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Learning & Curriculum

We pride ourselves in providing quality teaching and learning programs. Each week students partake in: 

  • Explicit daily Literacy and Numeracy lessons

    • Little Learners Loves Literacy explicit systematic phonics in the first 3 years of school

    • Sound Waves Spelling​ in Years 3-6

  • Creative Curriculum areas

    • Writers Notebook

    • Inquiry-based learning

    • Wellbeing

  • Specialist Subjects

    • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) - with a strong sustainability perspective

    • Japanese

    • Creative Arts: Music and Visual Arts

    • Physical Education

    • Sustainability/Gardening

    • Puggles (our Community subject - working as a whole school on developing our community, working with and for the wider community, and developing our passions)

We also run additional programs and activities: 

  • Band program (private instrumental lessons from Year 2 + band lessons from Year 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 Years 3-6 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! 

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Class structure

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In 2024, we have 2 Learning Communities: Junior Class (Foundation-2) and Senior Class (3-6). 

After beginning each day with Morning Circle, all students then move to their Learning Communities and work in small, targeted, and differentiated groups each day for Literacy and Numeracy.  

This ensures that we are catering to all our students’ individual learning needs and gives them opportunities to become successful, confident learners. 

We also offer multi-aged, structured specialist classes that group 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.

Class structure

Literacy

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All students are given explicit instruction in the teaching of phonics to scaffold their progress in all areas of Literacy. Through targetted focus groups and individual instruction, we are fostering students who see themselves as active readers and writers, who can follow their interests and develop their skills to read for pleasure and information and communicate confidently in both oral nad written forms.

Curriculum

Numeracy

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Numeracy has had an emphasis on real-life hands-on learning. Through number talks investigations, explicit teaching, and open-ended maths games, students are learning numeracy concepts at their own level. They are developing the mathematics proficiencies of understanding, fluency, reasoning, and problem-solving alongside developing a productive disposition (seeing mathematics as useful and valuable).

Inquiry

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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.

STEM

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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. 

Specialist subjects

Japanese

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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.

Creative Arts

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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.

Physical Education

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Students take part in a wide range of sporting activites throughout the year. We have an extensive Interschool Sports Program that the Year 3-6 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. On many occasions you will see our School Captains leading our whole school sports games, something fun that everyone looks forward to. 

Music

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 Years 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!

Music program

Gardening and Cooking

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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

  • Insect hotel 

  • 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

Nature-based Learning

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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. 

Nature-based learning

Leadership and democratic participation

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We provide multiple opportunities to practice leadership and democratic participation within the school setting. Year 6's fill several leadership positions in their final year (voted by their peers and teachers), including the role of School Captains. In addition during our Puggles session, and other regular meetings, students discuss ideas and suggestions from each Learning Community. These are then passed on to the Teaching Team and School Council for discussion and implementation. 

Leadership and democracy

Reporting

School Supply

The transition to small, targeted, and differentiated learning groups each day has allowed the implementation of smaller learning cycles for reading, writing, and maths.  

This means that information (in the form of Learning Tasks) is sent home during the term - rather than only twice per year - so you are kept informed of your child’s learning 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 judgment 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.  

Reporting
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St Andrews Primary School

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