Learning & Curriculum
We pride ourselves in providing quality teaching and learning programs. Each week students partake in:
Daily literacy and numeracy lessons
Creative curriculum areas
Writers notebook / Sounds waves spelling
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) - with a strong sustainability perspective
Creative Arts: Music and visual arts
We also run additional programs and activities:
Band program (private instrumental lessons from grade 2 + band lesson from grade 3 onwards)
Gardening and/or cooking with parent helpers
We base our learning on the workshop model, and we make sure that we cater to the needs of all of our students.
Each year, our students also participate in many other sources and methods of learning:
Nature-based learning: In Term 2 and 3 each year, our 'cubby land' in the bushland by our school is available for the students during recess and lunch, and it is a source of immense excitement and creativity - we fully understand that not all learning takes place in a classroom!
Leadership and democracy are practised in and out of the classroom in a number of ways
Fortnightly all-school assemblies give the kids an opportunity for regular public speaking practice - as well as showing off their work and creativity! The grades take turns hosting the assemblies, with different student facilitators each time. The facilitators - as young as 5 years old - run the assembly and invite their classmates to come up and present their part of the program for that week.
School camps for grades 2-6 are an annual highlight
Frequent excursions / incursions are organised to complement learning
Theme days are a highlight that allow us all to dress up, learn something about each other and the world we live in and, most of all, have fun!
In 2022, we have 2 homegroups to start the day: Prep/1/2 and 3/4/5/6.
After beginning each day with their home group teacher, all students then move to their
small, targeted and differentiated reading and maths groups each day.
This ensures that we are catering to all our students’ individual learning needs and give them opportunities to become successful, confident learners.
We also offer multi-aged, structured specialist classes which groups students of different ages together, giving them opportunities to experience a range of social and working relationships.
This provides a flexible learning environment that is responsive to the students’ skills, abilities, stages of development, interests and personalities - not just their age.
All students are given explicit instruction in the teaching of phonics to scaffold their progress in all areas of Literacy. We had a targeted focus on Reading. Students can identify a ‘just right’ book and have helped create their own class libraries.
Numeracy has had an emphasis on real life hands on learning. Students have been using open-ended maths games to allow them to learn numeracy concepts at their own level.
Our Integrated Inquiry topics are derived from the Humanities, History, Geography and Science Areas of the curriculum, and they are delivered in a manner that allows learners to develop their own unique areas of interest and skills. With the aim of challenging and extending their knowledge and enthusiasm for the wider world, some inquiries have included: The stories we tell, and how stories help us understand tour world. For example, studying the continent of Africa became a springboard for History, Geography and an understanding of the global context we live in.
Our STEM teacher, Chan, educates our students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in an engaging and active way. With a curriculum based around critical and creative thinking, our students are invited to challenge their existing knowledge to explore broad topics around the themes of Sustainability, Environment, Change and Current Events.
Our Japanese teacher, Kerry, is an engaging and active teacher who immerses our students in learning through song, story and culture. Our students enjoy taking part in many cultural events and activities as well as learning the language, both verbal and written, through a wide variety of engaging means.
Reflective of the strong art culture of St Andrews, students are given regular opportunities to express themselves creatively through a variety of art forms, including visual arts and music. We have a well stocked art room that allows students to explore a broad range of art forms including clay work, printing, painting, fine art and more. With so many local artists, we regularly enjoy working with community members to create unique art projects and learn new skills.
Students take part in a wide range of sporting activites throughout the year. We have an extensive Interschool Sports Program that the 4-6 students take part in throughout the year and we have regular visiting specialist teacher who takes sessions in sports such as football, gymnastics, tennis and netball. Each Friday you will see our School Sports Captains leading our whole school sports games, something fun that everyone looks forward to.
Our Music program is widely celebrated within our area. Our current music teacher, Jayden, offers individual music lessons as well as the highly popular rock band program for Grades 3 and above. Students have the option to learn a variety of instruments through private lessons during school time. Bands practise each week and have recurring performances throughout the year. Our band night is always a highlight!
Gardening and Cooking
We grow edibles in our veggie & herb garden (using water wise wicking beds) and use the produce in our cooking classes. We also save seeds for next season or to swap in our community food share stand. We also look after our
Worm farm and compost
Fruit orchard & food forest
Sensory gardens (a place for kids to explore and play with their senses)
Frog bog (a thriving habitat for our local frogs)
Native food area
In Term 2 and 3 each year, our 'cubby land' in the bushland by our school is available for the students during recess and lunch, and it is always a hub of activity with self-pointed teams gathering materials, building their masterpieces as well as negotiating a whole host of aspects such as roles and common rules of use and behaviour. This is not only a source of joy and excitement, but also a valuable learning and development experience for all involved.
Leadership and democratic participation
We provide multiple opportunities to practice leadership and democratic participation within the school setting. Grade 6's fill several leadership positions in their final year (voted by their peers and teachers), including the School Captain, the Vice Captain, the Student Voice Captain and the Sports Captains. In addition to this, our Echidna Council is comprised of representatives from each class, and it meets regularly to discuss ideas and suggestions from each class. These are then passed on to the School Council for discussion and implementation.
The 2022 transition to small, targeted and differentiated reading and maths groups each day will allow the implementation of a 5-week learning cycle for reading and maths.
This means that information is sent home every five weeks - rather than only twice per year - so you are kept informed of your child’s group focus, learning needs and progress towards their goals.
Formal reports on student achievement and progress are also sent out to parents/carers twice per school year.
The report is prepared on compass and sent to parents electronically, however printed reports can be made available upon request.
We report directly against the Victorian Curriculum F-10 achievement standards.
Student achievement and progress are included in the report. This includes providing a teacher judgement against the achievement standards, assigned as a score, that accurately reflects where each student is along the relevant learning continuum for all curriculum areas taught during the reporting period.