies and other devices to create innovative solutions, independently and collaboratively, they are able to apply their learning to respond creatively to current and future needs.
Typically, students will be:
In Design and Technologies
- Drawing, labelling and modelling ideas when designing and producing solutions such as creating a toy that moves
- Re-evaluating and assessing what worked and what didn’t and making the needed changed
- Planning steps to produce solutions and learning to manage their time In Digital Technologies
- Identifying and learning how to follow safety rules when working online
- Identifying problems and solving them, for example, identifying stages of a game and decisions that a player must make to win
- Learning about the language of coding and how to use it without technology (directional games and hands on activities) and with technology (code.org, scratch, b-bots)
- Creating a range of digital solutions, such as coding simple interactive games
- Using the design thinking process to design and create solutions using the Makers Empire program and print prototypes using 3D printing
Humanities and Social Sciences
Awareness of the characteristics of people and places that make up our world and have shaped humanity from the earliest times are features of the Humanities and Social Sciences learning area. Students are taught History and Geography from Reception to Year 7 with Civics and Citizenship introduced at Year 3 and Economics and Business introduced at Year 5.
Our rich and diverse local environment is the springboard for our students to explore society, events, movements and developments in an effort to better understand themselves and others with the focus broadening from a regional to global perspective through the years of schooling.
Typically, students will investigate:
- Diverse people, cultures and environments in Australia and neighbouring countries; how different individuals and groups have contributed to their communities, past and present
- Significant days in Australia’s history, such as Australia Day, Anzac Day and Sorry Day
- Early explorers and British colonisation of Australia
- Diverse cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and those who live and lived in the local area
- Geographic characteristics of Africa, South America and Australia, and how natural resources are used and managed
- Rules and laws, and how the local government makes decisions and serves their community
- Groupings they belong to, and how people contribute to the community and the environment through responsible actions