Curriculum

Literacy

Heany Park Primary School is a thriving, harmonious and dynamic learning community made up of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

We are a community of learners, committed to personal excellence in every respect. Our students are nurtured and challenged to maximise their learning potential. We are committed to developing students’ individual intelligences and capabilities, whilst mastery of literacy is at the very core of all that we do. We operate on a simple premise that all students can learn and succeed in acquiring the knowledge, skills and behaviours for life and work in the global knowledge economy.

At Heany Park Primary School we believe that language is the means by which we communicate with the world around us. It enables us to express our thoughts, ideas and feelings as we interact with others. English language learning is a continuous, lifelong process. All areas of Literacy Learning – Speaking and Listening, Reading, Writing, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling – are covered during a daily two-hour Literacy teaching session.

In our literacy program, students are taught explicitly as a whole class, in small groups and one on one,. In reading sessions, a specific reading strategy or skill will be introduced through a text or big book, interactive whiteboard activity or game. Following this, students are grouped based on their specific learning needs. Each small group is scaffolded by the teacher and taught strategies to read and make meaning from text. While the teacher is working with a small group, the other learning groups are working independently to consolidate skills and strategies. At the end of the session, reflection on learning is shared with peers.

Our students reading ability is regularly assessed using the Fountas and Pinnell system which monitors both decoding, comprehension skills and strategies, fluency and pace.

Reading at home is strongly encouraged, not only because it assists in the reading development, but also as it helps to build confidence and provides time for a child to share their learning with their parents or guardians.

Robyn Davis
Literacy Leader

Writing sessions follow a similar structure. Various genres are explored to give students a broad and varied understanding of different methods in which to communicate their ideas. A writing strategy is taught and modelled. This aspect may include some shared or interactive writing as a class or demonstration and practise of a skill. The students then complete an activity in which they can practise that writing skill or strategy. Students may work independently, in small groups or with the teacher. Learning is shared to promote consolidation, confidence and achievement.

Spelling strategies are also explicitly taught. Spelling, or Word Work, may relate to the reading and or writing focus and thus may form part of those particular lessons. Or, the spelling focus may be taught as part of a guided reading session.

Students are encouraged to speak clearly and confidently in a variety of situations. They learn to listen attentively to their peers and teachers. Skills such as maintaining eye contact, voice projection, using notes or palm cards, will be developed through oral presentations and class and group discussions.

Our Library is central to the school’s teaching and learning program in developing students as life-long learners. It has a comprehensive collection of resources that provides students and teachers with a wide range of up to date print, multimedia and electronic resources designed to match the student’s varied learning styles, abilities and interests. Its large non-fiction collection complements the School’s curriculum, while its fiction collection with its strong focus on quality literature works to increase student’s literacy skills and understanding of the world.

Students at our school do more than master basic language skills. They learn to express their feelings and opinions and to support their opinions with sound arguments and research.

Numeracy

Numeracy is a highly valued component of the curriculum taught at Heany Park Primary School. Our goal is to set students up for success by providing them with the skills and strategies to prepare them for real-life situations and problems.

Mathematics lessons are taught daily utilising a variety of approaches, programs, technologies and hands-on materials to cater for all learning styles. Each Maths learning session is structured to include a mental maths warm-up activity, a main teaching activity with an explicit learning intention and time for reflection at the end. The content of lessons is driven by student data, gathered through standardised, pre-and post-testing. All components of the Victorian Curriculum in Mathematics (Number and Algebra, Measurement, Geometry, Statistics and Probability) are integrated and developed through problem-solving tasks, open-ended questioning, investigations and a variety of engaging games and activities. Tasks are differentiated to meet the individual needs of all students.

In addition, our school provides the following:

  • parent information sessions on how Maths is taught at Heany Park Primary School at all levels and how parents can support their children at home
  • a Numeracy Support Program for identified students in Years 4
  • the opportunity for students at Years 5 and 6 to be challenged and extended in Maths through participation in the Maths Olympiads program
  • take-home Maths Bags that are full of hands-on materials, games and activities for students F – 2
  • access to an extensive collection of picture-story books for teaching numeracy concepts

Penny Esposito
Numeracy Leader

Transdisciplinary Learning

At Heany Park, we employ an inquiry approach to our integrated curriculum. Throughout the year, students at each year level engage in a range of transdisciplinary units. These units explore big ideas that essential for students understanding of the world around them.

The units incorporate learning from a range of traditional discipline areas as well as development of transferable skills, such as research and communication skills.

The units are developed collaboratively by the teachers working in each year level to ensure the units are significant, challenging and relevant to the students they teach.

An inquiry approach to teaching and learning allows students to be immersed in a concept or big idea through carefully selected literature, artifacts and experiences. This process of immersion unlocks the students’ natural curiosity and provides them with the opportunity to express their thoughts and understandings about the ‘big idea’. These wonderings drive the students’ motivation to engage meaningfully in the unit and provide the teachers with information about their student’s current understandings, skills and knowledge, in order to provide learning experiences consistent with their needs. A combination of teacher and student driven exploration allows each student to build on their prior knowledge, make connections to new ideas and build their understanding of the concept. Throughout the units, both teachers and students go on a journey of discovery – where information and skills are obtained within a meaningful context.

Kym Ryan
(PYP – International Baccalaureate)
Transdisciplinary Leader

HPPS Mission Statement

Heany Park Primary School is a child centred community, empowering students to be inquiring, responsible, compassionate and globally minded citizens. Our teaching and learning embodies our school values and drives the development of challenging and engaging programmes. This enables our students to become lifelong learners, who take action to promote a peaceful and sustainable world through respect and understanding.

Visual Arts

Foundation

Students will explore Emily Kngwarreye’s finger painting as well as Henri Matisse’s paper cutting creation. They will use the crumpling technique to crush tissue paper into tiny balls to produce art pieces depicting insects in their natural environment. Students will explore and learn about Japanese and ancient Egyptian histories by looking at a range of their ancient plate artefacts and items of adornment. They will then create their own Japanese plate artefacts and Egyptian Usekh Collars. Printing and mark making techniques will be introduced to Foundation students in Semester Two.

Junior Years

Students will create picture stories using Indigenous symbols and paint them on pebbles. They will make their own looms to make weaving using either wool or strips of fabric. Students will explore the art of paper cutting and paper construction. They will create a cityscape and construct birds using skills such as fringing, rolling, curling and twisting paper. Frederick McCubbin’s ‘Lost’ artwork will be discussed before students make their own creation using rubbing sheets and ‘Lost’ as their theme.

Middle Years:

Middle Year’s third inquiry into how arts can be a reflection of societal values and issues and how learning about arts develops appreciation will be extended to Semester Two. They will study the works of Pablo Picasso, Gustav Klimt, Henri Matisse and Salvador Dali. Recycled Art, Trash Art and Recycled Christmas craft are activities that are linked to their next inquiry on Earth’s limited resources and how people’s behaviour affects the environment. They will learn the technique of tie and dye as part of the textile unit.

Senior Years:

Students will use the basic elements of line, shape and colour to create Mandalas. ‘Viewing Events Through My Window’ is an activity where students will creatively express their views on how significant events and people that have brought about changes in history as well as the causes and consequences of these changes. While Year Six students work on their Graduation Bear, the Year Five students will use armature wires to construct people and dress them using fabric.

Sharon Lai
Visual Arts specialist teacher

Digital Technologies – Computers

Lisa Hill
Digital Technologies Leader

Languages – Indonesian

Foundation: The students will be learning about the names for the parts of the body, especially the names for the ears, eyes, nose, tongue and fingers for the five senses. In the Indonesian class we will be aligning with the Transdisciplinary Unit of How the World Works.

Junior School: The students will look at houses from around the world and factors that determine where people live, such as building materials, weather and the environment. This unit will align with the Transdisciplinary Unit of How We Organise Ourselves.

Middle School: The students will look at natural disasters, especially the natural phenomena of volcanic eruptions and tsunamis in Indonesia, aligning with the Transdisciplinary Unit of How the World Works. They will be involved in writing letters to children who were caught in the tsunami developing the Learner Profile of Communicator and the Attitude of Empathy.

Senior School:  Students will study the Independence of Indonesia, the type of government that Indonesia has and the meaning of the Pancasila, the five democratic principles of Indonesia. They will look for the similarities and differences between the governments of Indonesian and Australia.

Heather Brown
Languages (Indonesian) specialist teacher

Library

Michelle Mitchell
Library Technician pictured (Mondays & Thursdays only)

Library Administrator: Literacy PLT

Performing Arts

In semester 2 the students at HPPS will be focusing on preparations for the concerts – in September (grade 3 to 6) and November (grade F to 2). They have gained some skills – learning to play instruments – which we will be utilizing in these preparations. Very exciting! We have also started lunchtime sessions with a junior choir for students from F to year 2 and a senior choir for students from years 3 to 6.

Foundation

The Foundation children will be continuing to gain confidence in their singing, dancing and playing of games. They will be using musical instruments, moving to the beat in different ways and recognising musical elements such as fast and slow, loud and soft, high and low. The children will be reading and writing music notation for rhythm and pitch and preparing songs for their performance in November.

Junior

In Semester 2, the Junior School children will be using music, singing, dance and role plays to discover the cultural differences between people of different nations. They will discover how the lives of others are different from their own in terms of housing, diet, entertainment, family and beliefs. The children will be singing songs from other nations, using instruments from across the globe and dancing in different ways.

Middle

The Middle School children will be learning to play the recorder. We will then use our musical skills – singing, playing the ukulele, recorder and percussion instruments to form ensembles in preparation for the concert in September. Following this we will continue to learn to read and write notation on the music stave while learning new songs, rhythms and musical games.

Senior

The Senior School children will be continuing with their drumming this semester – but also singing and learning to play percussion instruments together in preparation for the concert in September. Following this the students will be introduced to different types of music and how it is used in movies and theatre to create atmosphere, drama and emotional responses from an audience.

Elizabeth Eastwood
Performing Arts specialist teacher

Physical Education

So far this year, students across all year levels, have participated in a wide range of Physical Education programs, sports and skills. Semester Two plans to build and expand on these skills and experiences.

Foundation students will begin Term 3 with an introduction to gymnastics. They will focus on how to create patterns of movement through gymnastics. Students will learn basic supports, hangs and balances in class, which will be incorporated into a variety of circuit activities. At the conclusion of gymnastics, Foundation students will then begin a new program, which focuses on fitness. Students will explore and discuss what it means to be fit, how our bodies react to exercise and the importance of daily exercise.

The Junior Years will start the term by participating in a variety of gymnastics activities that will enable the students to enhance their coordination, movements of the body, balance, strength, spatial awareness and fitness. There are Six Dominant Movement Patterns (DMP) that will be incorporated in a variety of circuit activities. These are:

Landings: Body control on landing is most important because it is performed with every apparatus including the floor.

Statics: Statics are held or still positions that are fundamental to all movements. In particular, they provide a good basis for locomotion.

Locomotion: Locomotion is movement across working space o along apparatus.

Spring: Springs are activities, which produce upward, sideways, backward or forward movement of the body.

Swing: Swings are movements of the body, forward or backward, pivoting around a part of the body. They develop spatial awareness, body tension and grip strength.

Rotation: A rotation is any turn or spin around an internal axis of the body.

To conclude the term, Junior Year students will follow on with a fitness program designed by Jump Rope for Heart. So grab out your skipping ropes in the backyard and enjoy practising skipping by yourself and with your family. It is a fun way to build not only your fitness but also timing, group relationships and movement patterns.

Middle Year students will focus on net/wall games; determining how to cover the court area to prevent the opponent from scoring, where best to place the ball, how best to attack and defend the court space and how to play/communicate with a pair or team. At the conclusion of the unit of work, students will experience a gymnastics program designed and implemented by external coaches. It is a great opportunity for students to review and develop their strength, balance and body control in a fun and creative environment.

Senior Year students will begin second semester with a focus on fitness. They will look at their own personal fitness level and how exercise and healthy choices can affect their mind and bodies. They will focus on three main components of fitness; muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance (aerobic exercise) and muscle and joint flexibility. Students will experience a range of fitness circuit activities and discuss each activities fitness focus, benefits to the mind and body and safety measures. From there, students will design their own circuit program, many of which will be implemented with the class. Also in semester two, senior students will complete an orienteering unit and ball handling skills.

Prue Cunningham
PE specialist teacher

X